East Bay Best-Sellers 

What we're reading lately.

East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month's top-selling paperbacks and hardcovers as reported by independent bookstores throughout the East Bay, including Black Oak, Cody's, Diesel, Pegasus, and Rakestraw Books.

Nonfiction

1. Stupid White Men, by Michael Moore (ReganBooks, $24.95). The Oscar-winning loudmouth skewers and gleefully humiliates the Washington power elite.

2. Target Iraq, by Norman Solomon, Reese Erlich, and Howard Zinn (Context, $10.95). A war against Iraq is completely unjustified, the authors conclude, after reviewing all evidence -- or lack thereof.

3. Dreaming War, by Gore Vidal (Thunder's Mouth, $11.95). Examining the last sixty years, Vidal concludes that America is to blame for everything, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11.

4. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast (Plume, $14). An unapologetic, full-frontal assault on globalization and international capitalism.

5. Pigs at the Trough, by Arianna Huffington (Crown, $22). Huffington doles out a merciless pounding to greedy CEOs, amoral corporations, and corrupt politicians.

6. What Should I Do with my Life, by Po Bronson (Random House, $24.95). Bay Area cyberchronicler Bronson turns his attention to regular folks trying to escape soul-draining drudgery by finding careers that inspire.

7. NEW Power and Terror: Post-9/11 Talks and Interviews, by Noam Chomsky (Seven Stories, $11.95). Chomsky-heads won't be disappointed by this collection of transcribed interviews and speeches the grumpy linguist gave in 2002.

8. NEW A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate, by Marc Reisner (Pantheon, $22). This unflattering portrait of our sorry state -- past and present -- features a too-vivid description of an inevitable Hayward Fault earthquake.

9. Fast-Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). Feces in the meat and the unsavory secret of Secret Sauce are but two of the revelations sizzling herein.

10. NEW Leap of Faith, by Queen Noor Al-Hussein of Jordan (Miramax, $25.95). What's it like to be beautiful, unimaginably wealthy, queen of a Third World country, and politically correct? Her American-born Highness tells all.

Fiction

1. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14). Childhood traumas, the Civil Rights movement, mysterious Black Madonnas, and a trio of beekeepers populate this overambitious Deep South melodrama.

2. Atonement, Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14). Booker Prize-winner McEwan's latest epic examines the nature of perception.

3. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett (Harper, $13.95). This offbeat adventure follows a band of South American terrorists who seize an embassy, a Japanese industrialist, and an opera singer.

4. NEW McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, by various authors (Vintage, $13.95). Michael Chabon guest-edits this collection of tongue-in-cheek pulp magazine genre stories by contemporary scribes.

5. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (Harvest, $14). The author of this lively yarn about a boy and a beast surviving a shipwreck admits he "borrowed" the plot from a 1981 Brazilian novel.

6. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). This first mystery in a series, set in Botswana, stars an irresistibly warm, wry, and well-written female sleuth.

7. NEW Cosmopolis, by Don DeLillo (Scribner, $25). Stuck in his limo on a disastrous crosstown trip to the barber, a young billionaire spirals toward ruination.

8. Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf (Harvest, $12). This experimental and overwhelming 1925 vignette of one woman's inner life was the partial inspiration for The Hours.

9. The Nanny Diaries, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (Griffin, $13.95) Two Mary Poppinses rip into the elitism and hypocrisy of a barely fictionalized socialite mater.

10. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie (Anchor, $10). During China's Cultural Revolution, two boys discover literature and love.

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