East Bay Best-Sellers 

What we've been 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. Reefer Madness , by Eric Schlosser (Houghton Mifflin, $23). Scattershot exposé of three disparate aspects of the underground economy ---- marijuana, migrant labor, and pornography.

2. Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand (Ballantine, $15). A horse is a horse, of course -- but no horse could ever run like this champion.

3. NEW Moneyball, by Michael Lewis (Norton, $24.95). How do the Oakland A's keep winning, season after season? Local author Lewis reveals manager Billy Beane's secrets herein.

4. War Talk, by Arundhati Roy (South End Press, $12). God of Small Things author Roy denounces India, the US, and the very concept of capitalism in this heartfelt neo-Marxist polemic.

5. Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper, $12.95). Well-intentioned but sanctimonious essays from a beloved novelist exploring her feelings in a post-9/11 world.

6. Fast-Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). This perennial bestseller ---- already a classic of investigative muckraking ---- exposes the horrifying underbelly of the fast-food industry.

7. NEW Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $23.95). Literature as liberation: amazing memoir of an underground women's literary salon that defied Iran's repressive Islamic fundamentalist regime.

8. 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.

9. Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14). After his mom "gave" him to a crazy psychiatrist when he was a boy, Burroughs was raised in an environment that gives dysfunction a whole new dimension.

10. NEW Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $28.00). Hillary dishes the dirt about politics, backroom deals, and her famous husband's wayward willy.

FICTION

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Three Junes, by Julia Glass (Anchor, $14). Eloquent, National Book Award-winning saga of a melancholy Scottish family, traced through three loosely connected novellas.

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

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

6. 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.

7. NEW Unless, by Carol Shields (Fourth Estate, $13.95). A feisty feminist novelist reassesses her role in life when her talented daughter chooses panhandling as a career.

8. NEW Morality for Beautiful Girls, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). The African Miss Marple continues her charming adventures, this time involving a feral child and four beauty-pageant finalists.

9. Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer (Harper, $13.95). A twentysomething seeks his grandfather's shtetl in this pyrotechnical, multilayered marvel.

10. 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.

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