East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month's top-selling books as reported by independent bookstores in the East Bay, including Bay Books, Black Oak, Cody's, Diesel, Pegasus, and Signal Books.
1. NEW American Dynasty, by Kevin Phillips (Viking, $25.95). Would you believe the Bush family is an immensely powerful Machiavellian clan of aristocratic despots?
2. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $13.95). Literature as liberation: amazing memoir of an underground women's literary salon.
3. Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary, by Rick Ayers and BHS students (North Atlantic, $6.95). If you're old enough to shave, you so need this book.
4. NEW The Price Of Loyalty, by Ron Suskind (Simon & Schuster, $26). Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill dishes major dirt on the cabal of doctrinarian presidential advisers running the White House.
5. The South Beach Diet, by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $24.95). Carrots are evil, exercise is unimportant, meat and cheese are A-OK: it's the diet that lets you feel good.
6. The Cheese Board Collective Works, by Cheese Board Collective (Ten Speed Press, $21.95). Recipes and philosophy from the most important little cheese shop in the world.
7. Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, by Al Franken (Dutton, $24.95). Comedy writer and liberal pundit Franken takes devastating -- and hilarious -- aim at the corporate-controlled conservative media.
8. NEW Blues City: A Walk In Oakland, by Ishmael Reed (Crown, $16). Come see Oakland through Reed-colored glasses in this guidebook that's part history lesson, part revolutionary jeremiad.
9. Fast-Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). This classic of investigative muckraking exposes the horrifying underbelly of the fast-food industry.
10. NEW Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent et al. (Dell, $7.99). Jesus "knew" Mary Magdalene ---- in the biblical sense ---- according to this breathtakingly blasphemous 1983 best-seller that inspired The Da Vinci Code.
1. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95). A deft novelization of the bizarre Christian conspiracy theories popularized in 1983's Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
2. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (Picador, $15). This lyrical family saga of a Greek-American youth halfway between girl and boy snagged last year's Pulitzer Prize.
3. 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.
4. The Piano Tuner, by Daniel Philippe Mason (Vintage, $14). The title character travels to Burma from Victorian London to fix a rare piano.
5. NEW Absolute Friends, by John Le Carré (Little Brown, $26.95). You know the Cold War is over when even Le Carré's latest potboiler condemns the US-British alliance against Saddam.
6. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown (Pocket Star, $7.99). The Illuminati, the Vatican, doomsday weapons, and outlandish conspiracies aplenty.
7. 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.
8. Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, translated by Edith Grossman (Ecco, $29.95). This fresh, engaging new translation is shooting up the national charts.
9. NEW The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom (Hyperion, $19.95). Tearjerking, saccharine parable of a maintenance man's seemingly unremarkable life ---- and miraculously redemptive afterlife.
10. NEW The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier (Dutton, $23.95). In this Gallified reprise of Girl with a Pearl Earring, a randy artist woos a beautiful 15th-century Parisian mademoiselle.
Culture Spy - December 8, 6:10 PM
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