East Bay Best-Sellers 

What you're reading this month.

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.

Nonfiction

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.

Fiction

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.

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