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 throughout the East Bay, including Bay Books, Black Oak, Cody's, Diesel, Pegasus, and Signal Books.

NONFICTION

NEW 1. My Life by Bill Clinton (Knopf, $35). Most readers will frantically scan the pages for "blue dress"; those with patience learn every detail of the remarkable Clintonian saga.

2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, $24.95). This latest effort by the only man brave enough to call his sister's feet "hooves" can make you laugh and cry within a single sentence.

3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss (Gotham, $17.50). The British author makes a brave stand against the demise of punctuation.

4. 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 to understand what those dawgs are saying, yo.

5. McSweeney's 13, edited by Chris Ware and McSweeney's (McSweeney's, $24). The new all-comics issue of Dave Eggers' ever-so-hip journal features leading alternative cartoonists, from Crumb to Clowes.

6. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $13.95). Literature as liberation: amazing memoir of an underground women's literary salon that defied Iran's repressive Islamic fundamentalist regime.

7. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine H. Pagels (Vintage, $13). The New Testament is a lopsided compilation of texts retroactively deemed sacred; other Christian scriptures were suppressed for political reasons.

8. Stupid White Men, by Michael Moore (Regan Books, $13.95). The Oscar-winning loudmouth dishes up an unapologetically gleeful condemnation of all things Caucasian, capitalist, and American.

9. The South Beach Diet, by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $24.95). Carrots are evil, exercise is unimportant, meat and cheese are A-okay: it's the diet that lets you feel good.

10. Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer (Random House, $14.95). A 1984 murder moved Krakauer to write this probing exposé of the Mormon faith's fundamentalist, polygamist fringe.

FICTION

1. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14). The political upheavals of Afghanistan serve as a striking backdrop for this powerful examination of cultural and personal morality.

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 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12). The year's most unusual debut novel features an autistic narrator emulating his hero Sherlock Holmes to solve a canine murder.

4. 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.

NEW 5. The Known World, by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95). This disjointed tale of a free black man who himself owned slaves in antebellum Virginia snagged this year's Pulitzer.

6. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). This first installment of the beloved Botswanan detective series introduces Precious Ramotswe, an irresistibly warm, wry, and well-written sleuth.

NEW 7. Little Scarlett, by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown, $14.95). Mosley's latest installment in the Easy Rawlins detective series takes place during the Watts riots of 1965.

8. 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.

9. The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood, $23.95). This light and breezy romp through the lives of six Austen aficionados is riven with in-jokes.

10. 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.

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