East Bay Best-Sellers 

What you're buying this month.

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

Nonfiction

1.Don't Think of an Elephant, by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green, $10). The Berkeley linguist argues that the 2004 election hinged on semantics -- how the candidates used language to frame the terms of debate.

2.Collapse, by Jared Diamond (Viking, $29.95). The Guns, Germs and Steel author uses historical case studies (from Easter Island to Greenland) to illuminate why societies collapse.

3. French Women Don't Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano (Knopf, $22). Enjoy eating -- but in balanced moderation à la française, says this feel-good guide for diet-haters.

4. NEW Plan B, by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $24.95). Lamott emerges as a grunge Karen Armstrong, identifying as Christian while dallying in other spiritualities and trumpeting her far-left, Bush-loathing politics.

5. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95). The Tipping Point cognition maven once again affirms what we already know: that snap judgments are often more accurate than careful decisions.

6. NEW Lipstick Jihad, by Azadeh Moaveni (PublicAffairs, $25). An Iranian-American journalist reports on her first visit to her ancestral homeland and illuminates the cultural upheaval seething under Iran's calm veneer.

7. 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 regime.

8. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins (Berrett-Koehler, $24.95). A former high-powered corporate consultant reveals the conspiratorial inner workings of international development loans and foreign aid.

9. NEW The Spiral Staircase, by Karen Armstrong (Knopf, $24). The former nun and theological scholar traces her rejection of Christian values and embrace of multicultural spirituality.

10. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books, $14.95). Blink has reawakened interest in this earlier rehashing of the trendology and social patterning first popularized in 1981's The Hundredth Monkey.

FICTION

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

2. Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, $25.95). This double-narrative of a tough teenage runaway and a traumatized old man is packed with Murakami's trademark winning weirdness.

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

4. NEW Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson (Picador, $14). A new generation is falling in love with the reissue of this 1980 tale of two girls raised by a parade of eccentrics.

5. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $23). In a letter to his young son, an Iowa preacher traces his family's remarkable spiritual maturation and the Midwest's turbulent history.

6. Confessions Of Max Tivoli, by Andrew Sean Greer (Picador, $14). The topsy-turvy life of a lovelorn San Franciscan who was born old and ages backward.

7. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest, $14). A love-struck librarian involuntarily jumps back and forth through time, with comic and moving romantic consequences.

8. NEW Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Penguin, $15). This convoluted literary thriller set in 1945 Barcelona aspires to be a Spanish Da Vinci Code with Satanic overtones.

9. Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant (Random House, $21.95). Gratuitous sex and oddly modern diction punctuate this tale of a teenage girl in tumultuous 15th-century Florence.

10. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (Picador, $15). Pulitzer-winning family saga of a Greek-American youth halfway between girl and boy.

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