1. FAST-FOOD NATION, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). Feces in the meat and the secret of Secret Sauce are but two of the revelations sizzling herein.
2. 9/11, by Noam Chomsky (Seven Stories, $8.95). In comments assembled soon after last year's attacks, the outspoken author calls America a terrorist nation.
3. A BEAUTIFUL MIND, by Sylvia Nasar (Touchstone, $16). This bio of schizophrenic genius John Nash is now an Oscar-nominated motion picture.
4. WHAT WENT WRONG?, by Bernard Lewis (Oxford University, $23). A noted British historian traces what he call Islam's "downward spiral."
5. ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY, by David Sedaris (Little, Brown & Co., $14.95). The NPR autobiographer's essays poke fun at life as an expatriate in Paris.
6. BLACK, WHITE, AND JEWISH, by Rebecca Walker (Riverhead, $14). Sex and tales of privilege pepper this memoir by Alice Walker's daughter.
7. THE TIPPING POINT, by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95). Social and cultural trends are like epidemics, the author explains: little things mean a lot.
8. UNDERSTANDING POWER, by Noam Chomsky, edited by Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel (New Press, $19.95). A collection of talks with Chomsky.
9. A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS, by David Eggers (Vintage, $14). Sad but true and oh-so-ambitious is this tale of orphaned siblings.
10. A COOK'S TOUR, by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury, $25.95). Searching the world for a perfect meal, the butter-wielding bad guy eats testicles.
1. THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, by Michael Chabon (Random House, $26.95). Two cousins create a comic-book hero.
2. THE DEATH OF VISHNU, by Manil Suri (Harper Perennial, $13.95). A low-caste man lies dying while great stories unfold within him and without him.
3. THE CORRECTIONS, by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26). Dysfunctional family values and the sad trajectories of sex made this a smash hit.
4. BEE SEASON, by Myla Goldberg (Knopf, $13). After a nine-year-old wins a spelling bee, she realizes that nothing will ever be the same again.
5. PRODIGAL SUMMER, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper Perennial, $14). A summer in the Appalachians is by twists and turns fruitful and frustrating.
6. THE BODY ARTIST, by Don DeLillo (Scribner, $12). A strange entity living in a newly widowed performance artist's closet might be a ghost - and might not.
7. THE PASSION OF ARTEMISIA, by Susan Vreeland (Viking, $24.95). This true tale of Renaissance painter Gentileschi joins those other novels about artists.
8. THE BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER, by Amy Tan (Ballantine, $7.99). Here's another elderly mother and careerist daughter haunted by China via flashbacks.
9. THE TWO TOWERS, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin, $12). Lord of the Rings newbies had better read Fellowship of the Ring before assailing this one.
10. BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS, by Dai Sijie (Knopf, $10). Two boys discover literature and love during the Cultural Revolution.
The Other List
Heres What's Hot at The Ecology Center Bookstore,
2350 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley.
PERMACULTURE IN A NUTSHELL, by Patrick Whitefield (Chelsea Green, $9). Agriculture can change for the better, and here's how and why.
GOLDEN GATE GARDENING, by Pam Pierce (Sasquatch, $24). Bay Area-specific tips and tricks for making it grow.
TEN REASONS TO ABOLISH THE IMF AND THE WORLD BANK, by Kevin Danaher (Common Courage, $6.95). And the economy can change, too.
DIVORCE YOUR CAR, by Katie Alvord (New Society, $17.95). Rather not die in a crash, run someone over, or ruin the air?
Culture Spy - February 23, 2:42 PM
What the Fork - February 23, 2:12 PM
Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM
What the Fork - February 15, 2:00 PM
Culture Spy - February 15, 10:30 AM