Popular Now: Politics and Chow 

This month, you're reading about weather, Prada, and food.

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. The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan (Penguin, $26.95). A Cal prof traces the ultimate origins of four different types of meals (from McDonald's to organic), discovering that corn is omnipresent.

2. Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow, $25.95). Dubner's praiseful profile of trendy economist Levitt highlights several of Levitt's "counterintuitive" (i.e., self-evident) economic hypotheses.

3. Armed Madhouse, by Greg Palast (Dutton, $25.95). An overflowing smorgasbord of Bush-bashing, Republican-smashing, and populist demagoguery from the master of the genre; Palastoholics will devour it.

4. Animals in Translation, by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson (Harvest, $15). Grandin — autistic herself — draws parallels between the thought patterns of autistic children and the emotions of animals, providing insights into both fields.

5. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins (Plume, $15). A former high-powered corporate consultant reveals the conspiratorial inner workings of international development loans and foreign aid.

6. Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl (Penguin, $15). Wanting to eat anonymously, New York Times restaurant critic Reichl adopted elaborate alter egos, as this self-important memoir reveals.

NEW 7. The One Percent Doctrine, by Ron Suskind (Simon & Schuster, $27). Cheney is a Machiavellian demon, Bush is an ignorant immature bully, the FBI are all buffoons, and terrorism threats are mostly a joke.

8. What to Eat, by Marion Nestle (North Point, $30). The author guides readers through the perilous aisles of a typical supermarket, pointing out the dangers in our national food supply.

NEW 9. An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore (Rodale, $21.95). It's barbecue time for planet Earth, claims this companion volume to Gore's controversial film.

10. Collapse, by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17). The Guns, Germs, and Steel author uses historical case studies (from Easter Island to Greenland) to illuminate why societies collapse.


FICTION

1. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (Picador, $14). In a letter to his young son, an Iowa preacher traces his family's remarkable spiritual maturation and the Midwest's turbulent history.

2. The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $13.95). A miserable Holocaust survivor and a sad teenage misfit trace the depths of their psychic pain in self-consciously literary intertwined tales.

3. A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $14). A quartet of would-be suicides meet by accident on a London rooftop and share cathartic — and comic — tales of woe.

NEW 4. Terrorist, by John Updike (Knopf, $24.95). This overwrought tale of an Arab-American youth plotting to blow up the Holland Tunnel was echoed in recent real-world events.

5. Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay Books, $13.95). A brooding meditation on human corruption disguised as a literary detective thriller set in Cambridge, England.

6. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $14). A woman's memories of life at a very experimental school fuel this thoughtful semifantasy.

7. Everyman, by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24). A transparently autobiographical novelization of Roth's own story, with an aging narcissist reviewing his amoral and eventually pointless life.

8. Saturday, by Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14.95). McEwan muses on life, science, art, love, and war through the eyes of a disaffected surgeon reassessing his raison d'être.

9. March, by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14). Completely ludicrous reimagining of Little Women, following the sisters' missing father, Mr. March, through postfeminist sexual escapades.

NEW 10. The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger (Anchor, $7.99). Spoiled, shallow girl gets job as assistant to cruel magazine editor. That's about it. Now, inexplicably, a major motion picture.

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