East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month's top-selling paperbacks and hardcovers as reported by independent bookstores throughout the East Bay, including: Black Oak, Cody's, Diesel, Lafayette Books, Pegasus, Rakestraw Books, and A World of Books.
1. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Owl, $13). A middle-class author pretended to be poor so as to describe poverty to middle-class readers.
2. Fast-Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). Feces in the meat and the unsavory secret of Secret Sauce are but two of the revelations sizzling herein.
3. The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan (Random House, $13.95). A plant's-eye view of humanity's struggle to control nature explores the histories of apples, tulips, potatoes, and cannabis.
4. NEW Longitudes and Attitudes, by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26). Insightful analysis of post-9/11 global politics by a respected columnist who rightly informs us that we're already fighting WWIII.
5. Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand (Ballantine, $15). A horse is a horse, of course -- but no horse could ever run like this champion.
6. NEW John Adams, by David McCullough (Touchstone, $18.95). This prizewinning biography of our second president makes a convincing case for his underappreciated greatness.
7. Ava's Man, by Rick Bragg (Vintage, $13). Moonshine, fistfights, and unbreakable family bonds fill this loving biography of the author's grandfather.
8. NEW Anger, by Thich Nhat Hanh (Riverhead, $13). The ultra-serene Vietnamese monk offers wise Buddhist principles for managing the rage within us all.
9. NEW The Onion: Ad Nauseam, by Robert Siegel, et al. (Three Rivers, $17). More politically incorrect social satire from the beloved online faux-newspaper.
10. NEW Take Me With You, by Brad Newsham (Ballantine, $14.95). An Oakland author traveled around the world seeking a distant stranger to invite back home -- and found one.
1. NEW Summerland, by Michael Chabon (Miramax, $22.95). Adults are snapping up this self-conscious, baseball-themed Narnia knockoff, seemingly unconcerned that it's a children's book.
2. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett (Harper, $13.95). This offbeat epic follows a band of South American terrorists who seize an embassy, a Japanese industrialist, and an opera singer.
3. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold (Little, Brown, $24.95). Narrated by a murdered girl watching her family from heaven, this debut effort plumbs the outer reaches of emotion.
4. NEW You Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, $22). This intentionally hard-to-find self-published epic sees two grieving globetrotters doling out piles of unwanted cash.
5. The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen (Picador, $15). On the downward slide of Alzheimer's, a patriarch presides over the tragicomic misadventures of a modern American family.
6. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo (Vintage, $14.95). A dysfunctional cast of colorful characters spirals toward oblivion in a dilapidated and dying New England mill town.
7. NEW Peace Like A River, by Leif Enger (Grove, $13). Breakthrough debut novel of a family on the lam in Kennedy-era Minnesota is a paean to Midwestern values.
8. NEW Blue Shoe, by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $24.95). Lamott devotees will slip comfortably into this semi-memoir of a divorcee's reliance on God as she disentangles family secrets.
9. Fury, by Salman Rushdie (Modern Library, $12.95). An Anglo-Indian dollmaker observes American culture in this savage new work.
10. How to Be Good, by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $13). Extramarital shenanigans and a surplus of good intentions threaten to drive a marriage onto the rocks.
Culture Spy - February 23, 2:42 PM
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Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM
What the Fork - February 15, 2:00 PM
Culture Spy - February 15, 10:30 AM