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.
1. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95). Soon after ex-Daily Californian editor Didion finished writing this memoir about the death of her husband, her daughter died too.
2. Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow, $25.95). An expansion of Dubner's praiseful New York Times profile of trendy economist Levitt, with new revelations.
3. NEW Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, $35). Presidential historian Goodwin tries to shake off the taint of plagiarism with this fresh analysis of Abraham Lincoln's political savvy.
4. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95). Tipping Point cognition maven affirms what we already know: that snap judgments are often more accurate than careful decisions.
5. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95). Blink has reawakened interest in this, his earlier rehashing of the trendology and social patterning first popularized in 1981's The Hundredth Monkey.
6. NEW California: a History, by Kevin Starr (Modern Library, $24.95). The California state librarian brings a lifetime's worth of research to this comprehensive saga of the Golden State, from Ohlones to Schwarzenegger.
7. NEW Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt (Scribner, $26). McCourt's autobiographical follow-up to Angela's Ashes and 'Tis traces his thirty-year career as an eccentric, introspective high school teacher.
8. A Crack in the Edge of the World, by Simon Winchester (HarperCollins, $27.95). The upcoming centennial of 1906's Great Quake invigorates this reexamination of its causes and consequences, from tectonics to demographics.
9. NEW A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle (Dutton, $24.95). New Age pop-psych guru Tolle encourages mankind to abandon its ego and strive for peace.
10. 1491, by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $30). Intriguing overview of the latest speculative research about pre-Columbian America, with a big dollop of Euro-bashing.
1. NEW Runaway, by Alice Munro (Vintage, $14.95). A collection of heart-wrenching and piquant emotional vignettes from the modern master of the short-story genre.
2. NEW Memories of My Melancholy Whores, by Gabriel García Màrquez (Knopf, $20). Màrquez' latest novella borrows the plot of a Yasunari Kawabata story about an elderly misogynist finding love with an unconscious teen prostitute.
3. 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.
4. NEW The Lighthouse, by P.D. James (Knopf, $25.95). James delivers again with an intelligent literary mystery that finds Inspector Dalgliesh on a deadly Cornish island.
5. NEW Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, $13.95). Overhyped coming-of-age novel follows an amoral Midwestern teen through four lifeless years at an aristocratic New England prep school.
6. NEW Small Island, by Andrea Levy (Picador, $14). This tale of postwar racial and colonial identity politics in Britain and Jamaica snagged several major literary awards.
7. NEW Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden (Vintage, $14.95) Casting controversy and Oscar buzz for Geisha's new film version have propelled Golden's 1997 historical fantasy back up the charts.
8. NEW Men and Cartoons, by Jonathan Lethem (Vintage, $12.95). This uneven collection of previously published short stories revisits his trademark motifs: Brooklyn, comics, and bittersweet childhood.
9. NEW The Sea, by John Banville (Knopf, $23). Banville's sweetly lyrical reminiscence of summer adolescence in a 1950s British seaside resort won this year's Man Booker Prize.
10. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95). This kaleidoscopic novel follows a melancholy poet snowbound in a desolate mountain town with Islamic fundamentalists, Turkish communists, and Kurdish nationalists.
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