What's Selling Like Hotcakes 

This month, you bought books about Islamists, steroids, and a witty Tahitian.

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. NEW American Theocracy, by Kevin Phillips (Viking, $26.95). Diabolical Christian extremists have seized control of the country and dragged us into a war for oil; America's end is near.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Plan B, by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $14). Lamott emerges as a grunge Karen Armstrong, identifying as Christian while dallying in other spiritualities and trumpeting her Bush-loathing politics.

5. NEW Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru- Wada and Lance Williams (Gotham, $26). This blistering exposé of the BALCO steroids scandal in professional sports takes particular aim at slugger Barry Bonds.

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

7. Holy Blood, HOLY GRAIL, by Michael Baigent et al. (Dell, $7.99). Jesus "knew" Mary Magdalene — in the biblical sense — claims this breathtakingly blasphemous 1983 best-seller that inspired The Da Vinci Code.

8. NEW My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme (Knopf, $25.95). This posthumous memoir by America's best-loved chef shows how a Californian learned to cook and eat in postwar Paris.

9. The End of Faith, by Sam Harris (Norton, $13.95). A forceful and unapologetic argument for the elimination of humanity's reliance on organized religion.

10. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (Vintage $14). Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar for the bio-flick Capote has revived sales of the author's 1966 true-crime classic.

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

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

4. In the Company of the Courtesan, by Sarah Dunant (Random House, $23.95). A green-eyed courtesan and a crippled dwarf flee disaster in Rome to the intrigue and voluptuousness of Renaissance Venice.

5. NEW Intuition, by Allegra Goodman (Dial Press, $25). When a Massachusetts medical lab apparently develops a cancer cure, the researchers' lives spin out of control.

6. 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.

7. NEW Frangipani, by Célestine Vaite (Back Bay, $12.95). A wise and witty Tahitian mother instructs her free-spirited daughter in traditional Polynesian mores.

8. Before the Frost, by Henning Mankell (Vintage, $13). If you like Mankell's grim Swedish detective Kurt Wallander, you'll love Wallander's daughter Linda, working on her first case.

9. The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14). Her maiden name is Monk — and a fictional monk, of all things, features in this tale of mysticism and soul-searching, set in the Carolina Sea Islands.

10. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (Anchor, $14.95). A deft novelization of the bizarre Christian conspiracy theories popularized in 1983's Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

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