East Bay Best-Sellers 

This month's best-selling titles, as reported by independent bookstores throughout the East Bay.

East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month's top-selling books 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.

NONFICTION

1. 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.

2. The Map That Changed the World, by Simon Winchester (Harper, $13.95). A self-taught 19th-century geologist draws a map of soil strata that revolutionizes our view of Earth.

3. Word Freak, by Stefan Fatsis (Penguin, $14). The author plunges headfirst into the obsessive world of top-flight Scrabble champions.

4. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Metropolitan, $23). Wondering how welfare reform was working, the author took minimum-wage jobs to see if she could survive.

5. NEW A Long Strange Trip, by Dennis McNally (Broadway, $30). A lavish, laudatory account of the Grateful Dead by the band's longtime publicist.

6. NEW Ava's Man, by Rick Bragg (Vintage, $13). Moonshine, fistfights, and unbreakable family bonds fill this loving biography of the author's grandfather.

7. 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.

8. Founding Brothers, by Joseph J. Ellis (Vintage, $14). A behind-the-scenes look into the little-known intrigues and secret triumphs that helped create the United States.

9. Islam: A Short History, by Karen Armstrong (Modern Library, $10.95). The former nun-turned-best-selling author encapsulates Islam, from Mohammed to the medieval Crusades to modern politics.

10. Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, by Gore Vidal (Thunder's Mouth, $10). In this loose assemblage of previously published articles, Vidal lambastes the United States as a Nazi-like police state.

FICTION

1. 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.

2. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins, $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 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.

4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon (Picador, $15). A Berkeley author's swashbuckling tale of two cousins who create a comic-book hero.

5. CoraLine, by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (Harper, $15.99). This fable for preteens has earned favorable comparisons to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

6. NEW The O. Henry Prize Stories 2002, edited by Larry Dark (Anchor, $14). The "best" stories of the past year are compiled into one volume by a panel of celebrity literary judges.

7. NEW The Nautical Chart, by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Harvest, $14). A treasure-hunting Spanish sailor and a beautiful scholar hunt a fortune in sunken emeralds in this swashbuckling romance.

8. NEW Carter Beats the Devil, by Glen David Gold (Hyperion, $14.95). Former Express writer Gold's magician hero takes readers on a thrill-ride adventure through jazz-era Oakland and San Francisco.

9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99). The fourth installment of the series sees Harry competing in the Quidditch World Cup and facing puberty.

10. How to Be Good, by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $13). Extramarital shenanigans and a terrifying surplus of good intentions threaten to drive a marriage onto the rocks.

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