East Bay Best-Sellers 

What you're buying this month.

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, Pegasus, and Rakestraw Books.

Nonfiction

1. Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand (Ballantine, $15). The new screen version of this Depression-era horse-racing saga is already generating Oscar buzz.

2. Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $28). Hillary dishes the dirt about politics, backroom deals, and her famous husband's wayward willy.

3. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis (Norton, $24.95). How do the Oakland A's keep winning, season after season? Local author Lewis reveals manager Billy Beane's secrets herein.

4. NEW A Round-Heeled Woman, by Jane Juska (Villard, $23.95). A retired teacher in her late sixties bares all in this account of how she set out in search of the first satisfying sex of her life.

5. The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast (Plume, $14). Corruption, greed, and economic atrocities on a global scale are exposed to the harsh light of day.

6. Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper, $12.95). Well-intentioned but sanctimonious essays from a beloved novelist exploring her feelings in a post-9/11 world.

7. NEW Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine H. Pagels (Random House, $24.95). The New Testament is a lopsided compilation of texts retroactively deemed sacred; other Christian scriptures such as this one were suppressed for political reasons.

8. Fast-Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). This perennial bestseller -- already a classic of investigative muckraking -- exposes the horrifying underbelly of the fast-food industry.

9. NEW A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson (Broadway Books, $27.50). From the Big Bang to yesterday afternoon, the jovial travel writer tries to sum it all up.

10. Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14). After his mom "gave" him to a crazy psychiatrist when he was a boy, Burroughs was raised in an environment that gives dysfunction a whole new dimension.

Fiction

1. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14). Childhood traumas, the civil rights movement, mysterious Black Madonnas, and a trio of beekeepers populate this overambitious Deep South melodrama.

2. Three Junes, by Julia Glass (Anchor, $14). Eloquent, National Book Award-winning saga of a melancholy Scottish family, traced through three loosely connected novellas.

3. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). This mystery, set in Botswana, stars an irresistibly warm, wry, and well-written female sleuth.

4. Atonement, Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14). Booker Prize-winner's latest epic examines the nature of perception.

5. NEW Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.95). Harry confronts adolescence, nightmares, self-doubt, and evil sorcerers: just another year in the life of a boy wizard.

6. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (Harvest, $14). The author of this lively yarn about a boy and a beast surviving a shipwreck admits he "borrowed" the plot from a 1981 Brazilian novel.

7. NEW The Effect of Living Backwards, by Heidi Julavits (Putnam, $23.95). The bizarre rivalry between two quirky sisters turns a hoax airline hijacking into a Surrealist morality play.

8. NEW The Virgin Blue, by Tracy Chevalier (Plume, $14). An American expatriate in a small French village uncovers her connection to a 16th-century Huguenot farm girl.

9. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett (Harper, $13.95). A band of South American terrorists seize an embassy, a Japanese industrialist, and an opera singer.

10. NEW Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only female private detective, returns for another adventure.

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