East Bay Best-Sellers 

What you're buying this month.

East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month's top-selling books as reported by independent bookstores in the East Bay, including Bay Books, Black Oak, Cody's, Diesel, Pegasus, and Signal Books.


1.Persepolis 2 , by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon, $17.95). Having left Tehran, teenage Satrapi struggles to survive in Europe, as revealed in this tear-jerking cartoon memoir.

2. NEW The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book), by the writers of The Daily Show and Jon Stewart (Warner, $24.95). A parody of high-school history textbooks that tries very very hard to be funny.

3. In the Shadow of No Towers, by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon, $19.95). This massive, lavish graphic document traces the Maus artist's existential desperation following the World Trade Center attacks.

4. NEW Chronicles, Vol. 1, by Bob Dylan (Simon & Schuster, $24). This lyrical autobiography starts in 1961 in bohemian Manhattan.

5. NEW Chain of Command, by Seymour M. Hersh (HarperCollins, $25.95). Released just in time to have no effect on the election, this compilation of New Yorker essays is Hersh at his muckraking best.

6. NEW Don't Think of an Elephant, by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green, $10). The Berkeley linguist argues that the 2004 election hinges on semantics -- how the candidates use language to frame the terms of debate.

7. NEW A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson (Broadway, $15.95). The avuncular travel essayist sums up, in one volume, everything that has happened from the Big Bang until right now.

8. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $13.95). Literature as liberation: An underground women's literary salon defied Iran's repressive regime.

9. Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer (Random House, $14.95). A 1984 murder moved Krakauer to write this probing exposé of the Mormon faith's fundamentalist, polygamist fringe.

10. NEW Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon, $11.95). In the first volume of her groundbreaking graphic memoir, Satrapi illustrates her Iranian girlhood.


1. 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.

2. NEW The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $26). In a 1940s almost-America, President Charles Lindbergh leads the nation into fascism.

3. The Known World, by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95). This disjointed tale of a free black man who owned slaves in antebellum Virginia snagged a Pulitzer.

4. Bangkok 8, by John Burdett (Vintage, $12.95). A vicious murder in Thailand's capital launches this gripping mystery with an irresistible half-Thai, half-American cop narrator.

5. NEW The System of the World, by Neal Stephenson (Morrow, $27.95). This third and final volume of Stephenson's gargantuan "Baroque Cycle" explores the scientific and political machinations of 18th-century England.

6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12). The year's most unusual debut novel features an autistic narrator emulating his hero Sherlock Holmes to solve a canine murder.

7. Old School, by Tobias Wolff (Knopf, $22). An early-'60s New England schoolboy obsessed with literature schemes to meet Hemingway and Frost before realizing he's a phony himself.

8. NEW The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $19.95). A new mystery series set not in Botswana but Scotland, where a prim lady-philosopher encounters the ultimate conundrum: murder.

9. The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri (Houghton Mifflin , $24). A Pulitzer-winner delivers another masterfully crafted epic of immigrants from India finding new lives in America.

10.Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, $27.95). Two practical magicians, as different in nature as oil and vinegar, meet and work wonders in this hefty historical fantasy.


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