What You Bought This Month 

Summer's here, and the time is right to be preoccupied with patriots, pseudopatriots, and presidential gaffes.

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. NEW Armed Madhouse, by Greg Palast (Dutton, $25.95). An overflowing smorgasbord of Bush-bashing, Republican-smashing, and populist demagoguery from the master of the genre.

2 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.

3. Collapse, by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17). The Guns, Germs, and Steel author uses historical case studies to illuminate why societies collapse.

4. The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan (Penguin, $26.95). A Cal prof traces the ultimate origins of four different types of meals (from McDonald's to organic), discovering that corn is omnipresent.

5. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95). Gladwell's 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 How Would a Patriot Act?, by Glenn Greenwald (Working Assets, $12). Blogger and lawyer Greenwald argues that Bush has become a tyrant and a dictator intent on shredding the Constitution.

7. NEW The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup, by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (Harper Collins, $14.95). Not about soccer exclusively, this is a series of essays profiling each country in this year's competition.

8. 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.

9. What to Eat, by Marion Nestle (North Point, $30). The author guides readers through the perilous aisles of a typical supermarket, pointing out the dangers in our national food supply.

10. NEW House of War, by James Carroll (Houghton Mifflin, $30). Massive 650-page updating of Smedley Butler's pacifist pamphlet War Is a Racket, with the Pentagon as the new locus of evil.


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

2. 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.

3 The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $13.95). A miserable Holocaust survivor and a sad teenage misfit trace the depths of their psychic pain in self-consciously literary intertwined tales.

4. Saturday, by Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14.95). McEwan muses on life, science, art, love, and war through the eyes of a disaffected surgeon.

5. March, by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14). Completely ludicrous reimagining of Little Women, following the sisters' missing father, Mr. March, though post-feminist sexual escapades.

6. 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.

7. Everyman, by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24). A transparently autobiographical novelization of Roth's own story, with an aging narcissist reviewing his amoral and eventually pointless life.

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

9. NEW Until I Find You, by John Irving (Ballantine, $15.95). Irving hits a new low with this unreadable 800-page fantasy about a little boy's unceasing sexual molestation and subsequent life.

10. A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $14). A quartet of would-be suicides meet by accident on a London rooftop and share cathartic — and comic — tales of woe.


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