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.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in Books

Author Archives

  • What We Read in 2010

    The East Bay's bestsellers.
    • Nov 24, 2010
  • What We Read in 2009

    Before reflexively buying a bestseller, consider this critical evaluation of the top books in the East Bay.
    • Nov 25, 2009
  • More»

Special Reports

Holiday Guide 2016

A guide to this holiday season's gifts, outings, eats, and more.

Taste, Fall 2016

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

Best of the East Bay

© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation