East Bay Best-Sellers

What you're reading 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.


NEW 1. Plan Of Attack, by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, $28). A behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Bush cabinet bickering over the controversial decision to invade Iraq.

2. Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss (Gotham Books, $17.50). It’s Revenge of the Proofreaders as the British author makes a brave stand against the demise of punctuation.

3. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $13.95). Literature as liberation: amazing memoir of an underground women’s literary salon that defied Iran’s repressive Islamic fundamentalist regime.

4. Moveon’s 50 Ways to Love Your Country, by MoveOn.org (Inner Ocean, $10.95). Tried-and-true techniques for promoting leftist causes and Democratic candidates, from petitions to intellectual salons to sign-painting.

5. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis (Norton, $13.95). How do the Oakland A’s keep winning, season after season? Local author Lewis reveals manager Billy Beane’s secrets herein.

6. Against All Enemies, by Richard A. Clarke (Free Press, $27). Clarke, a Beltway insider, excoriates Bush for initially ignoring terrorist threats and then deposing Saddam for no good reason.

7 . Stiff, by Mary Roach (Norton, $13.95). A humorous but ultimately enlightening exploration of what happens to our bodies once we’re done with them.

8. The South Beach Diet, by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $24.95). Carrots are evil, exercise is unimportant, meat and cheese are A-OK: it’s the diet that lets you feel good.

9. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine H. Pagels (Vintage, $13). The New Testament is a lopsided compilation of texts retroactively deemed sacred; other Christian scriptures were suppressed for political reasons.

10. Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary, by Rick Ayers and BHS students (North Atlantic, $6.95). If you’re old enough to shave, you so need this book to understand what those dawgs are saying, yo.


1. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (Picador, $15). This lyrical family saga of a Greek-American youth halfway between girl and boy snagged last year’s Pulitzer Prize.

2 . 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.

NEW 3. Full Cupboard Of Life, by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $19.95). Precious Ramotswe, planning her own marriage, investigates a quartet of gold-digging suitors pursuing a hair-salon entrepreneuse.

4. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). This first installment of the beloved Botswanan detective series introduces Precious Ramotswe, an irresistibly warm, wry, and well-written sleuth.

NEW 5. All Over Creation, by Ruth Ozeki (Penguin, $14). A morality play about family dynamics, friendships, and genetically engineered crops unfolds on an Idaho potato farm.

6. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold (Back Bay, $13.95). Narrated by a murdered girl watching her family from heaven, this debut effort plumbs the outer reaches of emotion.

NEW 7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14). The political upheavals of Afghanistan serve as a striking backdrop for this powerful examination of cultural and personal morality.

8. Drop City, by T. Coraghessan Boyle (Penguin, $14). Hilarious fictional exposé of a well-intentioned but ultimately hypocritical ’70s free-love commune.

9. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95). A deft novelization of the bizarre Christian conspiracy theories popularized in 1983’s Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

10. The Kalahari Typing School For Men, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor $11.95). Morally upright Precious Ramotswe returns to face a rival detective agency.

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