East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month’s top-selling books as reported by independent bookstores throughout the East Bay, including Bay Books, Black Oak, Cody’s, Diesel, Pegasus, and Signal Books.
NEW 1. My Life
by Bill Clinton (Knopf, $35). Most readers will frantically scan the pages for “blue dress”; those with patience learn every detail of the remarkable Clintonian saga.
2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,
by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, $24.95). This latest effort by the only man brave enough to call his sister’s feet “hooves” can make you laugh and cry within a single sentence.
3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves,
by Lynne Truss (Gotham, $17.50). The British author makes a brave stand against the demise of punctuation.
4. 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.
5. McSweeney’s 13,
edited by Chris Ware and McSweeney’s (McSweeney’s, $24). The new all-comics issue of Dave Eggers’ ever-so-hip journal features leading alternative cartoonists, from Crumb to Clowes.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Stupid White Men,
by Michael Moore (Regan Books, $13.95). The Oscar-winning loudmouth dishes up an unapologetically gleeful condemnation of all things Caucasian, capitalist, and American.
9. The South Beach Diet,
by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $24.95). Carrots are evil, exercise is unimportant, meat and cheese are A-okay: it’s the diet that lets you feel good.
10. 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.
1. 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.
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.
3. 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.
4. 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 5. The Known World,
by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95). This disjointed tale of a free black man who himself owned slaves in antebellum Virginia snagged this year’s Pulitzer.
6. 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 7. Little Scarlett,
by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown, $14.95). Mosley’s latest installment in the Easy Rawlins detective series takes place during the Watts riots of 1965.
8. 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.
9. The Jane Austen Book Club,
by Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood, $23.95). This light and breezy romp through the lives of six Austen aficionados is riven with in-jokes.
10. 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.