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 throughout the East Bay, including Analog Books, Bay Books, Black Oak, Cody’s, Diesel, and Pegasus.


1. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95). Tipping Point cognition maven once again affirms what we already know: that snap judgments are often more accurate than careful decisions.

2. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books, $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.

3. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins (Berrett-Koehler, $24.95). A former high-powered corporate consultant reveals the conspiratorial inner workings of international development loans and foreign aid.

4. NEW The World Is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27.50). The cantankerous New York Times columnist analyzes the significance — both beneficial and ruinous — of the new economic globalization.

5. Collapse, by Jared Diamond (Viking, $29.95). The Guns, Germs and Steel author uses historical case studies (from Easter Island to Greenland) to illuminate why societies collapse.

6. Plan B, by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $24.95). Lamott emerges as a grunge Karen Armstrong, identifying as Christian while dallying in other spiritualities and trumpeting her far-left, Bush-loathing politics.

7. The Spiral Staircase, by Karen Armstrong (Knopf, $24). The former nun and theological scholar traces her rejection of Christian values and embrace of multicultural spirituality.

8. Don’t Think of an Elephant, by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green, $10). Berkeley linguist argues that the 2004 election hinged on semantics — how the candidates used language to frame the terms of debate.

9. 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 regime.

10. French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano (Knopf, $22). Enjoy eating — but in balanced moderation á la française, says this feel-good guide for diet-haters.


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 Saturday, by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese, $26). A London neurosurgeon’s anything-but-typical Saturday involves antiwar protests, brain surgery, flaming airplanes, and McEwan’s trademark morbid philosophizing.

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

4. NEW Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer (Houghton Mifflin, $24.95). A nine-year-old genius with myriad talents undertakes a quest in this post-9/11 saga by the Everything Is Illuminated author.

5. NEW The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, $24.95). Her maiden name is Monk — and a fictional monk, of all things, features in this tale of mysticism and soul searching, set in the Carolina Sea Islands.

6. NEW With No One as Witness, by Elizabeth George (HarperCollins, $26.95). Aristocratic detective Thomas Lynley and his class-conscious partner Barbara Havers face the ultimate challenge in George’s latest.

7. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $23). In a letter to his young son, an Iowa preacher traces his family’s remarkable spiritual maturation and the Midwest’s turbulent history.

8. The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner, $14). Pulitzer-winner delivers another masterfully crafted epic of immigrants from India finding new lives in America.

9. 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.

10. Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Penguin, $15). This convoluted literary thriller set in 1945 Barcelona aspires to be a Spanish Da Vinci Code with Satanic overtones.

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