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). The Tipping Point cognition maven once again affirms what we already know: that snap judgments are often more accurate than careful decisions.
2. The World Is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.50). The cantankerous New York Times columnist analyzes the significance — both beneficial and ruinous — of the new economic globalization.
3. NEW Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow, $25.95). Dubner’s fawning New York Times profile of trendy economist Levitt gets padded out with hackneyed insights and gee-whiz social theorizing.
4. NEW My Life So Far, by Jane Fonda (Random House, $26.95). Fondaholics will nearly drown in this overdose of dishy details of Jane’s oh-so-scandalous life.
5. Collapse, by Jared Diamond (Viking, $29.95). The Guns, Germs and Steel author uses historical case studies (Easter Island, Greenland) to illuminate why societies collapse.
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 regime.
7. NEW On Bullshit, by Harry G. Frankfurt (Princeton, $9.95). An academic treatise that treats “bullshit” — exaggerations, distortions, and trash culture — as a legitimate topic; the author concludes that bullshit has nearly destroyed society.
8. 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.
9. Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14). After his mom “gave” him to a crazy psychiatrist when he was a boy, Burroughs was raised in an environment that gives dysfunction a whole new dimension.
10. What’s the Matter with Kansas?, by Thomas Frank (Metropolitan, $24). Anthropological study of those durn ignorant rednecks who simply refuse to be politically enlightened by their intellectual superiors on the coasts.
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 Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf, $24). A woman’s memories of life at a very experimental school fuel this thoughtful semi-fantasy.
3. NEW In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $19.95). Precious Ramotswe is back for more exotic-yet-homespun sleuthing.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, $24.95). A fictional monk features in this tale of mysticism and soul searching, set in the Carolina Sea Islands.
7. NEW Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk (Doubleday, $24.95). A group of weird writers at a weird writers’ retreat tell weird stories about their pasts — but surprise, surprise: Something weirder is in store for them.
8. 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.
9. NEW The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (Del Rey, $7.99). The muddled film version of this sci-fi classic has driven disappointed viewers to the bookstore seeking the superior original.
10. NEW Ya-Yas in Bloom, by Rebecca Wells (HarperCollins, $24.95). The unnecessary further adventures of the sappy Sisterhood, now extending to three generations.