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. Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow, $25.95). An expansion of Dubner’s praiseful New York Times profile of trendy economist Levitt, with new revelations.

2. On Bullshit, by Harry G. Frankfurt (Princeton, $9.95). An academic treatise that treats BS — exaggerations, distortions, trash culture — as a legitimate topic; the author concludes that bullshit has nearly destroyed society.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. NEW 1776, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, $32). Refreshing and factually precise analysis of the revolutionary year 1776, when American colonists fought a desperate war for democracy and freedom.

7. NEW Candyfreak, by Steve Almond (Harvest, $13). Sweet-toothed and appropriately named Almond lavishes praise on nutbars and bonbons in this memoir. Warning: will inspire Milky Way cravings.

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. Berkeley: The Life and Spirit of a Remarkable Town, by Ellen Weis and Kiran Singh (North Atlantic, $16.95). Luscious photographs and lively text capture every imaginable facet of this eccentric burg.

10. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books, $14.95). Blink has reawakened interest in this, his earlier rehashing of the trendology and social patterning first popularized in 1981’s The Hundredth Monkey.


1. A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby (Riverhead, $24.95). A quartet of would-be suicides meet by accident on a London rooftop and share cathartic — and comic — tales of woe.

2. 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.

3. The Hummingbird’s Daughter, by Luis Alberto Urrea (Little, Brown, $24.95). The magical powers of a downtrodden peasant girl in 19th-century Mexico threaten to ignite a people’s revolution.

4. 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.

5. 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. Zorro, by Isabel Allende (HarperCollins, $25.95). Allende recasts the pulp-fiction swashbuckler Zorro as a neo-Marxist freedom fighter with aristocratic flair.

7. NEW The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, by Umberto Eco (Harcourt, $27). Lavishly illustrated tale of an amnesiac book dealer who reconstructs his life through the cultural artifacts of his Italian childhood.

8. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf, $24). A woman’s memories of life at a very experimental school fuel this thoughtful semifantasy.

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. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest, $14). A lovestruck librarian involuntarily jumps back and forth through time, with comic and moving romantic consequences.

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