Arts & Entertainment

Los Angeles Times bestsellers for Dec. 20, 2009

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Fiction Weeks on list1.U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton (Putnam: $27.95) PI Kinsey Millhone investigates the 20-year-old case of the mysterious disappearance of a 4-year-old girl.1 2.Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro (Knopf : $25.95) The short story master explores women and their relationships in 10 new stories. 3 3.The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Putnam: $24.95) The lives of a maid, a cook and a college graduate become intertwined as they change a Mississippi town. 28 4. Hollywood Moon by Joseph Wambaugh (Little, Brown: $26.99) The third Hollywood station novel follows the daily lives of cops on the trail of a team of identity thieves.25.Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton (Harper: $27.99) A swashbuckling pirate and his crew attempt to commandeer a Spanish ship carrying a treasure of gold.26.The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper: $26.99) A writer's escapades encompassing 1930s Mexican artist communities and Cold War America. 57.The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Doubleday: $25.99) Harvard professor Robert Langdon uses his symbology skills to find a missing Freemason in Washington, D.C. 138.Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ( Henry Holt: $27) The rise of Henry VIII's advisor Thomas Cromwell.69.Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown: $19.99) Bella must choose between her lover and a friend, between life and death. 6710.I, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Little, Brown: $27.99) Detective Alex Cross infiltrates a secret society while tracking down the killer of a close relative.4 11.Under the Dome by Stephen King (Scribner: $35) A ragtag cast of characters fight to survive in their small Maine town inexplicably surrounded by an invisible force field. 4 12.Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney (Amulet: $13.95) Greg desires to spend summer vacation indoors despite his mother's wishes for outdoor family fun.9 13.The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk (Knopf: $28.95) An Istanbul bourgeois pursues a shopgirl, collecting objects associated with her.2 14.The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (Knopf: $25.95) A hacker implicated in two murders must revisit her past to prove her innocence. 17 15.Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown : $27.99) An LAPD detective travels to Hong Kong to solve the murder of a Chinese immigrant. 8Nonfiction 1.Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson (Viking : $26.95) The author's continued struggle to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan in this sequel to "Three Cups of Tea."1 2.Open by Andre Agassi (Knopf: $28.95) The tennis star's memoir and personal odyssey of a lost childhood, drug use and comebacks.5 3.What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: $27.99) A collection of the author's writings of everyday and extraordinary people. 7 4.Guinness World Records 2010 by Guinness World Records (Guinness: $28.95) Bizarre and unfathomable feats from the first decade of the 21st century. 35.Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom (Hyperion: $23.99) Albom's observations of a rabbi and a pastor on an eight-year journey of faith. 116.Going Rogue by Sarah Palin (HarperCollins: $28.99) A memoir of the 2008 vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor.37.The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (W.W. Norton & Co.: $24.95) Graphic depictions from all 50 chapters of the first book of the Bible. 38.Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne (Viking: $25.95) A journal of the former Talking Heads lead singer and avid bicyclist's trek across major cities around the globe. 29.I Used to Know That by Caroline Taggart (Readers Digest: $14.95) A collection of forgotten, fun facts we learned in school.1 10.Last Words by George Carlin (Free Press: $26.99) Memoir of the acerbic comedian's 50-year career filled with triumphs, substance abuse and setbacks. 111.Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon (Harper: $26.99) A collection of autobiographical essays reflecting on what it means to be a man and father. 812.When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson with Jackie MacMullan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $26) How the game of basketball was transformed, by the duo responsible. 213. Los Angeles, Portrait of a City by Kevin Starr & Jim Heimann (Taschen: $70) A photographic journey through the city's cultural, political, industrial and sociological history.114.SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow: $29.99) More funny, informative facts and questions to ponder. 815.Arguing With Idiots by Glenn Beck (Threshold Editions: $29.99) Secrets for winning arguments with small-minded people. 7

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