LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / March 22, 1998

FICTION

1. BLOOD WORK by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown: $23.95) An ailing FBI investigator gets a new heart from a murder victim and probes the donor's death.

Last Week: 2 ; Weeks on List: 3

2. THE STREET LAWYER by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.95) After being confronted on a city street, an arrogant lawyer becomes a hero for the homeless.

Last Week: 1 ; Weeks on List: 6

3. PARADISE by Toni Morrison (Knopf: $25) Generations of struggle in a small town founded by black pioneers with dreams of creating a utopia.

Last Week: 4 ; Weeks on List: 10

4. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden (Knopf: $25) The life and loves of a teahouse entertainer growing up in Kyoto during World War II.

Last Week: 3 ; Weeks on List: 20

5. PANDORA by Anne Rice (Knopf: $19.95) A 2,000-year-old vampire remembers life with Caesar Augustus, Louis XIV and the man who made her.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

6. COLD MOUNTAIN by Charles Frazier (Atlantic Monthly: $24) A confederate soldier deserts the Civil War and takes a long walk home to his farm and sweetheart.

Last Week: 5 ; Weeks on List: 38

7. THE MARK OF THE ASSASSIN by Daniel Silva (Villard: $25) A CIA agent follows the trail of corpses and wreckage from an airline crash left by a ruthless killer.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

8. BLACK AND BLUE by Anna Quindlen (Random House: $23) A battered wife's past looms menacingly on the horizon of her new life in another town.

Last Week: 7 ; Weeks on List: 7

9. THRILL! by Jackie Collins (Simon and Schuster: $25) Sexy intrigue and obsession characterize this latest tale of the lives of movie moguls and their starlets.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

10. THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION by Gore Vidal (Random House: $23) A prep school student wanders through alternate versions of American history in a strange museum.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

11. CLOUDSPLITTER by Russell Banks (HarperFlamingo: $27.50) The fire-and-brimstone life of abolitionist John Brown as told by his son Owen.

Last Week: 9 ; Weeks on List: 3

12. SUDDEN MISCHIEF by Robert B. Parker (Putnam: $22.95) An ex-husband with shady dealings threatens the lives of Spenser and his ladylove Susan.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

13. BIRTHDAY LETTERS by Ted Hughes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $20) Breaking his silence about the suicide of Sylvia Plath with a collection of poetry.

Last Week: 6 ; Weeks on List: 7

14. THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy (Random House: $23) A chronicle of the rise and fall of a prosperous merchant family in modern India.

Last Week: 8 ; Weeks on List: 37

15. CHARMING BILLY by Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $21) An Irish family reflects on the destructive, drink-spattered life of its deceased patriarch.

Last Week: 12; Weeks on List: 8

NONFICTION

1. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom (Doubleday: $19.95) A sportswriter's empowering story of his weekly visits to see an older dying friend.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 12

2. SPIN CYCLE by Howard Kurtz (The Free Press: $25) Carte blanche journalism and the Clinton administration's efforts to massage the scandal-hungry media.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

3. CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD, BOOK ONE by Neale Donald Walsch (Putnam: $19.95) Channeling messages from Mr. Big about good, evil and the meaning of life.

Last Week: 3 Weeks on List: 44

4. HAPPINESS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM by Dennis Prager (ReganBooks: $23) Avoiding the cliches and finding the true sources of satisfaction in your life.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 9

5. ANGELA'S ASHES by Frank McCourt (Scribner: $24) A lyrical, bittersweet memoir about a poor Irish childhood in a gray, rain-soaked city.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 73

6. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL by John Berendt (Random House: $25) A chronicle about an eccentric Southern town during a sensational murder trial.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 46

7. INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer (Villard: $24.95) An account of tragedy and recklessness during a 1996 ascent of Mount Everest.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 45

8. THE ROAD TO UBAR by Nicholas Clapp (Houghton Mifflin: $24) The search for the ruins of an infamous Arabian city recorded in the Koran.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 4

9. THE LONG HARD ROAD OUT OF HELL by Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss (ReganBooks: $24) Turning ugliness into a million-dollar recording career.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 2

10. STORY by Robert McKee (ReganBooks: $25) Methodology and principles of screenwriting from an award-winning writer for the big screen.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 11

11. TENDER AT THE BONE by Ruth Reichl (Random House: $23) A culinary memoir, flavored with a dash of colorful experiences at home and abroad.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

12. THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Lanko (Longstreet Press: $22) Lives of the rich and famous, including golden parachutes.

Last Week: 7; Weeks on List: 14

13. THE PERFECT STORM by Sebastian Junger (Norton: $23.95) An account of fisherman trapped in the harrowing fury of an Atlantic storm.

Last Week: 9; Weeks on List: 36

14. A PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH MARTIN SCORSESE by Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson (Hyperion / Miramax Books: $40) The auteur's favorite flicks.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 6

15. DIE BROKE by Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine (HarperBusiness: $25) How to exhaust your equity before those money-grubbin' relatives do.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 3

PAPERBACKS: FICTION

1. THE PARTNER by John Grisham (Dell: $7.99) A lawyer's on the lam with $90 million.

2. HERE ON EARTH by Alice Hoffman (Berkley: $13) A New England funeral forces a woman to face old memories.

3. LE DIVORCE by Diane Johnson (Plume: $12.95) Not-so-innocents abroad in France.

4. TRUNK MUSIC by Michael Connelly (St. Martin's: $6.99) A Mafia hit sends Harry Bosch on a search in Las Vegas.

5. THE NOTEBOOK by Nicholas Sparks (Warner Vision: $5.99) Old flames recall their former combustion.

6. DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD by Rebecca Wells (HarperCollins: $13) Sisterhood in the South.

7. LOS ALAMOS by Joseph Kanon (Island / Dell: $7.50) Atomic spy intrigue in the 1940s.

8. PRIMARY COLORS by Anonymous (Warner: $6.99) A presidential candidate hungers for votes, ideology and fast food.

9. ASYLUM by Patrick McGrath (Vintage: $12) Murderous sculptor meets psychiatrist's wife in a mental hospital.

10. BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM by Kate Atkinson (Picador: $14) Love among the ruins.

PAPERBACKS: NONFICTION

1. JAMES CAMERON'S TITANIC by James Cameron, Douglas Kirkland and Ed Marsh (HarperCollins: $20) Keeping afloat.

2. UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN by Frances Mayes (Broadway: $13) Feasts in a glorious Italian landscape.

3. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER by Walter Lord (Bantam: $5.99) A historian retells the Titanic tragedy.

4. LEONARDO by Grace Catalano (Bantam: $7.95) A scrapbook featuring "Titanic's" dreamboat.

5. A CIVIL ACTION by Jonathan Harr (Vintage: $13) David vs. an industrial Goliath in Massachusetts.

6. HELLO, HE LIED by Lynda Obst (Broadway: $13) Cutting deals and dodging egos in Tinsel Town.

7. THE COLOR OF WATER by James McBride (Riverhead: $12) A black musician's homage to his white mother.

8. HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION by Thomas Cahill (Anchor: $12.95) What Irish monks did after Rome's fall.

9. PERSONAL HISTORY by Katharine Graham (Vintage: $15) The heiress at the helm of the Washington Post.

10. THE HARLOT BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD by Jonathan Kirsch (Ballantine: $14.95) Bible stories, raw and uncensored.

*

Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

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