Southern California Rating:FICTION1 P IS FOR PERIL...

Southern California Rating:


1 P IS FOR PERIL by Sue Grafton (Putnam: $26.95) Kinsey Millhone is hired to find a missing doctor with skeletons in the closet at work and a dysfunctional family at home.

Last Week: 1; Weeks On List: 4

2 THE COLD SIX THOUSAND by James Ellroy (Alfred A. Knopf: $25.95) Mobsters, cops, government agents and provocateurs collide in the midst of America's turbulent 1960s.

Last Week: 3; Weeks On List: 6

3 BEL CANTO by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins: $25 ) The relationship between terrorists and hostages in a South American town mirrors grand tragic opera. Reviewed by Jonathan Levi, Page 4.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

4 THE WIND DONE GONE by Alice Randall (Houghton Mifflin: $22) A tale of plantation life on Tara, told by Scarlett's half-sister and infused with irony and Gothic satire.

Last Week: 15; Weeks On List: 3

5 BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS by Anne Tyler (Alfred A. Knopf: $25) A fiftysomething widow and loving mom, coping with midlife, begins to question the decisions she has made.

Last Week: 6; Weeks On List: 8

6 FEARLESS JONES by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown: $24.95) A used-book shop owner crosses paths with a beautiful, mysterious woman, and his life is quickly turned upside-down.

Last Week: 7; Weeks On List: 3

7 LEAP OF FAITH by Danielle Steel (Dell: $19.95) A young woman flees her wicked aunt for a sinister French Prince Charming only to realize that her true love is an Iowa farmboy.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

8 A TRAITOR TO MEMORY by Elizabeth George (Bantam: $26.95) A sensational child murder case from years ago holds clues to the identity of a vicious hit-and-run killer of a divorcee.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

9 THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY by Michael Chabon (Random House: $26.95) In World War II Brooklyn, two Jewish cousins break into the comic-book business.

Last Week: 5; Weeks On List: 18

10 ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster: $26) In a sleepy resort town, an attorney believes that a serial killer from a century ago has returned.

Last Week: 13; Weeks On List: 10

11 DEATH IN HOLY ORDERS by P.D. James (Alfred A. Knopf: $25) In East Anglia, a theological college is torn apart by a string of sacrilegious and horrifying murders.

Last Week: 9; Weeks On List: 11

12 A PAINTED HOUSE by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.95) Tensions between two groups of farm workers result in a brutal murder in this tale of an Arkansas boyhood in 1952.

Last Week: 2; Weeks On List: 17

13 BITTERROOT by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster: $25) Texas attorney Billy Bob Holland goes fishing in Montana and battles white supremacists, bikers and other baddies instead.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

14 EMPIRE FALLS by Richard Russo (Alfred A. Knopf: $25.95 ) Faith and frustration among the denizens of a small mill town in the Maine woods.

Last Week: 11; Weeks On List: 2

15 THE LAST TIME THEY MET by Anita Shreve (Little, Brown: $24.95) Two poets sustain a lifelong passion though they've been together only three times.

Last Week: 14; Weeks On List: 13


1 JOHN ADAMS by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster: $35) The story of our second president, a man Thomas Jefferson called "the colossus of independence."

Last Week: 1; Weeks On List: 6

2 STOLEN LIVES by Malika Oufkir with Michele Fitoussi (Talk Miramax: $24) A young woman spends 20 years in jail after her father tries to assassinate the king of Morocco.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 3

3 NICKEL AND DIMED by Barbara Ehrenreich (Henry Holt: $23) Concealing her identity, the author worked a series of low-paying jobs to see if the American dream is available to everyone.

Last Week: 11; Weeks On List: 3

4 A SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY LIFE by Anna Quindlen (Random House: $12.95) The columnist reflects on what it takes to "get a life" by living deeply rather than merely existing.

Last Week: 3; Weeks On List: 33

5 SEABISCUIT by Laura Hillenbrand (Random House: $24.95) How three men transformed a thoroughbred horse from a neurotic also-ran into an American sports icon.

Last Week: 2; Weeks On List: 17

6 GHOST SOLDIERS by Hampton Sides (Doubleday: $24.95) How a small group of elite American soldiers made a daring rescue of British and American war prisoners in 1945.

Last Week: 5; Weeks On List: 6

7 PRIVILEGED SON by Dennis McDougal (Perseus: $28) The Chandler family's ascent to power as owner of the L.A. Times and their ultimate dissolution as a publishing dynasty.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 2

8 WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? by Spencer Johnson (Putnam: $19.95) The co-author of "The One Minute Manager" uses the parable of mice in a maze to show people how to manage change.

Last Week: 4; Weeks On List: 67

9 NATASHA by Suzanne Finstad (Crown: $25) The lifelong struggle between Natalie Zakharenko, born to Russian immigrants, and her alter ego, Hollywood's glamorous Natalie Wood.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

10 FRENCH LESSONS by Peter Mayle (Alfred A. Knopf: $24) A celebration of France's wine, cheese and other gastronomic treasures by the author of "A Year in Provence."

Last Week: 9; Weeks On List: 7

11 FOUNDING BROTHERS by Joseph J. Ellis (Alfred A. Knopf: $26 ) The intertwined lives of America's founders, their squabbles and collaborations, long before they were deified in history books.

Last Week: 8; Weeks On List: 10

12 NAPALM AND SILLY PUTTY by George Carlin (Hyperion: $22.95) Carlin offers a series of his unique comedic meditations on life's annoying universal truths.

Last Week: 7; Weeks On List: 8

13 TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom (Doubleday: $19.95) A sportswriter's story of the life lessons he received during weekly visits to an older dying friend.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 169

14 FRAUD by David Rakoff (Doubleday: $21.95 ) Essays on the miscellaneous oddities of city life, New Age religion and the great outdoors by a public radio personality.

Last Week: 12; Weeks On List: 2

15 WHEN YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT! by Yogi Berra with Dave Kaplan (Hyperion: $16.95) Inspiration and wisdom from one of baseball's greatest heroes.

Last Week: 15; Weeks On List: 3



1 BEE SEASON by Myla Goldberg (Vintage: $13) A young girl wins her family's attention after excelling at spelling bees.

2 WHITE TEETH by Zadie Smith (Vintage: $14) Race, sex and class refracted in the lives of two eccentric London families.

3 GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier (Plume: $12) The woman who inspired a Vermeer painting.

4 THE FEAST OF LOVE by Charles Baxter (Vintage: $13) Love, sacrifice and redemption in Michigan lives.

5 THE HUMAN STAIN by Philip Roth (Vintage: $14) Sex and scandal surround an aging faculty dean in a quiet town.

6 BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY by Helen Fielding (Penguin: $12.95) A thirtysomething Londoner's quest for a mate.

7 ANIL'S GHOST by Michael Ondaatje (Vintage: $13) An anthropologist investigates murder in Ceylon.

8 THE RED TENT by Anita Diamant (Picador USA: $14) The blossoming of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter, in Genesis.

9 GLUE by Irvine Welsh (W.W. Norton: $14.95) The various addictions threatening four chums in the Edinburgh slums.

10 THE BOSTONS by Carolyn Cooke (Mariner: $12) Stories of the offbeat, flawed folk living in a coastal town in Maine.


1 A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS by Dave Eggers (Vintage: $14) A 22-year-old raises his kid brother.

2 ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by David Sedaris (Little, Brown: $14.95) Wisecracking essays on life in Paris and elsewhere.

3 WORST-CASE SCENARIO SURVIVAL HANDBOOK: TRAVEL by J. Piven & D. Borgenicht (Chronicle: $14.95) Help on the run.

4 WORST-CASE SCENARIO SURVIVAL HANDBOOK by Joshua Piven & David Borgenicht (Chronicle: $14.95) S-O-S!

5 RICH DAD, POOR DAD by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter (Techpress: $15.95) Adventures in fiscal parenting.

6 IN THE HEART OF THE SEA by Nathaniel Philbrick (Penguin: $14) The whaling tragedy that inspired "Moby-Dick."

7 ON WRITING by Stephen King (Pocket: $14.95) Memoir of the writer's early years and the inspiration for "Carrie."

8 THE GHOSTS OF ECHO PARK by Ron Emler (Echo Park Publishing: $15) A pictorial history of the neighborhood.

9 THE GREATEST GENERATION by Tom Brokaw (Dell: $12.95) The men and women who came of age in the Depression.

10 THE BETRAYAL OF AMERICA by Vincent Bugliosi (Thunders Mouth Press/Nation Books: $9.95) Notes on Election 2000.

Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

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