Southern California Rating:FICTION1 IS FOR PERIL ...

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 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: 2; Weeks On List: 2

2 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: 1; Weeks On List: 6

3 CHOKE by Chuck Palahniuk (Doubleday: $24.95) A medical school dropout devises a complicated scam to pay for his mother's expensive elder care.

Last Week: 10; Weeks On List: 3

4 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: 4; Weeks On List: 9

5 THE WIND DONE GONE by Alice Randall (Houghton Mifflin: $22) A tale of Tara, told by Scarlett's half-sister, infused with irony and Gothic satire. Reviewed by D.J. Carlile, Page 1.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

6 CHOSEN PREY by John Sandford (Putnam: $26.95) Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Lucas Davenport hunts for the killer responsible for a field of corpses thawing in the spring.

Last Week: 7; Weeks On List: 5

7 THE OTHER SIDE OF MULHOLLAND by Stephen Randall (LA Weekly Books: $23.95) Twin brothers fight the ties that bind in two versions of Los Angeles.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

8 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: 11; Weeks On List: 11

9 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: --; Weeks On List: 1

10 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: 15; Weeks On List: 15

11 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: 6; Weeks On List: 8

12 THE LIVING BLOOD by Tananarive Due (Pocket Books: $25.95) An ancient cult's undying powers are embodied by a child who can grow to become either a monster or a savior.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

13 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: 9; Weeks On List: 16

14 FINAL TARGET by Iris Johansen (Bantam: $24.95) After escaping a violent kidnapping attempt, the president's 7-year-old daughter is catatonic, and two sisters must try to save her.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

15 THE BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER by Amy Tan (Putnam: $25.95) A ghostwriter uncovers her family's anguished past in China as her mother struggles with Alzheimer's disease.

Last Week: 5; Weeks On List: 17

NONFICTION

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: 4

2 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: 4; Weeks On List: 30

3 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: 2; Weeks On List: 6

4 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: 6; Weeks On List: 5

5 A YEAR IN VAN NUYS by Sandra Tsing Loh (Crown: $23) Coming to terms with writer's block and growing older in a place far from Provence: the San Fernando Valley.

Last Week: 11; Weeks On List: 6

6 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: 5; Weeks On List: 15

7 THE AMERICAN DREAM by Dan Rather (William Morrow: $25) Stories from America about men and women who have accomplished the extraordinary.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

8 REJUVENATE! by Eartha Kitt with Tonya Bolden (Scribner: $20) Kitt offers tips for staying young and staying alive and exercises that work mind, body and whatever else you've got.

Last Week: 12; Weeks On List: 5

9 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: 3; Weeks On List: 4

10 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: 8; Weeks On List: 6

11 THE WAY HOME by Henry Dunow (Broadway: $22.95) A story of fathers and sons, as seen through the prism of a year coaching Little League.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

12 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: --; Weeks On List: 1

13 ON BEING 100 by Liane Enkelis (Prima Publishing: $29.95) Centenarians offer some wisdom for those of us who want to get to that watershed year.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

14 IF CHINS COULD KILL by Bruce Campbell (LA Weekly Books: $23.95 ) Blue-collar Hollywood, and the life of the B-movie actor, from a star of the cult classic "Evil Dead."

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

15 SHIKSA GODDESS by Wendy Wasserstein (Alfred A. Knopf: $23) The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright offers a series of essays on how she spent her 40s.

Last Week: --; Weeks On List: 1

Paperbacks

FICTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 A LIGHT ON THE VERANDA by Ciji Ware (Ivy: $6.99) A Southern belle's troubled homecoming from Manhattan.

8 WINTER SOLSTICE by Rosamunde Pilcher (St. Martin's: $7.99) A rural Scottish estate is a haven for soul-searchers.

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

10 GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE by Susan Vreeland (Penguin: $12) Eight stories linked by a Dutch master's painting.Southern California

NONFICTION

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

2 THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO SURVIVAL HANDBOOK: TRAVEL by J. Piven & D. Borgenicht (Chronicle: $14.95)

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

4 ETIQUETTE FOR OUTLAWS by Rob Cohen & David Wollock (HarperCollins: $14) Emily Post meets Howard Stern.

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 tragedy that inspired "Moby-Dick."

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

8 THE GREATEST GENERATION by Tom Brokaw (Dell: $12.95) The generation that came of age during the Depression.

9 ON WRITING by Stephen King (Pocket: $14.95) An autobiography of the writer's formative years.

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

Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

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