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Bestsellers

Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction

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*--* 1 Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Harvest Books: $14) A boy shares a lifeboat with a tiger on a harrowing trip.

2 Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket Books: $7.99) A scholar uncovers a vendetta against the Catholic Church.

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3 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Picador: $15) A Greek family embraces the American dream.

4 The King of Torts by John Grisham (Dell: $7.99) A street killing is linked to a conspiracy involving a pharmaceutical giant.

5 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin: $14) A teenage girl is haunted by her mother’s death.

6 Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (Vintage: $14.95) A disillusioned Confederate soldier makes his way home.

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7 Prey by Michael Crichton (Avon: $7.99) Self-replicating nanobots escape the laboratory and threaten their creators’ lives.

8 Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian (W.W. Norton: $13) Adventure on the high seas in the Napoleonic Wars.

9 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Harper SanFrancisco: $13) An Andalusian shepherd boy’s quest.

10 Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (Plume: $14) Imagining the young woman who inspired Vermeer’s painting.

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*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction

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*--* 1 Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki & Sharon Lechter (Techpress: $15.95) Fiscal parenting.

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2 Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich (Free Press: $14) A blackjack team from MIT bests Las Vegas casinos.

3 Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (Ballantine: $15.95) How an also-ran became America’s favorite racehorse.

4 Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (HarperCollins: $13.95) Unappetizing practices of the junk food industry.

5 Still More George W. Bushisms by Jacob Weisberg (Fireside: $9.95) Presidential phrases gathered by Slate’s editor.

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6 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know by American Heritage (Houghton Mifflin: $4.95)

7 Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (Little, Brown: $8.95) Elf love, Santa’s diaries and more about the season’s dark side.

8 Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Little, Brown: $14.95) Quirky reflections on life in Paris and elsewhere.

9 Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King (Penguin: $15) The making of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

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10 Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom (Broadway: $12.95) Learning life’s lessons from a dying former teacher.

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