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BESTSELLERS / PAPERBACKS

*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction

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*--* 1 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead: $14) A writer returns to Kabul to rescue the son of a childhood friend.

2 Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Vintage: $12) An autistic teen seeks a killer.

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

4 The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner: $14) A Bengali couple and their son try to find their way in America.

5 The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson (Warner: $7.99) Alex Cross uncovers a sex-slave ring run by a Russian mobster.

6 Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Random House: $14.95) Six linked novellas ponder civilization through the ages.

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

8 The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad: $13.95) Love and betrayal on a black slave owner’s plantation.

9 The Best American Short Stories 2004 (Houghton Mifflin: $14) Twenty of the year’s best short story offerings.

10 Deception Point by Dan Brown (Pocket Books: $7.99) A president’s reelection rests on an object buried in the Arctic.

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*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction

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*--* 1 Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Random House: $13.95) A professor keeps literature alive for her students.

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2 Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Vintage: $14.95) Gabo describes his early life in Colombia.

3 The 9/11 Commission Report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks (Norton: $10) The report.

4 Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter (TechPress/Warner: $15.95) Fiscal parenting.

5 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz (Workman: $18.95) Trotting the globe.

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6 The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan (Penguin: $15) Musings on the literary life, childhood and the concept of celebrity.

7 100 Words Almost Everyone Confuses & Misuses (American Heritage/Houghton Mifflin: $4.95)

8 Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger (Da Capo Press: $15.95) A Texas town rallies around its high school football team.

9 A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (Broadway: $15.95) From the primordial to the present.

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10 The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage: $14.95) How a serial killer haunted the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

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