Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 Harry Potter and the 1 5 Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic: $29.99) A teenage Harry faces a new darkness in his latest adventures.

2 No Country for Old Men by 2 4 Cormac McCarthy (Knopf: $24.95) An aging Texas sheriff investigates murder, drug trafficking and the disappearance of a local hunter.

3 The Historian by Elizabeth 3 10 Kostova (Little, Brown: $25.95) A teenager discovers a medieval book and a stash of letters and sets out on a hunt for the real story of Dracula, a quest close to home.


4 Snow Flower and the Secret 7 7 Fan by Lisa See (Random House: $21.95) Two women in the cloistered society of 19th century China forge a close friendship that is threatened by misunderstanding.

5 Until I Find You by John 5 6 Irving (Random House: $27.95) Actor Jack Burns retraces the journeys of his childhood and his tattoo-artist mother’s search for his runaway father.

6 The Mermaid Chair by Sue 10 20 Monk Kidd (Viking: $24.95) A woman who is called home to cope with her troubled mother finds herself drawn to a Benedictine monk on an island off South Carolina.

7 The Da Vinci Code by Dan 4 126 Brown (Doubleday: $24.95) A Louvre curator’s killing leads to clues hidden in Leonardo’s paintings and a secret society with something to hide.


8 The Undomestic Goddess by 12 4 Sophie Kinsella (Dial Press: $23) A London lawyer veers from the fast track to work as a housekeeper in a country manor until her past catches up with her.

9 Lifeguard by James 6 6 Patterson and Andrew Gross (Little, Brown: $26.95) An art heist gone bad vaults a part-time lifeguard onto the FBI’s most-wanted list.

10 A Long Way Down by Nick 13 10 Hornby (Riverhead: $24.95) A quartet of people who meet on a London rooftop as they contemplate suicide form a mutual support group.

11 The Starter Wife by Gigi 8 10 Levangie Grazer (Simon & Schuster: $24) The pampered wife of a studio executive finds her world turned upside down after her husband dumps her for a pop princess.


12 The Patriots Club by 11 3 Christopher Reich (Delacorte Press: $26) A financial whiz draws upon street smarts of another kind to survive a bizarre kidnapping by a secret society.

13 Lunar Park by Bret Easton -- 1 Ellis (Alfred A. Knopf: $24.95) The author-turned-protagonist tries to dry out and remake his life in a suburbia possessed by strange spirits.

14 Match Me if You Can by -- 1 Susan Elizabeth Phillips (William Morrow: $24.95) A budding matchmaker tries to land Chicago’s most eligible bachelor as a client.

15 Double Tap by Steve -- 1 Martini (Putnam: $26.95) A crack military marksman goes on trial in the death of the wealthy businesswoman he was hired to protect.



*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 1776 by David McCullough 1 11 (Simon & Schuster: $32) The historian looks at how the American forces took on the world’s greatest military power in the Revolution’s first battles.

2 Freakonomics by Steven D. 2 17 Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow: $25.95) An economist deconstructs statistics and uses numbers to help explain human behavior.

3 New Rules: Polite Musings 6 4 From a Timid Observer by Bill Maher (Rodale Books: $24.95) The political satirist brings his irreverent and acerbic humor to the written page.


4 The World Is Flat by 3 18 Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $27.50) How technology and the forces of globalization are connecting -- and changing -- the world.

5 Blink by Malcolm Gladwell 4 31 (Little, Brown: $25.95) Gladwell explores why decisions are so often made in an instant and whether we can really trust those first instincts.

6 Natural Cures “They” Don’t 5 8 Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance Publishing: $29.95) The infomercial mogul touts alternative therapies and supplements.

7 On Bull... by Harry G. 7 18 Frankfurt (Princeton University Press: $9.95) A leading philosopher takes on society’s view of what sometimes seems to be the fine line between truth and lying.


8 100 People Who Are 8 6 Screwing Up America by Bernard Goldberg (HarperCollins: $25.95) The author of “Arrogance” indicts celebrity activists and liberal politicians.

9 The Perricone Promise by 9 8 Nicholas Perricone (Warner: $27.95) A physician advises how to look and feel younger in 28 days through diet, supplements and skin products.

10 Your Best Life Now by Joel -- 29 Osteen (Warner Faith: $19.99) Seven steps to improving your life by using faith to develop self-esteem, let go of the past and fulfill your potential.

11 Confessions of a Video 15 7 Vixen by Karrine Steffans (HarperCollins: $24.95) The troubled background behind the glamorous image of a celebrated music video dancer.


12 Encyclopedia Prehistorica: -- 2 Dinosaurs by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart (Candlewick: $26) An intricate pop-up book on those all-time favorite prehistoric critters.

13 You: The Owner’s Manual by 10 15 Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz (HarperCollins: $24.95) An anti-aging guru and a heart surgeon team to offer a wry and witty guide to staying healthy.

14 My Friend Leonard by James 11 7 Frey (Penguin: $24.95) The former cocaine addict’s sequel to “A Million Little Pieces” celebrates the mobster who helped him turn his life around.

15 Chronicles, Vol. 1 by Bob -- 29 Dylan (Simon & Schuster: $24) The songwriter reflects on the influences that helped shape him and his struggle to rediscover his creativity.