*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 Literacy and Longing in 3 8 L.A. by Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack (Delacorte: $22) A book-obsessed divorcee stalks her movie-mogul ex-husband until she meets a literature major.

2 Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle 13 2 (Viking: $25.95) A deaf woman is accused of numerous felonies; her boyfriend tries to find the real criminal, who has stolen her identity.

3 Angels Fall by Nora -- 1 Roberts (Putnam: $25.95) A woman who has moved to a small town in Wyoming after surviving a brutal crime becomes the sole witness to a murder.


4 Can’t Wait to Get to 10 2 Heaven by Fannie Flagg (Random House: $25.95) When adversity hits Elmwood Springs, Mo., townsfolk discover happiness and renewed faith in helping each other.

5 Suite Francaise by Irene 1 12 Nemirovsky (Knopf: $25) Two novellas from a writer killed at Auschwitz on the exodus from Paris ahead of the Germans’ arrival and on life in a farming village under occupation.

6 Twelve Sharp by Janet 9 4 Evanovich (St. Martin’s: $26.95) Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum tries to find a crazed killer with the help of a mysterious man accused of kidnapping his own child.

7 Black Order by James 12 3 Rollins (William Morrow: $24.95) Members of the U.S. military’s super-secret Sigma Force battle a plot that threatens to disrupt evolutionary theory.


8 Break No Bones by Kathy -- 1 Reichs (Scribner: $25.95) A forensic anthropologist leading an excavation of an ancient burial site finds some remains that aren’t historic.

9 The Devil and Miss Prym by 8 2 Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins: $24.95) A former arms dealer comes to a village with a proposal: wealth for all if one of its residents is murdered within the week.

10 There Will Never Be -- 7 Another You by Carolyn See (Random House: $24.95) A UCLA dermatologist suspects biological terrorism or an experiment gone awry when cats turn up dead.

11 Water for Elephants by 5 6 Sara Gruen (Algonquin: $23.95) A nursing-home patient recalls his life and loves as a penniless college student who dropped out to join the circus in the 1930s.


12 Danse Macabre by Laurell 4 3 K. Hamilton (Berkley: $25.95) Federal marshal and vampire hunter Anita Blake deals with possible pregnancy, paternity and bringing up baby in her line of work.

13 Everyman by Philip Roth -- 12 (Houghton Mifflin: $24) A self-centered New Jersey adman with a lifelong obsession that his death is imminent reflects on what he’s missed.

14 Baby Proof by Emily Giffin -- 1 (St. Martin’s: $23.95) A career-minded couple who agreed not to have children face a crisis when the husband changes his mind.

15 Blue Screen by Robert B. 14 4 Parker (Putnam: $24.95) Boston P.I. Sunny Randall teams with pal Jesse Stone, police chief of Paradise, Mass., to investigate the killing of an action movie star’s sister.



*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 Conservatives Without -- 1 Conscience by John W. Dean (Viking: $25.95) The former Watergate figure argues that the conservative movement has become riddled with authoritarianism.

2 The One Percent Doctrine 1 4 by Ron Suskind (Simon & Schuster: $27) How the analyses of U.S. counter-terrorism experts were exaggerated or dismissed to justify going to war with Iraq.

3 Laurel Canyon by Michael 14 8 Walker (Faber & Faber: $25) A look at the ‘60s rock bands and artists whose creativity flowered in Laurel Canyon, then a sylvan enclave above Sunset Boulevard.


4 Marley & Me by John Grogan 2 35 (William Morrow: $21.95) A columnist recalls how Marley, an incorrigible Labrador retriever, flunked obedience school, terrorized a pet sitter and won over his family.

5 Mayflower by Nathaniel 3 10 Philbrick (Viking: $29.95) The story of devout English Christians landing in the New World and the natives they meet as they found Plymouth Colony.

6 Heat by Bill Buford 7 7 (Knopf: $25.95) The journalist chronicles his time as a “kitchen slave” to TV chef Mario Batali and reveals the secrets of a three-star restaurant and Italian cooking.

7 The World Is Flat by 4 64 Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $30) How technology and globalization are changing the world and the training that is needed to compete.


8 My Life in France by Julia -- 6 Child with Alex Prud’homme (Knopf: $25.95) The late chef’s memoir of her formative years in France, studies at the Cordon Bleu and the best Parisian restaurants.

9 Cesar’s Way by Cesar 6 15 Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier (Harmony: $24.95) The “Dog Whisperer” of TV gives tips on understanding and correcting common canine behavior problems.

10 Dispatches From the Edge 11 8 by Anderson Cooper (HarperCollins: $24.95) The telegenic scion recounts personal tragedies as well as the wars and disasters he’s covered for CNN.

11 Freakonomics by Steven D. 8 56 Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow: $25.95) An economist deconstructs statistics and uses numbers to help explain human behavior.


12 Manhunt by James L. -- 11 Swanson (William Morrow: $26.95) The search for President Lincoln’s killer, actor John Wilkes Booth, and how he eluded capture for 12 days.

13 Hotel California by Barney 12 4 Hoskyns (Wiley: $25.95) How music in the early ‘70s came to be dominated by mellow rock, drug use and hyper-managers eager to find the next big act.

14 The Long Tail by Chris -- 1 Anderson (Hyperion: 24.95) How technological advances have shattered the old paradigms on marketing and opened up new opportunities for niche selling.

15 Eat, Pray, Love by 5 13 Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking: $24.95) After deciding that marriage and motherhood aren’t for her, the author embarks on a journey of self-discovery in Italy, India and Indonesia.



Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.