Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction 1 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin: $14) A father hides the birth of a twin from his wife.

2 The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (Grove: $14) A retired judge is caught up in Nepal’s independence movement.

3 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco: $13) An Andalusian shepherd boy searches for treasure in Egypt.


4 Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (Vintage: $14.95) Arthur Conan Doyle tries to clear a country lawyer.

5 Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Vintage: $11.95) A man reflects on his life.

6 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House: $13.95) Two women in 19th century China.

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

8 March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin: $14) Imagining the Civil War experiences of Mr. March, father of the “Little Women.”

9 Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan (Warner Books: $13.95) An FBI agent trails a female serial killer.

10 Perfume by Patrick Suskind (Vintage: $13.95) An 18th century Paris perfumer’s quest for the ultimate scent.



*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction 1 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner: $14) A memoir of breaking away from dysfunctional parents.

2 The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (Amber-Allen: $12.95) A code of conduct based on Toltec wisdom.

3 Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama (Three Rivers: $14.95) The senator traces his mixed-raced heritage.

4 The Freedom Writers Diary with Erin Gruwell (Broadway: $13.95) Long Beach teens write about their lives.


5 Birds of the Los Angeles Region by Kimball Garrett et al. (R.W. Morse: $15.95) An illustrated guide.

6 The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner (Amistad: $14.95) A homeless man’s struggle to be a successful stockbroker.

7 Life: Picture Puzzle (Life: $7.99) Altered side-by-side photos, based on the magazine’s popular feature.

8 The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Penguin: $18) How to harness emotions to increase influence.


9 Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter (TechPress/Warner: $16.95) Fiscal parenting.

10 Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil (Anchor: $14.95) A physician’s guide to getting older.