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BESTSELLERS

Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores.

*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 Ten Days in the Hills by 1 2 Jane Smiley (Knopf: $26) Hollywood denizens spend 10 days together talking about movies, making love and arguing about the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

2 What Is the What by Dave 8 9 Eggers (McSweeney’s: $26) A Sudanese refugee fights to survive and create a new life in America but finds safety and a sense of belonging elusive.

3 Innocent in Death by J.D. -- 1 Robb (Putnam: $25.95) Lt. Eve Dallas investigates the case of a beloved schoolteacher poisoned by a brown-bag lunch.

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4 The Boleyn Inheritance by -- 10 Philippa Gregory (Touchstone: $25.95) Anne Boleyn’s scheming sister-in-law continues her intrigues as lady-in-waiting to two more of Henry VIII’s wives.

5 Sisters by Danielle Steel 5 2 (Delacorte Press: $27) Connecticut sisters with divergent careers pull together when a car accident kills their mother and blinds their artist sister.

6 Step on a Crack by James 2 3 Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown: $27.99) Ruthless men storm St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City during the funeral of a former first lady.

7 Suite Francaise by Irene -- 40 Nemirovsky (Knopf: $25) Two novellas by a writer killed at Auschwitz about the exodus from Paris ahead of the Germans’ arrival and on life in a farming village under occupation.

8 The Terror by Dan Simmons 14 5 (Little, Brown: $25.99) The saga of the doomed 19th century Franklin expedition through the Canadian Arctic retold with a kick of fantastical horror.

9 High Profile by Robert B. 7 3 Parker (Putnam: $24.95) A conservative radio commentator is murdered and his pregnant mistress is later found dead in sleepy Paradise, Mass.

10 The Watchman by Robert -- 1 Crais (Simon & Schuster: $25.95) A party-girl heiress in need of protection after seeing something she shouldn’t have comes under the watchful private eye of Joe Pike.

11 For One More Day by Mitch 12 22 Albom (Hyperion: $21.95) An alcoholic tries suicide and encounters his mother’s ghost, who tells him about her life and sacrifices as a single parent.

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12 The Double Bind by Chris -- 1 Bohjalian (Shaye Areheart: $25) The characters of “The Great Gatsby” come alive through the photographs of a homeless Vermont man.

13 Hollywood Station by -- 13 Joseph Wambaugh (Little, Brown: $24.99) Cops stationed in a Hollywood of meth tweakers and hustlers try to solve a jewelry heist and a security guard’s murder.

14 Devotion by Howard Norman -- 1 (Houghton Mifflin: $24) A newly married man gets into a fight with his father-in-law, an incident that binds the two in unexpected ways.

15 Water for Elephants by 9 16 Sara Gruen (Algonquin: $23.95) A nursing-home patient recalls his life and loves as a penniless student who dropped out of college to join the circus in the 1930s.

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*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 The Secret by Rhonda Byrne 1 11 (Beyond Words: $23.95) The book promises the distillation of a life-transforming “secret” gathered from oral tradition, literature, religion and philosophy.

2 The Audacity of Hope by 2 19 Barack Obama (Crown: $25) The U.S. senator from Illinois argues that his Democratic Party and the GOP must forgo partisanship to reclaim the American dream.

3 I Feel Bad About My Neck 5 31 by Nora Ephron (Knopf: $19.95) The screenwriter ruminates on the effects of gravity and menopause, and reconciling herself to life among the post-bikini set.

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4 Bambi vs. Godzilla by 3 3 David Mamet (Pantheon: $22) The director-screenwriter explains how the film and television industry should work and details how greed and stupidity get in the way.

5 American Fascists by Chris -- 2 Hedges (Free Press: $25) A look at the Christian right and its efforts to influence public opinion, control the national agenda and elect its candidates to public office.

6 Palestine: Peace Not 7 14 Apartheid by Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster: $27) The former president writes that Palestinians must recognize Israel, and Israel must honor its peace commitments.

7 Catching the Big Fish by 11 8 David Lynch (Tarcher: $19.95) The filmmaker details how Transcendental Meditation has allowed him to dive within, “catch” ideas and develop his creativity.

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8 The God Delusion by 12 18 Richard Dawkins (Houghton Mifflin: $27) The biologist criticizes religion for intolerance, rejecting scientific fact and for threatening nonbelievers with eternal damnation.

9 The Intellectual 10 7 Devotional by David Kidder and Noah Oppenheim (Rodale: $22.50) How to complete your education and roam confidently through the cultured classes in 365 short lessons.

10 I Like You by Amy Sedaris 9 15 (Warner: $27.99) A guide to throwing the perfect party, with helpful cooking and hospitality hints and arch observations from the comic writer.

11 Jim Cramer’s Mad Money by -- 8 James J. Cramer with Cliff Mason (Simon & Schuster: $25) The basics of buying and selling stocks, assessing risk and creating a valuable portfolio.

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12 The Proper Care and 8 8 Feeding of Marriage by Laura Schlessinger (HarperCollins: $25.95) How women should fulfill their role as homemaker, helpmate and sex partner.

13 Supreme Conflict by Jan -- 4 Crawford Greenburg (Penguin: $27.95) The ABC News reporter details the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court since Antonin Scalia’s arrival in 1986.

14 About Alice by Calvin 4 7 Trillin (Random House: $14.95) The writer expands his New Yorker magazine essay about his late wife to paint a revealing portrait of marriage, family and coping with loss.

15 The Paths We Choose by -- 1 Sully Erna (Bartleby Press: $21.95) The frontman for the hard rock band Godsmack recounts his childhood in the gritty Boston suburbs

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