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East Bay Best-Sellers

What you're buying this month.

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Nonfiction

1. Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand (Ballantine, $15). The new screen version of this Depression-era horse-racing saga is already generating Oscar buzz.

2. Fast-Food Nation,, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). This perennial bestseller exposes the horrifying underbelly of the fast-food industry.

3. NEW Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer (Doubleday, $26). True story of Mormon fundamentalists "commanded by God" to commit murder leads the author to uncover the forbidden history of the Latter-Day Saints.

4. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis (Norton, $24.95). How do the Oakland A's keep winning, season after season? Local author Lewis reveals manager Billy Beane's secrets herein.

5. Small Wonder, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper, $12.95). Well-intentioned but sanctimonious essays from a beloved novelist exploring her feelings in a post-9/11 world.

6. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller (Random House, $12.95). In this brutally honest memoir, the daughter of racist white farmers recalls her childhood in 1970s Rhodesia.

7. NEW Weapons of Mass Deception, by Sheldon Rampton, John C. Stauber (Tarcher, $11.95). Unforgiving portrait of the Bush administration's heavy-handed and often ludicrous attempts at propaganda.

8. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, by Elaine H. Pagels (Random House, $24.95). The New Testament is a lopsided compilation of texts retroactively deemed sacred.

9. Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $28.00). Hillary dishes the dirt about politics, backroom deals, and her famous husband's wayward willy.

10. A Round-Heeled Woman, by Jane Juska (Villard Books, $23.95). A retired teacher sets out in search of satisfying sex at long last.

Fiction

1. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14). Childhood traumas, the civil rights movement, mysterious Black Madonnas, and a trio of beekeepers populate this overambitious Deep South melodrama.

2. NEW The da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95). A deft novelization of the bizarre Christian conspiracy theories popularized in 1983's Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

3. Three Junes, by Julia Glass (Anchor, $14). Eloquent, National Book Award-winning saga of a melancholy Scottish family, traced through three loosely connected novellas.

4. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (Harvest, $14). The author of this lively yarn about a boy and a beast surviving a shipwreck admits he "borrowed" the plot from a 1981 Brazilian novel.

5. You Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, $22). A self-published epic that follows two globetrotters who dole out piles of unwanted cash.

6. NEW When the Elephants Dance, by Tess Uriza Holthe (Penguin, $14). Desperate yet proud Filipinos struggle to maintain their dignity during the brutal Japanese occupation of the Philippines in WWII.

7. NEW The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon (Doubleday, $22.95). An autistic teenager sets out to solve a canine murder mystery and encounters the bewildering world of human emotions.

8. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). This Botswanan mystery stars a warm, wry, and well-written female sleuth.

9. The Virgin Blue, by Tracy Chevalier (Plume, $14). An American expatriate living in a small French village uncovers her connection to a 16th-century Huguenot farm-girl.

10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.95). Harry confronts adolescence, nightmares, self-doubt, and evil sorcerers; just another year in the life of a boy wizard.

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