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March 09, 1997

Fiction

TOTAL CONTROL by David Baldacci. (Warner: $24) A successful lawyer learns that her husband may have faked his own death in a fiery plane crash (2). Southern California ranking: 1; Last Weeks: 3; Week on List: 6

SOLE SURVIVOR by Dean Koontz. (Knopf: $25.95) Grieving the loss of his family in a plane crash, a reporter meets a mysterious woman who knows the secrets behind the tragedy (1). Southern California ranking: 2; Last Weeks: 4; Week on List: 4

LE DIVORCE by Diane Johnson. (Dutton: $23.95) Americans abroad struggle with the barbs and mores of French society (15). Southern California ranking: 3; Last Weeks: 1; Week on List: 6

VENDETTA: Lucky's Revenge by Jackie Collins. (ReganBooks: $25) The scheming widow of an old enemy plots to destroy Lucky Santangelo and take away Panther Studios (7). Southern California ranking: 4; Last Weeks: 2; Week on List: 3

THE PARTNER by John Grisham. (Doubleday: $26.95). Southern California ranking: 5; Last Weeks: --; Week on List: 1

HORNET'S NEST by Patricia D. Cornwell. (Putnam: $25.95) (3). Southern California ranking: 6; Last Weeks: 7; Week on List: 7

ASYLUM by Patrick McGrath. (Random House: $22) A passionate affair explodes between a psychiatrist's wife and a murderous sculptor in a mental hospital. Southern California ranking: 7; Last Weeks: 6; Week on List: 2

SILENT WITNESS by Richard North Patterson. (Knopf: $25.95) (9). Southern California ranking: 8; Last Weeks: --; Week on List: 6

THE CAT WHO TAILED A THIEF by Lilian Jackson Braun. (Putnam: $22.95) (11). Southern California ranking: 9; Last Weeks: --; Week on List: 1

BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO: Stories by Mary Gaitskill. (Simon & Schuster: $22) Our book critic, Richard Eder, called these stories about women in pain "voices of human alienation and disarray . . . . [Her] writing seems deliberately to combine mastery and jagged roughness.". Southern California ranking: 10; Last Weeks: 9; Week on List: 3

Nonfiction

MURDER IN BRENTWOOD by Mark Fuhrman. (Regnery: $24.95) The controversial former LAPD detective promises new revelations and facts about the Simpson case (7). Southern California ranking: 1; Last Weeks: 3; Week on List: 2

PERSONAL HISTORY by Katharine Graham. (Knopf: $29.95) The heiress at the helm of the Washington Post (2). Southern California ranking: 2; Last Weeks: 2; Week on List: 5

WHAT FALLS AWAY: A Memoir by Mia Farrow. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: $25) Our reviewer, Celia McGee, wrote that "her confession provokes the reader to think thorny thoughts about the relationships between art and life, perversion and creativity, amorality and genius." (13). Southern California ranking: 3; Last Weeks: 5; Week on List: 3

MONSTER: Living Off the Big Screen by John Gregory Dunne. (Random House: $21) Our reviewer, Michael Crichton, called Dunne's book "a remarkable narrative . . . that tells more about the experience of writing for Hollywood than any other book ever written." Southern California ranking: 4; Last Weeks: 1; Week on List: 3

THE ARTHRITIS CURE by Jason Theodosakis, Barry Fox and Brenda Adderly. (St. Martin's: $22.95) (1). Southern California ranking: 5; Last Weeks: 6; Week on List: 4

ANGELA'S ASHES by Frank McCourt. (Scribner: $24) (4). Southern California ranking: 6; Last Weeks: 4; Week on List: 19

SIMPLE ABUNDANCE: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. (Warner: $17.95) (3). Southern California ranking: 7; Last Weeks: 9; Week on List: 29

THE MORAL INTELLIGENCE OF CHILDREN: How to Raise a Moral Child by Robert Coles. (Random House: $21). Southern California ranking: 8; Last Weeks: --; Week on List: 2

EVIDENCE DISMISSED: The Inside Story of the Police Investigation of O.J. Simpson by Dets. Tom Lange and Philip Vannatter, as told to Dan E. Moldea. (Pocket: $24) (12). Southern California ranking: 9; Last Weeks: 10; Week on List: 5

HIS NAME IS RON by the family of Ron Goldman & William and Marilyn Hoffer. (Morrow: $24.95) (14). Southern California ranking: 10; Last Weeks: --; Week on List: 1

Paperbacks: FICTION

1. ABSOLUTE POWER by David Baldacci. (Warner: $7.50)

2. THE LAST DON by Mario Puzo. (Ballantine: $7.99)

3. SON OF THE MORNING by Linda Howard. (Pocket: $5.99)

4. THE ENGLISH PATIENT by Michael Ondaatje. (Vintage: $11)

5. SHE'S COME UNDONE by Wally Lamb. (Pocket: $14)

Paperbacks: NONFICTION

1. ZAGAT SURVEY 1997 LOS ANGELES/SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RESTAURANT GUIDE edited by Merrill Shindler and Karen Berk. (Zagat Survey: $10.95)

2. THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey. (Fireside/Simon and Schuster: $12)

3. INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer. (Anchor: $12.95)

4. THE RULES by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. (Warner: $14.95)

5. HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION by Thomas Cahill. (Anchor: $12.95)

Rankings based on Times' poll of local bookstores. National hardcover rankings (in parentheses) are those of Publishers Weekly.

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