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Bestsellers

June 29, 1997

Fiction

PLUM ISLAND by Nelson DeMille. (Warner: $25.) Convalescing in a fishing town, a New York cop links local lore with two deaths.(1)

Southern California ranking: 1; Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 4

CHASING CEZANNE by Peter Mayle. (Knopf: $23.)

An art theft on the Cote d'Azur plunges a photographer into the world of the super chic.

Southern California ranking: 2; Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 4

****

THE PARTNER by John Grisham. (Doubleday: $26.95.) A lawyer takes the money and runs.(2)

Southern California ranking: 3; Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 17

****

CLOUD MOUNTAIN by Aimee E. Liu. (Warner: $24.) Four decades of war and revolution in China and elsewhere can't destroy a forbidden love.

Southern California ranking: 4; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

THE AGUERO SISTERS by Cristina Garcia. (Knopf: $24.)

Southern California ranking: 5; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

LONDON by Edward Rutherfurd. (Crown: $25.95.) From its ancient origins to the present, London's history is told through the lives of six families.(4)

Southern California ranking: 6; Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 3

****

KING CON by Stephen J. Cannell. (Morrow: $24.) A con man uses his craftiest tricks to foil a mobster.

Southern California ranking: 7; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

MASON & DIXON by Thomas Pynchon. (Henry Holt: $27.50.) Our reviewer, Ted Mooney, called the novel "remarkable" in its vision of "a wilderness America, peopled as much by European hopes and longings as by the interlocking kingdoms of the indigenous."(6)

Southern California ranking: 8; Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 8

****

SINS OF THE MOTHER by Cheryl Saban. (Dove: $19.95.) Released from prison, a rapist threatens the lives of his victim and the daughter he fathered.

Southern California ranking: 9; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy. (Random House: $23.) Richard Eder, The Times' book critic, called the novel a "tragedy . . . played out as ornamented princely melodrama: a lush modern fictional equivalent of classical Kathakali theater."

Southern California ranking: 10; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

Nonfiction

INTO THIN AIR: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer. (Villard: $24.)(1)

Southern California ranking: 1; Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 9

****

ANGELA'S ASHES by Frank McCourt. (Scribner: $24.) Bittersweet memories of an Irish childhood.(2)

Southern California ranking: 2; Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 35

****

THE GIFT OF FEAR: Listening to the Intuition that Protects Us from Danger by Gavin De Becker. (Little, Brown: $22.95.) Tips for coping with societal violence from a protector to the stars.

Southern California ranking: 3; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

THE BIBLE CODE by Michael Drosnin. (Simon & Schuster: $25.) An account of hidden prophetic messages in sacred text.(12)

Southern California ranking: 4; Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 2

****

BRAIN DROPPINGS by George Carlin. (Hyperion: $19.95.) A wry look at modern life and the silliness of human behavior.(6)

Southern California ranking: 5; Last Week: 7; Weeks on List: 4

****

CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD, BOOK ONE by Neale Donald Walsch. (Putnam: $19.95.)(9)

Southern California ranking: 6; Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 11

****

NEWS OF A KIDNAPPING by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (Knopf: $25.) Our reviewer, Michael Massing, wrote that "Garcia Marquez has a good story to tell, and he applies his impressive narrative skills with verve."

Southern California ranking: 7; Last Week: 9; Weeks on List: 3

****

HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Alain de Botton. (Pantheon: $19.95.) Nine steps to happiness derived from the French author's masterpiece, "Remembrance of Things Past."

Southern California ranking: 8; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

OVITZ: The Inside Story of Hollywood's Most Controversial Power Broker by Robert Slater. (McGraw-Hill: $22.95.)

Southern California ranking: 9; Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 5

****

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY by Jean-Dominique Bauby. (Knopf: $20.) Meditations from the brink of oblivion by a French editor paralyzed by a massive stroke.

Southern California ranking: 10; Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 2

****

Paperbacks

FICTION

1 SONGS IN ORDINARY TIME by Mary McGarry Morris. (Penguin: $12.95.)

2 MARTIN DRESSLER by Steven Millhauser. (Vintage: $12.)

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

4 THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN by Jacquelyn Mitchard. (Signet: $7.50)

5 A LITTLE YELLOW DOG by Walter Mosley. (Pocket: $6.50.)

****

NONFICTION

1 L.A. BIZARRO by Anthony Lovett and Matt Maranian. (A Buzz Book/St. Martin's: $16.95.)

2 DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF by Richard Carlson. (Hyperion: $8.95.)

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

4 THE COLOR OF WATER by James McBride. (Riverhead: $12.)

5 THE LIARS' CLUB by Mary Karr. (Penguin: $11.95.)

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

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