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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / April 5, 1998

April 05, 1998

FICTION

1. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden (Knopf: $25) The life and loves of a teahouse entertainer growing up in Kyoto during World War II. Last week: 1; Weeks on List: 22

2. BLOOD WORK by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown: $23.95) An ailing FBI investigator gets a new heart from a murder victim and probes the donor's death. Last week: 6; Weeks on List: 5

3. PANDORA by Anne Rice (Knopf: $19.95) A 2,000-year-old vampire remembers life with Caesar Augustus, Louis XIV and the man who made her. Last week: 3; Weeks on List: 3

4. THE STREET LAWYER by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.95) After being confronted on a city street, an arrogant lawyer becomes a hero for the homeless. Last week: 2; Weeks on List: 8

5. PARADISE by Toni Morrison (Knopf: $25) Generations of struggle in a small town founded by black pioneers with dreams of creating a utopia. Last week: 5; Weeks on List: 12

6. COLD MOUNTAIN by Charles Frazier (Atlantic Monthly: $24) A confederate soldier deserts the Civil War and takes a long walk home to his farm and sweetheart. Last week: 4; Weeks on List: 40

7. AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST by Iain Pears (Riverhead: $27) Deception and conspiracy surround a churchman's murder in turbulent 17th century England. Last week: 9; Weeks on List: 2

8. SUDDEN MISCHIEF by Robert B. Parker (Putnam: $22.95) An ex-husband with shady dealings threatens the lives of Spenser and his ladylove Susan. Last week: 12; Weeks on List: 3

9. CLOUDSPLITTER by Russell Banks (HarperFlamingo: $27.50) The fire-and-brimstone life of abolitionist John Brown as told by his son Owen. Last week: --; Weeks on List: 4

10. CAVEDWELLER by Dorothy Allison (Dutton: $24.95) A hard-boiled recovering alcoholic's efforts to reclaim her daughters and stay on the wagon. Last week: 8; Weeks on List: 2

11. BLACK AND BLUE by Anna Quindlen (Random House: $23) A battered wife's past looms menacingly on the horizon of her new life in another town. Last week: 10; Weeks on List: 9

12. CHARMING BILLY by Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $21)An Irish family reflects on the destructive, drink-spattered life of its deceased patriarch. Last week: --; Weeks on List: 9

13. THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION by Gore Vidal (Random House: $23) A prep school student wanders through alternate versions of American history in a strange museum. Last week: 14; Weeks on List: 3

14. HOMEPORT by Nora Roberts (Putnam: $23.95) An Italian scholar and an art thief dodge molti dangers as they verify an important Renaissance bronze. Last week: 11; Weeks on List: 2

15. THE MARK OF THE ASSASSIN byDaniel Silva (Villard: $25) A CIA agent follows the trail of corpses and wreckage from an airline crash left by a ruthless killer. Last week: 7; Weeks on List: 3

NONFICTION

1. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom (Doubleday: $19.95) A sportswriter's empowering story of his weekly visits to see an older dying friend. Last week: 1; Weeks on List: 14

2. THE GIFTS OF THE JEWS by Thomas Cahill (Nan A. Talese / Doubleday: $23.50) How a nomadic people heard the Almighty's voice and transformed the world. Last week: --; Weeks on List: 1

3. THE NINE STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Suze Orman (Crown: $23) Practical tips for avoiding stress, making good savings plans and managing money. Last week: 2; Weeks on List: 2

4. CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD, BOOK ONE by Neale Donald Walsch (Putnam: $19.95)Channeling messages from Mr. Big about good, evil and the meaning of life. Last week: 7; Weeks on List: 46

5. THE CHILDREN by David Halberstam (Random House: $29.95) Stories of the political and cultural struggle waged during the early days of the civil rights movement. Last week: --; Weeks on List: 1

6. ANGELA'S ASHES by Frank McCourt (Scribner: $24) A lyrical, bittersweet memoir about a poor Irish childhood in a gray, rain-soaked city. Last week: 4; Weeks on List: 75

7. LAUGHING MATTERS by Larry Gelbart (Random House: $24) Making people laugh, from his early radio success to "MASH," "Tootsie" and other projects. Last week: 12; Weeks on List: 2

8. HAPPINESS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM by Dennis Prager (ReganBooks: $23) Avoiding the cliches and finding the true sources of satisfaction in your life. Last week: 3; Weeks on List: 11

9. A PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH MARTIN SCORSESE by Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson (Hyperion / Miramax: $40) The auteur's favorite flicks. Last week: --; Weeks on List: 7

10. DON'T TELL DAD by Peter Fonda (Hyperion: $24.95) Life in the movies, love and personal sorrows are chronicled in this memoir by the original easy rider. Last week: --; Weeks on List: 1

11. SPIN CYCLE by Howard Kurtz (The Free Press: $25) How the Clinton administration takes pains to massage the scandal-hungry media. Last week: 6; Weeks on List: 3

12. STORY by Robert McKee (ReganBooks: $25) Methodology and principles of screenwriting from an award-winning writer for the big screen. Last week: 13; Weeks on List: 13

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