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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / April 12, 1998

April 12, 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: 23

2. 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: 4

3. 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: 4 ; Weeks on List: 9

4. 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: 2 ; Weeks on List: 6

5. 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: 6 ; Weeks on List: 41

6. 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: 7 ; Weeks on List: 3

7. 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: 13

8. 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: 10 ; Weeks on List: 3

9. THE ALL-TRUE TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES OF LIDIE NEWTON by Jane Smiley (Knopf: $26) Homesteadin' among pro-slavery Missourians in the 1850s.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

10. CLOUDSPLITTER by Russell Banks (HarperFlamingo: $27.50) The fire-and-brimstone life of abolitionist John Brown as told by his son Owen.

Last Week: 9 ; Weeks on List: 5

11. DAMASCUS GATE by Robert Stone (Houghton Mifflin: $26) Extremists plot to blow up Jerusalem's Temple Mount and usher in the biblical apocalypse.

Last Week: -- ; Weeks on List: 1

12. SINGING IN THE COMEBACK CHOIR by Bebe Moore Campbell (Putnam: $24.95) Facing marital infidelity, a TV producer finds solace with her wise grandmother.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

13. 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: 11 ; Weeks on List: 10

14. 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: 13; Weeks on List: 4

15. THE SHORT HISTORY OF A PRINCE by Jane Hamilton (Random House: $23) A life of self-discovery, as a young man reconciles his sexual identity with life in a Midwest town.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

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: 15

2. TENDER AT THE BONE by Ruth Reichl (Random House: $23) A culinary memoir, flavored with a dash of colorful experiences at home and abroad.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 3

3. 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: 8 ; Weeks on List: 12

4. 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: 3 ; Weeks on List: 3

5. 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: 4; Weeks on List: 47

6. LAUGHING MATTERS by Larry Gelbart (Random House: $24) Making people laugh, from his early radio success to "MASH," "Tootsie" and other projects.

Last Week: 7 ; Weeks on List: 3

7. SPIN CYCLE by Howard Kurtz (The Free Press: $25) How the Clinton administration takes pains to massage the scandal-hungry media.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 4

8. FALLING LEAVES by Adeline Yen Mah (John Wiley: $22.95) A memoir of a young woman's struggles with her family and the suppressive Chinese government.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

9. 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: 2 ; Weeks on List: 2

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: 10 ; Weeks on List: 2

11. APHRODITE by Isabel Allende (HarperFlamingo: $26) A miscellany of facts and stories, ancient and modern, on the aphrodisiac powers of good food and drink.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

12. 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: 6 ; Weeks on List: 76

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