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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / March 29, 1998

March 29, 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: 4; Weeks on List: 21

2. 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: 7

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: 5; Weeks on List: 2

4. 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: 39

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: 3; Weeks on List: 11

6. 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: 1; Weeks on List: 4

7. THE MARK OF THE ASSASSIN by Daniel 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: 2

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: --; Weeks on List: 1

9. 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: --; Weeks on List: 1

10. 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: 8; Weeks on List: 8

11. 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: --; Weeks on List: 1

12. 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: 2

13. THRILL! by Jackie Collins (Simon and Schuster: $25) Sexy intrigue and obsession characterize this latest tale of the lives of movie moguls and their starlets.

Last Week: 9; Weeks on List: 2

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: 10; Weeks on List: 2

15. WHERE SERPENTS LIE by T. Jefferson Parker (Hyperion: $23.95) A detective faces a child kidnapper who leaves pieces of snakeskin as his calling cards.

Last week: --; Weeks on List: 4

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: 13

2. 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: --; Weeks on List: 1

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: 4; Weeks on List: 10

4. 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: 5; Weeks on List: 74

5. TENDER AT THE BONE by Ruth Reichl (Random House, $23) A lyrical, bittersweet memoir about a poor Irish childhood in a gray, rain-soaked city.

Last week: 11; Weeks on List: 2

6. SPIN CYCLE by Howard Kurtz (The Free Press: $25) How the Clinton administration massages the scandal-hungry media. Reviewed by Robert Scheer, Page 3.

Last week: 2; Weeks on List: 2

7. 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: 3; Weeks on List: 45

8. INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer (Villard: $24.95) An account of tragedy and recklessness during a 1996 ascent of Mt. Everest by a survivor.

Last week: 7; Weeks on List: 46

9. THE LONG HARD ROAD OUT OF HELL by Marilyn Manson with Neil Strauss (ReganBooks: $24) Turning ugliness into a million-dollar recording career.

Last week: 9; Weeks on List: 3

10. THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Lanko (Longstreet Press: $22) Lives of the rich and famous, including golden parachutes.

Last week: 12; Weeks on List: 15

11. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL by John Berendt (Random House: $25) A chronicle about an eccentric Southern town during a sensational murder trial.

Last week: 6; Weeks on List: 47

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

Last week: --; Weeks on List: 1

13. STORY by Robert McKee (ReganBooks: $25) Methodology and principles of screenwriting from an award-winning writer for the big screen.

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