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Los Angeles Times Bestsellers / May 30, 1999

Southern California Rating:

May 30, 1999

FICTION

1. FLEUR DE LEIGH'S LIFE OF CRIME by Diane Leslie (Simon and Schuster: $23) A Hollywood "Upstairs, Downstairs" about a poor little rich girl and her L.A. childhood.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 5

2. WHITE OLEANDER by Janet Fitch (Little, Brown: $24) When a woman murders her lover, her daughter must learn to face womanhood in a foster home.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 3

3. STAR WARS, EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE by Terry Brooks (Lucasbooks/Del Rey: $25) The "Star Wars" saga unfolds with Darth Vader's childhood on a desert planet.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 3

4. CLOSE RANGE by Annie Proulx (Scribner: $25) A collection of raw and lusty stories about luckless characters living in the rough wasteland of Wyoming.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 3

5. MUSIC FOR TORCHING by A. M. Homes (Rob Weisbach Books/William Morrow: $26) A middle-class neighborhood deals with the dark truth behind its bright facade.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

6. THE HOURS by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $22) A haunting triptych of stories structured around Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway."

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 10

7. CERTAIN PREY by John Sandford (Putnam: $24.95) The 10th in the "Prey" series features the antihero Davenport against a pair of strange and cunning killers.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 2

8. THE TESTAMENT by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.95) The 10th richest man in the United States has died, and his greedy heirs are circling like hungry vultures.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 15

9. BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY edited by Katrina Kenison and John Updike (Houghton Mifflin: $28) Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Raymond Carver and Co.

Last Week: 15; Weeks on List: 7

10. TURN OF THE CENTURY by Kurt Anderson (Random House: $24.95) A twisted adventure, set in the year 2000, when corruption permeates society.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

11. MOONLIGHT ON THE AVENUE OF FAITH by Gina B. Nahai (Harcourt Brace: $24) A little girl's search for her magical missing mother in a Tehran ghetto.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 8

12. CHOICE OF EVIL by Andrew Vachss (Alfred A. Knopf: $23) A dark mystery in which a private eye must find and protect a vigilante who hates pedophiles.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

13. THE MERCY by Philip Levine (Alfred A. Knopf: $22) Industrial debris, dirty factories and Levine's youth in Detroit combine in this collection of poems.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

14. FOR THE RELIEF OF UNBEARABLE URGES by Nathan Englander (Alfred A. Knopf: $23) A debut collection of stories rooted in Jewish history and orthodox life.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 3

15. TIMBUKTU by Paul Auster (Henry Holt: $22) Homelessness, schizophrenia, terminal illness and dreams of the afterlife, from a dog's point of view.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

****

NONFICTION

1. MY ONE GOOD NERVE by Ruby Dee (John Wiley and Sons: $16.95) Musings and memories detailing the African American experience, specifically raising a family in America.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

2. THE LEXUS AND THE OLIVE TREE by Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $27.50) Globalization has replaced the Cold War system, though many resist its call.

Last Week: 13; Weeks on List: 4

3. ANOTHER LIFE by Michael Korda (Random House: $26.95) An examination of the people in, and the transformation of, the book publishing industry.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

4. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom (Doubleday: $19.95) A sportswriter's empowering story about his weekly visits to see an older dying friend.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 73

5. BELLA TUSCANY by Frances Mayes (Broadway: $25) Rich, colorful stories of cuisine and Italian life in the villages by the author of "Under the Tuscan Sun."

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 7

6. FEEL THIS BOOK by Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller (Ballantine: $22.95) Two comedians parody New Age religion and modern self-help books.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

7. CONGRATULATIONS! NOW WHAT? by Bill Cosby (Hyperion: $15.95) Light-hearted advice for graduating college students and their parents from a comedian and father.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

8. ENCORE PROVENCE by Peter Mayle (Alfred A. Knopf: $23) A return to southern France prompts memories of good times and a critique of American culture.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

9. WOMAN by Natalie Angier (Houghton Mifflin: $25) A poetic, exuberant celebration of womanhood and its unique qualities and influence on the world.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 8

10. OUR KIND OF PEOPLE by Lawrence Otis Graham (HarperCollins: $25) An insider reveals the institutions and social conventions of the country's African American elite.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

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