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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / August 27, 2000

August 27, 2000

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 OMERTA by Mario Puzo (Random House: $25.95) A family on the brink of legitimacy in a world of criminals finds itself caught in the middle of one last Mafia war.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 5

2 CRADLE AND ALL by James Patterson (Little, Brown: $25.95) A former nun turned private investigator, probing a series of seemingly immaculate conceptions, realizes her life is in danger.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 7

3 HEARTBREAKER by Julie Garwood (Pocket: $24.95) A tangled tale of suspense about a priest who hears the confession of the "Heartbreaker," a psychopath planning to kill the priest's sister.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 2

4 THE BRETHREN by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.95) A scam by three former judges doing time in federal prison goes awry and ensnares a powerful man on the outside.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 19

5 HOT SIX by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's: $24.95) Arms dealers, thugs and Grandma get in the way of New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum's efforts to find a vanished colleague.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 5

6 THE INDWELLING by Tim F. Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (Tyndale: $22.95) The "Left Behind" series continues as, in the years before the Second Coming, the Tribulation Force fights to stay alive.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 9

7 PURPLE CANE ROAD by James Lee Burke (Bantam: $24.95) While helping out an old friend, a man discovers that his mother was murdered by cops 30 years ago .

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 2

8 BECOMING MADAME MAO by Anchee Min (Houghton Mifflin: $25) Portrait of a Chinese revolutionary, who fled family and foot-binding for the Shanghai theater and the arms of Mao Tse-tung.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 7

9 HOT SPRINGS by Stephen Hunter (Simon & Schuster: $25) World War II veteran Earl Swagger is hired to clean up an Arkansas town controlled by an oddball gangster.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 5

10 BEFORE I SAY GOOD-BYE by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon & Schuster: $26) An ambitious young woman uses gumshoe tactics and psychic powers to probe her late husband's murky past.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 11

11 WHITE TEETH by Zadie Smith (Random House: $24.95) Intertwined stories of two North London families reflect an empire's worth of cultural identity, history and hope.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 16

12 EASY PREY by John Sandford (Putnam: $25.95) When a supermodel is found strangled after a party, millionaire Lucas Davenport is called to investigate.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 10

13 THE EMPTY CHAIR by Jeffrey Deaver (Simon & Schuster: $25) "The Bone Collector's" foremost criminalist, Lincoln Rhyme, clashes with his sidekick Amelia over a brutal kidnapper's guilt.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 8

14 WINTER SOLSTICE by Rosamunde Pilcher (St. Martin's Press: $27.95) On the shortest day of the year, five people find themselves in a house in Northern Scotland learning to live with loss.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 2

15 AN INVISIBLE SIGN OF MY OWN by Aimee Bender (Doubleday: $22.95) A second-grade math teacher finds her obsession with control threatened by the affections of her students and a colleague.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 4

NONFICTION

1 IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE by Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins (Putnam: $24.95) Triumph in the life of a champion cyclist, from overcoming cancer to winning the Tour de France.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 4

2 TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE by Mitch Albom (Doubleday: $19.95) A sportswriter's story of the life lessons he received during weekly visits to an older dying friend.

Last Week: 12; Weeks on List: 133

3 FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS by James Bradley with Ron Powers (Bantam: $24.95) A son pieces together the history of his father, who helped raise the American flag at Iwo Jima.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 11

4 ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by David Sedaris (Little, Brown: $22.95) Wisecracking essays on life with dad and the confusion and humiliation of learning French in Paris.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 13

5 AMERICAN RHAPSODY by Joe Eszterhas (Alfred A. Knopf: $25.95) Speedy ruminations on our national id accompanied by a techno-rave drumbeat of paranoia and sleaze.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 4

6 THE GREATEST GENERATION by Tom Brokaw (Random House: $24.95) TV anchor tells the stories of the generation that came of age during the Depression and World War II.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 62

7 IN THE HEART OF THE SEA by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking: $24.95) Life and death aboard the Nantucket whaler Essex, which was sunk by a sperm whale in 1821.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 12

8 TEN THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN BEFORE I WENT INTO THE REAL WORLD by Maria Shriver (Warner: $19.95) Notes from life's trenches, expanded from a commencement speech.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 18

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