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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / March 12, 2000

March 12, 2000

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 THE HOUSE OF GENTLE MEN by Kathy Hepinstall (Bard: $22) In a special place in the Louisiana back country, men and women confront and try to eradicate the demons of their past.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

2 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: 1; Weeks on List: 4

3 BEOWULF by Seamus Heaney (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $25) An Irish poet breathes new life into an Anglo-Saxon masterpiece, with his new translation of the epic poem.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

4 HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling (Arthur A. Levine Books: $17.95) Harry risks his life to solve a mystery at the Hogwarts School.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 22

5 UNWANTED COMPANY by Barbara Seranella (HarperCollins: $24) Doing a favor for an old friend leads ex-con-turned-limo driver Munch Mancini into a dangerous search for a serial killer.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 4

6 HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic: $19.95) Sirius Black--an escaped convict--is on the loose, and he's after Harry.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 22

7 WAITING by Ha Jin (Pantheon: $24) An absurd loophole in Chinese law allows a pair of star-crossed lovers to be united after a long separation.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 5

8 CITY OF GOD by E.L. Doctorow (Random House: $25) Good, evil and God's existence torment a minister who struggles against religious doubt and befriends a rabbi and his family.

Last Week: 7; Weeks on List: 3

9 HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic: $16.95) Unhappy at home, a young boy discovers that he is a magician with great powers.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 20

10 DISGRACE by J.M. Coetzee (Viking: $23.95) Fired from academe, a South African professor pursues the simple life on his daughter's farm but finds danger in the post-apartheid world.

Last Week: 12; Weeks on List: 13

11 GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING by Tracy Chevalier (Dutton: $21.95) Who was the girl in Vermeer's famous painting? A fictionalized life of one of art's most enigmatic heroines.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

12 HOLES by Louis Sachar (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $16) In the Texas desert, a boy in a juvenile detention camp is forced to dig holes in search of a Wild West outlaw's hidden treasure.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

13 SICK PUPPY by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf: $25) The adventures of an eco-terrorist and aLabrador retriever among the thugs and sleazy businessmen of South Florida.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 7

14 TIMELINE by Michael Crichton (Random House: $26.95) Investigators battle mad lords, crazed giants and peasant bandits after time-traveling to 14th century France.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 14

15 THE LION'S GAME by Nelson DeMille (Warner: $26.95) A gruff tough New York cop and an FBI agent join forces to find a Libyan terrorist on a killing rampage in the U.S.

Last Week: 9; Weeks on List: 9

NONFICTION

1 A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS by Dave Eggers (Simon & Schuster: $23) Memoir of a twentysomething slacker, who must bring up his baby brother when their parents die of cancer.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 4

2 FOREVER LIESL by Charmian Carr with Jean A.S. Strauss (Viking: $23.95) The woman who played the eldest von Trapp daughter in "The Sound of Music" shares her stories.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

3 SHRUB by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose (Random House: $19.95) Two veteran journalists examine the short but successful career of George Bush the Younger, whom they have nicknamed "Shrub."

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

4 GEORGIANA by Amanda Foreman (Random House: $29.95) Love affairs, drugs, gambling and scandals in the life of an 18th century ancestor of the late Princess Diana.

Last Week: 7; Weeks on List: 4

5 HOW TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT by Arianna Huffington (Regan Books: $24) A call to arms challenging Americans to seize the government back from special interests.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

6 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: 2; Weeks on List: 112

7 THE ROCK SAYS by "The Rock" with Joe Layden (ReganBooks: $26) The memoir of a World Wrestling Federation bad guy, describing his struggles in and out of the ring.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 9

8 WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? by Spencer Johnson (Putnam: $19.95) This co-author of "The One Minute Manager" advises managers on how to get employees Y2K ready.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 9

9 CONVERSATIONS WITH WILDER by Cameron Crowe (Alfred A. Knopf: $35) The "Jerry Maguire" director coaxes Billy Wilder to reveal the secrets behind his movie hits and flops.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 12

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