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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / May 7, 2000

May 07, 2000

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 RED LIGHT by T. Jefferson Parker (Hyperion: $23.95) Two murders, decades apart, shake Orange County homicide investigator Merci Rayborn's world and her memories of her deceased lover.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 2

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: 4; Weeks on List: 11

3 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: 1

4 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: 2; Weeks on List: 9

5 LE MARIAGE by Diane Johnson (Dutton: $23.95) American expatriates navigate French high society, not to mention Parisian flea markets, elegant chateaus and jail cells.

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 3

6 BLONDE by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco Press: $27.50) The story of Norma Jeane Baker's transformation into Marilyn Monroe, as seen through the imagined eyes of the doomed starlet.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 2

7 HALF MOON STREET by Anne Perry (Ballantine: $25) The body of a murdered man, dressed in drag, leads Supt. Thomas Pitt yet again into the maze of 19th century English society.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

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

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 21

9 DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE by Isabel Allende (HarperCollins: $26) A young woman escapes from the bonds of her youthful passion to Gold Rush California.

Last Week: 7; Weeks on List: 19

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: --; Weeks on List: 19

11 JANE AUSTEN'S CHARLOTTE by Julia Barrett (M. Evans & Co.: $21.95) Barrett finishes the novel that Austen began, a satire of the 19th century penchant for seaside resorts.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 2

12 BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON by Helen Fielding (Viking: $24.95) Bridget finds the perfect mate--do they really exist?--in this sequel to the bestselling "Bridget Jones's Diary."

Last Week: 8; Weeks on List: 8

13 HUGGER MUGGER by Robert B. Parker (Putnam: $23.95) Boston detective Spenser hunts for a racehorse killer among the eccentric members of a Southern family.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 3

14 HORSE HEAVEN by Jane Smiley (Alfred A. Knopf: $26) Life among the trainers, money men, apprentice jockeys and owners who share a love for the sport of kings.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 3

15 THE WEDDING by Danielle Steel (Doubleday: $26.95) Anxieties and broken promises linger for a high-powered Hollywood clan as one of its members plans a September wedding.

Last Week: 9; Weeks on List: 3

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: 2; Weeks on List: 12

2 WHICH LIE DID I TELL? by William Goldman (Pantheon: $26.95) Further adventures in the screen trade from a veteran screenwriter whose work includes "All the President's Men."

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 7

3 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: 9; Weeks on List: 119

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

Last Week: 8; Weeks on List: 2

5 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: 13

6 THE OPERATOR by Tom King (Random House: $25.95) The patience, cunning and unbridled egotism behind David Geffen's transformation into a powerful media mogul.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 8

7 FAIR BALL by Bob Costas (Main Street Books: $21.95) Take me out to the ballgame: A fan offers some advice on how baseball can thrive in the marketplace without losing its traditions.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 2

8 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: --; Weeks on List: 9

9 'TIS by Frank McCourt (Scribner: $26) A young McCourt arrives from Ireland in New York, with all its peril and promise, in this sequel to "Angela's Ashes."

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