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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / May 14, 2000

May 14, 2000

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 RAVELSTEIN by Saul Bellow (Viking: $24.95) An old writer tries to write a memoir of his friend, a college professor who has died of AIDS, in a story that echoes Bellow's own life.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

2 ANIL'S GHOST by Michael Ondaatje (Alfred A. Knopf: $25) A forensic anthropologist arrives in Ceylon to investigate the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

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: 4; Weeks on List: 10

4 BIG CITY EYES by Delia Ephron (Putnam: $23.95) A woman moves to a small town on Long Island, where she grapples with guilt, murder and motherhood.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

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

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

6 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: 3; 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: 7; Weeks on List: 2

8 LE MARIAGE by Diane Johnson (Dutton: $23.95) American expatriates navigate French high society, not to mention elegant chateaux and jail cells. Reviewed by Merle Rubin, Page 12.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 4

9 LIGHTNING ON THE SUN by Robert Bingham (Doubleday: $23.95) A man, desperate to get out of Phnom Penh, sends an ex-girlfriend a large shipment of heroin.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

10 HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski (Pantheon: $40) A young couple faces terrors inside a surreal house that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 2

11 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: 13; Weeks on List: 4

12 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: 1; Weeks on List: 3

13 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: 9; Weeks on List: 20

14 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: 7

15 DESTINY by Tim Parks (Arcade: $24.95) An Englishman living in Italy watches as life dissolves around him: a child dies, his marriage ends and an interview with a former prime minister looms.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

NONFICTION

1 GIRLFRIENDS FOREVER by Susan Stewart Branch (Little, Brown: $23.95) With recipes, decorating and wardrobe tips, memories and party ideas, the author describes life with her female friends.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

2 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: 1; Weeks on List: 13

3 MICHAEL PALIN'S HEMINGWAY ADVENTURES by Michael Palin with photographs by Basil Pao (St. Martin's: $29.95) Tracing Hemingway's life, from fly-fishing in Michigan to spear throwing in Africa.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

3 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: 2; Weeks on List: 8

5 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: 4; Weeks on List: 3

6 THE LAST GOOD FREUDIAN by Brenda Webster (Holmes & Meier: $24.95) Webster offers a glimpse into the heyday of American psychotherapy in this memoir of life in analysis.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

7 THE MEASURE OF A MAN by Sidney Poitier (HarperSanFrancisco: $26) A spiritual autobiography; the actor reflects on how he has been shaped by the power of faith.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

8 DEMOCRACY DERAILED by David S. Broder (Harcourt Brace: $23) How political operatives and moneyed special interest groups are seizing control of the initiative process.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 3

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