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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / May 21, 2000

May 21, 2000

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 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: 3

2 LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE by Karen E. Bender (Houghton Mifflin: $23) Life with a blue-collar clan in Los Angeles revolves around Lena, a fiercely strong-willed woman with the mind of a child.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

3 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: 8; Weeks on List: 5

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: 3; Weeks on List: 11

5 ANIL'S GHOST by Michael Ondaatje (Alfred A. Knopf: $25) A forensic anthropologist arrives in Ceylon to investigate a campaign of murder engulfing the island. Reviewed by Jonathan Levi, Page 5.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 2

6 THE HUMAN STAIN by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin: $26) The chronicle of an academic scandal and its impact on the aging faculty dean at its center and on his friend, Nathan Zuckerman.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

7 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: 6; Weeks on List: 3

8 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: 5; Weeks on List: 2

9 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: --; Weeks on List: 4

10 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: 1

11 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: 13; Weeks on List: 21

12 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: 20

13 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: --; Weeks on List: 9

14 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: 1; Weeks on List: 2

15 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: 12; Weeks on List: 4

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: 14

2 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: 9; Weeks on List: 10

3 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: 5; Weeks on List: 4

4 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: 4; Weeks on List: 9

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: 14

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: 15; Weeks on List: 121

7 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: 1; 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: 10

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