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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS / January 14, 2001

January 14, 2001

Southern California Rating:

FICTION

1 SHOPGIRL by Steve Martin (Hyperion: $17.95) A young artist who works days in the glove department at Neiman Marcus falls abruptly in love with a millionaire businessman.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 14

2 SOUL MOUNTAIN by Gao Xingjian (HarperCollins: $27) The Nobel Prize winner shares a story of a man's inner journey and search for freedom in rural China.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 4

3 THE CONSTANT GARDENER by John le Carre (Scribner: $28) A British diplomat quits his Nairobi home and garden to avenge the murder of his wife. Reviewed by Eugen Weber, Page 1.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 3

4 THE BLIND ASSASSIN by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: $26) A narrative tour de force of self-deceit and revenge that joins the lives of two sisters with an unpublished sci-fi novel.

Last Week: 5 Weeks on List: 16

5 THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY by Michael Chabon (Random House: $26.95) In 1939 Brooklyn, two Jewish cousins, one American, one Czech, collaborate to create a comic book.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 7

6 DROWNING RUTH by Christina Schwarz (Doubleday: $23.95) In early 20th century Wisconsin, a family is torn apart by a tragic death and the secrets that follow.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 9

7 LYING AWAKE by Mark Salzman (Alfred A. Knopf: $21) A meditation on spirituality in the life of an Angeleno nun facing a dilemma: Should she have surgery that will cure her of mystical visions?

Last Week: 7; Weeks on List: 14

8 PRODIGAL SUMMER by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperCollins: $26) In southern Appalachia, three stories of human love intersect within a larger tapestry.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 10

9 WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS by Kazuo Ishiguro (Alfred A. Knopf: $25) An English boy is "orphaned" when his mother and father vanish; years later, he returns as a detective to solve the disappearances.

Last Week: 8; Weeks on List: 14

10 FROM THE CORNER OF HIS EYE by Dean Koontz (Bantam: $26.95) A boy born on a day of tragedy and terror finds that the events of his life live up to the remarkable circumstances of his birth.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 2

11 DISOBEDIENCE by Jane Hamilton (Doubleday: $24.95) Lies and loyalty come into focus in this novel of an eccentric family in which parents, as well as children, struggle to come of age.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

12 SCREWJACK by Hunter S. Thompson (Simon & Schuster: $15) Stories of love, hotel room paranoia and trailer park confrontation by the inimitable Gonzo journalist.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

13 COLLECTED STORIES by Ellen Gilchrist (Little, Brown: $27.95) Tales of people wresting silver linings from the dark clouds of infidelity, poverty and depression, handpicked by the author.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

14 THE BEAR AND THE DRAGON by Tom Clancy (Putnam: $28.95) CIA warrior and U.S. President Jack Ryan faces brewing trouble in Russia and China and a global struggle for Siberian oil.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 9

15 CANDYLAND by Evan Hunter and Ed McBain (Simon & Schuster: $25) Police detectives probe the connection between a prostitute's murder and a sex addict who may, or may not, be the culprit.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

NONFICTION

1 THE O'REILLY FACTOR by Bill O'Reilly (Broadway Books: $23) The TV pundit pontificates on what he finds to be the good, the bad and the completely ridiculous in American life.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 13

2 DARWIN AWARDS by Wendy Northcutt (Dutton: $16.95) Stupid human tricks: Honoring those who improve our gene pool by eliminating themselves from it.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 4

3 PARIS TO THE MOON by Adam Gopnik (Random House: $24.95) A personal homage to years spent in the City of Light by a longtime New Yorker writer.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 10

4 A SHORT GUIDE TO A HAPPY LIFE by Anna Quindlen (Random House: $12.95) The columnist reflects on what it takes to "get a life" by living deeply rather than merely existing.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 8

5 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: 21

6 VANITY FAIR'S HOLLYWOOD edited by Graydon Carter and David Friend (Viking Studio: $60) Essays, photographs and caricatures portraying the cult of celebrity from 1914 to the present.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 3

7 NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WORLD by Stephen Ambrose (Simon & Schuster: $28) The historian looks at the building of the transcontinental railroad and its impact on the growth of the nation.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 19

8 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: --; Weeks on List: 20

9 HOOKING UP by Tom Wolfe (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $25) The dandified satirist aims his barbs at the literati, love among today's teens, celebritydom and other aspects of American life.

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