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LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLERS

March 04, 2001

March 4, 2001

FICTION

1. A PAINTED HOUSE by John Grisham (Doubleday: $27.95) Tensions between two groups of farm workers result in a brutal murder in this tale of an Arkansas boyhood in 1952.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 2

2. THE FIRST COUNSEL by Brad Meltzer (Warner: $25.95) In love with the president's daughter, a young White House lawyer uncovers a murder plot that extends to the Oval Office.

Last Week: 12; Weeks on List: 6

3. THE DEATH OF VISHNU by Manil Suri (W.W. Norton: $24.95) A dying man's soul eavesdrops on his neighbors in a Bombay apartment building as he tries to solve the riddle of his own mortality.

Last Week: 2; Weeks on List: 4

4. A DARKNESS MORE THAN NIGHT by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown: $25.95) A retired FBI agent teams with an LAPD homicide detective to investigate a series of ritual killings.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 5

5. MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane (William Morrow: $25) A young girl's murder in a Massachusetts neighborhood causes three friends to confront the skeletons in their closets.

Last Week: 4; Weeks on List: 4

6. A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT by Terry McMillan (Viking: $25.95) A matriarch, her husband and her children see life--and one another--on their own terms.

Last Week: 1; Weeks on List: 5

7. 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: 9; Weeks on List: 20

8. INSPIRED SLEEP by Robert Cohen (Scribner: $25) A struggling grad student with insomnia enrolls in a sleep study in a novel about the ways we search for meaning in today's culture.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

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

Last Week: 11; Weeks on List: 17

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: 15; Weeks on List: 6

11. THE BODY ARTIST by Don DeLillo (Scribner: $22) In a ghostly seaside house, an artist encounters a strange, ageless man with an uncanny knowledge of her own life.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 5

12. THE CAT WHO SMELLED A RAT by Lilian Jackson Braun (Putnam: $23.95) Two felines belonging to a newspaper columnist-philanthropist predict two fires and the shooting of a fire patrol volunteer.

Last Week: 10; Weeks on List: 3

13. THE TIN COLLECTORS by Stephen J. Cannell (St. Martin's: $24.95) The LAPD's internal affairs cops discover that corruption reaches all the way to the top in the City of Angels.

Last Week: 14; Weeks on List: 3

14. THE BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER by Amy Tan (Putnam: $25.95) A ghostwriter uncovers her family's anguished past in China in her mother's memoir, written before the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 1

15. PROTECT AND DEFEND by Richard North Patterson (Random House: $26.95) A newly elected president faces the unexpected chance to nominate a new chief justice of the United States.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 4

NONFICTION

1. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? by Spencer Johnson (Putnam: $19.95) This co-author of "The One Minute Manager" uses the parable of mice in a maze to show people how to manage change.

Last Week: 5; Weeks on List: 49

2. FAST FOOD NATION by Eric Schlosser (Houghton Mifflin: $25) A journalist exposes the fast-food industry's strategies, from meatpacking to the boardroom, to control American consumers.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 2

3. AN HOUR BEFORE DAYLIGHT by Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster: $26) Memories of the former president's boyhood on a Georgia farm during the Great Depression.

Last Week: 6; Weeks on List: 6

4. ICE BOUND by Jerri Nielsen (Talk Miramax: $23.95) A doctor struggles with breast cancer while serving at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica.

Last Week: 3; Weeks on List: 3

5. 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: 4; Weeks on List: 15

6. I LOVE YOU, RONNIE The Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan (Random House: $24.95) Glimpses of the private life of the Gipper and his first lady, from his movie-making days to the presidency.

Last Week: --; Weeks on List: 7

7. 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: 8; Weeks on List: 11

8. IF THEY ONLY KNEW by Chyna with Michael Angeli (Regan Books: $26) The woman formerly known as Joanie Laurer shares stories of personal adversity and triumph, in and out of the wrestling ring.

Last Week: 15; Weeks on List: 3

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