*--* SO. CAL. RATING Fiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 Mary, Mary by James -- 1 Patterson (Little, Brown: $27.95) FBI detective Alex Cross seeks the killer of an A-list actress, her chauffeur and a female movie producer as fear sweeps through Hollywood.
2 The Sea by John Banville 1 3 (Alfred A. Knopf: $23) A widower struggles to rid himself of the yoke of memory by visiting the coastal town where he spent time as a boy.
3 Memories of My Melancholy 4 4 Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Alfred A. Knopf: $20) A nonagenarian journalist who falls for a 14-year-old virgin prostitute reflects on his life and loves.
4 Christ the Lord by Anne 2 3 Rice (Alfred A. Knopf: $25.95) A 7-year-old Jesus returns to Nazareth after the death of King Herod and gradually discovers his power to heal and raise the dead.
5 The Camel Club by David 5 4 Baldacci (Warner Books: $26.95) Conspiracy theorists who witness the murder of a Secret Service agent are plunged into a real conspiracy.
6 The Truth About Diamonds -- 1 by Nicole Richie (ReganBooks: $23.95) A rock legend's adopted daughter, part of Hollywood's new elite, faces a best friend's betrayal and a greedy birth father.
7 Snow Flower and the Secret 10 18 Fan by Lisa See (Random House: $21.95) Two women in the cloistered society of 19th century China forge a close friendship that is threatened by misunderstanding.
8 Ordinary Heroes by Scott 6 3 Turow (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $25) A reporter looking into his late father's military service uncovers evidence of illicit love and an undisclosed court-martial.
9 A Feast for Crows by 3 2 George R.R. Martin (Spectra: $28) The latest installment in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series has a kingdom weary from war facing new destruction.
10 Predator by Patricia 7 4 Cornwell (Putnam: $26.95) Kay Scarpetta is called to investigate the torture and murder of a woman in Boston and the disappearance of a Florida family.
11 The Lincoln Lawyer by 11 7 Michael Connelly (Little, Brown: $26.95) An L.A. attorney hired to defend a rich woman's son fears for his own safety after the murder of his private investigator.
12 Saving Fish From Drowning 14 5 by Amy Tan (Putnam: $26.95) A group embarks on an ill-fated art tour to Burma, a story told by a woman who has just been murdered by a military junta.
13 Light From Heaven by Jan 8 2 Karon (Viking: $26.95) Father Tim, asked by his bishop to revive a long-closed mountain church, finds an angel to help him in this final installment in the Mitford series.
14 The History of Love by -- 2 Nicole Krauss (W.W. Norton: $23.95) A writer escapes the Nazis but loses his beloved and the will to create. A teenager named for one of his characters helps her bereaved mother.
15 The Lighthouse by P.D. -- 1 James (Knopf: $25.95) Detective Adam Dalgliesh is called to the Cornish coast to solve the murder of an acclaimed novelist who has upset his very prominent neighbors.
*--* SO. CAL. RATING Nonfiction LAST WEEK WEEKS ON LIST 1 The Year of Magical 1 8 Thinking by Joan Didion (Alfred A. Knopf: $23.95) The author explores the nature of grief and survival in the months after her writer-husband's sudden death.
2 Team of Rivals by Doris 2 4 Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster: $35) How country lawyer and one-term congressman Abraham Lincoln used his savvy to bring political rivals into his Cabinet.
3 Teacher Man by Frank -- 1 McCourt (Scribner: $26) In the last of a trilogy beginning with "Angela's Ashes," the Irish immigrant plumbs his 30 years of teaching high school English in New York City.
4 The World Is Flat by 7 32 Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $27.50) How technology and the forces of globalization are connecting -- and changing -- the world.
5 700 Sundays by Billy 3 3 Crystal (Warner: $21.95) The actor and comedian tells the story of life with his father, a well-known jazz promoter, who died when Billy was a teen.
6 Our Endangered Values by 6 3 Jimmy Carter (Simon & Schuster: $25) The former president writes of his concern about the rise in Christian fundamentalism and its influence in politics.
7 The Truth (With Jokes) by 5 5 Al Franken (Dutton: $25.95) The comedian rebuts claims and points out flip-flops made by the Bush administration and conservative pundits.
8 Born to Kvetch by Michael -- 1 Wex (St. Martin's Press: $24.95) An exploration of Yiddish, its roots in the Talmud and how it has evolved over centuries as the common language of many Jews.
9 A Man Without a Country by 10 10 Kurt Vonnegut (Seven Stories Press: $23.95) A collection of recent articles focuses on personal foibles and skewers those in power.
10 Natural Cures "They" Don't 9 22 Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance Publishing: $29.95) The infomercial mogul touts alternative therapies and supplements.
11 Freakonomics by Steven D. -- 29 Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (William Morrow: $25.95) An economist deconstructs statistics and uses numbers to help explain human behavior.
12 Are Men Necessary? by -- 2 Maureen Dowd (Putnam: $25.95) The columnist ponders relations between the sexes, the value of trapping a man and career women as artful minxes.
13 Marley & Me by John Grogan -- 1 (William Morrow: $21.95) A columnist recalls how Marley, an incorrigible Labrador retriever, flunked obedience school, terrorized a pet sitter and won over his family.
14 The City of Falling Angels -- 7 by John Berendt (Penguin: $25.95) The author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" uses a fire that guts a Venice opera house to find the heart of the Italian city.
15 The Elements of Style 12 3 Illustrated by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (The Penguin Press: $24.95) The classic manual of good writing, updated with fanciful illustrations by Maira Kalman.