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LOS ANGELES TIMES Sept. 27, 2009

September 27, 2009



*--* Fiction weeks on list 1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Putnam: $24.95) The lives 16 of a maid, a cook and a college graduate become intertwined while changing a Mississippi town. 2. A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore (Knopf : $25.95) A 2 naive Midwestern college coed takes a job as a nanny for a recently adopted toddler. 3. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (Knopf: 8 $25.95) A hacker implicated in two murders must revisit her past to prove her innocence. 4. South of Broad by Pat Conroy (Nan A. Talese: $29.95) A 5 gossip columnist's homage to a close-knit group of friends from Charleston. 5. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Doubleday: $25.99) Harvard 1 professor Robert Langdon uses his symbology skills to find a missing Freemason in Washington, D.C. 6. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (Penguin Press: $27.95) 7 Noir meets '60s Southern California groovy in a private eye's psychedelic quest. 7. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone: $25.99) 5 The wars of the Plantagenets, who ruled England before the Tudors, enmeshed with the mystery of the missing princes in the Tower of London. 8. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central: $24.99) 2 A brother and sister begrudgingly spend the summer with their estranged pianist father and discover the meaning of unconditional love. 9. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press: 2 $17.99) The winners of the annual Hunger Games face the consequences of their victory. 10. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown: $19.99) Bella 62 must choose between her lover and a friend, between life and death. *--*

*--* Nonfiction 1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: $27.99) 42 An exploration of the background of high achievers. 2. L.A. Noir by John Buntin (Harmony: $26) Gangster 3 Mickey Cohen and LAPD Chief William Parker battle for control in midcentury Los Angeles. 3. Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin (Regnery 8 Publishing: $27.95) An investigation into alleged corruption in the Obama administration. 4. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's: $24) The 8 disappearance of a Syrian American father and good Samaritan in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 5. Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad (Ecco: 14 $25.99) The son of a daredevil tells of his life on the edge and how he survived a deadly plane crash. 6. A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz (Hyperion: $24.99) 1 A retired service dog renews a sense of life in the bestselling author. 7. Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (Random 3 House: $26) The saga of a refugee from Burundi, who, with the help of strangers, makes his way in America and goes back to start a medical clinic. 8. Character Driven by Derek Fisher (Touchstone: 1 $24.99) The Lakers star shares his life lessons and family devotion along his journey to four NBA titles. 9. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (Beyond Words: $23.95) 120 Life's secrets, distilled. 10. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey 32 (Amistad: $23.99) The talk-show host lets women inside the mind-set of a man. *--*

1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson ($14.95)

2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ($14.95)

3. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout ($14)

4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows ($14)

5. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery ($15)



1. Julie & Julia by Julie Powell ($14.99)

2. My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme ($15)

3. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin ($15)

4. Glenn Beck's Common Sense by Glenn Beck ($11.99)

5. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher ($13.99)


Rankings are based on a Times poll of Southland bookstores. --

Smiley's horse sense

Word Play: Jane Smiley's "The Georges and the Jewels." Dark Passages: Stuart Neville's "The Ghosts of Belfast." Off the Shelf: Joanna Smith Rakoff on marrying a poet. Jacket Copy: Literary geek fun.

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