Best sellers


1. "Trace," by Patricia Cornwell (Putnam, $26.95). The inept man who replaced Dr. Kay Scarpetta as chief medical examiner of Virginia asks for her help in investigating the unexplained death of a 14-year-old girl

2. "The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95). The murder of a curator at the Louvre leads to a trail of clues found in the work of Leonardo and to the discovery of a centuries-old secret society.

3. "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" by Sidney Sheldon (Morrow, $25.95). Two women are caught in a web of mysterious deaths and disappearances that are linked to the world's largest think tank.

4. "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, $27.95). A literary fantasy involving a Yorkshire magician and the Napoleonic Wars

5. "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," by Mitch Albom (Hyperion, $19.95). An old man who died while trying to rescue a little girl from danger discovers that all will be explained to him in the afterlife.


1. "The Family," by Kitty Kelley (Doubleday, $29.95). The author of biographies of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan tells "the real story of the Bush dynasty."

2. "Unfit for Command," by John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi (Regnery, $27.95). A negative appraisal of John Kerry's conduct in Vietnam.

3. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place," by Aron Ralston (Atria, $26). A mountaineer describes a nightmarish experience in Utah and the extreme measure he took in order to save his life.

4. "American Soldier," by Tommy Franks with Malcolm McConnell (ReganBooks/HarperCollins, $27.95). A memoir by the former head of the United States Central Command.

5. "Chain of Command," by Seymour M. Hersh (HarperCollins, $25.95). From 9-11 to Abu Ghraib: the investigative reporter tracks President Bush's war on terror.

Advice and miscellaneous.

1. "Family First," by Phil McGraw (Free Press, $26). Dr. Phil's advice to parents on strengthening families and becoming the "best and most persuasive influence" in children's lives.

2. "The Purpose-Driven Life," by Rick Warren (Zondervan, $19.99). Finding the meaning of life through God.

3. "The South Beach Diet," by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $24.95). A weight-loss plan designed by a Miami cardiologist.

4. "Guinness World Records 2005" (Guinness, $27.95). A profusely illustrated collection of records about subjects as various as sports and technolog

5. "The South Beach Diet Cookbook," by Arthur Agatston (Rodale, $25.95). A collection of recipes from a Miami cardiologist.

-- The New York Times


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