1. "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.

2. "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.

3. "White Hot," by Sandra Brown (Simon & Schuster, $25.95). Returning home after her brother's mysterious death, a woman is embroiled in family intrigue.

4. "Skinny Dip," by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf, $24.95). A woman enlists an ex-cop in a plot to take revenge on her husband, a marine biologist who tried to kill her.

5. "The Rule of Four," by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (Dial, $24). Two Princeton students who are trying to unravel the mysteries of a Renaissance text become ensnared in murderous intrigue.


1. "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.

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

3. "My Life," by Bill Clinton (Knopf, $35). The autobiography of the 42nd president.

4. "Bushworld," by Maureen Dowd (Putnam, $25.95). A journalist's assessment of President Bush, based on her columns and articles in The New York Times.

5. "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," by Lynne Truss (Gotham, $17.50). An Englishwoman expounds on the use and misuse of punctuation marks.

Advice and miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

5. "The Abs Diet," by David Zinczenko with Ted Spiker (Rodale, $24.95). A six-week plan to "flatten your stomach and keep you lean for life."

-- The New York Times


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