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Posted at 12:25 PM ET, 12/13/2010

BOOK WORLD - December 12, 2010

By Christopher Schoppa
Best Sellers

It's just about mid-December, as shoppers scurry to nail down those gift items for the holidays as Hanukkah wraps up and Christmas looms ...

There are several new titles to speak of this week ---

In new fiction, the surfeit of books in the mystery/thriller genre balloons a bit more with the #1 debut of Patricia Cornwell's new Scarpetta thriller.

And, most encouragingly, the wry and dapper Steve Martin's latest work of fiction, "An Object of Beauty," hits the list, drawing on his own experience as an avid collector of art. It's a peek into the rarified world of art collecting in the big leagues (think Sotheby's, lots of money and lots more avarice). There was a charming interview with Martin on last weekend's CBS Sunday Morning ... Steve Martin interview

In nonfiction sales, much the same ... Twain's hefty autobiography hangs on in the top 10, as does Edmund Morris's conclusion to his trilogy on TR. Jon Stewart and friends make a comeback after an absence of a few weeks with their hilarious send-up of the planet Earth (likely due to holiday sales ... ).

PAPERBACK FICTION

1. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
(Vintage, $14.95). By Stieg Larsson. First book in the late Swede’s “Millennium Trilogy”; basis of the film. (76)

2. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE (Vintage, $15.95)
By Stieg Larsson. Sex trafficking between Sweden and Eastern Europe is exposed. (37)

3. THE LOST SYMBOL (Anchor, $9.99)
By Dan Brown. Masonic lore figures prominently in this sequel to “The Da Vinci Code”; set in D.C. (7)

4. MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND (Random House, $15)
By Helen Simonson. A proper English widower finds love in an unexpected quarter. (1)

5. U IS FOR UNDERTOW (Berkley, $7.99)
By Sue Grafton. Millhone agrees to help a young man with suspect memories of a decades-old kidnapping. (1)

6. CUTTING FOR STONE (Vintage, $15.95)
By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the Africa woven into a sweeping saga. (10)

7. HOUSE RULES (Washington Square, $16)
By Jodi Picoult. A mom’s ordeal when her oldest son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is accused of murder. (4)

8. HAPPY EVER AFTER (Berkley, $16)
By Nora Roberts. Wedding planner Parker Brown finds unexpected bliss in this finale of the “Bride Quartet.” (5)

9. LITTLE BEE (Simon & Schuster, $14)
By Chris Cleave. This wry second novel from a British journalist explores the state of war and refugees. (41)

10. THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN (Harper, $14.99)
By Garth Stein. Enzo, a canine with human qualities, narrates this unique tale. (14)


NONFICTION PAPERBACK

1. INSIDE OF A DOG: WHAT DOGS SEE, SMELL, AND KNOW
(Scribner, $16). By Alexandra Horowitz. A psychology professor hits the dog park. (7)

2. THE BOOK OF WAKENING: HAVING THE LIFE YOU WANT BY BEING PRESENT TO THE LIFE YOU HAVE
(Conari, $18.95). By Mark Nepo (2)

3. EAT PRAY LOVE: ONE WOMAN’S SEARCH FOR EVERYTHING ACROSS ITALY, INDIA AND INDONESIA
(Penguin, $15). By Elizabeth Gilbert. A memoir of self-discovery; recent feature film. (157)

4. RACHAEL RAY’S LOOK + COOK: 100 CAN’T MISS MAIN COURSES IN PICTURES
(Clarkson Potter, $24.99). By Rachel Ray (5)

5. THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2011
(World Almanac, $12.99). An authority since 1868, this edition includes the Olympics and mid-terms. (3)

6. THREE CUPS OF TEA: ONE MAN’S MISSION TO PROMOTE PEACE
(Penguin, $16) By Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin (183)

7. JUST KIDS (Ecco, $16)
By Patti Smith. The singer-songwriter reflects on her romance and enduring friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe. (1)

8. THE TIPPING POINT: HOW LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
(Back Bay, $14.95 ). By Malcolm Gladwell. Fads and their origins. (124)

9. BLINK: THE POWER OF THINKING WITHOUT THINKING
(Back Bay, $15.99). By Malcolm Gladwell. Behind our snap decisions. (79)

10. HOLIDAYS ON ICE (Back Bay, $10)
By David Sedaris. True and fanciful tales of the season brimming with angst and a generous amount of wry humor. (4)


FICTION HARDCOVER

1. PORT MORTUARY (Putnam, $27.95)
By Patricia Cornwell. Scarpetta, who years back received an educational grant from the Air Force, is drawn back into the military’s sphere. (1)

2. CROSS FIRE (Little, Brown, $27.99)
By James Patterson. Alex Cross tracks a killer is loose in Washington taking aim at corrupt politicos. (3)

3. HELL’S CORNER (Grand Central, $27.99)
By David Baldacci. This fifth Camel Club entry juggles an assassin’s plot and Osama bin Laden. (4)

4. THE CONFESSION (Doubleday, $28.95)
By John Grisham. After nine years, a man confesses to a murder for which another was imprisoned. (6)

5. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST
(Knopf, $27.95). By Stieg Larsson. The Millennium Trilogy ends as Salander hunts for her failed assassin. (28)

6. FULL DARK, NO STARS (Scribner, $27.99)
By Stephen King. Murder, revenge and secrets drive these four unsettling tales. (4)

7. FALL OF GIANTS (Dutton, $36)
By Ken Follett. The debut of a historical trilogy following five families through the upheavals of the 20th century. (10)

8. CRESCENT DAWN (Putnam, $27.95)
By Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler. Dirk Pitt races to stop extremists targeting Muslim holy sites. (3)

9. AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY (Grand Central, $26.99)
By Steve Martin. The actor/author, himself a collector, showcases the lofty milieu of the art world through the exploits of an ambitious art dealer. (1)

10. THE HELP (Amy Einhorn, $24.95)
By Kathryn Stockett. A frank chronicle of the lives of several black maids working in a town in 1960s Miss. (69)

NONFICTION HARDCOVER

1. DECISION POINTS (Crown, $35)
By George W. Bush. Bush 43 reflects on crucial turning points in both his life and two-term presidency. (4)

2. UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION
(Random House, $27). By Laura Hillenbrand (3)

3. BAREFOOT CONTESSA HOW EASY IS THAT? FABULOUS RECIPES & EASY TIPS
(Clarkson Potter, $35). By Ina Garten. Stress-free. (5)

4. LIFE (Little, Brown, $29.99)
By Keith Richards. A brutally honest memoir by the celebrated guitarist and songwriter from the Rolling Stones. (6)

5. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2011
(Guinness World Records, $28.95). A new design and an emphasis on American-specific stats. (12)

6. EARTH (THE BOOK)
(Grand Central, $27.99). By the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. A cheeky guide to the human race and its myriad accomplishments. (10)

7. CLEOPATRA: A LIFE (Little, Brown, $29.99)
By Stacy Schiff. Classic sources illuminate this biography of the Egyptian queen and icon. (5)

8. DECODED (Spiegel & Grau, $35)
By Jay-Z. A memoir and homage to hip-hop; also one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things.” (3)

9. COLONEL ROOSEVELT (Random House, $35)
By Edmund Morris. The denouement of Morris’s award-winning trilogy on the life of Theodore Roosevelt. (2)

10. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN: VOLUME 1
(Univ. of California, $34.95). Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith et al. The authorized edition, 100 years after his death. (2)


Rankings reflect sales for the week ended Dec. 5, 2010. The charts may not be reproduced without permission from Nielsen BookScan. Copyright 2010 by Nielsen BookScan. (The right-hand column of numbers represents weeks on this list, which premiered in Book World on Jan. 11, 2004. The bestseller lists in print alternate between hardcover and paperback; the complete list can be found online.)

By Christopher Schoppa  | December 13, 2010; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  Best Sellers  
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