Most Read: Politics

Political Bookworm
Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 03/20/2011

BOOK WORLD - Bestsellers, March 20, 2011

Welcome Spring, and Washington Post readers! Looking forward to the onset of cherry blossoms and the accompanying displays of stunning flowers (aside from some great new books, naturally!).

The biggest (and best) news in paperback sales is the #1 debut of Rebecca Skloot’s emotional, heart-rending story of medical malpractice, a dying woman in need of care and the creation of a cell line that would revolutionize the field of science and save millions of lives. All without any recognition for Henrietta Lacks, the Baltimore mother whose cells were taken without her knowledge and whose family never knew of the theft and its aftermath until Skloot began her exhaustive research.

Hardcover sales, fiction, finds the (not surprising) entry of Clive Cussler and his new “Oregon Files” thriller at the top of the list, an absorbing, challenging novel, The Tiger’s Wife,” of a doctor’s search for family secrets in the scarred ruins of Yugoslavia (click here for Ron Charles’s review) coming in at a rather strong #3.

In nonfiction, the one-two punch for the top spots come from two heavy hitters: New York Times columnist David Brooks with his take on the social lives of animals (well, humans actually), and science journalist Joshua Foer (yes, it’s his brother!) offers an often riveting account of his participation in the U.S. Memory Championship.

Further down the list the always animated and savvy financial guru Suze Orman with a no-less important addition to the top ranks (perhaps more so considering the current economic climate), a nine-chapter personal finance primer that urges you to take a realistic, honest look at what you have, want and, most crucially, can afford.

Rounding out the top 10 is science and technology writer James Gleick’s “The Information,” a sweeping history of the symbiotic relationship between information and culture — how human civilization is defined and transformed by the way people share information. Considering the source, it may very well become the seminal book on the subject.

FICTION PAPERBACK
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Rare and antique books line the shelves at Chetham Library, which was founded in 1653, making it the oldest public library in the English speaking world on February 14, 2011 in Manchester, England. Chetham's Library, which was established under the Will of Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653) and is the oldest surviving public library in Britain. Humphrey Chetham's Will stipulated that the Library should be 'for the use of schollars and others well affected', and instructed the librarian 'to require nothing of any man that cometh into the library'. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) (Christopher Furlong - GETTY IMAGES)

1. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

(Algonquin, $14.95). By Sara Gruen. An orphan discovers love when he joins a circus during the Great Depression. (75)

2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

(Vintage, $14.95; $7.99). By Stieg Larsson. First book in the late Swede’s “Millennium Trilogy”; basis of the film. (90)

3. CUTTING FOR STONE

(Vintage, $15.95). By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the Africa woven into a sweeping saga. (24)

4. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE

(Vintage, $15.95; $7.99). By Stieg Larsson. Sex trafficking between Sweden and Eastern Europe is exposed. (51)

5. PRIVATE (Grand Central, $14.99)

By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

An elite P.I. firm, run by a former CIA agent, tackles a murder that hits close to home. (3)

6. LITTLE BEE (Simon & Schuster, $14)

By Chris Cleave. This wry second novel from a British journalist explores the state of war and refugees. (53)

7. DECEPTION (Ballantine, $9.99)

By Jonathan Kellerman. The murder of a prep school teacher comes complete with a DVD left by the victim. (3)

8. AN ENGAGEMENT IN SEATTLE

(Mira, $7.99). By Debbie Macomber. Two novellas, “Groom Wanted” and “Bride Wanted,” from the “Cedar Cove” series author. (3)

9. THE SILENT SEA (Berkley, $9.99)

By Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul. This “Oregon Files” thriller involves buried treasure and an ancient curse. (2)

10. THE ISLAND (Reagan Arthur, $14.99)

By Elin Hilderbrand. The women of a wealthy Nantucket clan juggle heartache, lust and life’s surprises one summer. (1)

NONFICTION PAPERBACK

1. THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

(Broadway, $16). By Rebecca Skloot. The shocking story of a stem cell theft in 1951 and the HeLa cell line. (1)

2. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A LITTLE BOY’S ASTOUNDING STORY OF HIS TRIP TO HEAVEN AND BACK

(Thomas Nelson, $16.99). By Todd Burpo (9)

3. THE MILLIONAIRE MESSENGER: MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND A FORTUNE SHARING YOUR ADVICE

(Morgan James, $21.95). By Brendon Burchard (1)

4. INSIDE OF A DOG: WHAT DOGS SEE, SMELL, AND KNOW

(Scribner, $16). By Alexandra Horowitz. A psychology professor hits the dog park. (21)

5. POKEMON BLACK & POKEMON WHITE: THE OFFICIAL POKEMON STRATEGY GUIDE, VOLUME 1

(Prima Games, $19.99) (1)

6. THE OFFICIAL SAT© GUIDE

(College Board, $21.99). This revised manual offers 10 practice tests and loads of tips. (61)

7. THE BIG SHORT: INSIDE THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE

(Norton, $15.95). By Michael Lewis. The murky world of financial derivatives. (6)

8. EAT THIS, NOT THAT! NEW 2011 EDITION (Rodale, $19.99)

By David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding. Updated edition with new features. (11)

9. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING

(Workman, $14.95). By Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazell. Fourth edition of the popular guide. (14)

10. THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES: THE SECRET TO LOVE THAT LASTS

(Northfield, $14.99). By Gary D. Chapman. Knowing that special someone. (11)

FICTION HARDCOVER

1 THE JUNGLE (Putnam, $27.95)

By Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul. Juan Cabrillo, and the crew of the high-tech ship “Oregon,” aim to stop a plot of world domination. (1)

2. SING YOU HOME (Atria, $28)

By Jodi Picoult. Three characters take turns narrating this emotional tale; includes a CD inspired by the story.(2)

3. THE TIGER’S WIFE (Random House, $25)

By Tea Obreht. While on a humanitarian mission, a doctor in the Balkans is confronted by the riddles of her own family’s past. (1)


(Tom Perkins (Perkmeup Imagery)Courtesy of Getty Images)

4. 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. (42)

5. THE WISE MAN’S FEARS (DAW, $29.95).

By Patrick Rothfuss. The epic fantasy begun in Rothfuss’s “The Name of the Wind” continues. (2)

6. A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES (Viking, $28.95)

By Deborah Harkness. Gothic meets modern in this paranormal thriller/romance set in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. (5)

7. MINDING FRANKIE (Knopf, $26.95)

By Maeve Binchy. Set in a tight-knit Dublin enclave, an alcoholic learns he’s fathered a child, and the mother is dying. (2)

8. TREACHERY IN DEATH

(Putnam, $26.95). By J.D. Robb. This 33rd Eve Dallas thriller finds the New York cop setting a trap for rogue cops on the take. (3)

9. LOVE YOU MORE (Bantam, $26)

By Lisa Gardner. Boston police detective D.D. Warren examines a case of spousal abuse and kidnapping within the force. (1)

10. TICK TOCK (Little, Brown, $27.99)

By James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge. A trio of twisted killers stalk NYC; cop Michael Bennett is summoned from vacation to lead the charge. (7)

NONFICTION HARDCOVER

1. THE SOCIAL ANIMAL: THE HIDDEN SOURCES OF LOVE, CHARACTER, AND ACHIEVEMENT

(Random House, $27). By David Brooks (1)

2. MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF REMEMBERING EVERYTHING

(Penguin Press, $26.95). By Joshua Foer (1)

3. UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION

(Random House, $27). By Laura Hillenbrand (17)

4. THE MONEY CLASS: LEARNING TO CREATE YOUR NEW AMERICAN DREAM

(Spiegel & Grau, $26). By Suze Orman (1)

5. TELL TO WIN: CONNECT, PERSUADE, AND TRIUMPH WITH THE HIDDEN POWER OF STORY

(Crown Business, $26). By Peter Gruber (1)

6. WIN: THE KEY PRINCIPLES TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY

(Hyperion, $25.99). By Frank I. Luntz (1)

7. DECISION POINTS (Crown, $35)

By George W. Bush. Bush 43 reflects on crucial turning points in both his life and two-term presidency. (16)

8. STRENGTHS FINDER 2.0: ... ONLINE TEST FROM GALLUP’S “NOW, DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS” (Gallup, $24.95). By Tom Rath (39)

9. CLEOPATRA: A LIFE (Little, Brown, $29.99)

By Stacy Schiff. Classic sources illuminate this biography of the Egyptian queen and icon. (19)

10. THE INFORMATION: A HISTORY, A THEORY, A FLOOD

(Pantheon, $29.95). By James Gleick. A survey of the way humans communicate. (1)

Rankings reflect sales for the week ended March 13, 2011. The charts may not be reproduced without permission from Nielsen BookScan. Copyright 2011 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  |  01:50 PM ET, 03/20/2011

 
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