Get Your War On

By David Rees (Soft Skull, $11)

The clip-art characters featured in this comic strip, which made its debut on Rees's Web site not long after Sept. 11, spend much of their workaday lives debating the merits of the government's war on terror in often harsh and critical ways -- views the author believes much of the American public shares. Be warned: though peppered with humor and shrewd policy-skewering, it also has more than its fair share of expletives. (NF)

Pale Horse Coming

By Stephen Hunter (Pocket, $7.99)

Earl Swagger, the tough-as-nails police sergeant from Hunter's earlier novel, returns in this violent thriller set in 1950s Arkansas. Swagger follows his close friend Sam Vincent to Thebes, a swamp-bound prison for violent black criminals. Shortly afterward, Sam goes missing. In his efforts to find him, Swagger discovers no end of horrors in the prison -- including appalling research experiments being conducted on prisoners. (F)

Tycho & Kepler

By Kitty Ferguson (Walker, $28.95)

Ferguson's book paints a vivid portrait of two eminent scientific minds of the 17th century, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Though Kepler's "Three Laws of Planetary Motion," affirming Copernicus's theory of 1543, would eventually trump Brahe's theory that the Earth was the universe's center, each thinker owed the other for his illustrious reputation. (NF)

The bestseller lists this week are culled from information submitted by Barnes & Noble, Borders and Olsson's based on sales from 11/25-12/01. The "Washington Is Also Reading" list is based on reports from Chapters, Reprint and Vertigo Books. The Book World bestsellers hotline is 202-334-9000, category code 4175. (12/15/02)