George Washington's Teeth

By Deborah Chandra & Madeleine Comora (FSG, $16)

Rhyming verse and watercolor illustrations by Brock Cole relate the tale of Washington's dental woes from the Revolutionary War to his election as president (when he had just two teeth left). A timeline, drawn from Washington's own diaries and letters, details the pain and embarassment his condition caused and his last resort -- the famed ivory (not wooden) dentures. (Children 6-9)

The Great Nation

By Colin Jones (Columbia, $34.95)

From 1715 to the rise of Napoleon, France was at its zenith -- culturally, politically and economically. Jones's scholarly survey of the period examines a corrupt and profligate Bourbon regime that was also remarkably dynamic and not as doomed as history has led us to believe. Jones also gives us a portrait of how Enlightenment-era French citizens clamored for self-rule, and an account of the grisly, internecine feuding that led to the rise of Napoleon in 1799. (NF)

The Tale of the Tip-Off

By Rita Mae Brown (Bantam, $24.95)

This is the 11th Charlottesville caper of the feline Mrs. Murphy and her owner, Crozet postmistress Mary Minor Hairsteen, a k a "Harry." The murder of a construction magnate at a local sports arena prompts Harry and her four-footed sleuths (another feline and a corgi) to look into the case. The animals' droll commentary provides both comic relief and clues helpful in solving the crime. (F)

The bestseller lists this week are culled from information submitted by Barnes & Noble, Borders and Olsson's based on sales from 03/10-03/16. The "Washington Is Also Reading" list is based on reports from Chapters, Reprint Book Shop and Vertigo Books. The Book World bestsellers hotline is 202-334-9000, category code 4175. (03/30/03)