A bounty of new titles hit the list this weekend, jockeying with other titles from authors that, too, have become almost de rigueur as a beach vacation accompaniment.

The latest from Charlaine Harris (the 11th Soosie Stackhouse caper), James Patterson (a new Women’s Murder Club tale, written with Maxine Paetro) and Robert B. Parker (who yes, has passed away, but a new Spenser novel is always a good thing). Joining those series veterans are popular columnist Jen Lancaster with her first novel, and the new tale from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Geraldine Brooks (it’s heartening such a literary forte finds space in the top 10). Also note the absence of Stieg Larsson’s final volume in the Millennium Trilogy, after a run of 49 weeks.

In nonfiction, biography is the word, with memoirs from the ever-colorful Steven Tyler (also a judge on this season’s American Idol elimination fest), the still charming and dishy Rob Lowe and a biography of President Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, from Janny Scott.

BOOK WORLD

Bestsellers — May 15, 2011

[click on the author’s name to be linked to Book World’s review]

NONFICTION HARDCOVER

1. BOSSYPANTS (Reagan Arthur, $26.99)

By Tina Fey. An amusing memoir from the acclaimed former SNL writer, comedian and actress. (5)

2. THE GEEKS SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH: POPULARITY, QUIRK THEORY, AND WHY OUTSIDERS THRIVE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

(Hyperion, $25.99). By Alexandra Robbins (1)


WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 5: Singer Steven Tyler with girlfriend Erin Brady on the red carpet at the Annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala in Washington, DC on December 5, 2010. (Linda Davidson/THE WASHINGTON POST)

3. DOES THE NOISE IN MY HEAD BOTHER YOU?

(Ecco, $27.99). By Steven Tyler. The Aerosmith frontman, and current American Idol judge, gives readers a backstage tour of his life. (1)

4. THE DUKAN DIET: 2 STEPS TO LOSE THE WEIGHT, 2 STEPS TO KEEP IT OFF FOREVER

(Crown Archetype, $26). By Pierre Dukan (3)

5. IF YOU ASK ME (AND OF COURSE YOU WON’T)

(Putnam, $25.95). By Betty White. A memoir from the veteran actress whose best years may still lie ahead. (1)

6. SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY: A WOMAN’S JOURNEY THROUGH POEMS

(Hyperion, $24.99). Selected and edited by Caroline Kennedy (2)

7. UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION (Random House, $27)

By Laura Hillenbrand (25)

8. STORIES I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS

(Henry Holt $26). By Rob Lowe. The dishy actor dishes on his own life from the Brat Pack to one of acting’s senior statesman. (1)

9. THE 17 DAY DIET: A DOCTOR’S PLAN DESIGNED FOR RAPID RESULTS

(Free Press, $25). By Dr. Mike Moreno. Metabolic mastery. (8)

10. A SINGULAR WOMAN: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BARACK OBAMA’S MOTHER

(Riverhead, $26.95). By Janny Scott (1)

FICTION HARDCOVER

1. DEAD RECKONING (Ace, $27.95)

By Charlaine Harris. The plot thickens when the bar where Soosie Stackhouse works is fire bombed. (1)

2. 10TH ANNIVERSARY (Little, Brown, $27.99)

By James Patterson & Maxine Paetro. A new Women’s Murder Club tale in children are entwined in shocking murders. (1)

3. THE SIXTH MAN (Grand Central, $27.99)

By David Baldacci. An alleged serial killer’s attorney is murdered before King & Maxwell can confer on the case. (3)

4. SIXKILL (Putnam, $26.95)

By Robert B. Parker. The late writer’s iconic P.I. Spenser finds an unlikely ally when he takes on the case of a rakish actor charged with murder. (1)


WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 9, 2011. Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the book Caleb's Crossing. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

5. CALEB’S CROSSING (Viking, $26.95)

By Geraldine Brooks. The 17th-century comes to life in a story drawn from the true story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. (1)

6. THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES (Crown, $30)

By Jean M. Auel. The sixth and final volume in the “Earth’s Children” saga, which began with “The Clan of the Cave Bear” in 1980. (6)

7. I’LL WALK ALONE (Simon & Schuster, $25.99)

By Mary Higgins Clark. A Manhattan designer is terrorized by an identity thief — who may have kidnapped her child years earlier. (5)

8. IF YOU WERE HERE (NAL, $24.95)

By Jen Lancaster. The columnist’s debut novel of a couple’s travails renovating a home outside Chicago — a house made famous in a John Hughes film. (1)

9. CHASING FIRE (Putnam, $27.95)

By Nora Roberts. An ensemble cast enliven this novel of smoke jumpers working in Missoula, Montana. (4)

10. THE FIFTH WITNESS (Little, Brown, $27.99)

By Michael Connelly. Mickey Haller, the “Lincoln Lawyer,” gets involved in the emotional foreclosure crisis. (5)

NONFICTION PAPERBACK

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

(Thomas Nelson, $16.99). By Todd Burpo (17)

2. 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. (9)

3. INSIDE OF A DOG: WHAT DOGS SEE, SMELL, AND KNOW (Scribner, $16). By Alexandra Horowitz. A psychology professor hits the dog park. (29)


Illustrator Harvey Ball, of Worcester, Mass., who created the smiley face, the bright yellow happy face that has become a worldwide symbol of good cheer, poses Monday, July 6, 1998 in Worcester, Mass. Ball is upset that French entrepreneur Franklin Loufrani registered the trademark in 1971 and now holds the trademark in much of the world. Ball, 76, created the symbol in 1963 as part of an in-house happiness campaign for an insurance company. (AP Photo/Paul Connors) (PAUL CONNORS/AP)

4. THE HAPPINESS PROJECT: OR, WHY I SPENT A YEAR TRYING TO SING IN THE MORNING ... AND GENERALLY HAVE MORE FUN (Harper, $14.99). By Gretchen Rubin (8)

5. LIFE (Back Bay, $16.99)

By Keith Richards. A brutally honest memoir by the celebrated guitarist and songwriter from the Rolling Stones. (1)

6. THE OFFICIAL SAT STUDY GUIDE

(College Board, $21.99). This revised manual offers 10 practice tests and loads of tips. (67)

7. WHAT IS LEAN SIX SIGMA?

(McGraw-Hill, $14.95). By Mike George, Dave Rowlands & Bill Kastle. A succinct introduction to the management formula. (1)

8. GETTING TO YES: NEGOTIATING AGREEMENT WITHOUT GIVING IN

(Penguin, $16). By Roger Fisher and William Ury. Second edition. (3)

9. DRIVE THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US

(Riverhead, $16). By Daniel H. Pink (4)

10. THE LEAN SIX SIGMA POCKET TOOLBOOK

(McGraw-Hill, $16.95). By Michael L. George et al. By Michael L. George et al. A quick reference guide of 100 ways to implement the authors’ management principles. (3)

FICTION PAPERBACK

1. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (Algonquin, $14.95; $7.99)

By Sara Gruen. An orphan discovers love when he joins a circus during the Great Depression. (83)

2. THE HELP (Berkley, $16)

By Kathryn Stockett. A frank chronicle of the lives of several black maids working in a town in 1960s Miss. (5)

3. WORTH DYING FOR (Dell, $9.99)

By Lee Child. Ex-military cop Jack Reacher is in rural Nebraska, and at odds with the sinister family that terrifies the local populace. (2)

4. STORM PREY (Berkley, $9.99)

By John Sandford. When a robbery results in a death, Lucas Davenport’s wife is a star witness. (2)

5. THE SEARCH (Jove, $7.99)

By Nora Roberts. Romantic suspense involving a canine search-and-rescue trainer living in Puget Sound. (4)

6. THE BOURNE OBJECTIVE (Vision, $9.99)

By Eric Van Lustbader. Master operative Jason Bourne parries with a formidable foe — and a creepy cabal. (1)

7. HANNAH’S LIST (Mira, $7.99)

By Debbie Macomber. A recent widower is left suggestions for a new mate in a note from his late wife. (2)

8. MOONLIGHT COVE (Mira, $7.99)

By Sherryl Woods. This new “Chesapeake Shores” novel finds a psychologist, long smitten with his childhood friend, perhaps about to seal the deal. (2)


A Yellow Billed Kite flies during a display at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary in Umlaas Road, 60 km (37 miles) west of Durban April 26, 2011. (ROGAN WARD/REUTERS)

9. CUTTING FOR STONE (Vintage, $15.95)

By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the African continent woven into a sweeping saga. (31)

10. THE 9TH JUDGMENT (Grand Central, $14.99)

By James Patterson. The Women’s Murder Club works to find the link between seemingly isolated crimes. (4)

Rankings reflect sales for the week ended May 8, 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.)