Though the rain be subsiding somewhat outside, the bestseller lists are still being showered with new titles ...

+ Nonfiction sees a seesaw between two rather serious and two undeniably humorous books. The formidable — one on Berlin amid the Cold War (Frederick Kempe) and the other a chronicle of Berlin in World War II (Erik Larson) — and the lighthearted — the sometimes raunchy comic and TV personality Chelsea Handler’s family & friends cobble together the most appalling gags Handler successfully perpetrated,and the droll Demetri Martin, of Comedy Central fame, offers readers a whimsical book of essays and illustrations.

+ In fiction, it’s thrillers that carry the day, with the latest from John Sandford (a new Lucas Davenport tale) and Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo’s story of a sinister serial killer (please don’t compare him to Stieg Larsson).

Oh, and speaking of Larsson, the third volume of his Millennium Trilogy returns to the top 10 after a few weeks’ break, making its run an even 50 (and one of the earlier paperbacks in the trilogy also claws its way back into the paperback top 10).

BOOK WORLD

Bestsellers — May 22, 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. (6)

2. BERLIN 1961 : KENNEDY, KHRUSHCHEV, AND THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH

(Putnam, $29.95). By Frederick Kempe (1)

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

(Hyperion, $25.99). By Alexandra Robbins (2)


Television personality Chelsea Handler arrives for the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, April 30, 2011. The dinner raises money for WHCA scholarships and honors the recipients of the organization's journalism awards. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Chelsea Handler (Joshua Roberts/BLOOMBERG)

4. LIES THAT CHELSEA HANDLER TOLD ME

(Grand Central, $24.99). By Chelsea’s Family, Friends, and Other Victims. The sarcastic comedian’s more successful ruses. (1)

5. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: LOVE, TERROR, AND AN AMERICAN FAMILY IN HITLER’S BERLIN

(Crown, $26). By Erik Larson (1)

6. THIS IS A BOOK (Grand Central, $24.99)

By Demetri Martin. A collection of essays and drawings from the wry comic and Comedy Central host. (1)

7. 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. (2)

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

(Crown Archetype, $26). By Pierre Dukan (5)

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

By Laura Hillenbrand (26)

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

(Free Press, $25). By Dr. Mike Moreno. Metabolic mastery. (9)

FICTION HARDCOVER

1. DEAD RECKONING (Ace, $27.95)

By Charlaine Harris. The plot thickens when the bar where Soosie Stackhouse works is fire bombed. (2)

2. BURIED PREY (Putnam, $27.95)

By John Sandford. Lucas Davenport is confronted with a cold case when two bodies are unearthed in a demolition. (1)

3. 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. (2)

4. 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. (4)


FILE - This is a Sept. 29, 2010, file photo of Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Jo Nesbo isn't thrilled about the comparison to Stieg Larsson, which seems inevitable if you're a successful Scandinavian crime writer. (Morten Holm/AP)

5. THE SNOWMAN (Knopf, $25.95)

By Jo Nesbø. A Norwegian-set thriller in which women go missing on the day of a first snowfall. (1)

6. 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. (2)

7. 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. (2)

8. 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. (7)

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

By Michael Connelly. Mickey Haller, the “Lincoln Lawyer,” gets involved in the emotional foreclosure crisis. (6)

10. 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. (50)

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 (18)

2. DRIVE THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES US

(Riverhead, $16). By Daniel H. Pink. A look by the New Economy expert. (5)

3. 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. (10)


WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) walks to work with his male bichon / poodle "Bruin" on Capitol HIll in Washington, DC on May 25, 2010. (Linda Davidson/THE WASHINGTON POST)

5. 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 (9)

6. LIFE (Back Bay, $16.99)

By Keith Richards. A brutally honest memoir by the celebrated guitarist and songwriter from the Rolling Stones. (2)

7. THE SPIRIT CATCHES YOU AND YOU FALL DOWN: A HMONG CHILD, HER AMERICAN DOCTORS, AND THE COLLISION OF TWO CULTURES

(Noonday, $15). By Anne Fadiman (1)

8. THE OFFICIAL SAT STUDY GUIDE

(College Board, $21.99). This revised manual offers 10 practice tests and loads of tips. (68)

9. THE ELEMENTS OF JOURNALISM: WHAT NEWSPEOPLE SHOULD KNOW AND THE PUBLIC SHOULD EXPECT

(Three Rivers, $14). By Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel (1)

10. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING (Workman, $14.95). By Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazell. Fourth edition of the popular guide. (15)

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. (84)

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. (6)

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. (3)

4. STORM PREY (Berkley, $9.99)

By John Sandford. When a robbery results in a death, Lucas Davenport’s wife is a star witness. (3)

5. THE SEARCH (Jove, $7.99)

By Nora Roberts. Romantic suspense involving a canine search-and-rescue trainer living in Puget Sound. (5)

6. A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (BOX SET)

(Bantam, $35.96). By George R.R. Martin. The four novels comprising the epic fantasy series; inspiration for the HBO series “A Game of Thrones.” (1)

7. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

(Vintage, $14.95; $7.99). By Stieg Larsson. First book in the late Swede’s “Millennium Trilogy.” (97)

8. THE BOURNE OBJECTIVE (Vision, $9.99)

By Eric Van Lustbader. Master operative Jason Bourne parries with a formidable foe — and a creepy cabal. (2)


NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Writer Jennifer Egan attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for TIME) (Stephen Lovekin/GETTY IMAGES FOR TIME WARNER)

9. A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD

(Anchor, $14.95). By Jennifer Egan. A layered novel of a music producer and an employee; winner of the Pulitzer Prize. (2)

10. CUTTING FOR STONE (Vintage, $15.95)

By Abraham Verghese. Medicine, political upheaval and the African continent woven into a sweeping saga. (32)

Rankings reflect sales for the week ended May 15, 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.)