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The L.A. Times bestseller list for July 4, 2010: 'The Passage' makes inroads

July 1, 2010 | 11:11 am

Thepassage_cover Can a highbrow writer's adventure in genre fiction have staying power on the L.A. Times bestseller list? The compelling novel "The Passage" by Justin Cronin just might. "The Passage," now in its second week on our hardcover fiction bestseller list, is a big, beefy, science fiction story set both before and after a vampiric virus devastates America. In it, our reviewer Ed Park writes:

Lethal bats attack, crossbows get unloaded, rogue operatives blow up small-town civilians and death-row inmates are recruited as guinea pigs for a top-secret medical experiment. The vampires (called, variously, virals, jumps, smokes and dracs) that eventually run rampant are not the suave stuff of Bram Stoker but brutal, hideously efficient killing machines. Desire, not to mention irony, has been removed from the monster's equation. This is the straight stuff, for better or worse.

"The Passage" has had a buzz in the publishing world, and publisher Ballantine has thrown lots of support behind it, even purchasing billboards -- an usual move for a novel -- that you may have seen around Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, it's just the beginning -- vampire books tend to be series these days -- "The Passage" is Book 1 of a trilogy.

That Cronin wasn't known as a thriller writer is an interesting twist. He got an MFA from the Iowa Writers'  Workshop, the most elite program in the country, and his first novel won the literary PEN/Hemingway Award. But it hasn't stopped him from writing almost 800 pages of post-apocalyptic vampire horror (and that's just this first book). Will it continue to keep readers enthralled? We'll see next week.

The fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists for July 4, 2010 are after the jump.

-- Carolyn Kellogg
twitter.com/paperhaus

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers


weeks on list

1.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Knopf: $27.95) The highly anticipated final book of the “Millennium Trilogy.”

5

2.

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (Knopf: $24.95) An L.A. noir nightmare that returns to “Less Than Zero's” characters as they near middle age.

2

3.

The Passage by Justin Cronin (Ballantine: $27) An apocalypse with fangs: a military experiment with vampires goes wrong and imperils humanity.

2

4.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (Disney/ Hyperion: $17.99) Siblings battle Egyptian gods to uncover family secrets and find their Egyptologist father.

7

5.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Putnam: $24.95) The lives of a maid, cook and college graduate intertwine in a Southern town.

56

6.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (Dial: $25) The goings-on at a ragtag English-language newspaper in Rome.

5

7.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown: $13.99) The newborn vampire army closes in on Bella Swan and the Cullens.

2

8.

The Overton Window by Glenn Beck (Threshold: $26) A PR executive encounters a conspiracy threatening the U.S. and his lady love.

2

9.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (Doubleday: $25.95) Rose Edelstein's gift of taste is bittersweet.

2

10.

The Lion by Nelson DeMille (Grand Central: $27.99) A terrorist returns to the U.S. to kill those responsible for bombing his village.

3

11.

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (Disney/Hyperion: $17.99) Percy Jackson and his army of demigods battle the Lord of Time.  

27

12.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham (Dutton: $16.99) A 13-year-old aspiring lawyer finds himself in the middle of a murder trial.

4

13.

Innocent by Scott Turow (Grand Central: $27.99) Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto return to the courtroom after the mysterious death of Rusty's wife.

7

14.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Knopf: $25.95) The novelist wonders: What happens to all those rock 'n' roll rebels when they grow older? 

2

15.

61 Hours by Lee Child (Delacorte: $28) Roving ex-military cop Jack Reacher helps a small South Dakota town deal with sinister forces.

6

16.

Whiplash by Catherine Coulter (Putnam: $26.95) FBI agents look into hauntings and shady dealings at a pharmaceutical company.

1

17.

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich  (St. Martin's Press: $27.99) Bailbondswoman Stephanie Plum must spring her cousin Vinny from a bunch of thugs.

1

18.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) In a post-apocalyptic future, kids are forced to fight in gladiator-like matches to the death.

6

19.

Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst (Random House: $26) A Greek official becomes immersed with European spies, gangsters and aid to refugees in the early days of World War II.

1

20.

Frankenstein: Lost Souls by Dean Koontz (Bantam:  $27) Husband-and-wife detectives must save a Montana town from Victor and his replicant pod people.

1

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers

1.

Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco: $26.99) A frank, witty gastronome's journey: for foodies everywhere.

2

2.

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern (HarperCollins: $15.99) A son's compilation of his elderly father's ramblings and observations.

6

3.

Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth (Scribner: $24) How the connection between eating and core beliefs brings fulfillment.

12

4.

The Promise by Jonathan Alter (Simon & Schuster: $28) An inside look at President Obama's first year in office.

5

5.

The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking: $30). Col. Custer, Sitting Bull and the battle of Little Big Horn.

3

6.

War by Sebastian Junger (Twelve: $26.99) The author's account of 14 months with a U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan.

6

7.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton: $27.95) How the U.S. economy was driven to collapse by the bond and real estate markets.

14

8.

Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens (Twelve: $26.99) The contrarian shares his political and personal life stories.

4

9.

Role Models by John Waters (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $25) A quasi-memoir from the iconoclastic movie director.

3

10.

The Men Who Would Be King by Nicole Laporte (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $28) The rise and fall of DreamWorks Studios.

4

11.

Between a Heart and a Rock Place by Pat Benatar  (William Morrow: $25.99) The singer’s account of life as a female rock 'n' roller.

1

12.

LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary (DK Publishing: $21.99) Details, history and lingo about all the Star Wars characters and vehicles.

2

13.

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle (Free Press: $25) A Jesuit priest recounts working with L.A. youth through his gang intervention program.

11

14.

The Why of Work by David Ulrich, Wendy Ulrich & Marshall Goldsmith (McGraw-Hill: $27.95) A guide for both employees and employers.

2

15.

Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco: $27) The singer’s early days and relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.

20

16.

Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre (Harmony: $25.99). A true account of a how a fictional story and a dead body fooled the Nazis in World War II.

3

17.

Game Plan for Life by John Wooden, Don Yeager and John Maxwell (Bloomsbury:$25) An inspirational guide to the power of mentorship.

1

18.

Heroes for My Son  by Brad Meltzer (Harper: $19.99) A list of virtuous heroes who accomplished the extraordinary.

1

19.

13 Bankers by Simon Johnson and James Kwak (Pantheon: 26.95) A case for nationalization of banks resulting from the financial crisis and subsequent bailout.

2

20.

Getting Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald (It Books: $25.99) The actress shares insights and tips on finding inner and outer beauty after 40.

2


Paperbacks Fiction

1.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson ($14.95)


2.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson ($15.95)


3.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave ($14)


4.

Tinkers by Paul Harding ($14.95)


5.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese ($15.95)


6.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann ($15)


7.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan ($7.99)


8.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo ($15)


9.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho ($13.95)


10.

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan ($7.99)


11.

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan ($7.99)


12.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger ($13.99)


13.

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan ($7.99)


14.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman ($16)


15.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard ($8.99)


Paperbacks: Non-Fiction

1.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ($15)


2.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers ($15.95)


3.

Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad ($14.99)


4.

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon ($14.99)


5.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell ($15.99)


6.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle ($14)


7.

Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming ($16.95)


8.

Food Rules by Michael Pollan ($7.99)


9.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann ($15.95)


10.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin ($15)


11.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell ($15.99)


12.

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner ($15.99)


13.

L.A. Noir by John Buntin ($16)


14.

Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew B. Crawford ($15)


15.

The Official SAT Study Guide,  2nd Edition by the College Board ($21.99)


Rankings are based on a weekly poll of Southern California bookstores.


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