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L.A. Times bestsellers: Surf's up!

September 30, 2010 |  5:06 pm


If there was any doubt that Southern California is surf country (was there?), the fact that "The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean" debuts at No. 2 on our hardcover nonfiction bestseller list this week. Written by Susan Casey, the book is part firsthand account, part surfing tale and part science. It skims the shores of Hawaii, Africa, Alaska and any other land mass that features waves of significance. 

The extended hardcover and paperback bestseller lists for Oct. 2 are after the jump. Rankings are based on a weekly poll of 130 Southern California bookstores and chain results.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: High surf at Seal Beach in February 2010. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
Place Book Weeks on list
1 Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $28) The breakdown of a Midwestern family. 4
2 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Knopf: $27.95) The highly anticipated final book of the "Millennium Trilogy." 17
3 Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) No one is safe in the final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy. 5
4 Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central: $25.99) A mysterious woman finds love in a small N.C. town. 1
5 The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Putnam: $24.95) The Southern lives of a maid, cook and college graduate intertwine. 68
6 Room by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown: $24.99) A 5-year-old boy narrates his life in a 12x12 room. 1
7 Zero History by William Gibson (Putnam: $26.95) "Spook Country's" Hollis Henry plunges into the secret world of military apparel manufacturing. 2
8 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) The winners of the annual Hunger Games face the consequences of their victory. 11
9 Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's: $27.99) The hunt for relics of the Seven Deadly Sins in Salem. 1
10 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 18
11 The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (Random House: $26) A pious Dutch official finds love in turn-of-the-19th-century Japan. 11
12 The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $24) Given as a royal gift, an elephant treks to his new home. 2
13 Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (Random House: $26) A satirical, twisted, futuristic love story. 9
14 C by Tom McCarthy (Knopf: $25.95) A coming-of-age tale of a young man fascinated with communications technology. 2
15 Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan (Viking: $27.95) The women from "Waiting to Exhale" return with midlife crises a plenty. 2
16 Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith (Simon & Schuster: $25.99) Russian police detective Renko investigates the death of a prostitute found in Komsomol Square. 4
17 The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (Disney Hyperion: $17.99) Siblings battle Egyptian gods to find their Egyptologist father. 16
18 The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (Doubleday: $25.95) Rose Edelstein's gift of taste is bittersweet. 14
19 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. 11
20 Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger (Atria: $25.99) A marriage strains under the spotlight of celebrity. 5

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
Place Book Weeks on list
1 The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking (Bantam: $28) Further explanations of quantum theory and its relation to the universe. 3
2 The Wave by Susan Casey (Doubleday: $27.95) The science and surfers of the ocean's gnarliest waves. 1
3 SuperBaby by Jenn Berman (Sterling: $24.95) Nurturing your child's potential during the formative first three years. 1
4 A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair (Knopf: $35) The former British prime minister's candid account of his career. 3
5 Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle (Free Press: $25) A Jesuit priest recounts working with L.A. youth through his gang intervention program. 25
6 Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern (HarperCollins: $15.99) A son's compilation of his elderly father's sharp and profane observations. 19
7 Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O'Reilly (William Morrow: $27.99) The effect of a shifting political & social climate on Americans. 1
8 The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House: $30) The midcentury exodus of black Southerners to the North and Midwest. 2
9 Working Together by Michael Eisner (Harper: $25.99) The magic behind successful business partnerships. 1
10 Crimes Against Liberty by David Limbaugh (Regnery: $29.95) The author's case that President Obama's policies have threatened the public's constitutional rights. 4
11 The Power by Rhonda Byrne (Atria: $23.95) Utilizing the force of emotions to create positive outcomes. 5
12 Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton: $13) The science and oddities required for space travel. 7
13 Making Our Democracy Work by Stephen G. Breyer (Knopf: $26.95) 1
14 Third World America by Arianna Huffington (Crown: $23.99) 1
15 Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson (Harper: $19.99) How "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and a little black dress influenced a generation. 11
16 Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco: $27) The singer's early days and relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. 29
17 Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking: $26.95) The author tackles her fears of marriage by delving into the institution's history. 13
18 Role Models by John Waters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $25) A quasi-memoir from the iconoclastic movie director. 10
19 Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (Knopf: $24.95) Discovering the key to ultra-running. 9
20 Charlie Chan by Yunte Huang (Norton: $26.95) The backstory of the fictional detective. 1

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
Place Book
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 Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese ($15.95)
4 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro ($15)
5 The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen ($16)
6 Little Bee by Chris Cleave ($14)
7 Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann ($15)
8 The Professional by Robert B. Parker ($9.99)
9 Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls ($15)
10 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee ($7.99)
11 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho ($13.95)
12 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ($27)
13 A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore ($15)
14 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger ($6.99)
15 Tinkers by Paul Harding ($14.95)

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
Place Book
1 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ($16)
2 Traveling with Pomegranates by Ann Kidd Taylor and Sue Monk Kidd ($15)
3 The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition by The College Board ($21.99)
4 The Great American Stickup by Robert Scheer ($15.95)
5 Food Rules by Michael Pollan ($11)
6 The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz ($7.44)
7 Open by Andre Agassi ($15.95)
8 Three Cups of Tea by David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson ($16)
9 Zeitoun by Dave Eggers ($15.95)
10 A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn ($18.99)
11 How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer ($14.95)
12 Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer ($15.95)
13 What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel ($24.95)
14 Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton ($15.95)
15 Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer ($25.99) An examination of and behind-the-scenes look at factory farming.