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L.A. Times bestsellers for Sept. 19: Tony Blair's 'A Journey'

September 17, 2010 |  5:32 pm


Tony Blair has been chalking up the frequent flier miles. On Monday, he was in Philadelphia, accepting the 2010 Liberty Medal. Tuesday saw him being interviewed in New York by Katie Couric, and on Wednesday, he was in Massachusetts, talking to Tina Brown. By Friday, he was back in London, joining other dignitaries meeting with Pope Benedict.

Oh wait, maybe dignitaries don't fly commercial.

Anyway, all the traveling is because a former British prime minister, apparently, can stay just about as busy as a current prime minister, especially if that former prime minister has a new memoir out. Blair's is "A Journey: My Political Life," and despite protests, attempted citizens' arrests and event cancellations, the book has been finding a wide readership; it was released almost simultaneously in the U.S. and Britain This week, Tony Blair's "A Journey" debuts on our hardcover nonfiction bestseller list at No. 3.

In our review, Tim Rutten writes that the book has "a disarming frankness."

"A Journey" is first and foremost a political biography, and long stretches of it are likely to be terra incognita to most American readers. Still, Blair — like Clinton — is one of the great politicians of this generation and that makes his candid moments particularly interesting. It's hard to imagine any U.S. officeholder, for example, saying this about older voters: "One of the greatest myths of human existence is that as people get older, they get more benign, more long-suffering, more relaxed and more phlegmatic in how the world treats them. Not in my experience. The average Rottweiler on speed can be a lot more amiable than a pensioner wronged, or, to put it more accurately, believing they are wronged."

More big political memoirs are coming this fall. In the coming months, we'll find out whether Tony Blair can make room on the bestseller list for George W. Bush, Nelson Mandela and more. Our complete bestseller list for September 19 is after the jump.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Tony Blair, center, talks to Gordon Brown, left, as the former prime ministers await Pope Benedict on September 17, 2010 in London. Credit: Paul Rogers - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
Place Book Weeks on list
1 Freedomby Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $28) The breakdown of a Mid-Western family. 2

2 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nestby Stieg Larsson (Knopf: $27.95) The highly anticipated final book of the "Millennium Trilogy." 15

3 Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) No one is safe in the final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy 3

4 The Helpby Kathryn Stockett (Putnam: $24.95) The Southern lives of a maid, cook and college graduate intertwine. 66

5 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 16

6 The Postcard Killers by James Patterson (Little, Brown: $27.99) A postcard precedes a killer, murdering young couples in Europe, next victims 4

7 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) The winners of the annual Hunger Games face the consequences of their victory. 9

8 The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoetby David Mitchell (Random House: $26) A pious Dutch official finds love in turn-of-the-19th-century Japan. 9

9 The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future by Dav Pilkey (Blue Sky Press : $9.99) The adventures of two time-traveling caveboys from the author of the "Captain Underpants" series. 4

10 Super Sad True Love Storyby Gary Shteyngart (Random House: $26) A satirical, twisted, futuristic love story. 7

11 My Hollywoodby Mona Simpson (Knopf: $26.95) The relationship between a TV writer's wife and her Filipina nanny. 5

12 A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron (Forge: $22.99) A dog is reborn several times before finding his true purpose. 8

13 Body Workby Sara Paretsky (Putnam: $26.95) V. I. Warshawski is hired to clear an Iraqi war vet's name in the killing of a body artist. 1

14 Last Night at Chateau Marmontby Lauren Weisberger (Atria: $25.99) A marriage strains under the spotlight of celebrity. 3

15 Star Islandby Carl Hiaasen (Knopf: $26.95) A young pop star's undercover stunt double is kidnapped by an obsessed paparazzo. 7

16 The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cakeby Aimee Bender (Doubleday: $25.95) Rose Edelstein's gift of taste is bittersweet. 12

17 Lost Empireby Clive Cussler (Putnam: $27.95) Husband-wife treasure hunters on the run from the Mexican president after discovering a confederate artifact. 1

18 The 39 Clues: Into the Gauntletby Margaret Peterson Haddix (Scholastic: $12.99) The Cahill siblings face their most daunting challenge to date. 2

19 The Red Pyramidby Rick Riordan (Disney Hyperion: $17.99) Siblings battle Egyptian gods to find their Egyptologist father. 14

20 Spider Bonesby Kathy Reichs (Scribner: $26.99) A drowning victim in Quebec raises questions about a soldier's death in Vietnam. 2

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
Place Book Weeks on list
1 The Powerby Rhonda Byrne (Atria: $23.95) Utilizing the force of emotions to create positive outcomes. 3

2 Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle (Free Press: $25) A Jesuit priest recounts working with L.A. youth through his gang intervention program. 23

3 A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair (Knopf: $35) The former British prime minister's account of his life in political office. 1

4 Sh*t My Dad Saysby Justin Halpern (HarperCollins: $15.99) A son's compilation of his elderly father's sharp and profane observations. 17

5 Crimes Against Libertyby David Limbaugh (Regnery Press: $29.95) The author's case that President Obama's policies have threatened the public's constitutional rights. 2

6 Women, Food and Godby Geneen Roth (Scribner: $24) How the connection between eating and core beliefs brings fulfillment. 22

7 Orange Sunshineby Nicholas Schou (Thomas Dunne: $24.99) The history of a band of '60's LSD-dealing hippies, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love 7

8 Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.by Sam Wasson (Harper: $19.99) How "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and a little black dress influenced a generation. 9

9 The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking (Bantam: $28) Further explanations of quantum theory and its relation to the universe. 1

10 Outliersby Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: $27.99) An exploration of the background of high achievers. 75

11 Strength Finders 2.0by Tom Rath (Gallup Press: $22.95) An upgraded assessment on how to find your top talents. 13

12 Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking: $26.95) The author tackles her fears of marriage by delving into the institution's history. 12

13 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney (Amulet: $14.95) Behind the scenes during the making of the movie. 8

14 The Secretby Rhonda Byrne (Atria: $23.95) Life's secrets, distilled. 5

15 Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton: $13) The science and oddities required for space travel. 5

16 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. 23

17 Medium Rawby Anthony Bourdain (Ecco: $26.99) A gastronome's journey for foodies everywhere. 11

18 True Prepby Lisa Birnbach (Knopf: $19.95) The Official Preppy Handbook gets a contemporary upgrade. 1

19 Furious Loveby Nancy Schoenberger and Sam Kashner (Harper: $27.99) The high-octane marriage of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton 3

20 Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne (Scribner: $27.50) A history of the Comanche nation in the nineteenth century Texas frontier. 1

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
Place Book
1 The Girl With the Dragon Tattooby Stieg Larsson ($14.95)

2 The Girl Who Played With Fireby Stieg Larsson ($15.95)

3 Little Bee by Chris Cleave ($14)

4 Cutting for Stoneby Abraham Verghese ($15.95)

5 Tinkers by Paul Harding ($14.95)

6 A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore ($15)

7 Let the Great World Spinby Colum McCann ($15)

8 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ($27)

9 One Dayby David Nicholls ($14.95)

10 Never Let Me Goby Kazuo Ishiguro ($15)

11 The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein ($14.99)

12 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee ($7.99)

13 The Alchemistby Paulo Coelho ($13.95)

14 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ($14)

15 The Lacunaby Barbara Kingsolver ($16.99)

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
Place Book
1 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ($16)

2 Three Cups of Teaby David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson ($16)

3 Open by Andre Agassi ($15.95)

4 Zeitounby Dave Eggers ($15.95)

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

6 The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz ($7.44)

7 Litby Mary Karr ($14.99)

8 Where Men Win Gloryby Jon Krakauer ($15.95)

9 What to Expect When You're Expectingby Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel ($24.95)

10 Food Rulesby Michael Pollan ($11)

11 Kitchen Confidentialby Anthony Bourdain ($15.99)

12 Teach Like a Championby Doug Lemov ($27.95)

13 Awkward Family Photosby Doug Chernack and Mike Bender ($15)

14 Eating Animalsby Jonathan Safran Foer ($25.99) An examination of and behind-the-scenes look at factory farming.

15 Tatuajes en el corazon by Gregory Boyle ($16)