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Bestsellers, Sept 26: The girl with the Franzen tattoo?

September 23, 2010 | 12:10 pm


Jonathan Franzen and his new novel, "Freedom," top our fiction bestseller list for the third week running, keeping perennial bestseller Stieg Larsson at bay. Larsson's Millennium Trilogy is doing fine -- "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" is at No. 2 on the hardcover list, and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played With Fire" are at Nos. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the paperback list -- but it's notable that a 576-page literary family epic has found its footing at the top.

"There were a number of points where I was coming to terms with not having kids of my own," Franzen said of his process in writing the book when he appeared in Los Angeles last Thursday. The next day, Oprah announced that she had selected "Freedom" as her book club's next pick -- which often helps books' sales figures.

Rankings are based on a weekly poll of 130 Southern California bookstores and chain results. Our extended bestseller list, in hardcover and paperback, fiction and nonfiction, is after the jump.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Jonathan Franzen in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, 2010. Credit: Robert Gauthier / 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. 3

2 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Knopf: $27.95) The highly anticipated final book of the Millennium Trilogy. 16

3 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. 17

4 The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Putnam: $24.95) The Southern lives of a maid, cook and college graduate intertwine. 67

5 Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) No one is safe in the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy. 4

6 Zero History by William Gibson (Putnam: $26.95) "Spook Country's" Hollis Henry plunges into the secret world of military apparel manufacturing. 1

7 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic: $17.99) The winners of the annual Hunger Games face the consequences of their victory. 10

8 Body Work by 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. 2

9 The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $24) Given as a royal gift, an elephant treks to its new home. 1

10 Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry: $19.99) A teenager with transformative powers travels to Victorian England to find her brother. 1

11 Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (Faber & Faber: $28) The aches, pain and joys of adolescence converge over the killing of an Irish teenager. 1

12 Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay (Doubleday: $25.95) The beloved serial killer investigates the disappearance of a teenage girl running with goth-like vampires. 1

13 Ape House by Sara Gruen (Spiegel & Grau: $26) Bonobo apes become reality stars after their research lab is bombed. 1

14 C by Tom McCarthy (Knopf: $25.95) A coming-of-age tale of a young man fascinated with communications technology. 1

15 Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (Random House: $26) A satirical, twisted, futuristic love story. 8

16 The Postcard Killers by James Patterson (Little, Brown: $27.99) Detectives track a killer targeting young couples in Europe by following postcard clues. 5

17 The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Tor: $27.99) Mystical weapons transform ordinary men into invincible warriors as war rages in this fantasy adventure. 2

18 The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (Doubleday: $25.95) Rose Edelstein's gift of taste is bittersweet. 13

19 Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger (Atria: $25.99) A marriage is strained by the spotlight of celebrity. 4

20 Star Island by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf: $26.95) A young pop star's undercover stunt double is kidnapped by an obsessed paparazzo. 8

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. 2

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. 24

3 A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair (Knopf: $35) The former British prime minister's candid account of his career. 2

4 ... My Dad Says by Justin Halpern (HarperCollins: $15.99) A son's compilation of his elderly father's sharp and profane observations. 18

5 Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz (Doubleday: $28.95) The singer's influence on music and culture. 1

6 The Hilliker Curse by James Ellroy (Knopf: $24.95) The crime novelist's restless, reckless love affairs. 1

7 Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson (Harper: $19.99) How "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and a little black dress influenced a generation. 10

8 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. 3

9 The Power by Rhonda Byrne (Atria: $23.95) Utilizing the force of emotions to create positive outcomes. 4

10 True Prep by Lisa Birnbach (Knopf: $19.95) "The Official Preppy Handbook" gets a contemporary upgrade. 2

11 Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth (Scribner: $24) How the connection between eating and core beliefs brings fulfillment. 23

12 The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House: $30) The midcentury exodus of black Southerners to the North and Midwest. 1

13 Mario Testino: Kate Moss by Mario Testino (Taschen: $700) The fashion photographer shares two decades of his most intimate photos of the model. 1

14 Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco: $27) The singer's early days and relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. 28

15 Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco: $26.99) A gastronome's journey for foodies everywhere. 12

16 Los Angeles: Portrait of a City by Kevin Starr (Taschen: $69.99) A photographic journey through the city's cultural, political, industrial and sociological history. 4

17 Gunn's Golden Rules by Tim Gunn (Gallery: $23.99) The "Project Runway" mentor's down-to-earth guidelines for making life better. 1

18 Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown: $27.99) An exploration of the background of high achievers. 76

19 Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler (Grand Central: $25.99) Essays and amusing tales from the comic's personal life.. 18

20 Role Models by John Waters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: $25) A quasi-memoir from the iconoclastic movie director. 9

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 Little Bee by Chris Cleave ($14)

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

6 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro ($15)

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

8 Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck ($14)

9 Tinkers by Paul Harding ($14.95)

10 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho ($13.95)

11 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ($27)

12 The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan ($7.99)

13 Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls ($15)

14 Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby ($15)

15 The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver ($16.99)

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
Place Book
1 Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer ($15.95)

2 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ($16)

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

4 Slake: The Los Angeles Quarterly by Joe Donnelly et al. ($18)

5 Food Rules by Michael Pollan ($11)

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

7 Three Cups of Tea by David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson ($16)

8 Lit by Mary Karr ($14.99)

9 Open by Andre Agassi ($15.95)

10 Zeitoun by Dave Eggers ($15.95)

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

12 Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming ($16.95)

13 Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain ($15.99)

14 Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton ($15.95)

15 Awkward Family Photos by Doug Chernack and Mike Bender ($15)