A Monitor guide to Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers

1
1
Dude, Where's My Country?
Moore's follow-up to his bestseller "Stupid White Men" is essentially a how-to manual for Democrats to defeat Bush in 2004. He wags his finger at the "Whopper-in-Chief" throughout this thin volume, assailing the administration for inventing evidence against Iraq. Most of this is not news to anyone paying attention to the missing weapons of mass destruction, but Moore adds his searing wit as he takes on the media, Bush's connection to the bin Laden family, Attorney General John Ashcroft. and even a few fellow lefties. (249 pp.) By Mike Farrell
Mixed review Mixed review Mixed review Publishers Weekly
Available on tape
by Michael Moore
$24.95
2
2
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Franken's diatribe against the political right will elicit snorts and chortles. The former "Saturday Night Live" comedian tackles the neoconservative propaganda machine, exposing what he considers its hypocrisy and factual sloppiness. He shows how these people whining on TV - and the newspapers and networks that sponsor their cause - manipulate information to advance a conservative agenda. For that, the book is interesting, but the author's tone, aside from its humor, seems little different from that of those he criticizes. (379 pp.) By Noel Paul
Mixed review Favorable review Book List
Available on tape
by Al Franken
Dutton, $24.95
3
4
The World According to Mr. Rogers
The subtitle of this book is, "Important Things to Remember." To anyone familiar with Fred Rogers's world, these are simple messages, but they are the foundations of a good life and our sense of self and place in it. Having the courage to love, learning to cope with anger and grief, knowing how to forgive - Mr. Rogers worked hard to teach these skills to children and their parents each day on television. Having a few of these important things written down in a small book you can keep close is a precious gift. (197 pp.) By J. Johnson
Favorable review Favorable review Publishers Weekly
by Fred Rogers
Hyperion, $16.95
4
5
Flyboys
Bradley, whose first book chronicled his father's role in the famous World War II flag raising on Iwo Jima, returns to the war in the Pacific. This time he chronicles the fate of American pilots, including a 20-year-old future president, George H.W. Bush, who attacked a neighboring island. It's a fawning portrayal of the airmen, though not the war they fought, as Bradley details the suffering of Japanese and Americans alike. Particularly grisly details of how American prisoners of war were treated are not for the squeamish. (400 pp.) By Seth Stern
Favorable review Mixed review Favorable review Favorable review Publishers Weekly
by James Bradley
Little Brown, $25.95
5
3
The South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet was born of a cardiologist's desire to give patients struggling with traditional low-fat or low-carb diets a livable regimen with which to lower cholesterol levels. Weight loss proved a pleasing side effect. In the book based on these findings, Agatston focuses not on no-carb but on good-carb dieting and the effects of foods on blood-sugar levels. Though belied by a flashy cover, the book is true to its serious premise and benefits from a recognition of the psychological difficulty of attempted weight loss. (320 pp.) By Tonya Miller
Favorable review Favorable review Publishers Weekly
by Arthur Agatston
Rodale, $24.95
6
6
Bushwhacked: Life in Bush's America
Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins and political journalist Lou Dubose spent six years watching George W. Bush govern Texas and then published "Shrub" in 2000. If only we had read their first book, the authors chide in the introduction to "Bushwhacked." From their perspective, what didn't work in Texas - tax cuts, faith-based social-service programs, a marriage of government and "big bidness" - is now failing the nation. Fair warning: heavy doses of Texas 'tude and wit prevail. (368 pp.) By Kendra Nordin
Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Book List
by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose
Random House, $24.95
7
The Present
Johnson ("Who Moved My Cheese") has tossed his hat into the ring of "help thyself by living in the moment" books. Written as a "wise tale," an old man (the master) guides a young man (the student) in life-stage installments toward "The Present." The book appeals to the SUV-driving, "more now is better" stripe now prevalent in North American culture. While well-intentioned and certainly based in sound principle, the book is a simplistic, lightweight clone of more formidable predecessors. (112 pp.) By Tonya Miller
Mixed review Favorable review Publishers Weekly
by Spencer Johnson
Doubleday, $19.95
8
7
Franklin and Winston
Meacham, the managing editor of Newsweek, has sifted through a mass of published and unpublished material, adding nuggets of new research to produce a readable - sometimes riveting - account of the interaction of the American president and the British prime minister in World War II. He also compares and contrasts personal details about the two leaders (childhoods, wives, marriages, children, physical challenges, and deaths). The appendix includes a helpful timeline and notes. (492 pp.) By Ruth Johnstone Wales
Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Chicago Tribune
Available on tape
by Jon Meacham
Random House, $29.95
9
12
Who's Looking Out For You?
In an era of greedy capitalists, self-absorbed movie stars, and elitist politicians, O'Reilly's answer to the title's question is: No one. Except him, of course. Unfortunately, the pugilistic populism that invigorates his No. 1-rated cable news program is buried here under a pile of fortune-cookie insight. "To have a friend you have to be a friend," he writes. You don't say. His critique of the media, pop culture, and modern politics is scathing but shopworn. If you're familiar with his schtick, there are few fresh nuggets. (224 pp.) By David S. Hauck
Unfavorable review Favorable review Publishers Weekly
by Bill O'Reilly
Broadway, $24.95
10
8
Living to Tell the Tale
The first volume of a planned trilogy, this is self-consciously (and at times self-mockingly) the Early Years of a World-Famous Writer, a Nobel Prize-winner who, at age 75, expects readers to be on intimate terms with his works. It is the opening chapters of a real-life fairy tale: the story of how "Gabito," a poor boy from the Caribbean coast of Colombia, discovered his vocation as a storyteller, mastered the art of fiction, and by doing so won not only glory and wealth but also literary immortality. (Full review Dec. 2) (484 pp.) By Christopher Carduff
Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Book List
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Zondervan, $26.95
11
9
The Purpose-Driven Life
Pastor Warren thinks there is one thing wrong with self-help books: too much focus on the self. He's designed his book to put the focus back on God, a chapter a day, for 40 days. It's refreshing to put aside personal goals for a service- and community-based purpose, but Warren claims that God is putting us through a series of tests. The suggestion that God might take off for a while because all relationships need "space" is also disturbing. His God sounds surprisingly human and manipulative. (336 pp.) By Kendra Nordin
Unfavorable review Mixed review Publishers Weekly
Available on tape
by Rick Warren
Zondervan, $19.99
12
Under the Banner of Heaven: The Story of Violent Faith
The best-selling author of "Into Thin Air" explores religious extremism. In 1984, Ron and Dan Lafferty, devout Mormon fundamentalists, murdered their young sister--in-law and her 15-month-old daughter because she had urged wives to resist their plan to become polygamists. While this compelling book raises important issues - some pertinent to today's news - it also delivers a skewed and misleading picture of the Mormon faith now practiced by 11 million people worldwide. (Full review July 17) (372 pp.) By Jane Lampman
Mixed review Favorable review Favorable review Unfavorable review Deseret Morning News
Available on tape
by Jon Krakauer
Doubleday, $26
13
10
Sea of Glory
In this tremendous adventure yarn, Philbrick chronicles the remarkable scientific accomplishments of the US Ex. Ex., a 19th-century voyage that charted 1,500 miles of the Antarctic coast. His narrative has elements of Ernest Shackleton, Ferdinand Magellan, and Sir Edmund Hillary rolled together: the perils of icy water; the force of crushing storms; the terrors of Hawaii's snowcapped active volcano. But it's fundamentally the tale of a tempest between US Navy Lt. Charles Wilkes and his men. (Full review Oct. 28) (452 pp.) By Gregory Lamb
Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Mixed review Publishers Weekly
Available on tape
by Nathaniel Philbrick
Viking, $27.95
14
Benjamin Franklin: an American Life
Most Americans think of Benjamin Franklin as a Founding Father who was also a printer, a ladies' man, a writer of maxims, and an inventor who was lucky he didn't kill himself when - or if - he flew his kite in a thunderstorm. But, as Walter Isaacson shows us in this compelling biography, Franklin was a far more complex and interesting man who was central to the success of the American Revolution. Isaacson is an accomplished writer, and he tells a wonderful story. The writing is clear and often humorous. (590 pp.) By Terry W. Hartle
Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Washington Post
Available on tape
by Walter Isaacson
Simon & Schuster, $30
15
14
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea
Through well-chosen excerpts from classical writers like Homer, Sophocles, and Plato, Cahill enthusiastically shows how the Greeks trailblazed much of Western civilization. Well-organized, the book maintains both a rough chronological and thematic progression by starting with the epics and moving into Athenian drama, and then philosophy. It's an excellent overview of the era; however, those familiar with the Greek canon may yearn for something more. (320 pp.) By Ben Arnoldy
Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Favorable review Washington Post
by Thomas Cahill
Doubleday, $27.50

The Book Sense(TM) bestseller list is based on sales from independent bookstores across America. 1-888-BOOKSENSE

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK