International Bestsellers

What's being read around the world

These lists of bestselling nonfiction from around the world highlight new global and regional concerns. History and self-help continue to dominate the shelves. And from Germany to India, everybody wants to know "Who moved my cheese?"


1. The Universe in a Nutshell, by Stephen Hawking (Hoffmann & Campe)

The very latest in theoretical physics, complete with illustrations and Star Trek metaphors. Readers are invited to understand more of the cosmos and to share Hawking's wonder about such topics as the nature of time and space.

2. THE PATH TO INNOCENCE, by Florian Illies (Argon)

The author of last year's bestseller "Generation Golf" explores the origins of the modern guilty conscience through 23 scenarios ranging in tone from adolescent humor to biting satire. Includes proposals for escaping the cycle of guilt.

3. After Afghanistan, God can only Cry, by Siba Shakib (Bertelsmann)

The author, an Iranian film director, met Shirin-Gol in a United Nations refugee camp in Afghanistan. That encounter led to this book, which gives eyewitness immediacy to the stark challenges Afghan women face.

4. Who moved my cheese? by Spencer Johnson (Ariston)

Using a children's book style, Johnson tells the parable of two mice, two mini-men, and their never-ending search for cheese. A quick read of simple ideas about what really matters during a busy day.

5. The Chancellor lives in the Swimming Pool: How Politics Happen, by D. Schroeder-Koepf and I. Broderson (Campus)

This collection of essays by noted figures in German society attempts to make the German political system understandable and engaging to children and young adults.

6. The Manns, by Heinrich Breloer and Horst Koenigsstein (Fischer)

An introduction to writer Thomas Mann and his family, including photos from the television documentary of the same name. The complex story of this family, so illustrious in the world of German literature, is the context for reflections on 20th-century history.

7. The Great Escape: Destiny of the Displaced, by Guido Knopp (Econ)

Toward the end of World War II, millions of Eastern Europeans of German descent fled their homelands, spurred on by fear of the Russians as portrayed by the Nazi propaganda machine. An account of an often-neglected aspect of the war.

8. African Dirge, by Peter Scholl-Latour (Bertelsmann)

An appraisal of the current state of Africa, from a journalist of 30 years' experience. Whether he's writing about Angola, Nigeria, or the Ivory Coast, he tells the same discouraging tale of war, hunger, and instability.

9. The War of the Century, by Guido Knopp (Econ)

The author of numerous respected histories, including "Hitler's Henchmen," presents a brief history of World War II.

10. Education: What You Need to Know, by Dietrich Schwanitz (Eichborn)

Do you count Don Quixote, Hamlet, Faust, Freud, and Dr. Jekyll among your close acquaintances? The author tells why you should, and then summarizes the most important concepts in Western thought. Includes a list of "books that changed the world."


1. The Road Of Tears, by Jorge Bucay (Sudamericana)

How to leave experiences behind, accept losses, and mourn. This is the third book in a series about self-discovery by a popular psychotherapist.

2. The Atrocious Charm Of Being Argentine, by Marcos Aguinis (Planeta)

Aguinis suggests that being Argentinian means accepting an identity at once laden with pride and suffering. After three years of recession and economic crisis, he argues, Argentines need to understand their contradictory feelings about their home.

3. Juan Manuel de Rosas by Pacho O'Donnell (Planeta)

Portrait of an Argentinian dictator (1835-1852) who was not only violent and ruthless, but who lived at a time when massacres and persecutions were the norm.

4. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson (Del Futuro Distribuciones)

Using a children's book style, Johnson tells the parable of two mice, two mini-men, and their never-ending search for cheese. A quick read of simple ideas about what really matters during a busy day.

5. The Eternal Dream, by Joaquin Morales Sola (Planeta)

An analysis of the two-year presidency of Fernando De la Rua in Argentina and the political dealings that led to his forced resignation in 2001.

6. The Road of the Encounter, by Jorge Bucay (Sudamericana)

A close look at marriage, attraction, sex, and trust and the role they play in the path to self-discovery. This is the second book in a series.

7. Five Agitated Women, by Maitena (Sudamericana)

Maitena explores the psychological makeup of contemporary women who suffer small domestic tragedies, workplace politics, the tyranny of dieting and beauty ideals, and the complaints of husbands, children, and their own mothers.

8. The Road to Self-Sufficiency, by Jorge Bucay (Sudamericana)

The answer to happiness, Bucay suggests, is self-dependence - a compromise between independence, which he thinks doesn't exist, and dependence, which doesn't allow growth. This book is the first in a series about self-discovery.

9. Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith (Prentice-Hall)

In an increasingly service-oriented economy, Beckwith argues, marketing is no longer about selling a product. The trick, now, is to sell customers a relationship with a company.

10. Messages from the Masters, by Brian Weiss (Aguilar)

Ways to find happiness and inner peace in today's world, including the role of fate. Weiss is a leader in "regression therapy," a method of healing in which patients are hypnotized so they can access past lives.


1. The Algebra of Infinite Justice, by Arundhati Roy (Viking Penguin)

Political essays on everything from the war on terrorism to globalization from this Indian author and Booker Prize-winner.

2. A Hundred Encounters, by Sham Lal (Rupa)

A collection of book reviews by an icon of Indian journalism. Themes revolving around the collapse of communism and the rise of globalism are explored through critiques of literary giants such as Hemingway, Kafka, and Fukuyama.

3. Quiver, by Javed Akhtar (HarperCollins)

An English and Hindi translation of Akhtar's poems about childhood, innocence, and love. The poems were first published in 1995.

4. Pakistan History and Politics 1947-71, by M. Rafique Afzal (Oxford)

A study of politics, economics, and foreign policy in Pakistan from its inception in 1947 to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.

5. Out of Poverty, by John Stackhouse (Penguin)

Stackhouse shifts between memoir, travel-writing, and social commentary to reveal the lives of some of the word's poorest people and their triumphs over poverty.

6. The Man Who Divided India, by Rafiq Zakaria (Popular)

A look at the life of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who led the All India Muslim League to demand an independent Muslim state, resulting in the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

7. Signposts, by Prabal Kumar Basu (Rupa)

An anthology of major Bengali poetry produced after independence in 1947 and translated into English.

8. Dancing in the Family, by Sukanya Rehman (HarperCollins)

Three women - an American from Minneapolis, her daughter, and her granddaughter - resuscitate traditional Indian dance in this unconventional family memoir.

9. Gods of Power, by Kalyani Shankar (Macmillan)

Journalist Shankar profiles local leaders who emerged onto the larger stage of national politics in India, providing reasons for their success and revealing the dynamics of Indian democracy.

10. Same-sex Love in India, by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kiwai (Macmillan)

Drawing on 2,000 years of Indian literature, this anthonlogy explores same-sex love in India in different religious contexts and cultural traditions.

Compiled by the Associated Press from Der Spiegel (Germany), Cuspide (Argentina), The Asian Age (India).

Translation help from Amanda Paulson, Jennie Friborg, and Alfredo Sosa.

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