1

Weeks on List: 19

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

Paperback, 381 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published March 8 2011 | purchase

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Title
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author
Rebecca Skloot

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks documents the story of how scientists took cells from an unsuspecting descendant of freed slaves and created a human cell line that has been kept alive indefinitely, enabling numerous medical and scientific discoveries.

2

Weeks on List: 27

Heaven is for Real

A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

Paperback, 163 pages, Thomas Nelson Inc, $16.99, published November 2 2010 | purchase

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Title
Heaven Is for Real
Subtitle
A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
Author
Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

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Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent tell the story of a Nebraska pastor's 4-year-old son, who loses consciousness during surgery, sees a vision of heaven and meets Jesus' special horse.

3

Weeks on List: 10

Empire of the Summer Moon

Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

by S.C. Gwynne

Paperback, 371 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published May 10 2011 | purchase

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Title
Empire of the Summer Moon
Subtitle
Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Author
S.C. Gwynne

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Describes the actions of both whites and Comanches during a 40-year war over territory, in a story that begins with the kidnapping of a white girl who grew up to marry a Comanche chief and have a son, Quanah, who became a great warrior.

4

Weeks on List: 6

Outliers

The Story of Success

by Malcolm Gladwell

Paperback, 309 pages, Little Brown & Co, $16.99, published June 7 2011 | purchase

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Title
Outliers
Subtitle
The Story of Success
Author
Malcolm Gladwell

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The author of Blink identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance and why The Beatles earned their fame.

5

Weeks on List: 16

Born to Run

A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

by Christopher McDougall

Paperback, 287 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published March 29 2011 | purchase

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Title
Born To Run
Subtitle
A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Author
Christopher McDougall

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Recounts the author's experiences with the reclusive Tarahumara Indians, whose techniques allow them to run long distances with ease, and describes his training for a 50-mile race with the tribe and a number of ultramarathoners.

6

Weeks on List: 37

Just Kids

by Patti Smith

Paperback, 288 pages, Harpercollins, $16, published November 2 2010 | purchase

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Title
Just Kids
Author
Patti Smith

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Artist and musician Patti Smith recounts her romance, lifetime friendship and shared love of art with Robert Mapplethorpe in an illustrated memoir, with a colorful cast of characters including Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol and William Burroughs.

7

Weeks on List: 20

The Happiness Project

Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

by Gretchen Rubin

Paperback, 315 pages, Harpercollins, $14.99, published March 1 2011 | purchase

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Title
The Happiness Project
Subtitle
Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Author
Gretchen Rubin

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The Happiness Project chronicles the author's year spent testing the edicts of conventional wisdom to assess their potential for improving life, describing various activities ranging from getting more sleep and singing to her children to starting a blog and imitating a spiritual master.

8

Weeks on List: 11

Life

by Keith Richards and James Fox

Paperback, 564 pages, Little Brown & Co, $16.99, published May 3 2011 | purchase

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Title
Life
Author
Keith Richards and James Fox

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The lead guitarist for The Rolling Stones recounts his life, from a youth obsessed with Chuck Berry to the formation of the Stones and their subsequent stardom, and discusses his problems with drugs, the death of Brian Jones, and his relationship with Mick Jagger.

9

Weeks on List: 5

Unlikely Friendships

47 Remarkable Stories From the Animal Kingdom

by Jennifer S. Holland

Paperback, 210 pages, Workman Pub Co, $13.95, published June 21 2011 | purchase

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Title
Unlikely Friendships
Subtitle
47 Remarkable Stories From the Animal Kingdom
Author
Jennifer S. Holland

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A collection of stories about animals that have forged unlikely, abiding bonds with other animals of different species, from Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten to Owen the hippo and the tortoise Mzee.

10

Weeks on List: 6

The Wave

In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean

by Susan Casey

Paperback, 408 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published May 31 2011 | purchase

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Title
The Wave
Subtitle
In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean
Author
Susan Casey

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Traces the recent discovery of physics-defying ocean waves at heights previously thought impossible, the efforts of the scientific community to understand the phenomenon, the pursuits of extreme surfers to ride these waves, and the destructive capabilities of tsunamis.

11

Weeks on List: 198

The Devil in the White City

Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

by Erik Larson

Paperback, 447 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published February 1 2004 | purchase

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Title
The Devil in the White City
Subtitle
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Author
Erik Larson

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An account of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event — architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.

12

Weeks on List: 42

Inside of a Dog

What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

by Alexandra Horowitz

Paperback, 352 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published September 28 2010 | purchase

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Title
Inside of a Dog
Subtitle
What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Author
Alexandra Horowitz

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A psychologist offers insight into the canine mind, drawing on current cognitive research to illuminate a dog's perceptual abilities and the experiences that shape dog behavior, with stories about the author and her canine friend.

13

Weeks on List: 15

F in Exams

The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers

by Richard Benson

Paperback, 128 pages, Chronicle Books, $9.95, published February 23 2011 | purchase

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Title
F In Exams
Subtitle
The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers
Author
Richard Benson

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Humor writer Richard Benson collects hilariously wrong test answers.

14

Weeks on List: 213

The Glass Castle

A Memoir

by Jeannette Walls

Paperback, 288 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published January 9 2006 | purchase

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Title
The Glass Castle
Subtitle
A Memoir
Author
Jeannette Walls

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The second child of a scholarly, alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, from the Arizona desert to Las Vegas to an Appalachian mining town, during which she and her siblings had to fend for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

15

Weeks on List: 4

The Disappearing Spoon

And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

by Sam Kean

Paperback, 9 pages, Little Brown & Co, $14.99, published June 6 2011 | purchase

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Title
The Disappearing Spoon
Subtitle
And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Author
Sam Kean

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In an engaging text centered around the periodic table, the author explores intriguing tales about every element of the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, evil, love, the arts and the lives of the colorful scientists that discovered them.