1

Weeks on List: 27

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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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.

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2

Weeks on List: 1

Cleopatra

A Life

by Stacy Schiff

Paperback, 432 pages, Little Brown & Co, $16.99, published September 6 2011 | purchase

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Title
Cleopatra
Subtitle
A Life
Author
Stacy Schiff

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Stacy Schiff separates fact from fiction to reconstruct the life of Cleopatra, revealing her as a complex woman and shrewd monarch whose life and death reshaped the ancient world.

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3

Weeks on List: 13

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.

4

Weeks on List: 35

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.

5

Weeks on List: 18

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.

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6

Weeks on List: 5

The Emperor of All Maladies

A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Paperback, 571 pages, Simon & Schuster, $18, published August 9 2011 | purchase

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Title
The Emperor of All Maladies
Subtitle
A Biography of Cancer
Author
Siddhartha Mukherjee

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A historical assessment of cancer addresses both the courageous battles against the complex disease and the misperceptions and hubris that have compromised modern understandings, providing coverage of such topics as ancient-world surgeries and the developments of present-day treatments.

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7

Weeks on List: 45

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.

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8

Weeks on List: 14

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.

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9

Weeks on List: 22

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.

10

Weeks on List: 24

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.

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11

Weeks on List: 5

Let's Take the Long Way Home

A Memoir of Friendship

by Gail Caldwell

Paperback, 198 pages, Random House Inc, $14, published August 9 2011 | purchase

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Title
Let's Take the Long Way Home
Subtitle
A Memoir of Friendship
Author
Gail Caldwell

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Traces the author's close friendship with the late fellow writer Caroline Knapp, describing their shared experiences with sobriety, a love of dogs and Caroline's battle with cancer.

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12

Weeks on List: 28

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.

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13

Weeks on List: 4

The Hare With Amber Eyes

A Hidden Inheritance

by Edmund De Waal

Paperback, 354 pages, St Martins Pr, $16, published August 2 2011 | purchase

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Title
The Hare With Amber Eyes
Subtitle
A Hidden Inheritance
Author
Edmund De Waal

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Traces the parallel stories of 19th century art patron Charles Ephrussi and his unique collection of 264 miniature netsuke — Japanese ivory carvings — documenting Ephrussi's relationship with Marcel Proust and the impact of the Holocaust on his cosmopolitan family.

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14

Weeks on List: 206

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.

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15

Weeks on List: 19

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.

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