April 22, 2011 Over the course of a summer, parents Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the issues that threaten to tear their family apart — including the behavior and addictions of their teenage daughter. Anne Lamott's Imperfect Birds enjoys its second week on the list.
April 15, 2011 When a wealthy white woman enlists the help of two black maids to write a tell-all about domestic race relations in 1960s Mississippi, their sleepy Southern town is set astir. As the civil rights movement advances, their project becomes a momentous task. The Help debuts at No. 1.
April 8, 2011 This year's National Book Critic's Circle Fiction award winner, A Visit from the Goon Squad, doesn't fit neatly into any genre. Jennifer Egan's fun, swirling time trip of a novel jumps to No. 6 in its second week on the list.
April 1, 2011 In Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, an aristocratic and elderly Englishman's unlikely friendship with his next-door neighbor, the Pakistani widow of the local food shop owner, takes an unexpected turn toward romance. Helen Simonson's first novel enjoys its 17th week on the list.
March 25, 2011 In the wake of a massacre in a Swedish village, a local judge comes across the diaries of an ancestor who was kidnapped in China. Further evidence links the murders to a mysterious Chinese man and suggests that the motives of the crime are rooted in the past. The Man From Beijing debuts at No. 14.
March 18, 2011 A young Dutchman and a Japanese midwife fall in love on a trading outpost off the Japanese mainland at the turn of the 19th century. Their cross-cultural romance is not an easy one, and the pair must overcome a variety of bizarre obstacles. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet debuts at No. 12.
March 11, 2011 A film adaptation of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants comes out in April. Set during the Great Depression, it tells the story of romance — and adultery — among the cast of a traveling circus. It is No. 5 on the list this week.
March 4, 2011 In Jeannette Walls' follow-up to her best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle, she assumes the voice of her plucky grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, in the retelling of her eccentric life as a rodeo rider, schoolteacher, bootlegger and bush pilot. Half Broke Horses enjoys its 25th week on the list.
February 25, 2011 In this love story writ large, a young Hungarian Jewish architect meets an older Hungarian dancer in Paris as World War II looms. The pair falls in love but are soon torn apart as the Nazis gain power. The Invisible Bridge debuts at No. 15.
February 18, 2011 In Cathleen Schine's riff on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, a spurned wife and her adult daughters end up in a rundown beach cottage after their lives begin to unravel. The drama of divorce, romance, sibling rivalry and bankruptcy ensue. The Three Weissmanns of Westport debuts at No. 13.
February 11, 2011 Sarah Blake weaves together the stories of three very different women — a housewife, a postmistress and a war reporter — as their lives are rocked by World War II. The Postmistress debuts at No. 6.
February 4, 2011 A veterinary school dropout joins a second-rate Depression-era traveling circus as its vet. As he cares for the circus' abused animals, he also falls in love with Marlena, the show's star performer — and the wife of the circus boss. Water for Elephants enjoys its 105th week on the list.
January 27, 2011 Barbara Kingsolver's latest novel follows writer Harrison Shepherd from his youth spent in Mexico at the home of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to his adult life in the United States as a writer and suspected political subversive. The Lacuna enjoys its 27th week on the list.
January 21, 2011 The Imperfectionists charts the course of an English-language newspaper based in Rome from its 1950s heyday through its decline. Tom Rachman's first novel enjoys its second week on the list.
January 13, 2011 Young Rachel Morse is forced to confront the issues of her biracial parentage after her parents die and she moves into her grandmother's house in a largely black neighborhood. Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky debuts at No. 13.