Best-Sellers

Holiday 'Present'

Spencer Johnson, M.D. -- a.k.a. the guy who wrote the hit Who Moved My Cheese? -- is back on the chart with another pop parable. The Present, a tale about living in the now, was propelled to No. 8 after Johnson's pre-Christmas appearance with Matt Lauer on Today.

FICTION WEEKS ON LIST

1 THE DA VINCI CODE Dan Brown, Doubleday, $24.95 39 2 THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN Mitch Albom, Hyperion, $19.95 12 3 HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, $29.99 26 4 THE BIG BAD WOLF James Patterson, Little, Brown, $27.95 4 5 TROJAN ODYSSEY Clive Cussler, Putnam, $27.95 3 6 WOLVES OF THE CALLA: THE DARK TOWER, BOOK V Stephen King, Scribner/Grant, $35 6 7 THE HORNET'S NEST Jimmy Carter, Simon & Schuster, $27 4 8 BLEACHERS John Grisham, Doubleday, $19.95 14 9 SHEPHERDS ABIDING Jan Karon, Viking, $24.95 8 10 SKIPPING CHRISTMAS John Grisham, Doubleday, $14.95 31

NONFICTION WEEKS ON LIST

1 THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE Rick Warren, Zondervan, $19.99 46 2 THE SOUTH BEACH DIET Arthur Agatston, M.D., Rodale, $24.95 36 3 WHO'S LOOKING OUT FOR YOU? Bill O'Reilly, Broadway, $24.95 12 4 FLYBOYS: A TRUE STORY OF COURAGE James Bradley, Little, Brown, $25.95 11 5 LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM -- A FAIR AND BALANCED LOOK AT THE RIGHT Al Franken, Dutton, $24.95 17 6 THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MISTER ROGERS: IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER Fred Rogers, Hyperion, $16.95 8 7 DUDE, WHERE'S MY COUNTRY? Michael Moore, Warner, $24.95 10 8 THE PRESENT: THE GIFT THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL AT WORK AND IN LIFE Spencer Johnson, Doubleday, $19.95 1 9 THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT SOLUTION: THE 7 KEYS TO WEIGHT LOSS FREEDOM Dr. Phil McGraw, Free Press, $26 14 10 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: AN AMERICAN LIFE Walter Isaacson, Simon & Schuster, $30 15

SOURCE: PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, WEEK OF DEC. 8 -- 14, 2003

OPENING ACTS

''I have found it somewhat difficult to gain entry into country-folk society.... The main problem is you hardly ever see them up close. There are precious few opportunities for chance encounters when folks are all off in some field tending to a llama or training a horse or clank-clank-clanking on a stuck tractor part. Around here, neighbors are people who wave across the acres as your car goes by. I have come to appreciate the waving.'' -- From the first chapter of Jeanne Marie Laskas' memoir THE EXACT SAME MOON (Bantam, $23.95)

''My first boat sank. I was six years old and had hammered it together from old orange crates and split firewood, sealing the cracks with bumper stickers from an Ann Arbor City Council candidate named Ulrich Stoll.... It was a short voyage -- straight down. Within seconds, brown water started gurgling up around my ankles, then gushing over the sides. Before I could even think about abandoning ship, it was all over. There I stood, knee-deep in water, my boat stuck fast on the muddy bottom.'' -- From the opening paragraphs of John Pollack's nonfiction account of building a sailing vessel entirely of wine corks, CORK BOAT (Pantheon, $21)

Originally posted Jan 09, 2004 Published in issue #745 Jan 09, 2004 Order article reprints
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