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"Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good plays, good company, good conversation -- what are they? They are the happiest people in the world."

—William Lyon Phelps


Hardcover Nonfiction Best Sellers (Book Sense)

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power 
    by Jon Meacham (Random House, ISBN: 9781400067664); Last week: 1; Weeks on List: 3 "Pulitzer Prize-winner Meacham's magnificent biography of Thomas Jefferson is a December 2012 Indie Next List Great Read."

Help, Thanks, Wow 
    by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, ISBN: 9781594631290); Last week: 2; Weeks on List: 3 "Lamott writes about three simple prayers she believes are essential to coming through tough times and the hardships of daily life."

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof 
    by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, ISBN: 9780307464873); Last week: 4; Weeks on List: 5 "Garten's latest is an infinitely practical cookbook that home cooks will turn to again and again."

I Could Pee on This 
    by Francesco Marciuliano (Chronicle, ISBN: 9781452110585); Last week: 3; Weeks on List: 15 "In this hilarious book of tongue-in-cheek poetry, Marciuliano helps cats unlock their creative potential and explain their odd behavior to ignorant humans."

Killing Kennedy 
    by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Holt, ISBN: 9780805096668); Last week: 5; Weeks on List: 8 "A look at the shocking events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy."

America Again 
    by Stephen Colbert (Grand Central, ISBN: 9780446583978); Last week: 6; Weeks on List: 8 "Colbert's hilarious follow-up to I Am America (And So Can You!)."

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 
    by William Manchester, Paul Reid (Little Brown, ISBN: 9780316547703); Last week: 8; Weeks on List: 5 "An unparalleled portrait of the brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader, Winston Churchill."

Waging Heavy Peace 
    by Neil Young (Blue Rider, ISBN: 9780399159466); Last week: 15; Weeks on List: 9 "An insightful view of the personal life and musical creativity of legendary musician Neil Young."

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity 
    by Andrew Solomon (Scribner, ISBN: 9780743236713); Weeks on List: 1 "National Book Award-winner Solomon tells the true stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so."

Killing Lincoln 
    by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Holt, ISBN: 9780805093070); Last week: 13; Weeks on List: 44 "A riveting historical narrative of the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln."

The Signal and the Noise 
    by Nate Silver (Penguin Press, ISBN: 9781594204111); Last week: 10; Weeks on List: 6 "Silver examines the world of prediction and how everything from the health of the global economy to the ability to fight terrorism are dependent on the quality of predictions."

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook 
    by Deb Perelman (Knopf, ISBN: 9780307595652); Last week: 11; Weeks on List: 5 "A collection of celebrated food blogger Perelman's recipes for any night of the week, or for the most special occasions."

    by Oliver Sacks (Knopf, ISBN: 9780307957245); Last week: 9; Weeks on List: 4 "Using hallucinations reported by his patients and his own experiences, Sacks shows why the potential for hallucinations is present in us all."

    by Cheryl Strayed (Knopf, ISBN: 9780307592736); Last week: 7; Weeks on List: 36 "Strayed's powerfully honest memoir of loss and recovery is an April 2012 Indie Next List Great Read."

Behind the Beautiful Forevers 
    by Katherine Boo (Random House, ISBN: 9781400067558); Weeks on List: 10 "Boo's brilliant work of narrative nonfiction tells the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in the "unequal city" of Mumbai."
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