Books: Best-sellers

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The Independent Culture
Bill Bryson is the travel list this week: taking the top five places with a combined sales total of 46,449. That's not nearly as many as Delia, mind you; though the TV screening of Notes From a Big Country early next year should send his sales up into the stratosphere. The stranglehold of the big three - Bryson, Attenborough and Smith - on the top of the non-fiction chart probably won't loosen until the last book token has been redeemed in the New Year. That said, is there anybody left in the country whose Christmas wish to improve their own culinary skills, or more likely, those of their nearest and dearest, still lacking That Cookbook? And for those sick of being told that they can't even boil an egg, the resurgence in the sales of Men are From Mars... suggests a pro-active approach to bucking the post-Christmas high in the number of people filing for divorce.

Compiled by Bookwatch from sales over seven days ending 13 December

Bookwatch Ltd, 1998

ORIGINAL FICTION

TITLE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER WEEKLY SALES PRICE

1(1) Carpe Jugulum Terry Pratchett (Doubleday) 10,609 pounds 16.99

2(2 ) Tara Road Maeve Binchy (Orion) 8,844 pounds 16.99

3(6) Archangel Robert Harris (Hutchinson) 6,926 pounds 16.99

4(-) City Girl Patricia Scanlan (Bantam) 6,781 pounds 5.99

5(4) Point of Origin Patricia D Cornwell (Little,Brown)6,618 pounds 16.99

6(3) Field of Thirteen Dick Francis (M Joseph) 6,515 pounds 16.99

7(5) Rainbow Six Tom Clancy (M Joseph) 6,510 pounds 16.99

8(-) Powerplays Tom Clancy (Penguin) 4,599 pounds 5.99

9(7) Charlotte Gray Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson) 4,556 pounds 16.99

10(10) Bag of Bones Stephen King (Hodder) 3,802 pounds 16.99

ORIGINAL NON-FICTION

TITLE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER WEEKLY SALES PRICE

1(1) Delia's How to Cook Delia Smith (BBC) 64,247 pounds 16.99

2(2) The Life of Birds David Attenborough (BBC) 20,325 pounds 18.99

3(3) Note From a Big Country Bill Bryson (Doubleday) 18,226 pounds 16.99

4(4) Blackadder Richard Curtis et al (M Joseph) 11,693 pounds 15.99

5(6) The Little Book of Calm Paul Wilson (Penguin) 10,559 pounds 1.99

6(7) Little Book of Feng Shui Lillian Too (Element) 9,266 pounds 1.99

7(8) Addicted Tony Adams/I Ridley (CollinsWillow) 8,232 pounds 16.99

8(5) The Private Eye Annual ed Ian Hislop (Private Eye) 8,199 pounds 7.99

9(-) Men Are From Mars... John Gray (Thorsons) 6,434 pounds 8.99

10(-) Losing My Virginity Richard Branson (Virgin) 6,432 pounds 20

TRAVEL

TITLE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER WEEKLY SALES PRICE

1 Notes From a Big Country Bill Bryson (Doubleday) 18,226 pounds 16.99

2 A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson (Black Swan) 12,378 pounds 6.99

3 Notes From a Small Island Bill Bryson (Black Swan) 9,859 pounds 6.99

4 Neither Here Nor There Bill Bryson (Black Swan) 2,946 pounds 6.99

5 The Lost Continent Bill Bryson (Abacus) 2,040 pounds 6.99

6 Strange Places... John Simpson (Macmillan) 1,707 pounds 20

7 Following the Equator with Peter Ustinov M Waldman (Simon&Schuster) 1,110 pounds 20

8 Round Ireland... Tony Hawks (Ebury) 809 pounds 9.99

9 The Plant Hunters Toby Musgrave (Ward Lock) 610 pounds 20

10 The Age of Kali William Dalrymple (HarperCollins) 573 pounds 19.99

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