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Bestsellers

Culture | The five best-selling nonfiction paperbacks as measured by placement on four leading lists as of Feb. 19

Issue: "Bush's tax-cut plan," March 10, 2001
Scoring system:10 points for first place, 9 for second, down to 1 for 10th, on the lists of the American Booksellers Association (independent, sometimes highbrow stores), The New York Times (4,000 bookstores, plus wholesalers), USA Today (3,000 large-inventory bookstores), and Amazon.com (Web purchases).
1
Ice Bound
Dr. Jerri Nielsen 34 points (ABA: 1st; NYT: 1st; USA Today: 3rd; Amazon.com: 5th)
CONTENT
A true-life medical adventure set at the South Pole.

GIST
When 46-year-old Jerri Nielsen signed up to be the lone doctor wintering over at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, she was looking for adventure. When she discovered a breast lump-when no flights could go in or out-her yearÕs adventure became a struggle for life. The book chronicles her fight and celebrates life at one of the worldÕs last frontiers.

WORLDVIEW
X-Games humanism.

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CAUTION
N/A

2
An Hour Before Daylight
Jimmy Carter 32 points (ABA: 2nd; NYT: 2nd: USA Today: 5th; Amazon.com: 3rd)
CONTENT
The story of Jimmy CarterÕs boyhood in Plains, Ga.

GIST
Carter isnÕt a natural storyteller, so this book reads like a washload of memories, the significant and interesting jumbled with the insignificant. He focuses on the years during the Depression and World War II, when racial segregation was unquestioned. He recalls with fondness his pre-modern boyhood, while looking critically at the racial attitudes that underlay it.

WORLDVIEW
Churchgoing humanism.

CAUTION
N/A

3
Who Moved My Cheese?
Spencer Johnson 27 points (ABA: 3rd; NYT: not listed; USA Today: 1st; Amazon.com: 2nd)
CONTENT
A parable about the inevitability of change and the need to embrace it.

GIST
In the parable, cheese makes us happy. We get accustomed to it, donÕt notice when it begins to smell bad, and we hurt ourselves and our organizations when we fight to hold on to it. Cheese doesnÕt indicate when it is wise to resist change in order to uphold a higher principle.

WORLDVIEW
Relativism.

CAUTION
N/A

4
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
Tracy Hogg 25 points (ABA: 5th; NYT: not listed; USAToday: 2nd; Amazon.com: 1st)
CONTENT
Practical advice from a nurse midwife who has made understanding babies her lifeÕs work.

GIST
Comfortable advice for new moms. The book includes charts that explain what all those odd faces and body movements mean, and provides short quizzes to help readers figure out where they fit on the ÒplannerÓ vs. ÒwingerÓ spectrum. Dogmatists wonÕt like her advice, but young mothers looking for common-sense help will find the book useful.

WORLDVIEW
Pro-family.

CAUTION
N/A

5
The OÕReilly Factor
Bill OÕReilly 13 points (ABA: 10th; NYT: 4th; USA Today: 6th; Amazon.com: not listed)
CONTENT
Bill OÕReilly is a talk show pugilist and his book is full of his opinions on just about everything.

GIST
The Fox News ChannelÕs OÕReilly prides himself on scolding both right and left. On religion he says, ÒReligion is primarily a way to examine my conscience and spend some time thinking about something more important than my own existence.Ó

WORLDVIEW
Libertarian curmudgeon.

CAUTION
N/A

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Rosa Parks, the woman who symbolically started the American civil-rights movement in 1955 by refusing to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala., is a living legend. At the time, some saw her defiance as a brazenly political act orchestrated by the NAACP. Many today see her as Òjust a good-hearted middle-aged seamstress who was simply so tired one day that she refused to give up her seat on the bus home from work.Ó The reality, as is often the case, is more complex than either view. In his biography Rosa Parks (Penguin, 2000), historian Douglas Brinkley does his best to explain why this seemingly mild-mannered woman became the locus of anti-segregation sentiment at that time and one of the most respected figures of the last century. The portrait that emerges is of a brave and devout Christian woman, determined to love even her enemies, while also harboring a defiant streak and some radical political views. This is a good introduction to the life of one of the civil-rights movementÕs most inspiring participants.

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