Scoring system:10 points for first place, 9 for second, down to 1 for tenth, 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).
The Savage Nation Michael Savage 30 Points
CONTENT The bombastic radio host attacks all the usual suspects but goes over-the-top on immigrants who refuse to learn English, the politically correct who tell him he should not spew venom, and the "sheeple" of America who cede authority to the cultural left.
GIST An extended rant with some worthwhile points that are lost within prose designed to intimidate rather than convince.
CAUTION Some crude humor.
What Should I Do With My Life? Po Bronson 20 Points
CONTENT Profiles of young professionals who, struggling to find their calling, have had interesting career paths. Examples: a college dropout trying to balance her passion for shot-putting and the time demands of her daughter; a lawyer who quit his job to become a trucker.
GIST Bronson shows, in a gentle manner, that people should follow their passions in choosing jobs and careers.
CAUTION Some profanity.
Stupid White Men Michael Moore 13 Points
CONTENT A screed against the evil powers that supposedly run the United States.
GIST In this view from the loony left, Bill Clinton is a closet Republican and Molly Ivins a genius. Written prior to Sept. 11, the book has the dated feel of an old yearbook. Old jokes about President Bush's intellect and the Florida elections are offered up here as original wit.
CAUTION Crudities and a blasphemy.
Bush At War Bob Woodward 12 Points
CONTENT A look into the inner workings of the Bush administration in the 100 days after Sept. 11, 2001.
GIST Access to many of the players responsible for planning the war lets the author reconstruct behind-the-scenes wrangling, politicking, and passionate arguing. The author depicts Bush as a confident president who uses the tools at his disposal to come up with a plan for defeating the Taliban without getting stuck in a quagmire.
The Right Man David Frum 11 Points
CONTENT Conservative author and former presidential speechwriter, who helped to coin the phrase "axis of evil," gives his insider account of George Bush's tumultuous first year in office.
GIST No shocking revelations in this rare look behind the scenes of the Bush White House; instead a picture emerges of an honest leader who, despite the author's initial misgivings, was the right man to lead the country in the critical days following Sept. 11, 2001.