1. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS
by Sara Gruen
A young man and an elephant save a Depression-era circus.
2. THE KITE RUNNER
by Khaled Hosseini
An Afghan-American returns to Kabul to learn how a childhood friend has fared under the Taliban.
3. THE MEMORY KEEPER'S
by Kim Edwards
A doctor's decision to secretly send his newborn daughter, who has Down syndrome, to an institution, haunts everyone involved.
4. THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN
by Claire Messud.
Privileged 30-somethings try to make their way in literary New York just before Sept. 11.
5. ECHO PARK
by Michael Connelly
The Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch returns to an old unsolved case, with unexpected results.
6. DEAR JOHN
by Nicholas Sparks
An unlikely romance between a soldier and an idealistic young woman is tested in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
7. ALMOST DEAD
by Lisa Jackson
A San Francisco woman must outmaneuver a killer who is taking revenge on her family.
by Jeffrey Eugenides
An epic story about three generations of Greek-Americans told by a hermaphrodite.
by Sandra Brown
A detective is attracted to a judge's wife who he suspects is not telling the truth about a fatal shooting.
10. THE ALCHEMIST
by Paulo Coelho
A tale about the lessons a Spanish shepherd boy learns during his travels to Egypt in search of treasure.
11. THE ROAD
by Cormac McCarthy
A father and son travel in post-apocalypse America.
12. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
by Robert Ludlum
A reissue of the action-packed thriller.
13. THE RUINS
by Scott Smith
Two young American couples on vacation in the Yucatan confront a horrible menace.
1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE
by Elizabeth Gilbert
A writer's yearlong journey in search of self takes her to Italy, India and Indonesia.
2. 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN
by Don Piper With
A minister on the otherworldly experience he had after an accident.
3. THE GLASS CASTLE
by Jeannette Walls
The author recalls a bizarre childhood during which she and her siblings were constantly moved from one bleak place to another.
4. THE WORLD IS FLAT
by Thomas L. Friedman
An updated edition of the New York Times columnist's analysis of 21st-century economics and foreign policy.
by Elie Wiesel
Hill & Wang
The horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
6. THREE CUPS OF TEA
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
A former climber builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
by Malcolm Gladwell
Back Bay/Little Brown
The author of The Tipping Point explores the importance of instinct to the workings of the mind.
8. THE TIPPING POINT
by Malcolm Gladwell
Back Bay/Little, Brown
A journalist's study of social epidemics, otherwise known as fads.
9. INTO THE WILD
by Jon Krakauer
How a young man's obsession with the wilderness had a tragic end.
10. THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE
by Erik Larson
The tale of an architect and a serial killer, linked by the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.
11. GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL
by Jared Diamond
An argument that Western dominance is due to geographical advantages.
12. CHOSEN BY A HORSE
by Susan Richards
The author recounts rescuing a broken-down horse, which in turn helped rescue her.
by Nathaniel Philbrick
How America began, from
the author of In the Heart