The September/October 2002 Book Sense 76 Top Ten Announcement(s)

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Well, this was tough! Over 2,000 books nominated, the most ever. Such a huge, huge, huge September and October new book-wise, not surprisingly. So rich that some great books landing after October 1 need to be held off until the November/December 76.

Meanwhile, there were 10 great hardcovers leading the pack ... and 10 great paperbacks! So, not a Book Sense 86, but the top 10 paperbacks will be noted on the September/October flyer, and featured on a free-standing pad, also in September. It just didn't seem fair to penalize either great new hardcovers or big paperbacks by smushing the two together, to use a technical term.

Anyway, here goes. The full 76 will be announced next week.

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The Top Ten Hardcovers for September/October

1. THE LAST GIRLS, by Lee Smith (Algonquin, $24.95, 1565123638; in stores Sept. 17) Also Highbridge Audio (1565117018; CD, 1565117026)

2. MIDDLESEX, by Jeffrey Eugenides (Farrar, $27, 0374199698; Sept. 4) Also Audio Renaissance (1559277807)

3. RAISING BLAZE: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World, by Debra Ginsberg (HarperCollins, $23.95, 0060004320; August)

4. THE HEAVEN OF MERCURY, by Brad Watson (Norton, $23.95, 0393047571; August)

5. CLOUD OF SPARROWS, by Takashi Matsuoka (Delacorte, $24.95, 0385336403; Oct. 1) Also a Random House Audio CD (0553713906)

6. THE FRUIT OF STONE, by Mark Spragg (Riverhead, $24.95, 1573222232; Aug.) Also a Highbridge Audio (1565117085; CD, 1565117093)

7. THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, by Michael Faber (Harcourt, $26, 015100692X; Sept.)

8. BLOOD OF VICTORY, by Alan Furst (Random House, $24.95, 0375505741; Aug. 27)

9. THE BOOK OF ILLUSIONS, by Paul Auster (Henry Holt, $24, 0805054081; Sept.) Also a HarperAudio Unabridged (0060511893)

10. ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR: Book One of the Tales of the Otori, by Lian Hearn (Riverhead, $24.95, 1573222259; Sept.) Also a HighBridge Audio (1565117107)

The Top Ten Paperbacks for September/October

1. PEACE LIKE A RIVER, by Leif Enger (Grove, $13, 0802139256; Aug. 20)

2. THE CORRECTIONS, by Jonathan Franzen (Picador, $15, 0312421273; Aug. 27)

3. ELLA MINNOW PEA: A Novel in Letters, by Mark Dunn (Anchor, $12, 0385722435; Sept. 17)

4. FALLING ANGELS, by Tracy Chevalier (Plume; $13, 0452283205; Sept. 24)

5. SHOOTING DR. JACK, by Norman Green (Perennial, $12.95, 0060934131; Sept. 3)

6. AVA'S MAN, by Rick Bragg (Vintage, $13, 0375724443; Aug.)

7. SAILING ALONE AROUND THE ROOM: New and Selected Poems, by Billy Collins (Random House, $13.95, 0375755195; Sept. 4)

8. THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES, by Elizabeth Redfern (Jove, $7.99, 051513239X; July)

9. BLUE DIARY, by Alice Hoffman (Berkley, $13, 0425184943; Aug. 6)

10. THE GRAND COMPLICATION, by Allen Kurzweil (Hyperion, $16, 0786885181; Aug.)

(There will be a special note about the new Anchor edition of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the sequel on the Paperback Top Ten pad.)