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Michael Crichton’s Prey is hanging tough at No. 1 — so what’s the problem? Calculating exact book sales is tricky, but there have been reports that the technothriller’s sales are still softer than they should be, just as sales were underwhelming for recent books by blockbuster authors Tom Clancy, Scott Turow, and Stephen King. HarperCollins is on the defense, insisting that the book is selling 22 percent faster than Crichton’s last, Timeline, and that it’s on track to sell more than a million copies.

FICTION WEEKS ON LIST 1 PREY Michael Crichton, HarperCollins, $26.95 2 2 FOUR BLIND MICE James Patterson, Little, Brown, $27.95 3 3 SKIPPING CHRISTMAS John Grisham, Doubleday, $14.95 22 4 THE LOVELY BONES Alice Sebold, Little, Brown, $21.95 24 5 THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN David Baldacci, Warner, $19.95 5 6 HORNET FLIGHT Ken Follett, Dutton, $26.95 1 7 ESTHER’S GIFT Jan Karon, Viking, $10.95 6 8 VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS Janet Evanovich, St. Martin’s, $195.9 5 9 THE CHRISTMAS SHOES Donna VanLiere, St. Martin’s, $14.95 1 10 REVERSIBLE ERRORS Scott Turow, FSG, $28 6


1 BUSH AT WAR Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, $28 3 2 PORTRAIT OF A KILLER: JACK THE RIPPER — CASE CLOSED Patricia Cornwell, Putnam, $27.95 4 3 LEADERSHIP Rudolph W. Giuliani with Ken Kurson, Miramax, $25.95 10 4 THE SOPRANOS FAMILY COOKBOOK Allen Rucker, recipes by Michele Scicolone, Warner, $29.95 6 5 A LONG WAY FROM HOME: GROWING UP IN THE AMERICAN HEARTLAND Tom Brokaw, Random House, $24.95 5 6 THE POWER OF NOW: A GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT Eckhart Tolle, New World Library, $22.95 2 7 JOURNALS Kurt Cobain, Riverhead, $29.95 5 8 EVERYDAY GRACE: HAVING HOPE, FINDING FORGIVENESS, AND MAKING MIRACLES Marianne Williamson, Riverhead, $19.95 2 9 WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? Spencer Johnson, Putnam, $19.95 153 10 SANDY KOUFAX Jane Leavy, HarperCollins, $23.95 10