Marking its second week on our nonfiction list is a, well, ball of a different color. Michael Lewis's Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game switches from Boston to the West Coast as it looks at the Oakland Athletics' 2002 season—how the team achieved a spectacular winning record while having one of the lowest player payrolls in the major leagues. According to Norton publicity director Louise Brockett, Lewis's latest work (after The New New Thing and Next) "got off to a spectacular launch," thanks to its first serial in Sports Illustrated plus raves in Newsweek, Time and the New York Times (by Janet Maslin). Because of the book's focus, Brockett notes that initial publicity was centered in the Bay area, where Lewis "did 16 media appearances/interviews and four major book signings in San Francisco over the course of four days"—a push that quickly landed the book atop the San Francisco Chronicle's bestseller list. Media back east has included Charlie Rose, CNN's NewsNight, NPR's Fresh Air and Motley Fool, Fox Morning News and the NPR-affiliated Leonard Lopate Show. Following its May 12 release, Moneyball has just under 200,000 copies in print.

With reporting by Dick Donahue.