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May 12, 1985

The History Man and Rates of Exchange, Malcolm Bradbury (Penguin). The radical chic and cultural exchange are two subjects wittily skewered in these careful examinations of the academic world.

The Wonder of Being Human, Sir John Eccles and Daniel N. Robinson (New Science Library). Nobel laureate and leading psychologist dissect the five truisms: scientism, relativism, materialism, evolutionism and environmentalism.

The Center of the Cyclone, John C. Lilly, MD (Julian). Combines personal experiments in solitude, isolation and confinement with LSD and mysticism to gain greater understanding of human consciousness.

Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts and The English Teacher, R. K. Narayan (University of Chicago). Childhood, coming of age and marriage are all captured in this trilogy of life in India.

At the Bottom of the River, Jamaica Kincaid (Aventura). Ten stories of Caribbean fiction about childhood, family, manners and landscape.

Thomas Hardy, Irving Howe (Macmillan). A critical biography examining the themes and conflicts in all of Hardy's major works--including "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and "The Return of the Native."

The Fratricides, Nikos Kazantzakis, translated by Athena Gianakas Dallas (Simon & Schuster). From the author of "Zorba the Greek" comes this novel of Greece's civil war and its communist guerrillas and monarchist troops.

Sister: Love and Rivalry Inside the Family and Beyond, Elizabeth Fishel (Quill). Interviews with sisters both famous--Carly Simon and Margaret Mead--and obscure, who tell what it's like as opposites, rivals, secret sharers, lifelong friends or enemies.

Vectors and Smoothable Curves, William Bronk (North Point). Three books of commentary broaching the subjects of Incan stonemasons, costume as metaphor and Herman Melville.

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (Scribner's). Tales of the supernatural: "The Lady's Maid's Bell" and "The Triumph of Night."

The Films in My Life, Francois Truffaut, translated by Leonard Mayhew (Simon & Schuster). Collection of film criticism written and selected by the late director of the French New Wave cinema.

Before the Romantics: An Anthology of the Enlightenment, Geoffrey Grigson (Salamander). The classic collection of poetry and prose from Joseph Addison to Edward Young.

All My Patients Are Under the Bed: Memoirs of a Cat Doctor, Louis J. Camuti (Simon & Schuster). Humorous stories behind 60 years of treating America's cats.

The Stranger in Big Sur, Lillian Ross (Capra). Story of a rough pioneer and his mail-order bride, who changes him from a brute to a caring individual.

A New Look at the Dinosaurs, Alan Charig (Facts On File). Comprehensive and well-illustrated look at these prehistoric beasties.

The Operas of Puccini, William Ashbrook (Cornell University). Plot summaries, circumstances under which they were written and a history of performances.

A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, David M. Oshinsky (Free Press). A study of both the man and the times as they were held in a Cold War headlock.

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