Pack Up A Paperback For A Small Package Filled With Big Ideas

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Many books reviewed by the Monitor are now available in paperback for holiday gift-giving. Those listed below impressed Monitor reviewers.

JAZZ, by Toni Morrison (Plume, 229 pp., $10). The sixth novel by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison begins after a young black woman is murdered in Harlem in 1926. Merle Rubin wrote in an April 17, 1992 review: ``It's a book I found myself reading aloud ... just for the sheer pleasure of hearing the musical, yet perfectly natural and colloquial, sound of the never-to-be identified voice that narrates the story.''

LINCOLN AT GETTYSBURG: THE WORDS THAT REMADE AMERICA, by Garry Wills (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 317 pp., $12). ``Lincoln's address has never been served better,'' wrote Gabor S. Boritt of the book that won Wills a Pulitzer Prize. In his review of Aug. 31, 1992, Boritt commented, ``it is refreshing to see Gary Wills sally forth boldly ... to give readers a `great man, great moment' view of history, with a vengeance.''

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IN MY PLACE, by Charlayne Hunter-Gault (Vintage, 257 pp., $11). Hunter-Gault, a national news correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, fills the void of books about women in the civil rights movement with her memoir. A review by Gregory M. Lamb on Dec. 3, 1992 said of the Southern native and her writing, ``A strong family life, grounded in religious beliefs and a love of education, prepared her for her biggest challenge: In 1961, she entered the University of Georgia as one of the first two African-Americans ever allowed to attend it.... As a personal insight into the dawning civil rights movement, the book is an engaging read.''

THE RASCAL KING: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JAMES MICHAEL CURLEY (1874-1958), by Jack Beatty (Addison-Wesley, 571 pp., $15). Politician Curley held numerous offices in his lifetime, including mayor of Boston (four times), governor of Massachusetts (once), and Congressman (twice). In a Dec. 29, 1992 review, Lawrence J. Goodrich found that Beatty ``does an exemplary job of stripping away the many Curley myths that still abound in Boston. Using a multitude of sources, he reveals the complexity and contradictions of the man as he really was.''

JFK: RECKLESS YOUTH, by Nigel Hamilton (Random House, 900 pp., $15). Hamilton's book, recently brought to television as an ABC miniseries, chronicles the life of Jack Kennedy through the age of 29. This first of three planned volumes was reviewed on Dec. 15, 1992 by Guy Halverson, who wrote: ``[Hamilton] provides an exhausting yet fascinating account of John F. Kennedy from the future president's birth in 1917 in Brookline, Mass. ... to his years in World War II, when his father was United States ambassador to Great Britain.''

CITIES OF GOLD: A JOURNEY ACROSS THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST IN CORONADO'S FOOTSTEPS, by Douglas Preston (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 480 pp., $14). Calling this ``an intimate portrait of people and places,'' Mary Warner Marien wrote on Jan. 8, 1993: ``Douglas Preston's memoir of his 1989 horseback journey across the American Southwest, following the putatative route of the 16th-century Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, is a riveting yarn, with as many turns as a switchback road.''

THE LONG NIGHT OF WHITE CHICKENS, by Francisco Goldman (Atlantic Monthly Press, 450 pp., $12). Francisco Goldman's first novel, according to Marjorie Agosin in a review of July 24, 1992, ``captures with great skill and poetic beauty the history of Guatemala, the corruption caused by its military rule, and the terror resulting from the human-rights abuses committed there.'' In the story, the mysterious death of a friend brings main character Roger Graetz to his mother's native country to investigate.

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