Prefaces to Shakespeare, by Harley Granville-Barker (Princeton, 2 volumes, $5.95, $5.45). A director and actor, Granville-Barker presents the plays as dramatic vehicles rather than great poetry only incidentally attached to the stage.

The Jewel in the Crown, and The Day of the Scorpion, by Paul Scott (Avon, $2.25 each). The first two of the four novels in the Raj Quartet examine the British experience in turbulent India during World War II.

Setting Free the Bears, by John Irving (Pocket Books, $2.50). The exploits of motorcyclists Siggy and Hannes, plus a lovely hitchhiker companion named Gallen, who realize the ultimate prank-setting free the animals in the Vienna Zoo.

Chinaman's Chance, by Ross Thomas (Avon, $2.25). Artie Wu, heir to the impreial throne of China, and his friend, Quincy Durant, team up to find a missing blonde and soon run into a well-read Mafia chieftain, aome artful assassins, and a bevy of sexy ladies.

Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies, by Stan Mack (Putnam, $4.95; cloth,$8.95). The wit in these comic strips is more often than not unintentional, as the peripatetic Mack guarantees "all dialogue is reported verbatim." The result is an oral history of contemporaty pretensions, vanities, and illusions.

Perdido, by Jill Robinson (Pocket, $2.75). A decade in the life of a Hollywood child: it's funny, perceptive, richly anecdotal, and deserves the overused epithet "bittersweet."

Murder with Malice, by Michael Underwood; Scared to Death, by Anne Morice (St. Martin's Mystery Shelf Selection, $2.95 each). Two satisfying British whodunits-the first with a policeman on trial, and the second with an actress-sleuth.

Artists in Aprons: Folk Art by American women, by C. Kurt Dewhurst, Betty MacDowell, and Marsha MacDoweell (Dutton, $9.95). Quilts, samplers, portraits, and hooked rugs, among other creations, are displayed and discussed in this charming and informative book. The inclusion of brief biographies and the careful use of historical perspective throughout help make it a valuable guide to the ways in which three centuries of women have expressed their innermost feelings, as well as their views of the world around them.

The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change, by Thomas S. Kuhn (Chicago, $5.95). Essays and papers on the history of science by the thinker who developed the paradigm of the scientific breakthrough in his famous The structure of Scientific Revolutions.