Here are some reminders of books reviewed this year that you may want to put on your Christmas list. Space limitations demand that we be highly selective, but we hope to have included a book for every taste . Novels
Chasing Dad, by Candace Flynt (Dial, $9.95). A working-class North Carolina family tries to deal with the suicide of its eldest son.
Confederates, by Thomas Keneally (Harper & Row, $12.95). The Civil War from the viewpoint of common soldiers -- lice, stench and all.
A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole (Louisiana State University Press, $12.95). Black humor and outrage in New Orleans.
Falling in Place, by Ann Beattie (Random House, $10.95). The center cannot hold in Connecticut.
Godric, by Frederick Buechner (Atheneum, $10.95). A startling portrait of an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon monk.
Hearts, by Hilma Wolitzer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $10.95). A young widow and her teenage stepdaughter on a pilgrimate from New Jersey to California.
Innocent Blood, by P.D. James (Scribner's $10.95). Adopted Philippa Palfrey seeks out her first mother and finds murder in her past.
Life Before Man, by Margaret Atwood (Simon and Schuster, $11.95). Charting a love triangle in introspective mode.
Loon Lake, by E. L. Doctorow (random House, $11.95). Joe Patterson adrift in the depression years finds himself in a rich man's Adirondack kingdom.
Man in the Holocene, by Max Frisch (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $7.75). An old man is alone in an Apline village as things cease to work and the rain keeps falling.
The Middle Ground, by Margaret Drabble (Knopf, $10.95). Kate is a successful journalist and feminist, but even she can't escape a midlife crisis.
Morgan's Passing, by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $9.95). Eccentric Morgan Gower, a man of many parts, becomes obsessed with a young puppeteer and his wife.
Plains Song: For Female Voices, by Wright Morris (Harper & Row, $10). Several generations of Atkins women speak in muted voices of life in Nebraska.
Ray, by Barry Hannah (Knopf, $7.95). An elusive tale of a former fighter pilot and present doctor.
Rough Strife, by Lynne Sharon Schwartzs (Harper & Row, $9.95). A novel of marriage -- Ivan and Caroline's revealed by startling detail.
The Salt Eaters, by Toni Cade Bambara (Random House, $9.95). A faith healing changes the lives of many black Southerners.
The Scapegoat, Mary Lee Settle (Random House, $9.95). A mine owner's daughters, Mother Jones and strikes in West Virginia -- 1912.
The Second Coming, by Walker Percy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $12.95). The hero of The Last Gentleman , Will Barrett, living off his late wife's wealth in North Carolina, tests the existence of God and falls in love.
So Long, See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell (Knopf, $7.95). An inexorable, intricate tragedy unfolds around two boys, somewhere in Illinois.
The Transit of Venus, by Shirley Hazzard (Viking, $11.95). The lives of Caroline and Grace Bell intertwine and illuminate three decades. Biography and Autobiography
Edith Kermit Roosevelt, by Sylvia Jukes Morros (Coward, McCann, $16.95). Rough-rider Teddy's first lady.
Freud: The Man and the Cause, by Ronald Clark (Random House, $19.95). Old and new material on the life of Sigmund and his circle.
Helen and Teacher: The story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy, by Joseph P. Lash (Delacorte, $17.95). A double biography.
john Dos Passos, by Townsend Ludington (Dutton, $20). The story of how a left-wing author became a Virginia gentleman.
Little Gloria . . . Happy at Last, by Barbara Goldsmith (Knopf, $15.95). The tortured childhood of the heiress who designs jeans.
Lyndon, by Merle Miller (Putnam, $17.95). The complex and mercurial former president.
Mao, by Ross Terrill (Harper & Row, $17.50). The chinese chairman.
Maugham, by Ted Morgan (Simon and Schuster, $16.95). A summing-up of Somerset Maugham.
Misia, by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale (Knopf, $16.95). A life of Misia Sert, the woman who conquered most of the high ground on the Parisian culture scene during the early part of this century.
Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times, by James R. Mellow (Houghton Mifflin, $19.95).
Orwell: The Transformation, by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams (Knopf, $12.95). The "conscience of his generation" is forged on the front during the Spanish Civil War.
Portrait of an Artist: O'Keeffe, by Laurie Lisle (Seaview, $14.95). From Stieglitz to the desert, with Georgia O'Keeffe.
The Thirties, by Edmund Wilson (Farrar, Straus and Girous, $17.50). The critic's ciary of the decade, focusing on politics and the death of his wife.
Walt Whitman: A Life, by Justin Kaplan (Simon and Schuster, $15). The mind behind the body electric.
Walter Lippmann and the American Century, by Ronald Steel (Atlantic-Little, Brown, $19.95). The story of the ambitious and brilliant man who shaped opinion in newspapers for much of this century.
Wayward Reporter, by Raymond Sokolov (Harper & Row, $15.95). The life of New Yorker writer and gourmand A. J. Liebling.
Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy, (st. Martins, $13.95). A strong silent type tells his story.
Woody Guthrie, by Joe Klein (Knopf, $15.95). The great song writer and the disease which killed him. Public Affairs
The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America's Political Intelligence System by Frank J. Donner (Knopf, $17.95). Big Brother really is watching.
All Things to All Men: The False Promise of the Modern American Presidency, by Godfrey Hodgson (Simon and Schuster, $12.95). Is the power of the Oval Office really an illusion?
Assassination on Embassy Row, by John Dinges and Paul Landau (Pantheon, $14.95). The murders of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt.
Changing of the Guard, by David Broder (Simon and Schuster, $14.95). The politicians in our future.
Gifts of Deceit: Sun Myung Moon, Tongsun Park, and the Korean Scandal. by Robert Boettcher with Gordon L. Freeman (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $14.95). Koreagate and other wonders from the Hermit Kingdom.
How Washington Really Works, by Charles Peters. (Addison-Wesley, $10.95; paperback, $5.95). An irreverent look at the exercise of power on the Potomac.
In the Absence of Power, by Haynes Johnson (Viking, $12.95). Is the United States becoming unable or unwilling to govern itself?
The Lean Years: Politics in the Age of Scarcity, by Richard J. Barnet (Simon and Schuster, $12.95). Institutional political change, not tgechnological breakthrough, can see us safely into the 21st century.
Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties, by Harris Wofford (Farmer, Straus and Giroux, $17.50). The former president of Bryn Mawr examines "how so much good and so much bad could have happened in one intense time."
The Real War, by Richard M. Nixon (Warner, $12.95). The former president as elder statesman and apocalyptic historian.
The Present Dangers: Do We Have the Will to Arrest the Decline of American Power, by Norman Podhoretz (Simon and Schuster, $7.95). The distinguished editor-critic cries la patrie en danger.
The Pulse of Politics: Electing Presidents in the Media Age, by James David Barber (Norton, $14.95). Modern presidential elections seem to be following a quadrennial pattern of conflict, conscience and conciliation.
The Pursuit of the Presidency: 1980, by David Broder, Lou Cannon, Haynes Johnson, Martin Schram, Richard Harwood and the staff of The Washington Post (Washington Post/Berkley, paperback $3.95). The long presidential duel of 1980, from the first stirrings through the primaries to the general election, as seen by the national staff of The Washington Post.
The Third Wave, by Alvin Toffler (Morrow, $14.95). The shape of things to come by a noted futurist.
The Zero-Sum Society: Distribution of the Possibilities for Economic Change, by Lester Thurow (Basic, $12.95). The size of the pie is limited, but we can cut it up in different ways. History
American Education: The National Experience, by Lawrence A. Cremin (Harper & Row, $35). How the schools developed in the 19th century.
The Cheese and the Worms, by Carlo Ginzburg (John Hopkins, $14). A 16th-century Italian miller, his heresy, and his world view.
Fin de Siecle Vienna, by Carl E. Schorske (Knopf, $15.95). Vienna in her prime.
Fire in the Minds of Men, by James H. Billington (Basic, $25).The idea of revolution, especially in the 19th century.
History and Memory, by Charles W. Yost Norton, $14.95). A diplomat looks back on the disturbing 20th century.
Naming Names, by Victor Navasky (Viking, $15.95). Hollywood in the Black List days.
The Plan of St. Gall by Walter Horn and Ernest Born (California, $350). The plans for a medieval monastery reveal the details of monastic life.
Without Fear or Favor, by Harrison E. Salisbury (Times Books, $17.50). A history of The New York Times . Humor
The Best of Bishop, by Morris Bishop (Cornell University Press, $12.95). A selection from the serve of a master of whimsy.
Crackers, by Roy Blount Jr. (Knopf, $10.95). Blount studies good ole boyism, concentrating on the Carter family of Plains and, for the moment, of Washington.
Side Effects, by Woody Allen (Random House, $8.95). Short comic pieces by the filmmaker and writer; his best tale is about a typical Allen character who gets trapped in Madame Bovary.
So This Is Depravity, by Russell Baker (Congdon & Lattes, $10.95). A collection of his Sunday Observer columns for The New York Times Magazine. Mysteries
The Specialty of the House And Other Stories, by Stanley Ellin (The Mysterious Press, $15). The collected mystery tales of a master storyteller.
People of Darkness, by Tony Hillerman (Harper & Row, $9.95). A native American, torn between detective work and tribal life, uncovers chicanery in the desert Southwest.
Photo Finish, by Ngaio Marsh (Little Brown, $10.95). The dowager duchess of mystery fiction at her best in this tale of a soprano's murder on an isolated island.
The Rembrandt Panel, by Oliver Banks (Little, Brown, $11.95). An art expert goes after a murderer and a lost masterpiece.
Case for Three Detectives, by Leo Bruce (Academy Chicago Ltd., $7.95). This first of the classic Sgt. Beef mysteries parodies Peter Wimsey, Father Brown and Hercule Poirot.
One Corpse Too Many, by Ellis Peters (Morrow, $8.95). Cadfael, a 12th-century Benedictine monk, pursues God's justice for a murdered soul against the backdrop of civil war in medieval England.
Whip Hand, by Dick Francis (Harper & Row, $9.95). Sid Halley, hero of Odds Against, is back on the track investigating a horse racing syndicate.
Aristotle, Detective, by Margaret Doody (Harper & Row, $10.95). The master of them that know proves a charming detective in the Sherlock-Holmes vein. Short fiction
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, by Eudora Welty (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $17.50). The life work of a master of the form, including such unforgettable stories as "The Wide Net," "Why I Live at the P.O." and "A Worn Path."
Fifty Stories, by Kay Boyle (Doubleday, $15.95). The work of more than 50 years, these are "stories as true as only fiction can be," in the words of our reviewer.
Getting Through, by John McGahern (Harper & Row, $10.95). An Irish writer's stories of love, loss and death -- the final getting through.
Italian Folktales, by Italo Calvino (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $25). Roger Sale, our reviewer, said of these tales, collected and retold by the Italian man of letters: "Someday it may well be that Italian Folktales is what people remember about 1980."
The State of Ireland, by Benedict Kiely (Godine, $14.95). Kiely, who takes as his subject the town of Omagh in Northern Ireland, is "a classic Irish storyteller, with . . . a sense of humor, an acute ear for the way people talk, a highly evolved narrative skill."
World's End, by Paul Theroux (Houghton Mifflin, $9.95). "Moving, disturbing, richly told" stories, often deaing with the undoing of innocents abroad. Children's books
Anno's Italy, by Mitsumasa Anno (Philomel/Putnam, $8.95. All ages). Brendan Gill wrote of this book: "Page after page of ravishing watercolors depicit an Italy that none of us has ever encountered but that we recognize at once as the true Italy -- the Italy of our hearts' desire."
Brother Mouky and the Falling Sun, by Karen Whiteside (Harper & Row, $7.95. Ages 4-8). The sensitive story of a young black boy walking in the city to get over being mad at his brother.
The Fisherman and His Wife: A Tale From the Brothers Grimm, translated by Randall Jarrell; illustrated by Margot Zemach (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $10.95. Ages 3-up). The familiar story retold by the much admired poet, illustrated with colorful, Chagall-like figures.
The Heavenly Zoo: Legends and Tales of the Stars, retold by Alison Lurie; pictures by Monika Beisner (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $9.95. Ages 3-up). Tales of the stars taken from Greek and Roman myths, the King James Bible and other sources, retold in language that is meticulous and musical.
Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson (Crowell, $8.95. Ages 12-up). The story of Wheeze Bradshaw, a second-best twin girl growing up on a small island in the Chesapeake Bay.
A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L. 'Engle (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $9.95. Ages 10-up). Vicky, a 16-year-old who works with dolphins in a marine biology lab, faces the nightmare of death, and is thrown into despair, until her watery friends help her see her way clear.
Unbuilding, by David Macaulay (Houghton Mifflin, $9.95. All ages). An Arab prince has purchased the Empire State Building and plans to move it home, and Macaulay follows the deconstruction. Poetry
Being here: Poetry 1977-1980, by Robert Penn Warren (Random House, $8.95; paperback, $4.95). Recollections of the past, meditations on nature, by a Pulitzer Prize-winner.
Classic Ballroom Dances, by Charles Simic (Braziller, $6.95; paperback, $3.95). Simple, lapidary language, short stanzas and an archetypal, proverbial resonance.
Kingsley Amis: Collected Poems, 1944-1979 (Viking, $10). Ironic, witty and polished verse, by an accomplished traditionalist.
The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (Harper & Row, $12.95). The life's work of a distinguished Washington poet.
Field Work, by Seamus Heaney (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $8.95). The land (especially bogs) and the current Troubles, interpreted by an Irish poet who may be the best since Yeats.
The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler (Farrar, Straus and Girous, $10.95). Easy-going, likable confessions in the Frank O'Hara vein.
A Part of Speech, by Joseph Brodsky (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $12.95). Modernism, angst, and existential meditations by a Russian exile.
Scripts for the Pageant, by James Merrill (Atheneum, $12.95). The last volume of a three-part philsophical religious poem using communications from a ouija board.
The Various Light, by Alfred Corn (Viking, $12.95; Penguin paperback, $7.95). Taut, elliptical reflections in language rich as brocade. Popular Fiction
Aztec, by Gary Jennings (Altheneum, $15.95). A picaresque novel about the pre-Columbian empire that collapsed with the coming of the conquistadors.
The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum (Marek, $12.95). The body count is high as Jason Bourne searches for his identity, the only clue to which is the number of a Swiss bank account embedded on microfilm under his skin.
The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M. Auel (Crown, $9.95). Love and death among the Neandertals, in this first of a projected series of volumes.
Close Relations, by Susan Isaacs (Lippincott & Crowell, $10.95). Marcia Green, fresh from the borscht-belt, gets her man in the Big Apple.
The Covenant, by James A. Michener (Random House, $15.95). Michener's epic novel treks from Capetown to Johannesburg via Zululand.
The Cradle Will Fall, by Mary Higgins Clark (Simon and Schuster, $10.95). Thrills galore, as a young widow crosses the path of a psychotic gynecologist.
The Devil's Alternative, by Frederick Forsyth (Viking, $12.95). Hijackers blackmail the Western powers.
The Fifth Horseman, by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (Simon and Schuster, $13.95). New York's Finest take on international terrorists.
Green Monday, by Michael M. Thomas (Wyndham, $12.95). Money talks, as bulls and bears shoot it out on the New York Stock Exchange.
Kane & Abel, by Jeffrey Archer (Simon and Schuster, $13.95). Two millionaires, one self-made and Jewish, the other a Boston Brahmin, plot revenge on each other.
The Key to Rebecca, by Ken Follet (Morrow, $12.95). Rommel's spies, pro-German Egyptian nationalists and a British Army major duel for victory in the fleshpots of Cairo.
Manchu, by Robert Elegant (McGraw-Hill, $12.95). The Ming Dynasty falls to the Manchus in the 17th century.
Princess Daisy, by Judith Krantz (Crown, $12.95). The most beautiful of New York's beautiful people has a terrible secret.
Rage of Angels, by Sidney Sheldon (Morrow, $12.95). A young woman lawyer is lusted after by her male colleagues in Manhattan.
Solo, by Jack Higgins (Stein and Day, $11.95). The adventures of a Soviet spy who also happens to be a concert pianist.
The Spike, by Arnaud de Borchgrave and Robert Moss (Crown, $12.95). Eager young reporter discovers the Soviet mole in the CIA. Science Fiction
Engine Summer, by John Crowley (Doubleday, $7.95; $1.95 paper). A lyrical novel about a post-holocaust civilization.
Fireflood and Other Stories, by Vonda N. McIntyre (Houghton Mifflin, $10.95). Tales of alienation, including the Nebula-winning "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand."
Lord Valentine's Castle, by Robert Silverberg (Harper & Row, $12.95). Valentine the juggler is the rightful ruler of a gloriously exotic, baroque planet of adventure.
The Shadow of the Torturer, by Gene Wolfe (Simon and Schuster, $11.95). The first volume of a tetralogy, whose hero is an apprentice torturer, that promises to be a masterwork of fantasy.
The Science Ficiton Encyclopedia, edited by Peter Nicholls (Doubleday, $24.95; paperback, $12.95). The best general guide to the authors, themes and ephemera of science fiction.
The Stories of Ray Bradbury, (Knopf, $17.95). The author of The Martian Chronicles selects his 100 best tales, ranging from the chilling to the sentimental.
Timescape, by Gregory Benford (Simon and Schuster, $12.95). This novel conveys the excitement of scientists at work as men of 1998 attempt to communicate with a physicist of 1962. Criticism
Adultery in the Novel, by Tony Tanner (Johns Hopkins, $18.50). Making and breaking marital contracts in Rousseau's La Nouvelle Heloise, Goethe's Elective Affinities and Flaubert's Madame Bovary.
Kipling, Auden & Co., by Randell Jarrell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.95). Brilliant and witty essays on poets, storytelling and the decline of literacy.
Lectures on Literature, by Vladimir Nabokov (Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich, $19.95). The creator of Lolita "caresses the details" to reveal the artistic structure of seven European novels.
Lives of the Modern Poets, by William H. Pritchard (Oxford, $14.95). Biographical-critical essays, modeled after those of Dr. Johnson, on Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams and others.
Nature and Culture, by Barbara Novak (Oxford, $35). Landscape painting and national definition in 19th-century America.
Part of Nature, Part of Us, by Helen Vendler (Harvard, $17.50). Modern American poetry reviewed, crisply, perceptively and with authority.
The State of the Language, edited by Leonard Michaels and Christopher Ricks (California, $14.95). Articles, by various writers and scholars, on the lingo of the land.
The Tle Bearers, by V. S. Pritchett (Random House, $10). Brief essays on novelists and storytellers by a distinguished man of letters.
When the Lights Go Down, by Pauline Kael (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $18.95; paperback, $9.95). Movies of the '70s reviewed by The New Yorker's movie critic. Science
Cosmos, by Carl Sagan (Random House, $19.95). Fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution.
The Panda's Thumb, by Stephen Jay Gould (Norton, $11.95). Meditations on evolution and other subjects.
The Search for Solutions, by Horace Freeland Judson (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $16.95). A lavishly illustrated book about scientific quest and experiment by the author of The Eighth Day of Creation. Letters
Among Friends: Personal Letters of Dean Acheson, edited by David S. McLellan and David C. Acheson (Dodd, Mead, $17.95). A statesman's private statements.
The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, edited by Mark Amory (Ticknor & Fields, $25). A comic novelist at war with the modern world.
The Letters of Flaubert, edited and translated by Francis Steegmuller (Harvard, $12.50). The gospel of art. General Nonfiction
Destinations, by Jan Morris (Oxford/Rolling Stone, $12.95). These polished, lyrical essays deal with 11 critics, among them London, Delhi, Johannesburg, and Washington.
Going to Extremes, by Joe McGinnis (Knopf, $11.95). Travels in Alaska, a land of contrasts.
Music for Chameleons, by Truman Capote (Random House, $10.95). Capote calls 13 of these pieces "factual short stories" and the longest of them a "nonfiction short novel."
Off Center, by Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (Dial, $9.95). Book reviews, informal essays and interviews with such people as Joan Didion, Dick Cavett and Jane Fonda.
Paradigms Lost, by John Simon (Clarkson Potter, $12.95). Three dozen essays on the sorry state of literacy in America.
Second Person Rural, by Noel Perrin (Godine, $10). Short, thoughtful and often amusing essays about the country life of a city boy in Vermont.
The White Lantern, by Evan S. Connell (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $11.95). A literate armchair traveler shares with us the fruits of his studies; the title story is about the first expeditions to the South Pole.
The Wildlife Stories of Faith McNulty, by Faith McNulty (Doubleday, $17.95). A collection of her reports for The New Yorker, including perhaps her best-known piece, about whooping cranes.