The following is a selection from the many books reviewed in Book World this year: Novels

The Island of Crimea, by Vassily Aksyonov (Random House, $16.95). Russian history reimagined by a daring fabulist.

Time After Time, by Molly Keane (Knopf, $13.95) A grotesque family drama set in a decaying Irish manor house.

Unto This Hour, by Tom Wicker (Viking, $19.95). The syndicated columnist brings alive the Second Battle of Bull Run.

Waterland, by Graham Swift (Poseidon Press, $15.95). The English fens saturate this tale of a lad with a keen sense of history.

Tenth, by MacDonald Harris (Atheneum, $15.95). All about the last symphony of Adrian Leverkuehn -- a motif borrowed from Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus.

Invisible Mending, by Frederick Busch (Godine, $14.95). A middle-aged man recaptures a long-lost love.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera (Harper & Row, $15.95). The highly bearable, typically sexy new work by the Czech exile.

Jacob's Well, by Stephen Harrigan (Simon and Schuster, $15.95). One of those rarities: a wholly adult novel (about cave-diving) with an action-paced climax.

Machine Dreams, by Jayne Anne Phillips (Dutton/Seymour Lawrence, $16.95). A family's disintegration, viewed symptomatically.

The War of the End of the World, by Mario Vargas Llosa (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.95). Peru's leading representative of El Boom borrows a harrowing incident from Brazilian history.

The Time of Her Life, by Robb Forman Dew (Morrow, $12.95). A pair of never- grown-up parents inflict their self-indulgence on a bewildered child.

The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, by Fay Weldon (Pantheon, $13.95). A wife's unorthodox revenge on her philandering husband.

Foreign Affairs, by Alison Lurie (Random House, $15.95). Scholars on sabbatical take aim on English citadels.

The Ladies, by Doris Grumbach (Dutton, $14.95). Based on the true story of an 18th- century lesbian affair.

Empire of the Sun, by J.G. Ballard (Simon and Schuster, $16.95). A boy wanders through war-ravaged landscapes on the way to maturity.

English Creek, by Ivan Doig (Atheneum, $16.95). The myth-shattering summer of a boy in the American West.

Miss Peabody's Inheritance, by Elizabeth Jolley (Viking, $13.95). Metafiction from an Australian writer whose characters seek refreshment in Nature. Short Fiction

Private Parties, by Jonathan Penner (University of Pittsburgh Press, $13.95). Well- turned sentences about faint-hearted losers.

Slow Learner: Early Stories, by Thomas Pynchon (Little, Brown, $14.95). Apprentice work by the author of Gravity's Rainbow.

Free Agents, by Max Ale (Harper & Row, $14.50). Examinations of pop culture by a mixer of fact and fiction.

Him With His Foot in His Mouth and Other Stories, by Saul Bellow (Harper & Row, $15.95). The Nobel laureate in a good- humored vein.

What I Know So Far, by Gordon Lish (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $14.95). The godfather of the New Fiction collects his own.

Family Dancing, by David Leavitt (Knopf, $13.95). Gay characters coping with their families' mixed reactions.

Something Out There, by Nadine Gordimer (Viking, $15.95). The personal sides of politics and history.

On the Yankee Station: Stories, by William Boyd (Morrow, $12.95). An English novelist on losses of innocence.

Sing Me No Love Songs I'll Say You No Prayers, by Leon Rooke (Ecco Press, $15.50). A Canadian's vivid depictions of modest lives.

Victory Over Japan, by Ellen Gilchrist (Little, Brown, $15.95). The vagaries of southern egotism.

Too Late American Boyhood Blues, by Frederick Busch (Godine, $15.95). The pangs of adolescence, presented by a master of empathy. Popular Fiction

Berlin Game, by Len Deighton (Knopf, $15.95). The ultimate in Checkpoint Charlie novels.

The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings (Atheneum, $17.95). A Rabelaisian version of Marco Polo's travels.

The Shadow Cabinet, by W.T. Tyler (Harper & Row, $15.50). Conniving and pretending in the nether world of Washington.

The Belt of Gold, by Cecelia Holland (Knopf, $15.95). Constantinople in 802 A.D. is the setting for this historical novel.

Nightbloom, by Herbert Lieberman (Putam, $16.95). A psychopathic killer's m.o. is dropping cinder blocks from rooftops.

The Brotherhood of the Rose, by David Morrell (St. Martin's/Richard Marek, $15.95). A thriller answers the question: "Are safe houses really safe?"

Seven Silent Men, by Noel Behn (Arbor House, $16.95). A bank heist with a subterranean escape route into the Mississippi River.

The Ceremonies, by T.E.D. Klein (Viking, $16.95). Superior variations on a theme by H.P. Lovecraft.

Cool Runnings, by Richard Hoyt (Viking, $15.95). An antiwar gang hopes to force disarmament by brandishing a nuclear weapon itself.

Luna, by Delacorta (Summit, $9.95). Another lala title from the thriller-writer who gave us Diva and Nana.

High Command, by John Masters (Morrow, $16.95). A soldier fights in both world wars and every British skirmish in between.

The Pyrates, by George MacDonald Fraser (Knopf, $16.95). Flashman's chronicler runs up the Jolly Roger.

The Miracle, by Irving Wallace (Dutton, $17.95). The world prepares for new visions at Lourdes.

Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature, by Alberto Manguel (Clarkson N. Potter, paperback, $11.95). An anthology that celebrates the nightmarish imagination.

The Summer of the Barshinskeys, by Diane Pearson (Crown. $16.95). English civility proves a matchless asset during the Russian Civil War.

Life Its Ownself, by Dan Jenkins (Simon and Schuster, $15.95). Post-football antics by Billy Clyde Puckett and friends.

Briarpatch, by Ross Thomas (Simon and Schuster, $15.95). Murder and spooks (the CIA kind) in this latest by a master thriller- writer. General Nonfiction

Geisha, by Liza Crihfield Dalby (University of California Press, $25). A fascinating glimpse of a closely circumscribed world by an American woman who spent a year learning the Geisha arts.

Amazon, by Brian Kelly and Mark London (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $15.95). Into the heart of South America.

The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud. Volume 1. Education of the Senses, by Peter Gay (Oxford University Press, $25). A revisionist look at Victorian mores.

The Traders, by Sonny Kleinfield (Holt Rinehart and Winston, $14.95). On the floor with commodities brokers.

Castaway: A Story of Survival, by Lucy Irvine (Random House, $16.95). A man and a woman survive a South Pacific desert island.

In the Freud Archives, by Janet Malcolm (Knopf, $11.95). Back-biting and jealousy among the psychoanalysts.

Ceremonial Time: Fifteen Thousand Years on One Square Mile, by John Hanson Mitchell (Anchor/Doubleday, $15.95). A scrap of Massachusetts land encompasses centuries of history.

In God's Countries, by Bil Gilbert (University of Nebraska Press, $14.95). Flora and Fauna, described by one of America's best nature writers.

The Weaker Vessel, by Antonia Fraser (Knopf, $19.95). Englishwomen in the 17th century.

Finding the Center: Two Narratives, by V.S. Naipaul (Knopf, $13.95). The writer looks back at his beginnings.

Miss Manners' Guide to Rearing Perfect Children, by Judith Martin (Atheneum, $14.95). Manners can be fun. Brothers and Keepers, by John Edgar Wideman (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, $15.95). A black writer's inquiry into a painful question -- why he has it all, a family, professional success, while his brother serves a life sentence for murder. Science

Napoleon's Glands and Other Ventures in Biohistory, by Arno Karlen (Little, Brown, $15.95). Speculations on historical and contemporary diseases.

A Leg to Stand On, by Oliver Sacks (Summit, $14.95). Illness and the quest for recovery.

Biophilia, by Edward O. Wilson (Harvard University Press, $15). The sociobiologist seeks to explain what draws us to the study of living things.

Three Degrees Above Zero: Bell Labs in the Information Age, by Jeremy Bernstein (Scribners, $17.95). Inside one of the nation's foremost research laboratories. Biography and Autobiography

Alan Turing: The Enigma, by Andrew Hodges (Simon and Schuster, $22.50). A brilliant mathematician and computer scientist saves his country by code-breaking skills, only to cmmit suicide after exposure as a homosexual.

The Autobiography of Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka (Freundlich Books, $16.95). A black American's pilgrimage.

Dostoyevsky: The Years of Ordeal, 1850-1859, by Joseph Frank (Princeton University Press, $25). The second volume of the definitive life.

Thomas Carlyle: A Biography, by Fred Kaplan (Cornell University Press, $35). The curmudgeon of Craigenputtock and Cheyne Walk.

Books of 1984

An American Saga: The Story of Helen Thomas and Simon Flexner, by James Thomas Flexner (Little, Brown, $24.95). The biologist and the bluestocking.

A.E. Housman: A Critical Biography, by Norman Page (Schocken, $29.95). The poet and classicist.

Stengel: His Life and Times, by Robert W. Creamer (Simon and Schuster, $16.95). Pride of the Yankees.

First Lady from Plains, by Rosalynn Carter (Houghton Mifflin, $17.95). Inside the White House.

D.W. Griffith: An American Life, by Richard Schickel (Simon and Schuster, $24.95). The pioneer film maker.

Diane Arbus: A Biography, by Patricia Bosworth (Knopf, $17.95). The troubled life of a major photographer.

Ivy: The Life of I. Compton-Burnett, by Hilary Sperling (Knopf, $22.95). Such a strange lady.

Hilaire Belloc, by A.N. Wilson (Atheneum, $17.95). The Catholic apologist and man of letters.

Margaret Mead: A Life, by Jane Howard (Simon and Schuster, $19.95). The woman who personified anthropology.

Solzhenitsyn: A Biography, by Michael Scammell (Norton, $29.95). The titan of modern Russian literature.

Galina: A Russian Story, by Galina Vishnevskaya (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $19.95). Of samovars and sopranos.

Home Before Dark, by Susan Cheever (Houghton Mifflin, $15.95). A daughter's moving memoir of John Cheever.

The Private World of Georgette Heyer, by Jane Aiken Hodge (Bodley Head/Merrimack, $19.95). Historical fiction was her forte. History

The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (Knopf, $25). The poor are always with us.

The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History, by Robert Darnton (Basic Books, $17.95). The fascinating underside of French history.

The Road to Stalingrad: Stalin's War With Germany and The Road to Berlin: Continuing the History of Stalin's War With Germany, by John Erickson (Westview, $38.50 and $42.50 respectively). The Soviet achievement in World War II.

Slavery and Human Progress, by David Brion Davis (Oxford, $25). The idea of slavery in the Enlightenment. The Haymarket Tragedy, by Paul Avrich (Princeton, $29.50). Anarchists and trade unionists in 19th-century America.

The Fateful Alliance: France, Russia, and the Coming of the First World War, by George F. Kennan (Pantheon, $18.95). How the Great Powers sought security and found ruin.

Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan, by Ronald H. Spector (The Free Press/Macmillan, $24.95). Wings across the Pacific.

Son of the Morning Star, by Evan S. Connell (North Point Press, $20). Custer's road to the Little Big Horn. Public Affairs

The Command and Control of Nuclear Forces, by Paul Bracken (Yale, $19.95). When the bomb drops, no one knows what will happen next.

The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s, by Allen J. Matusow (Harper & Row, $22.95). How the liberals mugged themselves. The Rights of Free Men: An Essential Guide to Civil Liberties, by Alan Barth (Knopf, $17.95). The faith of a civil libertarian.

Final Reports: Personal Reflections on Politics and History in Our Time, by Richard Rovere (Doubleday, $16.95). Last testament of an ace reporter.

Violent Neighbors: El Salvador, Central America, and the United States, by Tom Buckley (Times Books, $17.95). Into the quagmire.

Weapons and Hope, by Freeman Dyson (Harper & Row, $17.95). There is a way to stop the madness.

Family Portrait with Fidel: A Memoir, by Carlos Franqui (Random House, $17.95). Revolutionaries' falling out.

Diaries of Mario M. Cuomo: The Campaign for Governor (Random House, $19.95). The road to Albany.

The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust and the Modern Conscience, by William Shawcross (Simon and Schuster, $19.95). The Cambodia tangle.

Deadly Gambits: The Reagan Administration and the Stalemate in Nuclear Arms Control, by Strobe Talbott (Knopf, $17.95). Behind the scenes in Washington and Geneva.

The Economic Illusion: False Choices Between Prosperity and Social Justice, by Robert Kuttner (Houghton Mifflin, $19.95). Full employment should be the real goal. Belles Lettres

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, by John Gardner (Knopf, $13.95). How to. Elizabeth Bishop: The Collected Prose (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.50) Prose by any other name would be poetry.

A Partisan View: Five Decades of the Literary Life, by William Phillips (Stein and Day, $19.95). Memories of Philip Rahv, Delmore Schwartz, and other old friends.

Walt Whitman: The Making of a Poet, by Paul Zweig (Basic Books, $18.95). A hack journalist makes good.

Taking It All In, by Pauline Kael (Holt Rinehart and Winston, $25; paperback, $14.95). Movies.

An American Procession, by Alfred Kazin (Knopf, $18.95). From Emerson and Melville to Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

Romanticism and Realism: The Mythology of Nineteenth Century Art, by Charles Rosen and Henri Zerner (Viking, $22.50). An important revisionist view.

Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982, by Philip Larkin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.95). Articles and reviews by England's most admired living poet.

The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh (Little, Brown, $40). Vitriol and holy water.

Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered, by William Pritchard (Oxford, $15.95). Not such a bad guy after all.

Victor Hugo and the Visionary Novel, by Victor Brombert (Harvard, $20). A major assessment. Poetry

The Sleeping Beauty, by Hayden Carruth (Harper & Row, $11.95). A Vermont love poem and much else.

The Collected Poems of Robert Creely (1945-1975) (University of California Press, $28.50). The impressive oeuvre of a living master.

Children in Exile: Poems, 1968-1984, by James Fenton (Random House, $11.95; paperback, $5.95). The war in Cambodia viewed by one of Britain's most exciting poets.

Lining Up, by Richard Howard (Atheneum, $13.95; paperback, $7.95). Photography and Francophilia.

A Wave, by John Ashbery (Viking, $14.95). Reflections on love.