THE GOOD APPRENTICE, by Iris Murdoch. An intellectual thriller, about guilt, responsibility and self-knowledge, by one of England's finest novelists. (Book World, January 12)

UNCOMMON CLAY: The Life and Works of Augustus Saint Gaudens, by Burke Wilkinson. America's first great sculptor -- and a major artist of the Gilded Age. (Book World, January 12)

THE DISAPPEARED AND THE MOTHERS OF THE PLAZA: The Story of the 11,000 Argentinians Who Vanished, by John Simpson and Jana Bennett. The junta and its victims. (Book World, January 12)

FRANK AND MAISIE: A Memoir with Parents, by Wilfrid Sheed. A writer remembers his distinguished parents, the Catholic publishers and activists Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward. (Book World, January 5)

FOOTSTEPS: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, by Richard Holmes. The autobiography of a biographer -- how Richard Holmes researched the lives of Shelley, Nerval, Coleridge, and Stevenson. (Book World, January 5)

THE COLLECTED POEMS OF PAUL BLACKBURN, edited by Edith Jarolin. The witty and sensuous life work, in the tradition of Pound and Williams. (Book World, January 5)

SHACKLETON, by Roland Huntford. He never avoided danger, yet he never lost a man. Such was the bravery and skill of the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton whose exploits are the centerpiece of this excellent biography. (Book World, December 29)