THE EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age , by Simon Schama. A monumental history of Holland during the 17th century, the time of Rembrandt, tulip mania, and empire building. (Book World, June 28)

WILBUR AND ORVILLE: A Biography of the Wright Brothers , by Fred Howard. A definitive account of what the Wrights wrought. (Book World, June 28)

ONCE MORE AROUND THE BLOCK: Familiar Essays , by Joseph Epstein. Good talk about used bookstores, sports, proper English, and much else. (Book World, June 28)

SPIRITS and Other Stories , by Richard Bausch. The crises of ordinary life, beautifully set down. (Book World, June 28)

SARTRE: A Biography , by Ronald Hayman. A life of the novelist, playwright, philosopher, critic, magazine editor, activist -- the very model of a modern intellectual. (Book World, June 21)

ROUGH CIDER , by Peter Lovesey. In this mystery, a boy's testimony sends an American soldier to the gallows; 20 years later, filled with doubt about the past's events, he starts his own investigation. (Book World, June 21)

IN SEARCH OF MELANCHOLY BABY , by Vassily Aksyonov. A Russian novelist -- now resident in Washington -- recalls the confusions and consolations of his first years in America. (Book World, June 14)

ALVAREZ: Adventures of a Physicist , by Luis W. Alvarez. The life story of a multi-talented scientist who helped develop both the atomic bomb and a new theory of why dinosaurs disappeared. (Book World, June 7)

THE PERFECT SONYA , by Beverly Lowry. An actress suffers a nervous breakdown but cures herself in this fast-paced, symbolic novel. (Book World, June 7)

FREE AT LAST: What Really Happened When Civil Rights Came to Southern Politics,

by Margaret Edds. Political gains have been made by blacks, but economic power often still remains out of reach. (Book World, May 31)

A YELLOW RAFT IN BLUE WATER , by Michael Dorris. The braided lives of three Indian women in a novel that makes the ordinary marvelous. (Book World, May 31)

THE PARIS EDITION: The Autobiography of Waverley Root, 1927-1934 , edited by Samuel Abt. The adventures of an ebullient and bibulous American reporter in Paris. (Book World, May 31)


by Candace Flynt. A witty, racy novel about three sisters, their lives and the memory of their domineering mother. (Book World, May 31)

OF LOVE AND SHADOWS , by Isabel Allende. A beautifully composed novel -- by the author of The House of Spirits -- about what happens in a South American country after the generals seize power. (Book World, May 24)