FICTION

The Garden of Eden , by Ernest Hemingway (Collier, $8.95). Though Ernest Hemingway began this book in 1946, it remained incomplete when he died 15 years later and was not published until 1986. In between there were three editors who tackled the manuscript of more than 200,000 words before giving up. When finally published, the novel was the result of a year's work by a young Scribner's editor. This much-heralded posthumous novel is the story of a young writer, David Bourne, his wife Catherine, and their life together in Europe in the 1920s. In the midst of this idyll appears a second woman, Marita, with whom both David and Catherine become involved, transforming Marita into both companion and rival.

Rules of the Knife Fight , by Walter Walker (Penguin, $4.50). The puzzle in this novel begins when a young man named Bobby O'Berry goes swimming with his wife on their wedding night and is presumed to have drowned. Some time later, a body turns up in San Francisco. Private investigator Owen Carr (whose motto is "Never a Day Off Since 1949") decides to try to find the identity of the body in the hope of earning something by notifying the heirs. By the time Carr has learned it's the body of Bobby O'Berry, there's an unmistakable link between O'Berry and a well-known Bay Area lawyer and his wife, a link that winds up in a courtroom with the lawyer on trial for wrongful death.

NONFICTION

Let Us Now Praise Famous Women: Women Photographers for the U.S. Government 1935 to 1944 , by Andrew Fisher (Pandora, $16.95). If you love photography, this outstanding portfolio is well worth the hefty purchase price. It records the work of eight women photographers who documented American life for the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information from 1935 to 1944, a period that encompassed the end of the Depression and the beginning of global war. The most famous were Dorothea Lange and Marion Post Wolcott but all the women represented here clearly are of outstanding talent. Here are haunting images of lonely GIs in USO dance halls, deserted Main Streets of Wheat Bowl towns, the Bowery at midnight, a government worker in her rooming house listening to the radio, urban scenes (many of Washington) eerily reminiscent of the paintings of Edward Hopper, the famous Lange portrait of a destitute California pea-picker -- a world where money was short and times hard.

City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s , by Otto Friedrich (Harper & Row/Perennial, $10.95). In 1939 Hollywood moviemakers produced Gone With the Wind, Ninotchka, Wuthering Heights and The Wizard of Oz, a spectacular opening to the decade of Hollywood's golden age, a period that now seems an almost mythic era of achievement. The splendors and the miseries of Hollywood in that fabled time are fully explored in this fascinating history, a book best described as irresistible. Here is the lowdown on all the actors and actresses, the writers and musicians, the producers and directors, the racketeers and gamblers, the journalists and politicos who crowded the place from the beginning of World War II to the coming of televison. In reading of their rivalries, foibles, triumphs and disasters, their power to enthrall is undiminished.

Voices: A Life of Frank O'Connor , by James Matthews (Atheneum, $12.95). This first-rate biography of the outstanding short-story writer, born Michael O'Donovan, opens with a lilt: "he was 'unmistakably a Munster man, inescapably from Cork.' No more or less than Joyce from Dublin or Yeats from Sligo . . . Frank O'Connor was an Irish writer from Cork. And no more than all the rest -- Shaw, O'Casey, Beckett -- he was close to home and far away, always loving it, always hating it." He grew up in a slum, badly treated by a drunken father. The experience naturally seared him, and though Frank O'Connor could write like an angel, he was not what one would call a nice man. This life explains why, in engrossing detail.

All the President's Men

and

The Final Days , by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Touchstone, $6.95 and $7.95 respectively). Remember Watergate? It began with a burglary; and when it was all over a president had resigned and the Congress and the courts had been wrenched. Still, the Constitution of the United States had been shown to be a remarkably resilient document, and the rule of law had prevailed. It was not least a free press' most exhilarating moment. Here is the whole sordid, fascinating story, with as colorful a cast of characters -- think only of Deep Throat, Dita Beard and Rose Mary Woods -- as any found in fiction.

A Savage War of Peace: Algeria, 1954-1962 , by Alistair Horne (Elisabeth Sifton/Penguin, $8.95). This is the definitive history of France's prolonged and unhappy withdrawal from North Africa after a century of colonization. Even by the gruesome standards of 20th-century wars, it was a bloody affair -- a million Moslem Algerians were killed -- and in the end a million European settlers, the embattled pieds noirs, were driven from their homes. Their agony caused the fall of successive French governments and brought DeGaulle to power in 1958. But his "betrayal" of the settlers in 1962 almost caused a military coup d'e'tat and civil war in France. This is a revised edition of a 1977 work, incorporating new material and bringing the story up-to-date.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Kindercooking: A Treasury of Recipes for Children , by Elaine diB. Toro, illustrated by Nancy Frederick (Cherry Tree Press, P.O. Box 34638, Bethesda, Md. 20817) Resplendent in cherry-red patterned covers, Kindercooking is a delightful, modest, old-fashioned, relatively wholesome collection of recipes (none of this lowfat vegetarian nonsense) for parents and children to try out on rainy cooking afternoons. Aside from old favorites like real lemonade, very blueberry pancakes, baked apples and country cornbread, Elaine Toro springs surprise "recipes" for a summer potpourri, playdough, Christmas wreaths, peanut butter and snow ice-cream, delicious, if not necessarily to be recommended in this age of acid rain: "Wait for a storm to bring fresh, clean snow. Put some snow in a cup. Top with maple syrup. Now that's an old time ice cream sundae!"