All Day Permanent Red

By Christopher Logue (FSG, $18)

Since the 1960s, British poet and screenwriter Logue has been working on a modernized translation of Homer's epic, "The Iliad," complete with contemporary references and reimagined scenes. This volume, the fourth excerpt of Logue's translation to appear in the United States, covers the first battle scenes as the Greeks approach Troy. (F)

Four Colors Suffice

By Robin Wilson (Princeton, $24.95)

When the question was posed in 1852, no one was quite prepared for the controversy it would spark: "What is the least possible number of colors needed to fill in any map so that neighboring countries are always colored differently?" Frenzied mathematicians have spent decades bent on proving Francis Guthrie's answer: four. (NF)

Why Are We at War?

By Norman Mailer (Random House, $7.99)

The Pulitzer Prize-winner places himself squarely in the company of Gore Vidal and other antiwar writers with this slender book lambasting the United States's military action in Iraq. His argument strongly suggests that it is global empire, and not global security, that the White House seeks. (NF)

The bestseller lists this week are culled from information submitted by Barnes & Noble, Borders and Olsson's based on sales from 03/31-04/06. The "Washington Is Also Reading" list is based on reports from Chapters, Reprint Book Shop and Vertigo. The Book World bestsellers hotline is 202-334-9000, category code 4175. (04/20/03)