by Joan Didion

Terrorism and death are Didion's themes, and the author of Play It As It Lays deals with them in a nervy, tough tale of revolution in a mythical Latin American country. Not since Virginia Woolf has there been writing as acute as this. (Simon and Schuster, $8.95)

by Michael Maccoby

A psychoanalyst shows what makes corporate executives tick—and sometimes explode—in a surprisingly fascinating study. Analyses (including Rorschach tests) of real but anonymous company bigwigs led him to divide them into "craftsmen," "jungle fighters," "company men" and "games-men." The gamesmen, he says, are running things these days. (Simon and Schuster, $8.95)

by Beverly Sills

Opera buffs who admire this resilient, colorful soprano will love the generously illustrated Bubbles though it's more ginger ale than champagne. (Bobbs-Merrill, $12.50)

by Erica Jong

No longer afraid of flying, today's everywoman divorces her shrink husband, is duped by Hollywood sharks and finds true love with a younger man. Where does Erica end and Isadora take over? No matter; it's shameless, sex-saturated and a joy. (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, $8.95)

by Walker Percy

No knight has ever been able to handle his wife's adultery with much finesse, and Lancelot Lamar of New Orleans makes a botch of it, too. The last of the great Southern novelists hates today's world, but his sense of humor and wry, sly observations are rich as ever. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $8.95)

by Bob Randall

A successful playwright (6Rms Riv Vu, The Magic Show), Randall gives his first novel a Broadway backdrop: an aging Broadway star tries a stage comeback while a psycho admirer stalks her. Make sure the doors are locked before you start to read. (Random House, $7.95)