Best of Pages

updated 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

RICHARD PRESTON
The Hot Zone
This true tale of how a deadly African virus mysteriously found its way to the U.S. is popular science writing at its best and the year's most infectious page-turner. (Random House)

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN No
Ordinary Time
With deft insight and a genuine affection for her subjects, Kearns chronicles the turbulent World War II times of the century's most controversial First Couple, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. (Simon & Schuster)

DAVE BARRY
Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up
Truth may be stranger than satire, but it's never funnier than in the hands of the Miami-based Barry, as this pointed, playful collection of his current events columns proves. (Crown)

JANE HAMILTON
A Map of the World
A child's accidental drowning sets into motion betrayals large and small in this wrenching story of a family's disintegration. (Doubleday)

HENRY LOUIS GATES JR.
Colored People: A Memoir
Courageously free of multicultural cant, this lively memoir is touchingly honest about the loss of shared community and folkways that was the price some blacks paid for desegregation. (Knopf)

ETHAN CANIN
The Palace Thief
The physician-author takes a compassionate view of his four male characters in these beautifully articulated novellas that explore the morals and perils of an ordinary life. (Random House)

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY
Thank You for Smoking
Buckley's raucous satire of the tobacco industry, with a lovable lobbyist at its core, manages to make its political points while providing consistently witty entertainment. (Random House)

RUTHIE BOLTON
Gal
Chilling in its bluntness, this account of a woman's quiet triumph over her abusive childhood manages the nearly impossible: to be simultaneously terrifying and uplifting. (Harcourt Brace)

LIONEL DAVIDSON
Kolymsky Heights
In '94's most accomplished thriller, a Native American Rhodes scholar goes undercover in Siberia to retrieve the Russians' most astounding scientific secret, and in the process, Davidson addresses larger issues, including the nature of scientific data itself. (St. Martin's)

LORRIE MOORE
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?
With painfully precise prose and her trademark wry humor, Moore illuminates the fragile bond of a '70s teenage friendship. (Knopf)

FURTHER WORTHIES

•SHERWIN NULAND The Way We Die (Knopf)
•PAUL AUSTER Mr. Vertigo (Viking)
•HOWARD NORMAN The Bird Artist (Farrar Straus Giroux)
•JONATHAN WEINER The Beak of the Finch (Knopf)
•E.L. DOCTOROW The Waterworks (Random House)

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