Picks and Pans Review: New on Audio

updated 08/25/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/1997 01:00AM

>TO THE LIGHTHOUSE ACTRESS EILEEN ATKINS has made Virginia Woolf-land her own territory as a performer, and her exquisitely calm and lucid perambulation through the author's Hebridean memoryscape amply demonstrates why. (Penguin, $16.95)

STAR TREK AVENGER THIS TIME ROUND, CAPTAIN KIRK HAS TO save the Federation from a lethal virus. Both as writer and reader, William Shatner will impress neophytes with his pacing and control, though the converted expect nothing less. (Simon & Schuster, $18)

KOWLOONTONG DAVID DUKES'S NARRATION OF PAUL Theroux's acute and acid look at Brits departing Hong Kong proceeds smoothly until he has to use an English accent, when he invariably develops irritable vowel syndrome. (Dove, $25)

CONTACT FIFTY-NINE, 61, 67...WHEN A SERIES of prime numbers shows up on astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway's control console, can it be a sign of extraterrestrial intelligence? Jodie Foster's talent for sounding farouche and formidable is a perfect match for Carl Sagan's polymathic fable. (Simon & Schuster, $24)

BIRDS OF PREY PATRICK O'BRIAN HE ain't, but Wilbur Smith does manage to provide some colorful historical snippets amid the swash and buckle of 17th-century buccaneers, and actor Christopher Cazenove captures the accents of a cavalcade of Scotsmen, Yorkshiremen, Welshmen and Dutchmen with gusto and accuracy. (Dove, $25)

CHARLES KURALT'S SUMMER

THE LATE NEWSMAN was a warm and winning chronicler of such American particularities as playing horseshoes in Eureka, Calif., or listening to cicadas in eastern Ohio, but I patriotic occasions—there's a lot of July 4 stuff here—induce a few too many banal : pieties. (Simon & Schuster, $12)

THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY

...OR HOW TO KEEP THE KIDS—AND the adults—quiet during a 3-hour trip. Megan Follows reads Sheila Burnford's classic tale of a cat and two canines in the Canadian wilderness with engaging simplicity. (Bantam Doubleday Dell, $16.99)

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