May 09, 1977 12:00 PM

ILLUSIONS

by Richard Bach

Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s author has turned to humans and provided something close to a plot—a barnstorming pilot meets a retired messiah from “the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne, Ind.” But the birdbrained platitudes continue to fly fast and spurious. A sample: “We are all free to do whatever we want to do.” That presumably includes saving $5.95. (Delacorte, $5.95)

THEORY & PRACTICE OF GOOD COOKING

by James Beard

The Joy of Cooking and Julia Child’s books still belong in every kitchen library, but this manual outdoes them in telling even the uneasy beginner how to stir up a basic repertoire. Lucky the June bride or groom whose spouse comes equipped with it. (Knopf, $12.95)

THE TIDDLING TENNIS THEOREM

by Art Hoppe

San Francisco’s satirist laureate creates a fictional tennis club with a pro who lays down rules such as: “There is no more accurate test of your tennis ability than the challenging game of singles. Therefore, avoid it at all costs.” A tonic for those of us who feel triumphant when we hit a backhand without breaking any bones. (Viking, $7.95)

A BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER

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 tale of revolution in a Latin American country. Not since Virginia Woolf has there been writing so acute. (Simon and Schuster, $8.95)

THE GAMESMAN

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 “gamesmen.” The gamesmen, he says, are running things these days. (Simon and Schuster, $8.95)

BUBBLES: A SELF-PORTRAIT

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)

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