August 06, 1990 12:00 PM

>SPARTINA A boat and a fishing-crazed monomaniac usually make for a mesmerizing story, and John Casey’s realistic Rhode Island novel is more than a good one (it won 1989’s National Book Award for fiction). (Avon)

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME

For those into other kinds of power—cosmic, for instance—this best-seller by British physicist Stephen Hawking offers a big bang, among other inscrutable theories. (Bantam)

IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING The feisty, good-natured spirit that defined Gilda Radner’s comedy underscores this moving account of her battle against ovarian cancer: “Like my life,” she writes, “this book is about not knowing, having to change…and making the best of it.” (Avon)

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