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BooksBooks




CENTERPIECE  

   Summer preview
From page-turners to mind-benders, here's a month-by-month breakdown of the titles that'll be showing up in bookstores and beach bags


COLUMNS  
  Write On
``Poetic'' is not an adjective I like to use in describing novels. It so often means just ``overwritten.'' But it fits Carlos Fuentes' ``Inez'' (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 150 pp., $18), a work in which a scene, a paragraph or even a phrase can send you back to reassess what you've already read -- the way a poem can ``tease us out of thought,'' as Keats put it.
  Bay Area Books
Reviewed: Ann Packer's "The Dive From Clausen's Pier," Susan Parker's "Tumbling After: Pedaling Like Crazy After Life Goes Downhill," plus brief notes on other books of interest

FEATURED REVIEWS   
  Clinton's expert on Russia gives an insider's view
Strobe Talbott studied Russian poetry at Yale, where his fascination and affection for that enigmatic nation took hold. Throughout a brilliant 21-year career at Time magazine as a reporter and diplomatic columnist, that interest remained a constant. Then, 10 years ago, Talbott crossed the line from observer to practitioner. Newly elected President Clinton made Talbott his principal policy adviser on relations with Russia and the nations of the former Soviet Union.
  At Microsoft, it's how you play the game
Books rarely have as many effective levels as Dean Takahashi's story of how Microsoft developed a video-game machine. It's supposed to be a behind-the-scenes yarn about the game industry and the dramatic new influence of Microsoft, in the context of computer-age notions about art and entertainment. But casually and smoothly, Takahashi blends the history of the Xbox with a tale about people. Some eccentric people, some innovative people, some powerful people.



LITERARY CALENDAR   

   Author appearances and other events for the week of May 26-June 1

BOOKS WE LIKE   
Recommended by Mercury News reviewers

   Recently reviewed in the Mercury News


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