Fiction: Best Books

Christmas is house-cleaning time for booksellers. The publishers remit their flood of new titles while shelves are cleared, ledgers audited for the new year. Readers may now reconsider the past year's output, check what they have read, what they have missed, what they might give as presents. Following is a list designed to be helpful:

ACT OF DARKNESS—John Peale Bishop—Scribner ($2.50).

ALL THE YOUNG MEN—Oliver La Farge—Houghton Mifflin ($2.50).

ANOTHER CAESAR—Alfred Neumann— Knopf ($3).

BUTTERFIELD 8—John O'Hara—Harcourt, Brace ($2.50).

CHANCE HAS A WHIP—Raymond Holden—Scribner ($2.50).

CLAUDIUS THE GOD AND HIS WIFE MESSALINA—Robert Graves—Smith...

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