EW Staff
February 06, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

As Francesca Martha Baer (Broadway, first published in 1997) Mordantly funny first novel in which corporate fast-tracker Elaine Botsch is energized by anonymous cybersex with an Internet dominatrix (and possible coworker).

At Weddings and Wakes Alice McDermott (Delta, 1992) McDermott is at the top of her artistry in this languid, detached tale of alcoholic aunts mired in Brooklyn.

The Ranch Danielle Steel (Dell, 1997) Three college roommates, each with their own travails, reunite on a Wyoming ranch. Smooth-poured Steel.

After Midnight: The Life and Death of Brad Davis Susan Bluestein Davis, with Hilary de Vries (Pocket, 1997) Though at times she’s repetitious, the Midnight Express star’s widow — Emmy-winning casting director of NYPD Blue — sheds a sharp light on Tinseltown’s seamy side.

Naked Came the Manatee Dave Barry, Edna Buchanan, Carl Hiaasen, et al. (Fawcett, 1997) A funny romp about a freak accident near Biscayne Bay — written, in tag-team fashion, by 13 famous South Florida authors.

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