August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

”Bleak horizon under a glazed sky, flat desert, clumps of sage, scrub, distant butte, lone rider. This is a land of sand, dry rocks, and dead things. Buzzard country.” From ROBERT COOVER‘s new novel, Ghost Town (Holt, $24)

”I divide the world of tailgate food — make that all food — into floaters and sinkers. Floaters aren’t tailgate. Salad is a floater. Sushi is a floater … Tailgating food is all sinkers. Chili is a sinker. Pork chunk stew is a sinker.” From JOHN MADDEN‘s Ultimate Tailgating (Viking, $24.95)

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