March 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Blue Angel Francine Prose (Perennial, $14, first published in 2000) The National Book Award finalist sends up both smug academics and politically correct undergrads in her satirical bonfire.

Passionate Minds Claudia Roth Pierpont (Vintage, $13, 2000) From Mae West to Margaret Mitchell, this collection of 12 profiles of women writers brings together some of history’s strongest voices.

Orchid Fever Eric Hansen (Vintage, $13, 2000) Hansen travels the globe, tracking the worldwide obsession with orchids, and the billion-dollar industry that surrounds them.

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