Book news from the week of April 13, 1990 -- Brief updates from the literary world

Literature and Legs
Now available: the first English translation of Literaturnaya Gazeta, ”the Soviet Union’s most respected journal of intellectual commentary.” Its American publisher says the Literary Gazette International, as it’s called here, will make you open your eyes. The back page certainly will: It’s devoted to lavish color photos of the eight Miss Moscow finalists. ”Thousands of young girls have cast away their natural modesty to rush into the stormy depths of the struggle,” notes columnist Alexander Pelekhatsky. ”To obtain tickets to the finals of beauty contests is all but impossible.”

Go, Dog, Go!
It’s not surprising that Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! has gone straight to the best-seller lists. What is surprising is the overall boom in children’s books, which now command 13 percent of the book market. Beginning in June, baby bookworms will be able to shop by mail just like Mom and Dad. That’s when the Book-of-the-Month Club launches the Children’s BOMC.

Turning Over New Leaves
Harper & Row San Francisco now has a tree clause in its contracts. If an author wishes to contribute to the plant-ing of trees (to cover the number of trees used in the production of his or her book), the publisher will match the donation.

Winners and Losers
The numbers are in on the best-selling books of 1989. With 1,625,544 copies sold, Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger was the year’s hottest fiction title, and Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten claimed the top nonfiction spot, selling 902,000. Some ”big” books that didn’t meet expectations: Andy Rooney’s Not That You Asked, Mark McCormack’s What They Still Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Bill Cosby’s Love and Marriage.