By Tom Sinclair
August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

COLD MOUNTAIN Charles Frazier (Vintage, $13, first published in 1997) National Book Award winner chronicles a thoroughly modern love story set during the Civil War.

CANDY Luke Davies (Ballantine, $12.95, 1997) Lust and addictions intertwine in this grungy tale about a couple on smack.

A TALENT FOR GENIUS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF OSCAR LEVANT Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger (Silman-James, $17.95, 1994) Sympathetic, clear-eyed take on Gershwin intimate and career neurotic Levant’s self-destructiveness.

NEVER EAT YOUR HEART OUT Judith Moore (North Point, $13, 1997) Sharply funny memoir of a life framed by food.

7 TATTOOS Peter Trachtenberg (Penguin, $12.95, 1997) Author’s own body art is the starting point for this intense collection of narratives.