The books that will keep you reading in 1999 -- Look for tomes from John Grisham, Jackie Collins, and Maureen Orth

By Clarissa Cruz
Updated January 22, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

After a year that saw a 742-page behemoth straining backpacks and a raunchy government document ka-chinging out of bookstores, what will tome lovers buy next? Here are some areas to bookmark.

Hotly anticipated follow-ups will kick off the year in February with The Testament (Doubleday), John Grisham’s first attempt at mixing courtroom drama with jungle adventure, and Elmore Leonard’s resurrection of Get Shorty hero Chili Palmer in Be Cool (Delacorte). March brings Anne Rice’s latest tale, Vittorio the Vampire (Knopf) and John le Carre’s long-awaited tale of international intrigue, Single &amp Single (Scribner). Frances Mayes follows 1997’s sleeper book-club read, Under the Tuscan Sun, with Bella Tuscany (Broadway), and Putnam scribes Tom Clancy and Patricia Cornwell return with Every Man a Tiger and the newest in the Kay Scarpetta series, Black Notice, respectively. Rounding out the year will be Ernest Hemingway’s fictional memoir True at First Light (Scribner) and Hearts in Atlantis (Scribner), a Stephen King short-story collection.

Prepare for a glut of bios of the rich and shameless. David Halberstam lends lit cred to an oft-hacky genre with a Michael Jordan bio, Playing for Keeps (Random House), while Titanic‘s Gloria Stuart proves she, like her heart, can go on in Gloria! My Many Lives (Little, Brown). Summer brings music makers Mötley Crüe (The Dirt, ReganBooks) and Jewel (Life Stories, HarperEntertainment), while fall gives us Barry White’s tentatively titled Love Unlimited — described by Broadway’s Trigg Robinson as an ”inspirational memoir that shares his uplifting message of loooove.”

Head to the shore with the veteran trifecta of Nelson DeMille (The Lion’s Game, Warner), Jackie Collins (Dangerous Kiss, Simon &amp Schuster), and Danielle Steel (Granny Dan, Delacorte). For the pre-Memorial and post-Labor Day haze, there’s Mary Higgins Clark (We’ll Meet Again, Simon &amp Schuster) and Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember, Warner).

In Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, O.J. Simpson chronicler Lawrence Schiller tracks the JonBenet Ramsey murder (HarperCollins). In Vulgar Favors (Delacorte), Vanity Fair‘s Maureen Orth examines Versace killer Andrew Cunanan. On a lighter note, HarperCollins releases a 30th-anniversary edition of the sock-drawer classic Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask. Among the new bits: an explanation of the ”missionary impossible” position. Bring it on.