Jimmy: no time to die
AN outstanding book of human courage and endurance is Jimmy: No Time To Die (Fontana, $84). It's written by Jane Renouf, the mother of a boy who died from child leukaemia at the age of eight, and is extraordinary for the matter of fact way she relates hisshort life, his gruelling illness and the effect it all had on the rest of the family.
Tough Cookie (Coronet Books, $85) is Sheila Mottley's own story of how she bore and brought up her thalidomide daughter, Janette. Far from being depressing, it's the uplifting tale of a feisty and, as Sheila puts it, ''less than virtuous thalidomide mum''.
Singapore's 105-year-old Raffles hotel, became the stuff of legend through the pens of Maugham, Kipling and Coward. Gretchen Liu's Raffles Hotel (Landmark Books, $450) is a plush work containing glorious pictures and details of how the hotel survived near-bankruptcy and bombs, and in 1989 was restored to her original glory.
Billy Breen was an ex-cop, an ex-convict and worked undercover for the FBI for 25 years getting to the core of organised crime. Donald Goddard tells his story in The Insider (Arrow, $102).
Patrick Seale paints a detailed and frightening picture of one of the world's most notorious terrorists in Abu Nidal (Arrow, $60).
In 1987, illegal mining companies shattered the peace of the ancient Amazonian Yanomami tribe forever. Dennison Berwick describes the invasion and destruction of these people in Savages (Sceptre, $105), and asks, who are the savages now? In Toxic Psychiatry (Fontana, $98), Dr Peter Breggin, questions and criticises the claims of the medical-pharmaceutical establishment that ''mental illnesses'' such as depression and panic disorder can be cured by drugs or ECT. He suggests these methods are much less effective and more dangerous than patients realise.
Other titles now out in paperback: Paul Auster's complex and highly original novel Leviathan (Faber, $68); The Samson Option (Faber, $87) in which Seymour Hersh examines Israel's ''obsession with defence''; Give War A Chance (Picador, $72) by controversial satirist P.J. O'Rourke; The Stars Shine Down (Fontana, $60) by the grand-daddy of the sizzler writers Sidney Sheldon; another mystery in the company of the grumpy Inspector Morse in Colin Dexter's The Way Through the Woods (Pan, $72); and futuristic chills from great mystery writer P.D. James in The Children of Men (Faber, $119).