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JIMMY CORRIGAN: THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH Chris Ware (Pantheon, $17.95) EW gave Ware's hauntingly beautiful, funny, and wise graphic novel about an alienated little boy an A+ when it premiered in 2000. Don't miss it.

THE RUSSIAN DEBUTANTE'S HANDBOOK Gary Shteyngart (Riverhead, $14) Vladimir -- ''the expatriate's expatriate'' -- hilariously faces off with trust-fund babies, Russian mobsters, and Jewish mothers in one of EW's Best Books of 2002.

UNLESS Carol Shields (Fourth Estate, $13.95) Much to her mother's surprise, Norah bails on college and becomes a panhandler in the latest novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Stone Diaries.

AFTER THE QUAKE Haruki Murakami (Vintage, $11) The 1995 Kobe earthquake is the backdrop for these six magical stories -- one of them featuring a giant talking frog -- from the genius author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

Originally posted May 16, 2003 Published in issue #710 May 16, 2003 Order article reprints