MUSTWORTHINESS The author of ''Election'' and ''Joe College'' has seen his best-ever reviews -- and sales -- with ''Little Children'', his bitingly hysterical exploration of bored young suburban parents and the child molester who disrupts their lives.
ON HIS MUST LIST ''''Our Kind'' by Kate Walbert. It's narrated by this group of women in their 60s and 70s. They're very moving and beautifully written stories about a vanishing breed of person.''
AND ALSO ''Fountains of Wayne. I just think ''Welcome Interstate Managers'' is still the album of the year, even if 'Stacy's Mom' got tired for people.''
CAREER HIGH ''Boy, it's gotta be the reception of ''Little Children.'' I had gotten used to a certain small audience and I expected to keep moving incrementally forward, and instead there was this quantum leap.''
WORST JOB ''I was a garbageman in New Jersey in summers during college at Yale. Everybody else got to go to Switzerland and I got to go to the dump.''
BUT HE REALLY WANTS TO BE COURTENEY COX ''I have actual dreams of Bruce Springsteen calling me up on stage to wear a bandanna and play rhythm guitar next to Little Steven.''
NEXT Working on a ''Little Children'' screenplay with Todd Field (''In the Bedroom'').