'Guide to Stress Reduction'

By L. John Mason

Celestial Arts, $14.95.

In this revised paperback edition, John Mason, a California stress-reduction therapist, squarely faces the frenetic pace of our lives and outlines some practical and specific ways to counteract the ill effects of stress.

He discusses such techniques as autogenics, visualization, meditation, biofeedback and desensitization. Mason recommends 20 minutes per day of deep relaxation as an effective way to improve physical health and emotional stability.

He also treats some specific ailments, including high blood pressure, chronic pain, abdominal disorders and insomnia.

Mason believes that stress is a positive factor in motivating and stimulating people to greater accomplishment, but he believes everyone has "the right to feel good, to relax and to be happy." — Dennis Lythgoe

'Money, Money, Money'

By Ed McBain

Simon & Schuster, $25.

In this novel, McBain returns to "the 87th Precinct," his most familiar turf. In the 51st installment of this genre, McBain focuses on the main character, Detective Steve Carella, who stumbles on a conspiracy of counterfeiting, terrorism and murder.

The story begins with the mauling of an alluring young redhead by a lion at the zoo near the 87th Precinct. The victim is Cassandra Jean Ridley, former lieutenant in the U.S. Army and an honored Gulf War combat pilot. To complicate matters, a second death occurs late Christmas Eve in the heart of a dangerous neighborhood. Jerome Hoskins, a salesman for a small publisher, is shot in the head, execution style.

Carella eventually makes a connection between the two as he makes his way through a series of mysterious developments. — Dennis Lythgoe

'Peace Like a River'

By Leif Enger

Atlantic Monthly Press, $24.

This is an old-fashioned story of a father, Jeremiah Land, raising children in 1960s Minnesota, a story that includes heroism, a tragedy, a love story and a meditation on the possibility of magic in the everyday world. Eleven-year-old Reuben, who was born with no air in his lungs and grows up with asthma, believes in miracles because his father picked him up as a baby and commanded him to breathe.

The quiet family life of the Lands is upended when Davy, the oldest son, kills two marauders and ends up being charged with murder. Before he can be sentenced he escapes from jail. The family goes in search of him, and they find the kindness of strangers, including Roxanna, who gives them a place to stay in a blizzard.

There are hints of "Huckleberry Finn" and the Westerns of Zane Grey before the story is brought to a close. — Dennis Lythgoe