It has been nine years since Juan Carlos Kreimer, an Argentine publisher and author, discovered Freud for Beginners (Pantheon, 1989). Suspecting that Spanish-language readers might appreciate the engaging style of its thinking-person's comic book format, he gathered the money to launch a handful of translated titles from the series. Response was lukewarm till he released a title written originally in Spanish on Gestalt therapy, popular in Argentina. Since then, his "Para principiantes" ("For Beginners") series has grown to nearly 100 titles--some of them translations but many others conceived in Spanish, like the two mentioned here. The slim paperbacks explore topics from Buddhism to Bukowski, quantum physics to Latin American literature in fast-moving, well-researched texts with plenty of eye appeal. Both the Borges and the Garcia Marquez biographies furnish overviews of the writers' lives, plot summaries of major works, and a bit of critical analysis, all of it punctuated with playful pen-and-ink drawings. Every page has at least one cartoon complementing the typeset and hand-lettered text. These two books differ sharply in their graphic styles: Borges's world dark and subdued in the disheveled Rius-like lines of the cartoonist Rep, and Garcia Marquez's wildly flamboyant under the clean, high-contrast hand of Bergandi. Both artists incorporate visual puns and memorable images that enhance the narrative. Borges, for example, whose blindness became complete at about the time he was appointed director of Argentina's National Library, is shown walking dourly through a city whose skyscrapers are made of books. Peppered with famous lines and important quotes, the "Para principiantes" booksserve as affectionate introductions that whet readers' appetites while orienting them toward further exploration of their subjects. Other new titles in the series include Psicologia para principiantes (Psychology for Beginners) and Semi tica para principiantes (Semiotics for Beginners). The series is recommended for public libraries as well as middle- and high school libraries. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.