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CITY OF LIGHT by Lauren Belfer (Dell, $6.99).

It could be called a lightyear, the speed at which Lauren Belfer's critically acclaimed book took off around the world.

When published in May 1999, "City of Light" was hailed as an ingenious, breathtaking and thrill-packed portrait of Buffalo at a time of great change, the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. And now that the book is in its seventh printing, it is being devoured by readers in Germany, Sweden, Italy and France.

"When I got the copy in French, it was kind of hard to believe," said author Belfer, a Buffalo native. "It was almost magical, in a language I couldn't understand." In addition, the book rose to No. 4 in the Irish Times bestseller list.

The "City of Light" will be available in paperback Oct. 17 at a cost of $6.99. And don't let the new cover fool you. The ethereal vision of the woman in white is at ease in the battle of politicians, power brokers and industrialists for control of our city.

-- Jane Kwiatkowski