THE BEAUTY OF THE BEASTLY: New Views of the Nature of Life by Natalie Angier (Houghton Mifflin: $12.95, 278 pp.). In these essays from the New York Times, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer shares her delight in the natural world. Angier writes with exceptional clarity about often arcane subjects, including the actions of enzymes within individual cells. But she obviously prefers larger things that slither and creep and crawl--cockroaches, dung beetles, rattlesnakes, scorpions. Her accounts make even repulsive creature seem fascinating: "Every single story that nature tells is gorgeous. She is the original Scheherazade, always with one more surprise to shake from her sleeve."