A crowd of new cookbooks are ready to help you take it outside this summer. Among the more interesting:

_ Karen Adler and Judith Fertig's "BBQ Bash" (Harvard Common Press,$16.95), a primer for throwing what the authors call a "be-all, end-all barbecue party."

Tips including lighting suggestions, how to set up a bar, table settings and music, as well as plenty of grilling and other food prep tips. Menus run from "barefoot to black tie," with items such as grilled lamb chops with Thai chili-peanut dipping sauce and corn husk-wrapped shrimp with grilled corn.

_ Rick Rodgers' "Summer Gatherings" (William Morrow, $17.95) focuses on quick, seasonal dishes. Appealing offerings include dried apricots stuffed with goat cheese and hazelnuts, as well as a stockpot clambake. *