LEARNING TO DRIVE: And Other Life Stories, by Katha Pollitt. (Random House, $14.) Like her political column in The Nation, Pollitt’s personal essays, collected here for the first time, are witty and sharp. They are also relentlessly honest and deeply moving. In the title piece, driving lessons become a metaphor for reclaiming her life after her boyfriend betrays her and for learning to observe the world more closely. Pollitt also writes feelingly about being a mother and a daughter.