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The Monitor's Pick to Bestsellers

Hardcover Non-fiction

By CompiledStaff / July 9, 1998

1. SUGAR BUSTERS!, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, Morrison C. Bethea, Ballantine, $22

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Three MDs and one CEO cooked up this latest opinion on the best way to trim your waistline. Complete with graphs and low-sugar recipes, this books focuses on insulin levels in the bloodstream. If you aren't afraid of food now, you will be after reading "Sugar Busters!" Keep your summer reading on a low-blab diet and avoid this book. By Kendra Nordin

2. A PIRATE LOOKS AT FIFTY, by Jimmy Buffett, Random House, $24.95

Buffett's rambling narrative about his life as he passes the half-century mark doesn't try to be a straight autobiography. It's more a collection of vignettes. Buffett goes fishing. Buffett learns to fly a plane. Middle-aged Buffett reflects on life. The book is filled with his musings on life and lessons learned. Fans will love the glimpse at the rocker's weirdly refreshing world. And even non-Buffett fans might be charmed by his honesty, refusal to be a spoiled celebrity, and appreciation for his family, fans, and good fortune. By Kristina Lanier

3. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, by Mitch Albom, Doubleday, $19.95

A beloved college professor who is dying agrees to meet each Tuesday with a former student and discuss life and death. The 14 "classes" are recorded by Mitch Albom, a well-known sportswriter, with his former teacher, Morrie Schwartz. Religion, family, friends, and work are carefully considered. Schwartz (now deceased) was interviewed at home by Ted Koppel and appeared on "Nightline." What keeps this uplifting book from being maudlin is Albom's crisp writing - and the generous heart of Schwartz. By Jim Bencivenga

4. THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM, by Suze Orman, Crown Publishing, $23

This book earns high marks and stands apart from others in the genre, because it pays attention to the way people regard money, not just how they use it. Its goal is to remove both the fear and love of money. And the first three of the nine steps address those attitudes. The goal isn't to get rich; it's to get rational. And once you've stopped letting your money manage you, you can take the rest of the six steps. A basic, easy-to-understand approach to investing and planning. By Lynde McCormick

5. A MONK SWIMMING, by Malachy McCourt, Harcourt Brace, $23.95

If I hadn't loved "Angela's Ashes" by Frank, Malachy's older brother, I wouldn't have read past the first few pages of this version of the McCourt children, abandoned by a drunken father and betrayed by a mother who slept with a hated cousin to make ends meet. This is an angry, bitter book by an author who swears and drinks throughout. "Angela's Ashes" created tremendous interest in this Irish immigrant family from Limerick, but there's no need to read Malachy's vulgar version. By Jim Bencivenga

6. ANGELA'S ASHES: A MEMOIR, by Frank McCourt, Scribner, $23

"Angela's Ashes," Frank McCourt's brilliant and tender memoir of his miserable Irish Catholic childhood in Limerick, Ireland, is a deeply moving story and a very funny book. Angela was McCourt's mother. The story begins in Brooklyn during the Depression as she tries to hold the family together. Later, because of his father's alcoholism the family is forced to return to Ireland, where McCourt discovers Shakespeare and language. It is a book of splendid humanity. By Devon McNamara