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A Monitor Guide to the Bestsellers

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

February 11, 1999



1. THE GREATEST GENERATION, by Tom Brokaw, Random House, $24.95 Tom Brokaw has effectively captured a cross-section of World War II veterans and their contemporaries. They revisit their pasts to tell stories of struggle, perseverance, and heroism. He was inspired by veterans he met while preparing an NBC documentary on the 40th anniversary of D-day in 1984. Fifteen years and hundreds of interviews later, Brokaw chronicles the era through the eyes of everyday men and women, as well as distinguished individuals such as George Bush, Julia Child, and Bob Dole. (352 pp.) By Stephanie Cook

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2. HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT & WANT WHAT YOU HAVE, by John Gray, HarperCollins, $24.95. John Gray believes he has the formula for personal success: Fill the love tanks, remove the blocks, fuse elements of Western religion and Eastern meditation, and presto! You'll have a complete life makeover. The author of the "Men Are From Mars" series has graduated from relationship adviser to general counselor. He's perceptive about humanity's quirks, and following his advice won't hurt - release negative energy, increase self awareness - but the ideas and metaphors are hardly revolutionary. (320 pp.) 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. Mitch Albom, a well-known sportswriter, recorded 14 "classes" 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 Schwartz's generous heart. (192 pp.) By Jim Bencivenga

4. LIFE STRATEGIES, by Phillip C. McGraw, Disney Press, $21.95 "Life rewards action," says McGraw. If you're an idler, wake up and smell the bushes burn. Life is a game of choices, and you choose to win or lose. Outlining 10 laws of life - maxims like "You either get it or you don't" and "You create your own experience" - he argues that learning and applying the strategies are essential to becoming an effective manager of your life. The book's essence is simple: The choice is yours, so make a positive change today. (304 pp.) By Letitia Adu-Danso

5. ONE DAY MY SOUL JUST OPENED UP, by Iyanla Vanzant, Fireside, $13 Vanzant admonishes us in the opening pages to "remain open. There is something bigger than you know going on here." And that's her underlying point throughout - let go and let God work in your life. She's structured her ideas into a 40-day spiritual regeneration plan, with a daily principle to mull over, starting with "truth" and ending with "unconditional love." But many of the principles in between veer away from the spiritual toward simple suggestions on changing your outlook. (316 pp.) By Kristina Lanier

6. SUGAR BUSTERS! by H. Leighton Steward, et al., Ballantine, $22 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 book focuses on insulin levels in the bloodstream. If you aren't afraid of food now, you will be after reading "Sugar Busters!" Keep your reading on a low-blab diet and avoid this book. (270 pp.) By Kendra Nordin

7. THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM, by Suze Orman, Crown, $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 the 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. (278 pp.) By Lynde McCormick

8. BLIND MAN'S BLUFF, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Public Affairs, $25 "There are two kinds of ships: submarines and targets." Translate the bravado of that statement into a cold war espionage role for American subs, and you have the gist of this excellent work of history and investigative reporting. It recounts more than four decades of clandestine spy operations. Submariners are at ease living on auditory scraps of information, silence, and stealth. Their high-tech environment is for sonar puzzlers, always mapping targets. As this book shows, they make great spies. (352 pp.) By Jim Bencivenga