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A Monitor Guide to The Bestsellers

By STAFF / August 12, 1999


The Monitor's Guide to Bestsellers

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1. BODY FOR LIFE, by Bill Phillips, HarperCollins Publishers, $25 (Last week 4, Weeks on list 4) Phillips, founder and editor in chief of "Muscle Media" magazine, furthers the spread of his dietary expertise in his new book "Body for Life." Phillips's 12-week program treats physical wellness as one of many aspects of our lives. His theory is that the success of our physical goals will help us acheive other life goals, too. Arranged with a variety of success stories, charts, and examples, this plan provides an easy to follow program, with tasty food and a simple exercise program. (203 pp.) By Christy Ellington

2. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, by Mitch Albom, Doubleday, $19.95 (Last week 2, Weeks on list 84)

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

3. THE GREATEST GENERATION, by Tom Brokaw, Random House, $24.95 (Last week 7, Weeks on list 27) 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

4. SUZANNE SOMERS' GET SKINNY ON FABULOUS FOOD, by Suzanne Somers, Crown Pub. Group, $24 (Last week 3, Weeks on list 6) Following on the well-toned heels of her bestselling "Eat Great, Lose Weight," Somers is back with more nutritional advice and decadent recipes. Using a method called "Somersizing," her aim is to debunk the myth that fat is the enemy. She offers more than 130 recipes for delicious food designed to help readers lose weight without feeling deprived. But readers may find the catchy "7 step plan to Somersizing" as fun - and flighty - as her "Three's Company" character Chrissy Snow. (268 pp.) By Sara Steindorf

5. SUGAR BUSTERS! by H. Leighton Steward, et al., Ballantine, $22 (Last week 8, Weeks on list 56) Three MDs and one CEO cooked up this latest opinion on the best way to trim your waistline. The authors claim that sugar consumption has soared over the past few decades, causing a host of health complications. 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!" (270 pp.) By Kendra Nordin

6. THE ART OF HAPPINESS, by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, Riverhead Books, $22.95 (Last week 9, Weeks on list 18) The purpose of life, says the Dalai Lama, is to seek happiness. This seemingly elementary statement requires strict adherence and mental discipline toward a benevolent, rather than self-centered, happiness. There is great value in reading about the basic spiritual principles of this unique world figure and Tibetan spiritual leader: human qualities of goodness, compassion, and caring. This book is based on a series of conversations with Howard Cutler, a Phoenix-based psychiatrist. (315 pp.) By Leigh Montgomery

7. POPULAR SHADOW, by Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, $27.50 (Last week 5, Weeks on list 4) The Washington Post's Bob Woodward argues that no president since Richard Nixon has understood the changes the Watergate scandal wrought in the relationships between the president on one hand and the public, the press, and Congress on the other. A typical Woodward effort, with all that implies, including anonymous sources and those controversial "reconstructed" quotes. Still, the book contains fascinating nuggets of pure gold that make it a must-read for the politics junkie. (592 pp.) By Lawrence J. Goodrich

8. SOMETHING MORE, by Sarah Ban Breathnach, Little, Brown & Co., $20 (Last week 6, Weeks on list 15)

What a relief to see a self-help book for women that's not about how to snag a man or lose 10 pounds in six days. Breathnach's desire to help women value their spiritual selves and rediscover a sense of joy is laudable, and her use of archaeology as a metaphor for examining one's life is clever. But her self-promoting tone can occasionally grate, and one may question whether deep life lessons can be learned from the likes of "The Bridges of Madison County." (288 pp.) By Yvonne Zipp