The Monitor Guide to The Bestsellers

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1. 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 Alboms crisp writing and Schwartzs generous heart. (192 pp.) By Jim Bencivenga

2. CHILDREN ARE FROM HEAVEN, by John Gray, HarperCollins, $25.95 John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, shares a method of child raising that moves away from a punishment-based theory to one rooted in love and support. He argues that our role as parents is not to control bad children, but to help children discover their own goodness. Gray provides many helpful examples of how his method can be applied. Parents interested in a psychological approach to childrearing will appreciate this books advice. (357 pp.) By Christy Ellington

3. LIFE STRATEGIES, by Phillip C. McGraw, Disney Press, $21.95 Life rewards action, says Phillip McGraw. If youre 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 dont and You create your own experience he argues that learning and applying these strategies are essential to becoming an effective manager of your life. The books essence is simple: The choice is yours, so make a positive change today. (304 pp.) By Letitia Adu-Danso

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

4. THE ART OF HAPPINESS, by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler, Riverhead Books, $22.95 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

5. BODY FOR LIFE, by Bill Phillips, HarperCollins Publishers, $25 Phillips, founder and editor in chief of Muscle Media magazine, furthers the spread of his dietary expertise in his new book Body for Life. Phillipss 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

6. FAITH OF MY FATHERS, by John McCain, Random House, $25 This US senator from Arizona and Republican presidential candidate has had unusual opportunities to learn about character. His family memoir details a life marked by privilege and excess as well as the kind of challenges that most of us can barely imagine. This book will be best known for its break-your-heart account of McCains five-plus years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, at one point spending two years in isolation. Its a fascinating history of a remarkable military family. (349 pp.) (Full review Sept. 16) By Brad Knickerbocker

7. YESTERDAY I CRIED, by Iyanla Vanzant, Simon & Schuster, $22 Iyanla Vanzant, a Yoruba priestess and popular radio talk-show host, tells how she rose and continues to rise from a history of abuse. She speaks out with great openness and honesty about how physical, sexual, and verbal abuse tried to take over her life and her mind. This hard story never holds back any of the unpleasant details, but it benefits from a sense of grace that proves this woman has truly risen above the hardship she was told to endure. (304 pp.) By Christy Ellington

8. DIANA IN SEARCH OF HERSELF, by Sally Bedell Smith, Times Books, $25 Claiming to be less sensational than previous Diana biographies, this portrait sets out to psychoanalyze the true Diana beneath the mythic personality constructed by the tabloids. It characterizes Diana as a borderline personality and then uses this diagnosis to explain every aspect of her behavior. The approach sometimes works, but at other times its a stretch: Dianas constantly changing hairstyles were only the most visible evidence of her shifting identities. Whatever happened to bad hair days? (368 pp.) By Liz Marlantes

9. 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

10. ETHICS FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM, by the Dalai Lama, Riverhead Books, $24.95. The Tibetan spiritual leader continues voicing his hope for societal harmony by encouraging ethical discipline. Every individual, he argues, must cultivate the essential qualities of compassion, patience, tolerance, and virtue. He admits these are not new ideas, but also includes some of his own ambitious suggestions for change in the 21st century, such as strategically placed zones of peace and a global organization to represent the conscience of the world. (237 pp.) By Leigh Montgomery

11. SUZANNE SOMERS GET SKINNY ON FABULOUS FOOD, by Suzanne Somers, Crown Pub. Group, $24 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 Threes Company character Chrissy Snow. (268 pp.) By Sara Steindorf

12. 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. The authors claim that sugar consumption has soared during 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 arent self-conscious about what you eat now, you will be after reading Sugar Busters! (270 pp.) By Kendra Nordin

13. THE OTHER SIDE AND BACK, by Sylvia Browne, Dutton Books, $23.95 Based on her supposed contact with the Other Side (which exists 3 feet in the air and where everyone is 30 years old, according to the author), this psychic, church founder, former Catholic school teacher, and good friend of Montel Williams ups the ante in the world of self-help with her latest demystification of the mystical. With chapters about past lives, hauntings, and the Dark Side, it mostly entertains while offering, at times, creative interpretation of life and death. (279 pp.) By Steven Harris

14. THE HUNGRY OCEAN, by Linda Greenlaw, Hyperion, $22.95 A stark and rich portrayal of life at sea, The Hungry Ocean is a poignant account of the authors challenges at the helm of a swordfishing expedition in the North Atlantic. As a female captain in charge of six burly men, she must confront both the ravages of the sea and the dangers of discontent aboard her ship. Alternating dramatic narrative with humorous fishing lore, Greenlaws crisp if often vulgar prose only suffers during syrupy sketches of her youth. A truly enjoyable book. (265 pp.) (Interview Aug. 19) By Josh Burek

15. ISAACS STORM, by Erik Larson, Crown, $25 On Sept. 7, 1900, Galveston, Texas, was a booming, cosmopolitan city lined with ornate mansions and lush gardens. The next day, it became Atlantis. Erik Larson chronicles the days leading up to the furious hurricane that demolished the city. The story follows Isaac Cline, one of Americas first professional weatherman. Larson based the book on Clines well-documented reports as well as testimony from people who survived the storm. A thrilling, tragic story. (295 pp.) (Full review Aug. 19) By John Christian Hoyle

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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