The Monitor Guide to The Bestsellers

Hardcover Non-Fiction

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1. 'TIS, by Frank McCourt, Scribner, $26

(Last week 1, Weeks on list 5)

"'Tis" picks up with McCourt's arrival in New York in 1949 as a 19-year-old of astonishing naivet and wearisome self-pity. Too often the memorable tragedy of his first memoir inadvertently mocks the relatively minor trials of this sequel. The flames of "Angela's Ashes" have burned down considerably, but there are still wonderful moments in this book whenever McCourt moves away from himself to his cast of remarkable characters. His tales of teaching English are particularly good. (367 pp.) (Full review Sept. 23)

By Ron Charles

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books(WSJ) Selected Reviews*

2. BODY FOR LIFE, by Bill Phillips, HarperCollins Publishers, $25

(Last week 15, Weeks on list 19)

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 life. His theory is that the attainment of physical goals will help one achieve other life goals, too. Arranged with a variety of success stories, charts, and examples, this plan provides an easy-to-follow program, with tasty recipes and a simple exercise program. (203 pp.)

By Christy Ellington

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

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

(Last week 4, Weeks on list 103)

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

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books(LA) Selected Reviews*

4. HAVE A NICE DAY! by Mick Foley, Regan Books, $25

(Last week -, Weeks on list 1)

This autobiography tells the rise of a wrestling legend, but it's a raw, sometimes vile narrative. The book goes into detail - and provides many photos - about Foley's injuries and the opponents who made him the wrestler he is today. "Cactus Jack," as he calls himself, shares the everyday life inside and outside the ring. There are glimmers of humanity, such as the thoughtful time he spends with his children and wife, but the majority of the book is a mish-mash of pile drives, open wounds, and needless banter. (544 pp.)

By Lane Hartill

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of BooksSelected Reviews*

5. SUGAR BUSTERS!, by H. Leighton Steward, et al., Ballantine, $22

(Last week 2, Weeks on list 175)

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 aren't self-conscious about what you eat now, you will be after reading "Sugar Busters!" (270 pp.)

By Kendra Nordin

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books(PD) Selected Reviews*

6. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2000, by Guinness Media, $25.95

(Last week 6, Weeks on list 6)

Those who remember "The Guinness Book of World Records" as a treasure-trove of trivia ranging from the delightfully arcane (most digits of Pi memorized) to the truly awe-inspiring (most eggs eaten in one second) will be sorely disappointed in this millennium edition." More of a coffee-table piece than a reference source, the book is chock full of celebrity and gross-out photos that make this Guinness incarnation a cross between People magazine and Fox's "When Animals Attack." An obnoxious book. (284 pp.)

By Josh Burek

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

7. DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF IN LOVE, by Richard Carlson, Hyperion, $15.95

(Last week 5, Weeks on list 3)

It's nice to have a hiker's manual when you're climbing an unknown trail. This book is a helpful checkpoint for enjoying the journey with your loved one. The easy-to-grab, nightstand compilation of ideals about the nature of love holds to the author's philosophy of keeping things simple. Its conversational style reminds us that loving one another is the goal, and letting go of anything that might keep us from this peak is the path. (272 pp.)

By Christy Ellington

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

8. THE CARBOHYDRATE ADDICT'S HEALTHY HEART PROGRAM, by Richard Heller, Ballantine, $24.95

(Last week 11, Weeks on list 3)

The authors, biomedical researchers, claim that insulin levels are more significant than other factors in causing certain diseases. Based on this conclusion, they recommend avoiding foods rich in carbohydrates, even some low-calorie foods long considered healthful. Their program stresses the importance of exercise and a sustainable diet, complete with "reward meals" to avoid the starve-and-binge cycle that derails so many diet fads. Includes recipes for surprisingly tasty-sounding meals. (352 pp.)

By Ron Charles

The Christian Science Monitor

The New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

9. DUTCH: A MEMOIR OF RONALD REGAN, by Edmund Morris, Random House, $35

(Last week 3, Weeks on list 4)

Ronald Reagan is America's lifeguard, but don't look for anything remotely suggesting so simple or direct an appraisal from Morris. The only biography ever authorized by a sitting president, "Dutch" will tantalize but distress readers. Fact or fiction? Often, it can't be determined. Morris's well-publicized technique of placing himself in the historical narrative, even though he was never there, distorts Reagan's life. Historians rue the lost opportunity. (874 pp.)

By Jim Bencivenga

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books (WSJ) Selected Reviews*

10. SUZANNE SOMERS' GET SKINNY ON FABULOUS FOOD, by Suzanne Somers, Crown, $24

(Last week -, Weeks on list 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 "Three's Company" character, Chrissy Snow. (268 pp.)

By Sara Steindorf

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books(BL) Selected Reviews*

11. A MAN NAMED DAVE, by David J. Pelzer, Dutton, $18

(Last week 8, Weeks on list 2)

This is the third and final chapter of Pelzer's progression into adulthood. He survived the brutality of an alcoholic mother, who only referred to him as "It," and an alcoholic father. Determined to turn his life around, Pelzer describes every episode of his journey. As remarkable a story as this one is, the reader is left wanting to know more about how he triumphed and less about what he endured. We're left feeling happy for his success, but no better for having read about it. (288 pp.)

By Anne Margaret Toevs

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

12. FAITH OF MY FATHERS, by John McCain, Random House, $25

(Last week 7, Weeks on list 7)

This Republican presidential candidate and US senator from Arizona 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. The book will be best known for its break-your-heart account of McCain's five-plus years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, at one

point spending two years in isolation. It's a fascinating history of a remarkable military family. (349 pp.) (Full review Sept. 16)

(291 pp.)

By Brad Knickerbocker

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

13. WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED, by David Maraniss, Simon & Schuster, $26

(Last week 10, Weeks on list 4)

If Vince Lombardi had pursued his original plan and entered the priesthood, his relentless desire to succeed might have made him the pope. Instead, he preached the gospel of the gridiron - the T-formation and forearm shiver. Is Lombardi the symbol of a better time in sports (and life), or is his winning-is-the-only-thing mentality the problem that plagues the games today? Sports fans will relish Maraniss's abundant detail. The shattered myth of a more innocent America will captivate all. (504 pp.)

By David S. Hauck

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

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

(Last week 12, Weeks on list 36)

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

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books Selected Reviews*

15. LIFE STRATEGIES, by Phillip C. McGraw, Disney Press, $21.95

(Last week 13, Weeks on list 23)

"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 these 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

The Christian Science MonitorThe New York TimesKirkus Review of Books (DM) Selected Reviews*

BESTSELLER RANKING FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, NOV. 1, 1999

*Wall Street Journal; LA Times; Plain Dealer; Booklist; Dallas Morning News

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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