SO YOUR SON SAYS HE HAS HAD ENOUGH OF his chosen profession--drummer in a rock band. He's ready to be an adult, he insists, maybe even to have that ''Jello Biafra forever'' tattoo removed. But just how far will he go? Is he ready, say, to open a bank account?

This is a trend you may want to encourage. But don't do anything rash, such as trying to steer the dinner conversation toward health insurance or, God forbid, mutual funds. Instead, you could give him a copy of Beth Kobliner's Get A Financial Life, No.6 on this month's paperback best-seller list.

Kobliner tackles all the tough questions--debt, banking, investing, housing, insurance, and taxes. Pay off credit-card debt before student loans, she advises, since interest on the former is likely to be higher. Invest in no-load, stock-index funds. Before you quit your job, check to see how long you must work to be vested in the company's 401(k) plan. ''Staying an extra few months could mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket,'' she explains.

Ingenious? Not exactly. But Kobliner, a writer for Money magazine and a Gen-Xer herself, answers a lot of basic questions without preaching. And even if your Gen-Xer doesn't read the whole book, maybe he'll check out the 12-page intro, which summarizes key points. The tattoo? Well, that's another matter.


1 DOGBERT'S TOP SECRET MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK by Scott Adams (HarperBusiness $16) Biting observations from a top dog.

2 THE DILBERT PRINCIPLE by Scott Adams (HarperBusiness $20) The revenge of the cubicle dwellers.

3 AGAINST THE GODS by Peter L. Bernstein (Wiley $27.95) Risk management in the making of the modern world.

4 ONLY THE PARANOID SURVIVE by Andrew S. Grove (Currency $27.50) Intel's CEO describes how to turn crises into moments of opportunity.

5 NUTS! by Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg (Bard Press $24.95) Southwest Airlines' personality and flight plan for success.

6 WALL STREET MONEY MACHINE by Wade B. Cook (Lighthouse Publishing $24.95) Formulas to help you strike it rich.

7 FORBES GREATEST BUSINESS STORIES OF ALL TIME by Daniel Gross and the editors of Forbes magazine (Wiley $24.95) From McCormick's reaper to Sam Walton's store.

8 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT GUIDE by David and Tom Gardner (Simon & Schuster $24) An online investment duo puts it on paper.

9 LEADING CHANGE by John P. Kotter (Harvard Business School $24.95) Shaking up the organization by a Harvard B-school prof.

10 INSIDE THE TORNADO by Geoffrey A. Moore (HarperBusiness $25) Lore on marketing from Silicon Valley.

11 MEAN BUSINESS by Albert J. Dunlap with Bob Andelman (Times Business $25) A chest-thumping tale from the man they call ''Chainsaw.''

12 MISSION POSSIBLE by Ken Blanchard and Terry Waghorn (McGraw-Hill $22) Using untapped human energy to charge up your organization.

13 WHAT WORKS ON WALL STREET by James P. O'Shaughnessy (McGraw-Hill $29.95) A statistical look at how investment strategies stack up.

14 BUILT TO LAST by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras (HarperBusiness $25) How 3M, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, and others became standouts.

15 SECURITY ANALYSIS by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd (McGraw-Hill $50) A reprint of the 1934 edition of an investing classic.


1 THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by Stephen R. Covey (Fireside $12) Habitually popular.

2 THE ROAD AHEAD by Bill Gates with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson (Penguin $15.95) Microsoft's chief on the implications of the I-way, in a ''completely revised'' edition.

3 THE WAVE 3 WAY TO BUILDING YOUR DOWNLINE by Richard Poe (Prima $14.95) Further tips on network marketing.

4 THE 1997 WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press $16.95) The enduring job-search bible--with a new resource guide.

5 GETTING TO YES by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin $11.95) A Harvard team's step-by-step guide to conflict resolution.

6 GET A FINANCIAL LIFE by Beth Kobliner (Fireside $11) Hey, Gen-Xers--mutual funds and mortgages can be fun!

7 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $8.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

8 THE BEARDSTOWN LADIES' COMMON-SENSE INVESTMENT GUIDE by the Beardstown Ladies Investment Club with Leslie Whitaker (Hyperion $10.95) Recipes for Four-Bean Salad, Five-Hour Stew--and 23% returns.

9 J.K. LASSER'S YOUR INCOME TAX 1997 by the J.K. Lasser Institute (Macmillan $14.95) Get ready, here it comes.

10 FIRST THINGS FIRST by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill (Fireside $14) Managing your time by balancing your life.

11 PERSONAL FINANCE FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson (IDG Books $16.95) Lighthearted primer.

12 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING MONEY AND INVESTING by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel (Fireside $13.95) Concise explanations enriched with graphics.

13 WAVE 3 by Richard Poe (Prima $14.95) Quit your job and become a sales entrepreneur through ''multi-level marketing.''

14 ZAPP! by William C. Byham, PhD with Jeff Cox (Fawcett $11) How ''empowerment'' revved up employees at the fictional Normal Co.

15 THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER by Kenneth Blanchard PhD and Spencer Johnson M.D. (Berkley $9.95) Three management techniques, conveyed in brief story form.

BUSINESS WEEK's Best-Seller List is based on a survey of chain and independent booksellers that carry a broad selection of books on economics, management, sales and marketing, small business, investing, personal finance, and careers. Well over 1,000 retail outlets nationwide are represented. Current rankings are based on a weighted analysis of unit sales in November.

Reviews and more are available on Click on BW Plus.



Updated June 13, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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