IN THE AIRLINE BUSINESS, stormy employee relations are commonplace. So how is it that the management and employees of Southwest Airlines Co. seem able to pull together? Readers may find some answers in the unabashedly laudatory Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success, by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg, longtime consultants at the airline. The book is the No.8 hardback on this month's BUSINESS WEEK Best-Seller List.

After recapping the company's struggles to overcome lawsuit-wielding rivals and get in the air, the Freibergs attempt to describe what makes Southwest so strong. Don't look for any startling revelations. Those already familiar with Dallas-based Southwest and its fun-loving CEO, Herbert D. Kelleher, won't be surprised by what they read: The company loathes bureaucracy, hires for ''attitude'' more than skills, and celebrates employees' triumphs like mad.

Nuts! quickly grows repetitious, and its ''success in a nutshell'' summaries are too simplistic, with advice like ''show love more often'' or ''keep things simple.'' The book is strongest when it recounts the real-life stories of Southwest's employees and customers. The tale of how a Southwest flight attendant came to the rescue of a stranded, 87-year-old passenger by taking her home for the night will make you believe that, yes, this airline really does offer ''positively outrageous'' service.


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

2 DOGBERT'S TOP SECRET MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK by Scott Adams (HarperBusiness $16) Straight from the puppy's mouth.

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

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

5 FINANCIAL PEACE by Dave Ramsey (Viking $21.95) Getting out of debt--for good.

6 THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD (Longstreet Press $22) How to live cheap and well just like the truly rich do.

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

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

9 THE BEARDSTOWN LADIES' GUIDE TO SMART SPENDING FOR BIG SAVINGS by the Beardstown Ladies' Investment Club with Robin Dellabough (Hyperion $19.95) Penny-pinching, from appliances to rental cars.

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

11 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.

12 ORGANIZING GENIUS by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman (Addison-Wesley $24) Case studies of great groups, from the Manhattan Project to Disney's animators.

13 THE EDUCATION OF A SPECULATOR by Victor Niederhoffer (Wiley $29.95) A futures trader's insights on markets, music, and mastery of your opponents.

14 THE BANKERS by Martin Mayer (Truman Talley/Dutton $29.95) Money, credit, and banking as it was and will be.

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


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

2 THE ERNST & YOUNG TAX GUIDE 1997 by the Tax Partners and Professionals of Ernst & Young LLP (Wiley $14.95) Forms aplenty.

3 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.

4 J.K. LASSER'S YOUR INCOME TAX 1997 by the J.K. Lasser Institute (Macmillan $14.95) Are we nervous yet?

5 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.

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

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

8 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.

9 THE BEARDSTOWN LADIES' STITCH-IN-TIME GUIDE TO GROWING YOUR NEST EGG by the Beardstown Ladies' Investment Club with Robin Dellabough (Hyperion $10.95) The team from Illinois turns to retirement planning.

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 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING MONEY AND INVESTING by Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel (Fireside $13.95) Still more advice on money.

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

13 INVESTING FOR DUMMIES by Eric Tyson, MBA (IDG Books $19.95) From stocks to small business--with cartoons, too.

14 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.

15 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $10.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

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 January.

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Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
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