YOU'RE A COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH, AND you've just led your team to the finals twice in a row. Then you quit and accept a $70 million contract to revive the most storied team in pro hoops. Not a bad time for a book advising people how to succeed, eh?

That's exactly what new Boston Celtics honcho Rick Pitino has done with Success Is a Choice, the No.3 hardback on this month's best-seller list. He offers fairly standard motivational fare: Believe in yourself, set realistic goals, work hard, always be positive, and never be totally satisfied. ''You must eliminate the word quit from your vocabulary,'' Pitino urges.

Highlights include Pitino's description of specific steps he has taken over the past two decades to turn around four moribund or troubled college- and pro-basketball programs. Remember Billy Donovan? Pitino tells how he helped turn the pudgy kid into a national star for Providence College in the late '80s.

The book stumbles, though, in asserting that people have complete command of their destinies. ''We control our life,'' he writes. ''We alone have the power.'' Even Pitino--maybe unwittingly--realizes that's a bit much. Fifty pages later, he says: ''There are so many things we can't control,'' such as injuries, the weather, and the world economy. What we do control, he then says, are our moods. He may find his own spirits flagging this year as he tries to help the woeful Celtics recapture their lost glory. Then again, it's hard to bet against him.



1 THE DILBERT FUTURE by Scott Adams (HarperBusiness $25) Prognostication from the prolific cartoonist.

2 THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD (Longstreet Press $22) The penny-pinchers shall inherit the earth.

3 SUCCESS IS A CHOICE by Rick Pitino with Bill Reynolds (Broadway $25) Coach says work harder, harder!

4 STOCK MARKET MIRACLES by Wade B. Cook (Lighthouse Publishing $24.95) Investing fundamentals, from portfolio-building to stock selling.

Mackay (Currency $24.95) How to build and maintain a personal network, by a syndicated columnist.

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

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

8 WARREN BUFFETT SPEAKS by Janet Lowe (Wiley $16.95) Quotes, droll and otherwise, from Omaha's wealthiest citizen.

9 SELLING THE INVISIBLE by Harry Beckwith (Warner $15) A collection of bite-size lessons on marketing.

10 PERSONAL HISTORY by Katharine Graham (Knopf $29.95) The grande dame of the Washington Post on journalism, business, and her life.

11 THE 9 STEPS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM by Suze Orman (Crown $23) Practical and ''spiritual'' steps for handling money, by a Self magazine writer.

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

13 THE PRINCESSA by Harriet Rubin (Currency $22) New rules for successful women, demonstrated by heroines past and present.

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

15 INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL by Thomas A. Stewart (Currency $27) Managing and profiting from the talents of the knowledge worker.


1 THE DILBERT PRINCIPLE by Scott Adams (HarperBusiness $11.95) The revenge of the cubicle dwellers.

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

3 THE MOTLEY FOOL INVESTMENT GUIDE by David and Tom Gardner (Fireside $12) The online investment duo puts it on paper.

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

5 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.

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

7 YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (Penguin $11.95) To achieve financial independence, restructure your life.

8 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $10.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

9 THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE by Peter Senge (Currency $18.50) Creating the ''learning organization.''

10 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.

11 BARRON'S DICTIONARY OF FINANCE AND INVESTMENT TERMS by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman (Barron's $11.95) What is an oligopsony anyway?

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

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

14 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.

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

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 June.


Updated July 17, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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