The Business Week Best Seller List

Superinvestor George Soros last expounded on his theory of investing in 1987, with The Alchemy of Finance, which set forth the author's approach in sometimes painful detail. In Underwriting Democracy and Opening the Soviet System, he discussed his youth in Hungary and his revulsion for closed societies. Now comes Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve (Wiley, $19.95 paper, $39.95 cloth), which is intended to update and fill in the gaps in the earlier works. It is written in a question-and-answer format, with queries posed by Morgan Stanley Group Inc. investment strategist Byron Wien and German journalist Krisztina Koenen.

At its best, Soros on Soros is chatty and moderately informative. The "interview" with Wien is the best part of the book, and it does a decent job of bringing us up to date. Soros gives his version of his troubled personal and professional relationships, including his breakup with early partner Jim Rogers. But there are still gaps: Not a word is said about Soros' recent and abortive real estate venture with Paul Reichmann, the reclusive magnate.

Fully half the book treats Soros' favorite theme: the advantages of open over closed societies. Much of this is tedious, self-important, and not terribly original. But even though Soros on Soros isn't Soros at his best, the book has found a readership: It's the No.3 paperback on this month's BUSINESS WEEK Best-Seller List.

HARDCOVER BUSINESS BOOKS

1 BUFFETT by Roger Lowenstein (Random House $27.50) The life and wisdom of the Oracle of Omaha.

2 THE DISCIPLINE OF MARKET LEADERS by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema (Addison-Wesley $25) Consultants diagnose what successful companies do.

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

4 THE BEARDSTOWN LADIES' COMMON-SENSE

INVESTMENT GUIDE by the Beardstown Ladies Investment Club with Leslie Whitaker (Hyperion $19.95) Recipes for Four-Bean Salad, Five-Hour Stew--and 23% returns.

5 FIRST THINGS FIRST by Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill (Simon & Schuster $23) Managing your time by balancing your life.

6 THE WARREN BUFFETT WAY by Robert G. Hagstrom Jr. (Wiley $24.95) A useful analysis of how Buffett does it.

7 MAKE IT SO by Wess Roberts PhD and Bill Ross (Pocket Books $22) From Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, leadership lessons and deep-space lore.

8 HOW TO DRIVE YOUR COMPETITION CRAZY by Guy Kawasaki (Hyperion $22.95) Pulling off the gloves--and giving the other guy fits.

9 SERPENT ON THE ROCK by Kurt Eichenwald (HarperBusiness $27.50) How Pru-Bache's limited-partnership deals put the bite on investors.

10 THE NORDSTROM WAY by Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy (Wiley $24.95) A top company salesman describes the retailer's customer-service culture.

11 JESUS CEO by Laurie Beth Jones (Hyperion $16.95) Applying the teachings of the Bible to business problems.

12 RAVING FANS by Kenneth Blanchard PhD and Sheldon Bowles (Morrow $20) How to turn customers into your biggest boosters.

13 COMPETING FOR THE FUTURE by Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad (Harvard Business School $24.95) For healthy growth, anticipate the future--and how to dominate it.

14 WORLD CLASS by Rosabeth Moss Kanter (Simon & Schuster $25) How "cosmopolitan" cities and companies are succeeding in the global economy.

15 EVERYONE'S A COACH by Don Shula and Ken Blanchard (HarperBusiness $22) A pitch on motivation and winning.

PAPERBACK BUSINESS BOOKS

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

2 1001 WAYS TO REWARD EMPLOYEES by Bob Nelson (Workman $8.95) Give them a champagne brunch, a casual-dress day--or plain old cash.

3 SOROS ON SOROS by George Soros with Byron Wien and Krisztina Koenen (Wiley $19.95) Financial tips and political philosophy from the "world's most powerful trader."

4 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.

5 THE 1995 WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? by Richard Nelson Bolles (Ten Speed Press $14.95) The enduring job-search bible.

6 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.

7 ZAPP! by William C. Byham PhD with Jeff Cox (Fawcett $10) How "empowerment" revved up employees at the fictional Normal Co.

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

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

10 REENGINEERING THE CORPORATION by Michael Hammer and James Champy (HarperBusiness $13) Using information technology to redesign business processes.

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

12 INVESTMENT BIKER by Jim Rogers (Adams $12.95) A cycle-riding money manager circles the globe, investigating emerging markets.

13 KNOCK 'EM DEAD by Martin Yate (Adams $9.95) A job-seeker's handbook.

14 THE GOAL by Eliyahu M. Goldratt (North River Press $19.95) Bringing your strategies in line with your No.1 purpose: Making money.

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

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 September.