The BusinessWeek Best-Seller List

Suze Orman is the Oprah of personal finance, sometimes mawkish but often insightful. In The Road to Wealth, this month's No. 6 hardcover, Orman forgoes her usual psychological counseling for a deft nuts-and-bolts discussion of 11 personal-finance topics, from debt management to annuities. The entire volume is structured as a long Q&A--"Is taking out a 401(k) loan easy?" and "What is an open-end fund?" to select two queries at random. This makes the 561-page book more of a reference manual than something you would want to read straight through.

This reviewer found the book's "Home Ownership" chapter particularly useful. Ever been baffled by references to 5/25 or 7/23 mortgages? Orman describes these two-step home loans, which usually blend aspects of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. Other worthwhile chapters tackle stocks, retirement planning, and bonds. All in all, it's a handbook that can benefit a wide range of readers.

By Karin Pekarchik

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