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The Wall Street Journal Guide to the Business of Life


Reporters are a well-traveled lot, and as such pick up a lot of handy tips for day-to-day living. How do you get a seat to a sold-out Broadway show? What's the most comfortable seat in a Boeing 767? What are the tricks for getting the cheapest price at an online store?

The staff of the venerable WSJ has banded together to share all (or many) of the tips they have gathered, in a collection edited by WSJ Senior Editor Nancy Keates.

Journal writers are not hesitant about bending (but not breaking) the rules. Let's say you want to get your child into a top college or prep school, but the offspring's grades don't make the grade. Consider giving a donation to the school and let them know there is more where that came from, say the WSJ'ers. Crass, certainly, but sometimes effective. Another rule-pusher: To get a more favorable room rate, book a hotel room for longer than you really plan to stay, then end your stay early with no penalty.

Want to dine at an eating spot where it's hard to get a reservation? The book points you to several Web sites that can help, foremost among them Opentable.com. “Many of the nation's top restaurants use Opentable.com,” according to the contributor. Just been diagnosed with a serious untreatable illness? Get on the Web and check out the close to 50,000 clinical trials currently underway in the United States. Who has the best deals for clothes for “bigger guys?” Author Charles Passy gives top grades to Casual Male and Big Tall Direct.

Other topics considered here include achieving work-life balance, making the correct financial decisions, strategies for purchasing an automobile, getting fit, and buying art.

As you might infer, Business of Life won't help you much in your professional life, but it will make you more productive in your personal life.

- Sean Silverthorne