Though he's written two well-received financial histories, Grant (Money of the Mind, 1992; Bernard M. Baruch, 1983) is best known in financial circles for his twice-monthly newsletter, Grant's Interest Rate Observer. Here--marking that influential journal's tenth anniversary--are nearly one hundred of its myriad short essays, sandwiched between an introduction that looks frankly at Grant's first decade (``not a few of the nickels we spurned turned out to be speculative gold pieces'')--as well as wisely (``Two underappreciated forces in financial markets are irony and paradox'')--and an epilogue that peers into the markets' futures (Grant's bottom line: ``Down with paper [stocks and bonds]. Up with things [commodities]''). In between, the author, a ``self-styled contrarian,'' employs rubrics like ``Mr. Market Changes his Mind,'' ``Foreigners in Debt,'' and ``The Fine Art of Corporate Finance'' to group the essays, which invariably reflect his customary blend of humorous commentary and savvy advice: ``In 1913,'' begins a 1986 piece, ``the Woolworth Building...was completed for $13.5 million, the price including gold mosaic, spectacular vaulted ceilings, and gargoyles. In 1986 the American Express world headquarters...is expected to be finished at a cost of $690 million. That is without the gargoyles.'' Solid bedside reading, then, for those who believe, as Grant does, that ``in financial markets, progress is cyclical, not cumulative.''