A person with bad or indifferent taste can live a perfectly happy and normal life, have a loving family, and be financially successful."" That should come as a relief to the non-Beautiful People who may unknowingly leaf through the valentine that Stanley Marcus has written to himself. While his first book, Minding the Store, was a personal memoir, the former head of Neiman-Marcus says that this is a record of his ""pursuit of the BEST products and services"" over some 50 years. And it hasn't been easy, what with mass-production, standardization, and unions (""concerned more with lifting average wages than in rewarding the exceptionally talented worker""). In fact, Marcus proclaims that ""elegance is dead,"" although he has found a number of ""bests"" which he discusses in the body of the book and in a special list at the end (they extend from ""linen sheets at Claridge's"" to Sara Lee pound cake). And along the way there are tales of Marcus rescuing his employees from lapses in taste. A monument to snobbery, and dull besides.