Copyright 1996 The Dallas Morning News  
August 11, 1996, Sunday, HOME FINAL EDITION

LENGTH: 441 words


BYLINE: Mike Maza


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dating, by Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D. (Alpha paperback, $ 16.95)

Dr. Judy, as LovePhones listeners call this New York-based radio psychologist and author, seems able to cover all the bases. How else could one person write columns for the diverse audiences of Penthouse, Soap Opera Digest and Family Circle magazines? In her new book, Dr. Judy has a blurb for every step of the relationship life cycle: opening lines, self-esteem building ("Self-Pump Instead of Self-Dump"), "the six rules of flirting" and overcoming flirter's block, cyberdating, guidelines for good communication and (oh-oh; the thrill is going) "How to Stop Fights," "Spicing Up Your Sex Life," and "Deciding to Break Up." She offers lots of good, lightweight, lighthearted advice, but she has little for readers who want more than a cheerleader.


The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. (Birch Lane hardcover, $ 21.95)

Noise, smells, tension and other stimulations that go unnoticed by others may be enough to distress or exhaust highly sensitive people, Dr. Aron writes. Because of their temperament, sensitives often get labeled timid, weak or neurotic by more aggressive personality types. On the other hand, they also tend to be highly conscientious and creative. Sensitives tend to be thoughtful advisers to the more action-oriented dominators of society, and the sensitive's message - have we really thought this through? - is often unwelcome to those who want to get things done. "This book is about both your personal innate physical trait sensitivity and also about your frequently unappreciated social importance," she writes. Dr. Aron takes on psychology's misapprehensions about sensitivity, the trait's relation to depression and its influences upon social and romantic relationships, careers and especially on the way sensitives feel about themselves.


Don't Whiz on a 'Lectric Fence: Grandpa's Country Wisdom, by Roy English (Gibbs Smith paperback, $ 6.95)

If changing times and fashions have faded some of Grandpa's 140 observations ("Don't wear polyester to a wiener roast" may be coming 'round again, though), others ring with truth and twinkle-eyed humor. Grandpa knows that "When a fella is late for work, he should do the right thing and leave work early to make up for it." An Arlington resident and the author of four previous books, Mr. English has been a newspaper columnist, legislator and judge.

Help Yourself is a weekly survey of self-help books by Mike Maza, an editor at The Dallas Morning News.