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True Books



Be a Great Divorced Dad, by Kenneth N. Condrell, PhD, with Linda Lee Small (St. Martin's Griffin, $11.95).

Synopsis: A family counselor, himself divorced, advises other divorced men how to maintain strong ties with their children.

Representative quote: "After the divorce, [my children] began to see new and appealing sides to their father. ('Gee, Dad had us all over to his house and cooked stew for us.')"

Noteworthy flaw: Make stew for your family now and maybe you won't need the book.

Grandfather's Handbook: How to Understand and Have Fun With Your Grandchild, by John Dunzer (Great Times Press, $12.95).

Synopsis: The art of "grandfathering" isn't easy. It takes a lot of forethought and effort; preparing a written "grandfather plan" helps.

Representative quote: "Assemble a Grandparent Notebook with a section for each Grandchild. Enter in key facts about each Grandchild such as the name of schools, teachers, special friends, team names, scores, schedules, favorite hero's [sic], favorite foods, etc."

Noteworthy flaw: Fondest memories of grandfathers tend to be of them asleep in their favorite chairs, smelling of cigarettes and Luden's cough drops, without any vigorous pandering required on their part.

Becoming a Grandmother: A Life Transition, by Sheila Kitzinger (Fireside, $11).

Synopsis: Kitzinger, "a leading authority on women's experiences of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood," uses many case histories of actual grandmothers to illustrate the intricacies and demands of the position.

Representative quote: "There are so many mistakes an exultant grandmother can make, it is not surprising that some women feel bewildered. They adore their grandchildren and are trying to do their best. Why isn't it working out?"

Noteworthy flaw: Truth is, carry Hershey bars in your purse and baby-sit occasionally, and everything will work out fine.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): book covers.

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