Picks and Pans Review: Trying to Get to Heaven

updated 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Dixie Carter

Most of the celebrities who write advice books would be wise to hush up and hold on to their day jobs. Carter, best-known as the refreshingly tart-tongued, no-nonsense Julia Sugarbaker on the series Designing Women, is as tart-tongued on the page as on the tube. Heaven, appropriately subtitled Opinions of a Tennessee Talker, is a folksy, generally endearing disquisition on subjects including clothes, grooming, decorating (keep the fax machine out of the living room), child-rearing and undergoing cosmetic surgery. Carter has had a face-and eye-lift and, unlike others she could mention, refuses to be coy about it. "The great beauties and rich socialites are not admitting that anything has been cut on their head but their hair," she notes, "not even a little moustache waxing." Some of her stories don't have quite the necessary punch or punch line, and there is a tendency to ramble. But for the most part, you want to stand back and let this Tennessee talker talk. (Simon & Schuster, $22)

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