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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Least She Got a Book Out of It, December 12, 2007
This review is from: Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Scheduled for release just as your own New Year's resolutions are starting to fray at the edges, Beth Lisick's Helping Me Help Myself will help you put things into perspective. Not because she learns how to conduct her life in zen-like calmness, but because her life will make yours look well-organized by comparison.

Lisick realizes that her life is disorganized, aimless, and her career is going nowhere. A major overhaul is in order, and since she's going to change every facet of her life, she'll need lots of help, and why not the best? She goes to self-help experts for tips on finances, child rearing, marriage, career, fitness, etc. Suze Orman, Richard Simmons, Julie Morgenstern, and others are recruited for duty. Lisick attends seminars, gets phone consultations, she even goes on a Richard Simmons fitness cruise. Does it help? Well, not really. But Lisick is lot of fun. Even though her life isn't streamlined and efficient, she seems to be a positive (if skeptical) and happy person, willing to try new things. She finds Suze Orman less helpful than I expected, and is surprised to find that she quite likes Richard Simmons. And the chapter about improving her writing the Julie Cameron way while spending every bit of her savings on a vacation in Tuscany - well, you can see that Lisick is fighting a losing battle. It's like watching Lucy Ricardo trying to become Martha Stewart.

Another book came out last May with a similar premise, Practically Perfect in Every Way by Jennifer Niesslein. But Niesslein wanted help with areas of her life that already seemed under control. She just wanted to tweak things a bit. (After reading the episode about her neighbor stealing her recycling bin, I wondered if Niesslein might have done better to look for help with her anger instead.) And her choice of experts to consult put me off: Dr. Laura, Dr. Phil, a priest.

Helping Me Help Myself is a funnier book, and when I finished it, I had to go to the library to pick up Lisick's other non-fiction book, Everybody Into the Pool, a memoir. And where had I seen her name before? Oh yes, in the credits of a very odd and enjoyable movie Spectres of the Spectrum (I can't synopsize here, it's just too weird).
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