Helping Me Help Myself

By Beth Lisick (William Morrow, 2008)

Beth Lisick is a San Francisco–based writer and comedian with a cluttered house, a feisty 4-year-old son and a husband she really likes but rarely sees. When she realizes it’s high time she created some changes in her life but doesn’t have the foggiest clue how, Lisick decides to devote the next year to acquiring the inspiration and expertise necessary to clean her basement, make more money, get in shape, and be a better parent, partner and person. Her strategy is simple: Follow the instructions of a different self-help guru each month — no small feat given her avowed resistance to self-analysis and self-help. What emerges is a touching, funny memoir of a savvy, kind-hearted person searching for answers in an industry that she finds highly questionable. From her no-holds barred participation in a Richard Simmons fitness cruise to her intrepid work with professional clutter-clearers in her basement, Lisick challenges her own cynicism and, as a result, comes out ahead — even if she’s not totally transformed. Her good-natured, biting humor makes this journey of self-discovery an absolutely sentimentality-free (and often very funny) good time.

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