Practically Perfect in Every Way

Jennifer Niesslein

In high school I had a friend who decided to try some experiments out on himself that he had read about. He simultaneously ate only brown bread and apple juice and slept 2 hours at night and another hour in the afternoon. According to his science journal, this was all the body needed. After a week of this regime, he hallucinated his thigh muscle falling off and decided to call it quits. Niesselein’s book could serve as an equally strong warning on being your own personal guinea pig.

Deciding that she was happy, but not “happy enough”, Niesslein created a list of areas in her life that she felt could be improved. She then bought self-help books for each topic and tried to follow them as rigorously as possible. Fortunately for her sanity, she did one improvement area at a time. Her choice of self-help authors run from the standard (Dr. Phil) to the truly questionable (Dr. Laura). Niesslein’s account of trying to perfect her life is often as hilarious as it is sad and rather scary. While she comes out the other end of her experience mostly unscathed, there are definitely some touch-and-go moments where you (and she) wonder what the heck she was thinking. Before you reach for another self-help book, give this excellent book a read.