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"So much of it is just a dreadful bag of charlatanry. Every day you're getting closer to your grave."According to Kennedy, there is only one such book any self-respecting denizen of the 21st-century needs to read, and that is 59 Seconds by Professor Richard Wiseman.
Every day in every way I am getting better, they say. "It's one of the few self-help books I can think of with proper scientific research to back it up," she says.
She is dour and cynical, and archly amusing with it.
But can books such as these really help us to help ourselves? Julie Hall, a mother of two living in London, is a self-styled entrepreneur.
Part-British, part-Canadian, she started a website in 2008 called Women Unlimited to help women in the business world, her conviction being that there were too few female entrepreneurs.
"It's fascinating, and it works."With a surname like his, Wiseman, who is Britain's only professor for the "public understanding of psychology", seems predisposed to the dispensing of advice.
Since it was published in 2009, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot has been translated into 30 languages.