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If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can't get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you f If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can't get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you feel like it's your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don't want to have sex with your spouse and don't know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you're lost in life. If you have ever wondered, How am I supposed to survive this?   This is How.


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If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can't get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you f If you're fat and fail every diet, if you're thin but can't get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can't get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you feel like it's your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don't want to have sex with your spouse and don't know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you're lost in life. If you have ever wondered, How am I supposed to survive this?   This is How.

30 review for Jak na to

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    May 25, 2012 UPDATE: News flash for Burroughs fans. I wrote this review long before the book was released. Now it has been out for a few weeks, and it is receiving a big thumbs down from people who have loved his other books. Personally, I found his previous books more dark than funny, but I seem to be in the minority. So pay attention here. THIS IS NOT LIKE HIS OTHER BOOKS. There are a lot of angry readers out there who ordered the book without reading advance reviews, and now they're all bent May 25, 2012 UPDATE: News flash for Burroughs fans. I wrote this review long before the book was released. Now it has been out for a few weeks, and it is receiving a big thumbs down from people who have loved his other books. Personally, I found his previous books more dark than funny, but I seem to be in the minority. So pay attention here. THIS IS NOT LIKE HIS OTHER BOOKS. There are a lot of angry readers out there who ordered the book without reading advance reviews, and now they're all bent out of shape because it's not what they expected. If you've read the author's autobiographical works, you know he's been through more ugliness than most of us. Here he shares a distillation of his life's lessons, and the techniques that did and did not work for him along the way. This Is How is a catch-all self-help book for the desperate, the disillusioned, or the merely curious. The laughs are there, as expected, but Augusten Burroughs is very much in earnest with his messages. There are 28 short chapters ranging from How To Be Fat to How To Let a Child Die. Burroughs is the kind of friend you want to have around when it's time to stop whining and wallowing and get serious about change. He'll give you that boot in the backside followed by a gentle exhortation to be hopeful and optimistic. "Stop lying to yourself, but don't you dare give up" is the overarching theme in the book. A lot of what you'll find here is common sense, but Burroughs's delivery motivates you to use that sense in a practical way. His style is often hard-hitting, occasionally punctuated by coarse language. What's surprising, though, is the tenderness and insight that accompany his boldness. One-size-fits-all looks a little different on each person, but there's something here for everyone. What I found irrelevant may be just what someone else needs to hear. Even the parts that don't apply to you will have information to help you be more sensitive to the struggles of others. For me this is the best out of all of Burroughs's books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I found this book in an unusual way, but it turned out to be the best thing I could have read right now. You see, my mother died a few weeks ago. She had cancer and I had been caring for her for months, but losing her was still a shock. I think losing a loved one must always be shocking, no matter how much time you have to prepare. One day they are there, and the next they aren't. The physics of it just don't make sense. So, I was overwhelmed with sadness and looking for ways to cope. Because I am I found this book in an unusual way, but it turned out to be the best thing I could have read right now. You see, my mother died a few weeks ago. She had cancer and I had been caring for her for months, but losing her was still a shock. I think losing a loved one must always be shocking, no matter how much time you have to prepare. One day they are there, and the next they aren't. The physics of it just don't make sense. So, I was overwhelmed with sadness and looking for ways to cope. Because I am a reader and typically solve problems by going to a library, I decided to look for a book on grief. Specifically, I wanted an audiobook, which I could listen to privately and no one would see me carrying around a bereavement handbook. I searched Overdrive for "grief" and This is How showed up. I was so pleased to see Augusten Burroughs' name. I had read and enjoyed several of his memoirs, but I had never heard of this book. I silently thanked the universe for sending it my way. This is How is a self-help book, but it's told in such a brutally honest and humorous way that only Augusten could have written it. He shares stories of his own ordeals and what he's learned, and also the experiences of friends. There are chapters on fear, anxiety, dreams, love, confidence, failure, addiction, and, of course, grief. I found comfort and insight in much of what Augusten wrote, and it reminded me of why I liked his earlier books so much. He's like a good friend you meet for coffee, and he would listen carefully to your story, give you a hug, and then he would tell you the truth about what you need to do next. If you need a little honesty and humor to deal with a difficult situation, I recommend this book. Favorite Quote "When the person you love is gone, even if it has seemed to you for so long only a small part of them has remained, you see now how much of them was really there. You see, too, that it was the last few moments — hardly enough of them to walk from the far end of the parking lot to the front door of a mall — and yet these several moments were the most pure, most essential, and most alive moments in your life."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "DJ"

    Okay, so I literally couldn't put this book down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I could get back to it. Burroughs has such a candid way of writing. He's full of humor, insight, and I felt like he was sitting right next to me chatting. I do understand why the long title now as he took on so many different topics, the topics that matter most in life. For me, the chapters on disease and dying were the best I've ever read. Others on race and relationships, or emotions such as s Okay, so I literally couldn't put this book down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about when I could get back to it. Burroughs has such a candid way of writing. He's full of humor, insight, and I felt like he was sitting right next to me chatting. I do understand why the long title now as he took on so many different topics, the topics that matter most in life. For me, the chapters on disease and dying were the best I've ever read. Others on race and relationships, or emotions such as shame, resentment, and anger were all top notch. Here's a couple of small quotes I loved, "The past does not haunt us. We haunt the past," or "Try to see the therapist as more like a hooker." Seriously, you could throw away every self-help book, or actually the self-help industry would die with one reading of this book. Yup, I loved it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    I am not a fan of "self-help" books. The few I've read have been full of unrealistic psychobabble, generic & overused cliches and generally not applicable to me and my problems. Having said that, I couldn't resist entering the Goodreads giveaway for this particular book simply because of it's title. I was interested (and skeptical) to see how one book could address all of these issues. I half-expected it to be a satirical work. I was just plain curious. Having sat down and in a matter of a few ho I am not a fan of "self-help" books. The few I've read have been full of unrealistic psychobabble, generic & overused cliches and generally not applicable to me and my problems. Having said that, I couldn't resist entering the Goodreads giveaway for this particular book simply because of it's title. I was interested (and skeptical) to see how one book could address all of these issues. I half-expected it to be a satirical work. I was just plain curious. Having sat down and in a matter of a few hours consumed this book I found that it's not your traditional self-help offering. It doesn't give you step-by-step methods of fixing yourself or your life. Instead it offers a new way of thinking about and looking at a myriad of situations, traits and long-held beliefs. Some of it is so basic and common sense that I found myself wondering why I hadn't thought of it myself. Some involves removing layers of "truths" about myself and my world that I've accepted without ever examining. It's more a book of ideas to think about than a how-to guide. The title could have included a much longer list of subjects that this book could apply to. I loved this and plan to read it again and maybe again and possibly periodically throughout my life. It's truly a treasure. I congratulate the author for sharing his insight, honesty and knowledge of what makes us "tick."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Update.. this book was brought to my attention a few moments ago- thank you *da*.... It’s wonderful. I still own my copy. If you haven’t read it.... consider reading it!!!! It’s not what you expect. It’s let self help - but is helpful — lol — is more just VERY moving & wise - hard to pull away from this little sleeper-of-a-gem! I read this book for no other reason than.....*Augusten Burroughs* wrote it. I was 'not' searching for tips on how to overcome shyness, weight loss, find love, or be more Update.. this book was brought to my attention a few moments ago- thank you *da*.... It’s wonderful. I still own my copy. If you haven’t read it.... consider reading it!!!! It’s not what you expect. It’s let self help - but is helpful — lol — is more just VERY moving & wise - hard to pull away from this little sleeper-of-a-gem! I read this book for no other reason than.....*Augusten Burroughs* wrote it. I was 'not' searching for tips on how to overcome shyness, weight loss, find love, or be more confident, happy, etc. I just happen to 'dig' *Burroughs* and have enjoyed his other books. *Augusten* is FRICKEN INSPIRING!! He can be pretty darn funny to boot! (ALL of his books have a raw-truthful-refreshing-edge to them) -- I had the rug pulled out from under me in this book --- I was expecting to laugh, laugh, laugh........ (I laughed a little) --- but more, I was just impressed with how inevitably healthy-wise-powerful-and at 'cause' he is of his life --- This book is more a 'self-empowering' book ---(less self help book) --- I came away feeling 'empowered' in several areas: 1) In the chapter called "How to Remain Unhealed", ----I felt 'stronger' (empowered) if you will, just from his 'gem' of a sentence "Heal is a television word". ---He went on to write about more valuable truth on the topic of 'healing' -- ["there are some things in life from which you do not heal"].....but "holes are interesting"...etc etc. Its a wonderful chapter. ---(read the book, I've only touched on this subject). 2) "Why Having it all is Not": another 'excellent' topic ----(very empowering). 3) "How to Lose Someone You Love": THE BEST chapter in the book!!!! I've been married almost 34 years... My husband and I are both healthy ---(I'm 60) --- but hey, the day 'may' come, (many years later would be preferred), when one of us has the 'opportunity' for a 'GOOD' death (in a bed as *Borroughs* speaks about) -- This chapter is sooooooooooooooo damn empowering... Heck: its HELPFUL information!!!! GREAT little book. (I can think of many of my friends and family who will enjoy reading it)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    I picked this up from my library's Lucky Day shelf and thought "Oh, I dig Burroughs. Can't wait to read his latest snarkful memoir!" This is NOT a snarkful memoir. This is what it says on the front cover, a self-help book. My heart sank as I realized this, but I figured I'd wade in anyway in the interests of a snarkful review. Ha. The only self-described self-help books I've ever liked have been by Byron Katie. The rest are useless, warm and fuzzy and in my opinion at least, totally worthless. T I picked this up from my library's Lucky Day shelf and thought "Oh, I dig Burroughs. Can't wait to read his latest snarkful memoir!" This is NOT a snarkful memoir. This is what it says on the front cover, a self-help book. My heart sank as I realized this, but I figured I'd wade in anyway in the interests of a snarkful review. Ha. The only self-described self-help books I've ever liked have been by Byron Katie. The rest are useless, warm and fuzzy and in my opinion at least, totally worthless. This book by Burroughs is not useless. Oh, I'm sure at least part of the reason I dug it so much is because much of it sounded like what I say to people who ask me for advice- but it's more than that. It's bleak, it's realistic, it's cauterizing, and it's clean. And helpful. Did I mention helpful? Yeah. If you like your truth served up stark and caustic, this is the book for you. If you want to hear about how worthwhile you are, how you can do anything if you just dream big enough, how love conquers all, you should stay the hell away. Wavering between 4 & 5 stars. Probably going to buy this and hand it out liberally to teenagers I love. ETA: This is the gom jabbar of self-help books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Audiobook. I don't get it. The title sounds like a self-help book, the call number was in the humor section, and what it actually felt like was a self-help book that was trying to be funny but failed. Furthermore, to me, the vibe I got from reading this was one of contempt for people who read self-help books. It felt like the author thought, 'oh my god, it's so easy- just GET OVER IT- look, i'll write a book that even says that- problem solved.' I realize he has lived through more than his share Audiobook. I don't get it. The title sounds like a self-help book, the call number was in the humor section, and what it actually felt like was a self-help book that was trying to be funny but failed. Furthermore, to me, the vibe I got from reading this was one of contempt for people who read self-help books. It felt like the author thought, 'oh my god, it's so easy- just GET OVER IT- look, i'll write a book that even says that- problem solved.' I realize he has lived through more than his share of difficulties in life, and the chapters that reflect his real, personal experiences are borderline helpful. But no, Augusten Burroughs, you don't get to tell me what you would do if you had a daughter and if she was anorexic and call that an advice book; or how to tell a child they're dying. You've never been there or had to do that- the nerve to even suppose that you know what it's like is insulting. And yes, you may be a recovering alcoholic, but I can't believe you would tell a woman whose son died drinking to death that he died doing what he loved. Every now and then, when he was talking about something that he actually had experience with, I found a nugget of truth, or a little gem of good advice; but not enough to make it worth the time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    I didn't know this was going to be so self-helpy. I didn't know what to expect, to be honest. I just knew that a lot of my Goodreads friends were reading and mostly loving Augusten Burroughs' books, so I thought I'd give one a shot. If I had to pinpoint my notions of what I was about to get into, I guess I was expecting something more akin to David Sedaris, but with a sharper edge and less humor. I read This Is How (let's just skip that ridiculously long subtitle) and, while I'm not sure the edge I didn't know this was going to be so self-helpy. I didn't know what to expect, to be honest. I just knew that a lot of my Goodreads friends were reading and mostly loving Augusten Burroughs' books, so I thought I'd give one a shot. If I had to pinpoint my notions of what I was about to get into, I guess I was expecting something more akin to David Sedaris, but with a sharper edge and less humor. I read This Is How (let's just skip that ridiculously long subtitle) and, while I'm not sure the edge was much sharper, I did get less humor. It was replaced with a self-help directive. We are going to fucking fix you, is This Is How's message. Sometimes it's almost shouted, but generally it's spoken in a calm, collected and sensible tone. Direct and to the point. It's not Sedaris-memoir, it's more like autobio-when-necessary-to-make-my-point. No, not everything herein is going to work for you and your problems. Most of the time I felt like Augusten Burroughs hit the nail on the head. Every once in a while he smacked the board. Hey, he's only human. Hell, if he were perfect and had all the answers I'd call him something like New Jesus and begin collecting members for my cult.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This is, without a doubt, the most candid self-help book I have ever read. It covers a vast range of subjects, from how to deal with optimist do-gooders when you're down, all the way to mourning the death of a child. And the ironic part-? All of these situations, the book teaches, can be handled with a single, powerful, simple tool: Absolute honesty with yourself. "This Is How" spends 230 pages repeating the same honesty mantra in so many different ways, that it's a profound experience when it fin This is, without a doubt, the most candid self-help book I have ever read. It covers a vast range of subjects, from how to deal with optimist do-gooders when you're down, all the way to mourning the death of a child. And the ironic part-? All of these situations, the book teaches, can be handled with a single, powerful, simple tool: Absolute honesty with yourself. "This Is How" spends 230 pages repeating the same honesty mantra in so many different ways, that it's a profound experience when it finally clicks. So many different examples are used that, at some point in the book, you're garunteed to find something that speaks to you, and when you do, the point hits home. Everyone has issues. Some people more than others. And it seems to me that no matter how light or extreme your life difficulties are, this book will definitely help give a second perspective on your situation. I read this book in a day and a half- exceptionally long for only 200 pages of text. But the words invoke a lot of thought, a lot of conversation, and offers something that lasts beyond the turn of the last page.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie *Eff your feelings*

    I have read most of Augustin Burroughs books and I enjoyed all of them. I know there is controversy about the whether or not his memoirs are truly memoirs or not, I don’t care. If the book entertains me I don’t care if the author used a creative license here and there on parts of the book, especially if it improves the book, just as long as it’s not a total fabrication. Some of you might think I’m wrong and that’s fine. So I get this book based on who wrote it. It is a self help book (usually ann I have read most of Augustin Burroughs books and I enjoyed all of them. I know there is controversy about the whether or not his memoirs are truly memoirs or not, I don’t care. If the book entertains me I don’t care if the author used a creative license here and there on parts of the book, especially if it improves the book, just as long as it’s not a total fabrication. Some of you might think I’m wrong and that’s fine. So I get this book based on who wrote it. It is a self help book (usually annoying), but knowing the author I knew it would not be typical. It’s not. I was blown away by how much I liked it. I was pleasantly shocked by it. It’s candid, funny, cynical, and heartbreaking. It is not at all about positivity, double rainbows or unicorns that fart glitter, it is a straight forward “this is what happened to me, it sucked, and this is how I survived it.” The book starts with Augsten in an elevator after a bad break up and looking every bit as unhappy as he was, when he has an unwanted encounter with a “People Person.” She told him “whatever it was it’s not that bad.” And that “all he had to do was smile and he would feel better.” I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like it when someone tells me to “Smile.” What I feel like doing when someone says that to me is to punch them in the throat. Augusten felt similarly, I think what he thought was “Die bitch.” But he did question why that made him so angry, the lady was just trying to help him. He then immediately saw an article on his computer that stated a study that positive affirmations only work on people who are already positive. It makes things worse for those on the negative side. I thought……duh. So he decided to right a self help book for people like him, he certainly went through enough crap in his life to have enough material. Here’s a list of the chapters. How to ride an elevator How to feel like shit How to find love How to be fat How to be thin How to feel sorry for yourself How to be confident How to fail How to get the job How to shatter shame How to see the truth behind the truth How to end your life How to remain unhealed Why having it all is not How to get over your addiction to the past How to be a good mental patient How to make yourself uncomfortable (and why you should) How to finish your drink How to hold on to your dream (or maybe not) How to identify love by knowing what it is not How to live unhappily ever after How to feel less regret How to stop being afraid of your anger How to be sick How to lose someone you love How to let a child die How to change the world by yourself This is why

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    This book is the pinnacle of Burroughs' writing career. Instead of tearing down other humans and judging them, Burroughs lifts them up. This is like no other 'self-help' book in existence. It is about truth. He is brutal with the truth but it's a truth you need to hear and a truth that he's qualified to tell you, as much as any one human being can be. He covers obesity, anorexia, chronic illness, dying children, shame, alcoholism, domestic abuse and many other sensitive topics which he does not tre This book is the pinnacle of Burroughs' writing career. Instead of tearing down other humans and judging them, Burroughs lifts them up. This is like no other 'self-help' book in existence. It is about truth. He is brutal with the truth but it's a truth you need to hear and a truth that he's qualified to tell you, as much as any one human being can be. He covers obesity, anorexia, chronic illness, dying children, shame, alcoholism, domestic abuse and many other sensitive topics which he does not treat gently, but does treat with love. I have added it to my 'favorites' shelf and will be buying it - in English (since it isn't available in Spanish). To anyone who knows me, that says it all.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    I realized suicide was the last thing I wanted to do. It was actually the opposite of what I desired. Suicide would not accomplish any of my goals: 1. Punishment of those who made me miserable 2. The infliction of lifelong guilt and remorse in everybody who had ever met me 3. Idolization by other suicidal teenagers 4. Something named after me (could be small but not a sandwich) 5. The end of my fucking nightmare of a life 6. Personality transplant When I saw it this way, I realized something. It wasn't I realized suicide was the last thing I wanted to do. It was actually the opposite of what I desired. Suicide would not accomplish any of my goals: 1. Punishment of those who made me miserable 2. The infliction of lifelong guilt and remorse in everybody who had ever met me 3. Idolization by other suicidal teenagers 4. Something named after me (could be small but not a sandwich) 5. The end of my fucking nightmare of a life 6. Personality transplant When I saw it this way, I realized something. It wasn't that I wanted to kill myself. What I really wanted was to end my life. Augusten Burroughs! I adore him, but even I was unsure if he could write a self-help book. Having a messy life, which Burroughs has had, can only help you write a self-help book if you've managed to (mostly) clean it up, but fortunately Burroughs has also done this. So who better to dole out advice? Burroughs covers a lot of ground in this 228-page book, and not every chapter is successful. Basically, you can tell when he's speaking from deeply felt experience and when he's kind of winging it, and not surprisingly the chapters based on experience are the best. But even at his least helpful, Burroughs never fails to be funny, original, and outrageous in his own way. Even though This Is How is unconventional, it's not likely to impress avowed haters of the self-help genre. Still, if you're open to it, could use some life inspiration, or just plain love Augusten Burroughs like I do, this one is worth checking out.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    While I can respect the energy it must take to write a book - ANY book - and while I admire Augusten Burroughs's skill, I would kindly suggest that he stick to what he does best and leave 'self-help' books to those who do them best. It is obvious that Burroughs is speaking from a place of experience and yet I found his advice facile to the point of making me uncomfortable. If I have learned anything in my life, it is this: we all assimulate life experiences (grief, happiness, anger, pain, etc.) While I can respect the energy it must take to write a book - ANY book - and while I admire Augusten Burroughs's skill, I would kindly suggest that he stick to what he does best and leave 'self-help' books to those who do them best. It is obvious that Burroughs is speaking from a place of experience and yet I found his advice facile to the point of making me uncomfortable. If I have learned anything in my life, it is this: we all assimulate life experiences (grief, happiness, anger, pain, etc.) in our own messed up, complex way and to suggest that it is possible to detail a plan - dare I say - manual for coping with life's uncertainities seems optimistic at best and egotistical at worst. In my experience, a series of questions, not facts, are more successful for helping a person come to terms with life's foibles. Sorry, Augusten; not this time, I'm afraid.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy Smith

    Because what this world REALLY needs is a middle-aged man's non-medically-trained perspective on how young women should deal with body image issues and eating disorders. Because what this world REALLY needs is a middle-aged man's non-medically-trained perspective on how young women should deal with body image issues and eating disorders.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tarra

    I REALLY wanted to like this book. I have been a fan of Augusten Burroughs since I read Running With Scissors and then proceeded to immediately read all of his other books. I then waited impatiently each time for his next work to come out and devoured it as well. This book was no different. I was ecstatic when I read it was being released in May, back in January. I pre-ordered it months ago. However having just finished reading it, I'm wonder what on earth just happened? This Is How is not a typi I REALLY wanted to like this book. I have been a fan of Augusten Burroughs since I read Running With Scissors and then proceeded to immediately read all of his other books. I then waited impatiently each time for his next work to come out and devoured it as well. This book was no different. I was ecstatic when I read it was being released in May, back in January. I pre-ordered it months ago. However having just finished reading it, I'm wonder what on earth just happened? This Is How is not a typical Burroughs book. If you are a fan of Burroughs you'll already know that his other works are all memoirs, except one highly entertaining fiction novel. This Is How is a "self-help" book. He takes on a variety of topics and basically give you his opinion on how to deal with them. That might have been okay, if it was written at all in Burroughs' usual style. There was no humor. There were very few personal stories to relate his opinions too. There were sections and chapters where he kept repeating himself. This is me, disappointed. It honestly pains me to write this, but I did not like this book. There were a few chapters that were tolerable, but overall I just can't say I would recommend reading this. I would give this book a 2/3 out of 10 rating based on my own reading preferences. However, as a "self-help" book I would still only give it a 3/4. If you want to read a fantastic book by Augusten Burroughs, go pick up his memoir Dry. www.wannabebookworms.blogspot.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liane

    I was able to snag it before it was even shelved. While my recent experience of seeing him speak was excellent, this book was missing the necessary humor that Burroughs has thus far injected into his dark autobiographical subject matter. He's replaced it here with an air of snobbery and derision that may have added to the tone of his books when used, for example, in the voice of a twelve-year-old; however, while giving advice to the parents of anorexic children and the spouses of disease-stricke I was able to snag it before it was even shelved. While my recent experience of seeing him speak was excellent, this book was missing the necessary humor that Burroughs has thus far injected into his dark autobiographical subject matter. He's replaced it here with an air of snobbery and derision that may have added to the tone of his books when used, for example, in the voice of a twelve-year-old; however, while giving advice to the parents of anorexic children and the spouses of disease-stricken loved ones this tone just comes across as cold. There were several gems here, but they came in the form of sentences, not chapters, and definitely not the whole. All in all, I was disappointed that the light, sarcastic read I was expecting turned out to be a collection of platitudinous advice, even if it is injected with a candidness missing in other self-help tomes. Has Burroughs granted himself an honorary psychiatry degree after too much self-examination? It feels that way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    da AL

    Whereas the title might appear tongue in cheek or a downright lie, Burroughs does an amazing job of offering genuine wisdom here.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Selwa

    I pulled this book for a library display about starting 2014 on a positive note -- nobody checked it out. When I took down the display I opened to a random page and read & it peaked my interest enough that I checked it out. Thank you, Mr. Burroughs, for writing an honest, concise and hopeful book. Reading this was like listening to a dear friend tell it to me straight, difficult truths infused with compassion and insightful humor. He has taken his own difficult and sometimes tragic experiences a I pulled this book for a library display about starting 2014 on a positive note -- nobody checked it out. When I took down the display I opened to a random page and read & it peaked my interest enough that I checked it out. Thank you, Mr. Burroughs, for writing an honest, concise and hopeful book. Reading this was like listening to a dear friend tell it to me straight, difficult truths infused with compassion and insightful humor. He has taken his own difficult and sometimes tragic experiences and dug deep to excavate the diamonds of truth and the light they reflect. He refers to these diamonds in several chapters, encouraging us to find the light in the worst situations and he does this in a grounded, realistic way without minimizing pain and suffering. I have read many self-help books that are weighed down by lengthy anecdotes and I swear this is the first one that is light as a feather but still packed with substance. Burroughs gets to the point and cuts through the BS and does it in a way that is so incredibly accessible without being condescending. It can be argued that his treatment of some subjects is too simplistic but I'm willing to allow this given the complexities that unnecessarily abound in this genre.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Big fat thumbs down. I was so disappointed. Mr. Burroughs, I think you've gotten a little big for your britches, sir! There has always been some egotism to your writing, but it was in a dark twisty way. This... this is like you've discovered the keys to the kingdom yourself. You bash a particular 12 step program, yet most of what you ramble off in what is supposed to be this shocking "can he really say that" way, has the same principles & foundations learned in other places... some of which you Big fat thumbs down. I was so disappointed. Mr. Burroughs, I think you've gotten a little big for your britches, sir! There has always been some egotism to your writing, but it was in a dark twisty way. This... this is like you've discovered the keys to the kingdom yourself. You bash a particular 12 step program, yet most of what you ramble off in what is supposed to be this shocking "can he really say that" way, has the same principles & foundations learned in other places... some of which you were probably exposed to and then passed it off as your own. This was my biggest disappointment. Not that you dislike or disagree with the program but that you specifically stated it by name, that you used to be a member, and that you found it useless. Of course you are entitled to your own opinion, but for a man who was so influential in the sober community with your book Dry, I would think you could recognize not to say something that may deter someone from taking this path just because you disagree. You are one man & that program has saved millions world wide. This book was not a work of genius.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I LOVE Augusten Burroughs! That someone can live through what he did and make us laugh at so much of it is amazing. This is no "damaged person." He's alive and well and writing like hell. I always buy his newest book almost as soon as it comes out. While this one is a teensy bit of a disappointment, it is still up to my Burrough's standards. Briefly, Burroughs tells us life is what we make of it. If we want to get stuck in the past, don't complain to people about not being able to "go on" with you I LOVE Augusten Burroughs! That someone can live through what he did and make us laugh at so much of it is amazing. This is no "damaged person." He's alive and well and writing like hell. I always buy his newest book almost as soon as it comes out. While this one is a teensy bit of a disappointment, it is still up to my Burrough's standards. Briefly, Burroughs tells us life is what we make of it. If we want to get stuck in the past, don't complain to people about not being able to "go on" with your life. If you've just been told you have cancer, don't start imagining what the next stage is going to be like - what you imagine will never be what you actually experience. If you want to "live your dream," make sure it is really something you NEED, not just want. Plus it really needs to be achievable. If you can't act (which Burroughs REALLY wanted to do but failed miserably at), find something you need to do to fill that desire and do it. (Burroughs realized he really needed to write, and you see the result. I needed to be a teacher - of teenagers - and I love every moment of what I do.) Although he doesn't actually come out and say "suck it up," he comes close to several times. He veers away from it to tell us actually we just need to face the truth - yes, I accidently let the baby I was babysitting drown in the bathtub and it's NOT all right that I did it, but it's OVER and I can't change it no matter how much I feel guilty. It's almost Zen-like. Don't fight things; live in the moment; don't try to anticipate what life will send you; don't seek and ye shall find. I love it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    I am going to find it difficult to put into words how much I hated this book. I just couldn't stop thinking to myself, "Just who the hell does this guy think he IS?" and "What does that sentence even MEAN?" This is just chock full of self-important bullshit that goes nowhere. Most of the similes and analogies are of the format "A is like B. Except NOT REALLY." He starts out at the beginning of the book like a drill sergeant and by the end is extolling the virtues of believing in miracles. I star I am going to find it difficult to put into words how much I hated this book. I just couldn't stop thinking to myself, "Just who the hell does this guy think he IS?" and "What does that sentence even MEAN?" This is just chock full of self-important bullshit that goes nowhere. Most of the similes and analogies are of the format "A is like B. Except NOT REALLY." He starts out at the beginning of the book like a drill sergeant and by the end is extolling the virtues of believing in miracles. I started skipping a bunch of chapters once I read the part about him kicking his theoretical anorexic daughter out of his life. Sooo who made you the expert on, oh, everything ever? I know he has had an unusually difficult and eventful life, but really, an expert on how to do everything? Give me a break.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    Augusten Burroughs is Brene Brown’s shit talking older brother. He’s examining much of the same issues but drawing from his own life experience involving abuse, alcoholism, suicide and the death of a loved one. While he’s a tad inconsistent when it comes to kids, and I’m still not sure how I feel about his fat chapters, he still gets the same pass as any self-help book. There comes no expectation of hitting it out of the park every time. And maybe he falters here because he’s at his most compell Augusten Burroughs is Brene Brown’s shit talking older brother. He’s examining much of the same issues but drawing from his own life experience involving abuse, alcoholism, suicide and the death of a loved one. While he’s a tad inconsistent when it comes to kids, and I’m still not sure how I feel about his fat chapters, he still gets the same pass as any self-help book. There comes no expectation of hitting it out of the park every time. And maybe he falters here because he’s at his most compelling when he’s drawing from his own life experience, and as a childless, average framed, gay man he’s a bit out of his element talking about anorexia or losing a child. Still, Augusten is a straight-talking, no-nonsense story teller and proves a welcome respite from the more airy, optimism indicative of the genre.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    Uncle Augie tells it all My best friend was a little shocked when I explained that I’d read none of Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs and had never even seen the movie. “I gather he had an unconventional upbringing,” I said. My friend looked at me goggle-eyed. So, I am not an Augusten Burroughs fan, and I’m significantly less a fan of the self-help genre. Why did I pick up this book? Well, it really was an unintimidating size, a factor which should never be underestimated. And the book has buzz. I like Uncle Augie tells it all My best friend was a little shocked when I explained that I’d read none of Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs and had never even seen the movie. “I gather he had an unconventional upbringing,” I said. My friend looked at me goggle-eyed. So, I am not an Augusten Burroughs fan, and I’m significantly less a fan of the self-help genre. Why did I pick up this book? Well, it really was an unintimidating size, a factor which should never be underestimated. And the book has buzz. I like to read what people are talking about. But, perhaps most of all, I was expecting a self-help satire—I mean, look at the full title. But the joke was on me, because despite a little irreverent humor, Mr. Burroughs appears to be quite sincere in his advice giving. Certainly, I paused a few times and wondered at his qualifications as an advice-provider, beyond, apparently, having made quite a few mistakes in his life. I didn’t always agree with his suggestions, though most had the feel of good common sense that you sometimes need to hear from someone else. The author appears to be dispensing advice with kindness. What surprised me the most was that I kept turning pages, reading the book from cover to cover in an afternoon. It held my interest. I think this was due to the breadth of topics covered. Some chapters were longer than others, but Mr. Burroughs kept things moving along swiftly. There was never a chance to grow bored. Each chapter is presented as a “How to,” and they are as follows: How to Ride an Elevator How to Feel Like Sh*t How to Find Love How to Be Fat How to Be Thin How to Feel Sorry for Yourself How to Be Confident How to Fail How to Shatter Shame How to See the Truth Behind the Truth How to End Your Life How to Remain Unhealed Why Having It All Is Not How to Get Over Your Addiction to the Past How to Be a Good Mental Patient How to Make Yourself Uncomfortable (And Why You Should) How to Finish Your Drink How to Hold on to Your Dream Or Maybe Not How to Identify Love by Knowing What It’s Not How to Live Unhappily Ever After How to Feel Less Regret How to Stop Being Afraid of Your Anger How to Be Sick How to Lose Someone You Love How to Let a Child Die How to Change the World by Yourself This is Why These may not seem like typical self-help topics, but I promise you, if there isn’t something here that has resonance in your life, well, you lead a charmed life indeed. And, as you may gather by some of these chapter headings, some of it gets heavy. Difficult topics are handles with sensitivity. I’m not entirely sure who this book is aimed at. I suppose if you’re already a Burroughs fan, you’ll just enjoy this visit with a well-meaning friend. And if you’re a big consumer of self-help books, this is a buffet, with a little bit of everything. I’m neither, and this was not a book I really need to read—and yet, I don’t regret having done so. Perhaps the advice will come in handy someday.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Loveliest Evaris

    EDITED FOR SPELLING ERRORS. SORRY, I WROTE THIS ORIGINALLY ON A TABLET I won this in a book giveaway and I was very grateful to win. Forget the lottery. Winning free books in a giveaway is where its at! I didn't really know what this book would entail. I assumed something along the lines of a sarcastic but witty collection of silly ideas with some grain of truth and possibly a lesson learned by the author that would tie in all the jokes through personal experience. I got the personal experience. EDITED FOR SPELLING ERRORS. SORRY, I WROTE THIS ORIGINALLY ON A TABLET I won this in a book giveaway and I was very grateful to win. Forget the lottery. Winning free books in a giveaway is where its at! I didn't really know what this book would entail. I assumed something along the lines of a sarcastic but witty collection of silly ideas with some grain of truth and possibly a lesson learned by the author that would tie in all the jokes through personal experience. I got the personal experience. But no humor. Just whining and useless garbage and rambling about his personal views on life. They're not inspirational and I was not enlightened in the least by his harsh slightly misanthropic and tastelessly bitter views in life. I read Running with Scissors by him so I have a bit of an idea why he's so unlikeable to me, but Augusten Burroughs isn't a likable person to begin with, at least in my opinion. His own self in that book was never really a character I ever really sympathised with and its obvious that any years hes lived since that publishing of his own bio of a messed up childhood would maybe make him... I don't now.. a little more put together and more mellow and less sardonic and bitter. He doesn't pull off the 'everyone, all of humankind sucks and theyre all fake and this thing that human beings do and this certain way they act is stupid and fake and pathetic' like George Carlin does.. but then again I'm sure this is just his personality and this is what he feels people need to hear.. even though everyone has heard this crap before, the intelligent people at least. Or the people who have heard just dont care. Or theyre stupid and this big news to them. All in all this was a disappointment for me, because I was expecting some possible self deprecating humor while teaching the reader about how to get through some of lifes embarassing and difficult tribations. I did NOT find what I was looking for in this book, if I expected anything at all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    A. S.

    “This Is How” By Augusten Burroughs is an interesting mix of self-help, autobiographical vignettes, and heavy life issues mixed with dry humor, survivor’s grit, and ironic chapter titles. The author has written a number of books before this one of course, but this was the first book I read by him and was therefore intrigued to find chapters dedicated to topics like how to be fat, how to remain unhealed, how to live unhappily ever after, and how to fail alongside more cliché ones like how to find “This Is How” By Augusten Burroughs is an interesting mix of self-help, autobiographical vignettes, and heavy life issues mixed with dry humor, survivor’s grit, and ironic chapter titles. The author has written a number of books before this one of course, but this was the first book I read by him and was therefore intrigued to find chapters dedicated to topics like how to be fat, how to remain unhealed, how to live unhappily ever after, and how to fail alongside more cliché ones like how to find love, how to be confident, how to get the job, and how to get over the past, among others. While subtly parodying the self-help genre, the author does actually touch upon very serious issues like dealing with regrets, death, disease, the past, personal issues, etc. If one ignores the sunny cover and the ironic chapter titles, this book delves into some serious territory. But unlike many other similar books out there, the author has a very different approach to recovery: avoid therapy (the past is not haunting you, you are the one haunting the past) and live firmly planted in the present. Unlike other authors who will tell you it takes time to heal and etc., Burroughs pulls no punches about the matter: one will never “heal,” but will simply learn to bear the pain, while continuing to live. There’s a lot of reality in this book, and many suitable observations (don’t pretend to smile for the benefit of strangers if you feel like your own world’s falling apart, don’t restrict your favorite food but learn to feel comfortable in your skin, nothing can provide a bigger escape than starting your life all over again by taking charge of your identity, and etc.). Ultimately, I found myself immersed in the author’s analysis of life issues. Thankfully, it was the complete opposite of the band-aid, hand-holding approach so popular in popular culture, but more of a survivor’s explanation of how to be a survivor, or at least how to have the tough mentality of one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annette Abbott

    This is one of the most pragmatic self-help books in the world. In 230 pages, Burroughs manages to weigh in on topics such as suicide, death of children, addictions, unemployment, shame, blame, self-confidence, perfectionism, loneliness, weight, regrets, love, to name a few. And while the coverage of each topic is brief, it's by no means cloying or pithy. His advice to most things, I think, is rather Buddhist - don't look back, don't look forward - live in the now. He doesn't sugar coat facts or This is one of the most pragmatic self-help books in the world. In 230 pages, Burroughs manages to weigh in on topics such as suicide, death of children, addictions, unemployment, shame, blame, self-confidence, perfectionism, loneliness, weight, regrets, love, to name a few. And while the coverage of each topic is brief, it's by no means cloying or pithy. His advice to most things, I think, is rather Buddhist - don't look back, don't look forward - live in the now. He doesn't sugar coat facts or offer pithy advice that makes you feel good about yourself. It's raw and real. Excerpts: "... if you are a victim, you must never be a victim. Even if you deserve to be one. Because while you wait for somebody to come along and set things right, life has moved forward without you." "I don't believe you can feel deep satisfaction in your life unless your life contains restless areas, holes, imperfections, shit." "If you're a straight A student in school or a metaphorical straight A student in your adult life, that's a whole lot of the same old, same old. One A+ paper blends right into the next. It's when you get a D that you learn something valuable. It's when you fall on your ass that you actually make progress." "When you say, 'I need more confidence,' what you're really saying is, 'I need those people over there to approve of me.' That is the desire to control other people and what they think. The first person who figures out how to do this owns the world."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    It'll probably sound silly, but I wasn't quite expecting this to be a self-help book. I've read (and really enjoyed) some of his previous books which were autobiographical. It's because of those other books and the experiences he related that I believe his insights in this book have a lot of merit. If you're asking yourself, "What qualifications does Burroughs have to write a self-help book?" go read Running With Scissors and Dry. Simply put, this is my kind of self-help book. A bit cynical, some It'll probably sound silly, but I wasn't quite expecting this to be a self-help book. I've read (and really enjoyed) some of his previous books which were autobiographical. It's because of those other books and the experiences he related that I believe his insights in this book have a lot of merit. If you're asking yourself, "What qualifications does Burroughs have to write a self-help book?" go read Running With Scissors and Dry. Simply put, this is my kind of self-help book. A bit cynical, some tough love, and the optimism that things are actually simple (although not necessarily easy). If you've read his books before, this still contains his sense of humor; it's definitely his voice. I wish it had a table of contents, but it includes chapters like: How to Find Love, How to Be Fat, How to Be Thin, How to Feel Sorry For Yourself, How to Feel Confident, How to Remain Unhealed, How to Be Sick, and many more. Many may seem counter-intuitive, but he twists and flips ideas in unexpected ways that actually make sense. He's been through most of this stuff, so he would know. Burroughs acknowledges that the same approach to a problem won't work for everyone, which is great because this book is definitely an alternative to new age-y, positive affirmation fare.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    I am not one for self-help books...not a believer in some pat answers to life's myriad amount of questions. But I have to say, this guy makes a lot of sense. I cried during some of this chapters, and even though I still think no cookie-cutter commentary applies to everyone, his advice resonated with me on many levels about a lot of things. I think many people can actually BE helped by his advice, if they would open themselves up to the possibility of change. I am not one for self-help books...not a believer in some pat answers to life's myriad amount of questions. But I have to say, this guy makes a lot of sense. I cried during some of this chapters, and even though I still think no cookie-cutter commentary applies to everyone, his advice resonated with me on many levels about a lot of things. I think many people can actually BE helped by his advice, if they would open themselves up to the possibility of change.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    Since I was thirteen years old, I've had an interest in self-improvement, or perhaps the psychology behind why the problems, mistakes, and pain of our lives can become the only way we see life - whether we caused it ourselves or it was caused by a loved one. In my time reading these books that were supposedly cures to - ultimately, feel like a better person, or someone who can conquer feelings of isolation, guilt, loner, and even the pain that had been caused in our lives. They all told me to lo Since I was thirteen years old, I've had an interest in self-improvement, or perhaps the psychology behind why the problems, mistakes, and pain of our lives can become the only way we see life - whether we caused it ourselves or it was caused by a loved one. In my time reading these books that were supposedly cures to - ultimately, feel like a better person, or someone who can conquer feelings of isolation, guilt, loner, and even the pain that had been caused in our lives. They all told me to look for religion in certain ways or to be spiritual, I had to do this and this. The books I read, and like I said there were plenty, felt more like things I was forcing upon myself to deal with the past rather than ways to heal it. When I'd just about giving up on reading good "self-help" books I checked out This Is How by Augusten Borroughs. And, I think it's one of the very few books I've read that have spoken to me on so many levels. Almost every chapter I learned something new about myself. Almost every page I had several ah-ha moments. Borroughs doesn't sugarcoat life. Some of what he says may offend you in the way he explains how to just deal with your shit. But, all that he writes makes sense. I can't even say which chapter is my favorite. How To Love, How To Feel Like Shit, How To Be Thin, How To Be Confident. I'm only halfway through the book right - partially because I'm very busy but also I think a small piece of me is trying to hang on to reading the rest to savor it. If there's one book, or one thing, I'm asking for this Christmas - if my family can afford it, it's this book. Because I can't wait to write in the margins, highlight my favorite lines, and use this for the rest of my life as reference of moving on with life and going with the flow. I really think if there's one book every college student should read - especially a college student who have may have had a dysfunctional family, horrible relationships, crappy friendships or distorted body image - all things I've experienced. Or if you have something in your past or future that terrifies the crap out of you - you may find some answers. It's this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kwoomac

    Last week I went with a friend to hear Augusten Burroughs read from this, his latest book. Now, he's a funny guy, so things started out with him relaying funny anecdotes and the audience snorting aloud. At some point, the talk went over to the dark side and he starts talking about rape and suicide and dying of cancer and all kinds of not-so-funny things. It was a tough talk to sit through and a hard book to read. But, still it's Augusten Burroughs. I honestly can't say I would've enjoyed the boo Last week I went with a friend to hear Augusten Burroughs read from this, his latest book. Now, he's a funny guy, so things started out with him relaying funny anecdotes and the audience snorting aloud. At some point, the talk went over to the dark side and he starts talking about rape and suicide and dying of cancer and all kinds of not-so-funny things. It was a tough talk to sit through and a hard book to read. But, still it's Augusten Burroughs. I honestly can't say I would've enjoyed the book were it written by someone else. Actually, I know I never would have read it. This is the lone book on my self-help shelf. I kept hearing his voice as I read the book, so that helped me get through it. What I took away from this book: The past does not haunt us. We haunt the past. "Nothing worth having comes easy" is not about showing up early at the office. It's about showing up in your own life. And living inside the very moment you want to run away from. Knowledge is important but naps are more important.

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