This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.
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This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  5,953 ratings  ·  1,078 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Jeanette
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...more
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 fe...more
Jeniffer Almonte
This book is like an onion. You peel one layer of nonsense and your reward is another layer of nonsense. And then if you peel that one.... Well, you get the idea.

First, I will point out that this is a self-help book, not, as I had thought, one of those memoirs Augusten Burroughs is known and beloved for and which I have always been really curious about. The title is SO explicit that it's a self-help book that I really have no excuse. But I was genuinely surprised that "This is How" basically co...more
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...more
Stephanie
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...more
Jill Hackett
Apr 14, 2012 Jill Hackett rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
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...more
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.)...more
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...more
Katheter, all the world's a.
In Which Augusten Burroughs Teaches You Merely How to Get Through The Day, Everyday (no small task)...these days add up and up.

Never been a fan of Augusten Burroughs, but I was given this as a joke gift from an extreme optimist to satirize my extreme pessimism. Surprisingly, it's a decent stab at self-help-for-those-who-refuse-help or at the very least induces a few nothing left to lose laughs.

My favorite bits include a new interpretation of confidence and a critique of positive thinking. The s...more
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...more
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...more
Talyn
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....more
Carmen
Mar 28, 2014 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone and Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
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...more
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...more
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...more
Alla
“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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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 experienc...more
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...more
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...more
Phil Williams
I miss Augusten Burroughs.
I remember reading his early books with wonder and just a little jealosy. He has had a strange childhood, but now he is a best-selling author now, so everything turned out OK, right?
Then in his book "Dry" we see things are not OK, there is a problem there and it is in addiction. Still, he is a best-selling author so everything is OK.
Now, he has his life in better order, or so it would seem, and is advising us on how to deal with all the crap life throws at us, how to be...more
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...more
Moira Russell
Boy, that....really was an actual self-help book. Hunh. And not a very good one, either.

And it wasn't even very funny. It was like sub-par late Anne Lamott.

(The best chapter, as some other people pointed out, was "How to Be Sick" which segues right into "How to Lose Someone You Love," because it was more like a memoir, which he is good at writing, and not a self-help book, which he truly isn't.) (It's a bit spoiled by "How to Let a Child Die" right afterwards, which is the purest bullshit, -- "...more
Jill
When I first picked this up and looked at the title, I thought it was going to be similar to what Augusten Burroughs usually writes, you know like “Running with Scissors” – shocking, hilarious and a little bizarre. But no, this is actually a self-help book - and to tell you the truth, I’m not at all disappointed. In fact, I would go so far as to say (IMHO) this is one of the best books of its ilk that I have ever come across.
If you’ve ever wondered “how am I going to survive this?”, in ‘This is...more
Lisa
When I bought this book in Dulles Airport, I thought the title was satirical. It isn't.
Augusten Burroughs is being sincere. Not his best tone. And yet, for all that, I genuinely liked the guy I encountered in these pages. I admired the (I think misguided) sense of civic duty that motivated him to dispense his inarguably wise advice. As the mother of teenage boy, I do my best to dispense wise advice every day, yet even as the words leave my mouth, I know they are being transmitted on the Charlie...more
Kristen
This read like a cross between a memoir and self-help. For the record, I didn't know this was a self-help book when I'd ordered it.
As far as self-help goes, it has a tough-love 'get over yourself' kick-in-the-ass approach which I believe self-loathers are much more apt to respond to than the gentle and encouraging "you-can-do-it" crock o' bull.
The memoir aspects are of course witty and entertaining and why - if such a fuck-up can get by then surely we all can too right?
I'd recommend this readin...more
Michelle
[EDIT] I'm done, and still love it.

I'm not even done with this book and I love it. No book has made my cry so hard while reading. The reason I cried was because I felt like, at times, Burroughs was speaking to me personally.

I haven't ever reviewed a book and poured out personal stuff, but here goes: I have been depressed since I can't remember when. I read the chapter in This Is How about suicide, and how there is an alternative: just get up and walk away from your life. Start new. Life may be h...more
Nikki Baylies
The first section, "How to Ride in an Elevator" was intriguing enough to propel me through half the book with minimal propulsion; it was at that point I realized I was only pushing forward to find another section as good as the first. The rest of the book was a manic attempt to write about absolutely everything one might encounter throughout life, regardless of whether the author had any actual knowledge on the subject.

From the title I expected a dark, comedic self help parody with some genuine...more
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Augusten Burroughs born Christopher Robison, son of poet and writer Margaret Robison and younger brother of John Elder Robison.

Burroughs has no formal education beyond elementary school. A very successful advertising copywriter for over seventeen years, he was also an alcoholic who nearly drank himself to death in 1999. But spurned by a compulsion he did not understand, Burroughs began to write a...more
More about Augusten Burroughs...
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“If you have one parent who loves you, even if they can't buy you clothes, they're so poor and they make all kinds of mistakes and maybe sometimes they even give you awful advice, but never for one moment do you doubt their love for you--if you have this, you have incredibly good fortune.

If you have two parents who love you? You have won life's Lotto.

If you do not have parents, or if the parents you have are so broken and so, frankly, terrible that they are no improvement over nothing, this is fine.

It's not ideal because it's harder without adults who love you more than they love themselves. But harder is just harder, that's all.”
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“The truth is that nobody is owed an apology for anything. Apologies are lovely when they happen. But they change nothing. They do not reverse actions or correct damage. They are merely nice to hear.” 85 likes
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