Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” as Want to Read:
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  3,230 ratings  ·  493 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIf you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it's OK. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Just because you don't feel like an adult doesn't mean you can't act like one. And it
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Adulting, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Adulting

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dawn Albright
I have a twenty something daughter, but I bought the book for myself. I am fifty, but I feel like I'm barely civilized. Seriously, it doesn't matter what the memo was, I am always feeling like I didn't get the memo. For example: I recently learned that you are supposed to take your car to the mechanic every 30K miles *before* it breaks down. Wow, what a life changer. I kept stopping people and saying "Did you know you can fix your car before it breaks?" and they all answered "Er, yes, I did." I ...more
Bethany Larson
Originally posted here.

I really wish this book had been around when I graduated from college and that someone had bought it for me and said, “Here. This will help.”

Because, seriously, Adulting would have been a god-send to 22-year-old me.

Hell, it was helpful for 26-year-old me.

Though it shouldn’t necessarily be treated as a survival guide or a Bible or a the one-and-only book you consult when you need advice, Adulting is a great reference to have for everything from simple recipes to networking
I have mixed feelings on this book. I wanted to love it, but mostly I just kept wishing it was written by Captain Awkward. (Sidenote: WHY HASN'T CAPTAIN AWKWARD WRITTEN A BOOK YET.) I've learned more about being an adult from that blog than from anything in this book.

I was actually enjoying this book a lot until I got to "Step 276: Keep an eye on weight gain." *insert scratching record noise* Wait, what? I thought I was reading a chill book and now it's going to fat-shame me? Especially after I
Laura Hughes
I'm a fan of Kelly Williams Brown's Adulting blog (, on which this book is based, but this is a case where I think the blog is better than the book. Life advice is best doled in small, dense nuggets rather than binged at once, and I can't pace myself with a book. I also think the random order in the blog works better, with heavy advice about family, relationship problems, and grieving interspersed with tips about the best way to clean your kitchen. It's a reminder that becoming ...more
Melissa Lee-tammeus
I didn't finish this book, so to review it is a bit unfair. But I did read up to about Step 63 and then I decided I was way over this book. After all, I have been "adulting" for 25 years plus now so I'm pretty sure I know I need certain cookware and that buying a lamp is a good purchase. I picked up this book thinking it would be a funny quirky book and it really tries to be, but mostly, it is one of those books you put in a care package for a first time apartment owner or a child leaving the ne ...more
Christina G
At 26, I already have some good years of adulting under my belt, but there were still a few things I learned about from this book (e.g. pet insurance, house cleaning tips, emergency numbers you should have programmed into your phone). And I like the idea of adulting as a verb, and most of the interpersonal advice was solid.

However, it was written for a fairly particular audience - college-educated, middle class, gender-conforming, white, etc. Even though I fit a lot of those descriptors, I still
While not quite as humorous as I was anticipating, Adulting is still an extremely useful book (one that would probably be better to own rather than borrow from the library like I did). Lots of useful tips, and, if you want to be annoying, lots of potential to annoy the "true" adults in your life: "Mom and Dad, what do you MEAN you don't dust the fridge's coils every month??!"
What prompted me to pick up Adulting when I've been complaining about the abundance of niche books that offer advice for 20-somethings with a quirky narrator? I don't know, but I'm glad I did.

I didn't have high hopes for Adulting, knowing that it's part of this particular genre that seems to be everywhere you look these days. But I was pleasantly surprised! Adulting doesn't take itself to seriously, and — the real kicker, here — puts its own spin on classic advice, while offering new tips as wel
Sarah Beth
Adulting Review

If you’ve ever wondered if leggings are pants, how to label the psychological process that occurs inside the corridors of IKEA, or whether you’re capable of becoming a full-blooded grownup, then Adulting may hold the answers you need.

Trained journalist Kelly Williams Brown readily admits her familiarity with overdrafts, crusty dishes and that pervasive feeling that one’s exterior veneer of capability is all a sham, but she doesn’t let it get her down. Instead, she gets answers, m

A friend asked me, "What's the one-sentence takeaway of the book?" I made three attempts to answer:

Fake it until you make it.

Relax, being a responsible grown-up is easier than you're making it out to be in your head.

Imagine rude people as jellyfish and 401(k) as 401(koala).

This book is a very breezy read. The writing is never dull and the text is peppered with fun line drawings--including depictions of a mean-spirited jellyfish and, yes, a 401(koala).

While the content are nothing groundbreaki

Ugh, so great. I needed to read this, and I think the timing of reading this, Target opening in my city, and that thing that happened when I forgot to wash my dishes, I'm ready to get some #Adulting back in my life. She explains stuff I didn't know I didn't know. So great. I may have to buy this (read a library copy).
I wish this book had existed when I was 19 years old, because I desperately needed it. Kelly Williams Brown's warmth and dependability come through in the text so well that you can't help but want to be her friend IRL. She has clearly pored over all the major etiquette texts, which I think makes her an official friend of mine anyway. And if you think you don't need to know this stuff, trust me -- give it a read. Some things seem so painfully obviously in hindsight, but because you're a huge knuc ...more
Adulting is a verb, “the act of making correctly those small decisions that fill our day . . . You are a grown-ass man, or grown-ass woman, and you can act like it if you don’t feel like it on the inside.” (p. 3). Kelly Brown Williams does an excellent job advising her readers on adulting.

Williams covers 468 steps for adulting in 11 chapters, and each chapter is dedicated to a specific topic. Her advice is useful and sensible and the book is amusing. Williams intersperses her advice with illust
Sarah Rice
this book is clearly geared toward readers (from middle to upper class backgrounds, but that's another story) in their early 20s. I am ten years past this phase in my life, but I still found plenty of nuggets of wisdom in this book - since I am immature in many ways, let's be honest here. If you are over the age of 25, you can probably skip the first half of this book (which includes stuff you hopefully learned before you went to college - basic cleaning, cooking, money skills). I found the part ...more
My review cross-posted from Wit and Sin:

Adulting is a must-read for anyone in their twenties! Author Kelly Williams Brown has penned an incredibly helpful how-to geared toward twenty-somethings who may be grown up but don’t always feel like it.

We all have gaps in our knowledge (I freely admit to being a dunce when it comes to car maintenance) and Adulting helps fill in the most necessary ones in 468 simply-stated steps. It’s an incredibly useful resourc
I’m generally not one to read self-help books, particularly those that have the potential to make me feel like a complete failure at life. But when I came across the Publishers Weekly article promoting this book, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I’m in my late 20s and have been living on my own for more than five years and, although I think I’m able to survive in the real world fairly well, there are still some things I know need improvement. After I emailed all my young friends (and my mom) ...more
I have a hot button that I have yet to identify which is making me bail on books.

I have bailed on this book, which I purchased at full retail price in a bookstore. It remains on my nightstand. I am a fan of Kelly William Brown's tumblr and was generally very excited about this book and every time I drop something, I clean it up, expressly because of her book. By every time, I mean 68%. This is an increase. Actually, it's more like 52%. That is an increase.

I would like to write a companion book c
How To Book on How to Be A Grown Up not Just for Twenty-Somethings

Studies show it’s taking young people longer to grow up and assume adult responsibilities than it did in the past. Pseudo grownups reel when their parents offer advice or make the comparison that begins, “When I was your age, I . . .”
Well, we’re not and the surest way to turn off our offspring is to start a conversation like this. Instead, wrap up a copy of “Adulting, How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps,” or leave the
Kris Irvin
I loved this book. If it had been around 9 years ago when I moved out of my parents' house, it would have saved me a buttload of grief. True story. I am now a 27 year old pseudo adult. I have a 6 year old kid, have been married for almost 8 years, and I'm a homeowner. But this book STILL taught me stuff I didn't know.

I love Kelly and I want to be her new best friend. Barring that, I think I will just buy myself a copy of this book, and buy one for my siblings as they grow up and move out on the
Jul 04, 2013 Bridget rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Adulting is the most hilarious and practical book I've ever read. Not only does Kelly present 468 easy-to-follow steps to becoming a grown-up, she does so with just the right amount of wit and comedy that her millenial peers will feel motivated and not chastised. I loved every part, right from Step 1: you are not a special snowflake, to her insistence to always send a thank-you note. I wish this had been written 5 years ago, as now I'm afraid I have learned nearly all the lessons on my own -- an ...more
Kelly helped me focus on things that I was neglecting and made me laugh constantly while doing it.

If you need a little help when transitioning into being an adult I highly recommend this novel because it helps relive some "not knowing" anxiety and helps organize your always thinking mind.

Each step has a great piece of advice from a good chicken soup recipe all the way down to budgeting and how to smile and wave at that relative that you hate.

Pick this up if you need some help organizing your l
Very cute, fun and practical, although I'll admit, I was far beyond this book by the time I read it. I guess I really am a grown up!
Ryan Meitzler
Fun and filled with as much great humor as it has insight and helpful tips to actually being a civilized everyday-life person.
From my vantage point of well over 35, this book would be an excellent gift for anyone venturing out into college graduate land or first apartmentville. Eventually these are the things that differentiate adults from kids, but the biggest one is the hardest and some people never get it. It's the one that says you begin to think about other people and not just yourself--really! If you can start with that one, the rest should become easier. Liked reading this because it is light in tone, really fun ...more
The lowest bar of advice memoir is set by ADULTING, in which Brown spends a fair amount of time advising readers how to get along at work and an equal amount of time on how to clean and furnish one's apartment. The conceit of the book, born of Brown's blog of the same name, is charming: hundreds of little "do this, don't do that" tips that range from 'clean the pans under your stove's burners' to 'keep in touch with extended family regularly'.

The audience is pretty clearly the 21-to-27-year-old
This is a book written by somebody in her 20's for people in their 20's (or arguably even early 30's). And I love it! No seriously, I really needed to read this book at this point in my life. So thank you Ms. Brown and everybody who contributed.

- Many of the tips were things I already know or already do or have done. This was comforting to me, not a waste at all to read.
- Ms. Brown's writing is very relate-able, and funny as well.
- There were also many tips that I learned from. Things I have no
I only meant to browse through this book to see if it would be something I wanted to add to the Young Adult collection. But, as it turns out, Kelly Williams Brown is funny. She sucked me in with her humorous writing style and I ended up staying for that as much as I did for the mental check-in of how I- and my siblings and grown daughters - are doing as adults. (We're all doing excellently, thanks for asking.) Williams has a lot of wise counsel, delivered in a painless and easy-to-swallow way wh ...more
I probably would have never come across this book if I didn't work in a bookstore. In fact, the author did a signing in our other store in another town and I remember picking up the book, flipping through it and putting it back down, unimpressed. It just wasn't something I was interested in. Then, for some reason, the other day I came across it in the store while I was headed to my break. I took it on my break and came across the graph illustrating why you should buy toilet paper in bulk and the ...more
I picked this book up b/c I read a review on NYT and it sounded like it would be a good read. And it definitely was! I'm happy to report that about 85% of this book did not apply to me (Look, Geppetto, I'm a real live grown-up!) and there was some skimming here and there, but I would definitely recommend this book to pretty much anyone in their twenties. It was humorous, insightful, practical, and not at all preachy. I hope to see more from this author in the future!
Ashley Arthur
I don’t read that much non-fiction, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a self-help book before. But my friend Beth loaned me her copy of Adulting and told me it would make me laugh and make me feel less like a failure at being a grown-up. That sounded promising to me!

The subtitle of the book is “How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps.” This is not a joke. This book really does contain 468 things people could (and frequently should) do in adult-world. 468 is a lot of steps. This seems inti
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Don't Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething's (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood
  • F*ck! I'm in My Twenties
  • Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want
  • 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30
  • 20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-Life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction
  • It's a Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life in Your Twenties
  • My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha
  • 101 Secrets for Your Twenties
  • Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day
  • Modern Dating: A Field Guide
  • Never Have I Ever: my life (so far) without a date
  • What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self
  • The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything: Advice on Absolutely Everything
  • The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things
  • The Library Book
  • Photojojo!: Insanely Great  Photo Projects and DIY Ideas
  • The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense
  • Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love

Share This Book

“Your parents, presumably, love you very much and think you are perhaps the most adorable, talented thing ever to prance upon this earth. Your friends agree with them, as do your favorite teachers, as does your significant other. When there is a You Parade, these people will be the flag bearers, the drum majors and majorettes, so make sure you are always flag bearing and drum majoring for them, too. These people who think so highly of us are very special and precious, and we must treasure them. Because here is the truth: Most of the world doesn’t give a flying fuck about you.” 23 likes
“Be the kind of friend that you want to have.
This is what it all boils down to. Listen when they bitch. Tell them they'll be okay. Go over and check in on their cat when they're on vacation. Call them on their birthday, or better yet bake a cake in the shape of their initial. Keep their secrets. Treat them like what they are--the rare person in this world who gives a fuck about you not because they have to, but because they want to. Give a fuck about them.”
More quotes…