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

This Is How by Augusten Burroughs
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May 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, inspirational, humour
Read in April, 2012

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."

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Angela I am reading this right now and really enjoying it. I love the author's dry humor and there is some solid insight underneath the overlying pessimistic tone. I also noticed how his philosophy is essentially Buddhist, which is why your review caught my eye.


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