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How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself
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How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  431 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
From Dan Savage, Lindy West, and The Stranger staff comes this hilarious guide to life for college students and beyond. Here is all the information you actually need to know that no one else will tell you including: which majors to avoid, how to not get a STD, everything there is to know about philosophy (in a single paragraph!), what the music you like says about you, how ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Sasquatch Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Alaina Meserole
I could not stop laughing.

Ever since I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life I have been trying to find another super funny "self-help" book. I wasn't disappointed at all. But honestly if you don't have an ounce of humor in your teeny tiny pinky - this book will never be for you. EVER.

Unfortunately for me I have already been to college and graduated before I even knew about this book. So, it doesn't really apply to me and none of this really
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Vicki by: Amazon's Best Books of 2012
This book definitely won't be for everyone. For one thing, you have to have a sense of humor. If you don't at least smile at the inside flap, then drop this book now, because I can almost guarantee that you won't like it. In addition to prolific swearing, the book contains a LONG, detailed chapter concerning sex—straight, gay, lesbian, bi and trans—by way of real written letters and responses a la "Dear Abby", and a chapter on politics (specifically describing Republicans and Feminists). However ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book with every fiber of my being. I was ready to order it for our library. It sounded right up my alley ... and honest, funny, sassy, unfiltered (scandalous) guide to college and life for the 17+ crowd. It was Buzzfeed endorsed and one of the authors shares my name... what could be better?!

This book. This book could be better.

Some parts were great and helpful and direct and funny. However, all that was overshadowed by Dan Savage's unnecessary hypocrisy and religion bashi
Dec 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Dan Savage, Lindy West, and the staff of the Stranger put out a quick book of advice about life, love, drugs, sex, rock and roll for 18 year olds. generally practical information (viz., pot won't kill you but DEFINITELY stay clear of heroin), and of course the Savage entries are pretty worldwide and amusing

added this in to counterbalance the 4s and 5s that have been filling up my reading queue. part of the situation is that Goodreads's glut of information now allows me to zero in, laserlike, on
Shane Smith
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ss-favorites
This is maybe the best book for someone going into college I've ever heard of. It is straight to the point with life-advice. And it's written in a light tone and good humor. More than once I thought to myself "That's so obvious now, but I really wish someone had just told me that 10 years ago." Anyhow, very funny, witty, and not too serious.
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
This is the first book I have ever read where I truly felt too old to be reading this book. The book tries to invoke both humor and provide advice on several topics that the typical college student faces such as sex, binge drinking, etc. I do recommend this book for any high school senior as I can see how the advice would have been of interest to me at that time of my life, however now with a few years under my belt a lot of the advice provided is of common sense to me now and I frankly don't fi ...more
Dec 26, 2016 added it
This book is pretty funny, but not necessarily super useful for someone about to leave for college. It's actually feels more like a humor book for a college grad.
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some good stuff in here.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was given this book by a family friend in honor of me going away for college, and it really wasn't anything that I experienced. Maybe it will be more applicable later, but as of right now, it hasn't been that helpful. I am not someone who does very many of the things mentioned in the book, and if I do do the things, then I already have my own advice given to me by people I know and trust. That being said, if this kind of book is your thing, go for it!
Evan Kirby
It’s all just basic information on how to be a decent person that anyone with half a brain should already now. The authors think they’re a lot funnier than they actually are, but I guess that what happens when you get old people writing a book for college kids.
Emma McClure
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Saw it in a shop while I was visiting Seattle, but ended up buying it used online because it was cheaper. I'm starting college this year, and I don't know if the book prepared me in anyway, but it definitely made me laugh, and made the idea of starting college less scary.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Do you like Beer? How about tacos? Living the College Lifestyle? Then
How to be a Person: The Stranger’s Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life itself might just be the right kind of book for you.

How to be a Person is a comedic self-help ‘guide’ written by Dan Savage, Lindy West, and The Stranger staff. It focuses on most, if not all of the aspects of University/College life and how to survive them. It claims to hold all the information that you need to know that nobody else is wil
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
*Check out for other reviews and sundry thoughts!*

Becoming an adult is hard work. While some young adults may have experience paying bills or living independently, many of us spend our early lives under our family's sheltering wing, only to emerge into the adult world confused and, well, completely clueless. If you or a loved one feel overwhelmed by the task of being a grown-up, don't despair! The staff of Seattle alternative newspaper the Stranger has assembled a
Jillian Kitchen
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarcastic. Gloriously funny. Practical. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Josh R
Oct 28, 2012 rated it liked it
A quick funny and generally honest guide to life. This indeed would have been helpful to me at age 21. My frustration is my general frustration around The Stranger. When they are good, they are good. But when some writer gets a stick up his or her ass, you get snobbery or condescending snark (see how to drink like an adult--which pretty much offers very little advice on what to drink, just tells makes you feel like a loser if you drink any of the numerous combinations they apparently take issue ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good. It was extremely sarcastic and funny, which I enjoyed. It called out republicans and people who aren't feminists for being assholes, which I enjoyed. In fact the chapter on feminism was probably my favorite part of the whole book.

It was a little harsh at times. The advice was funny, but it was sometimes kind of hurtful. Like you don't need to insult people?? Please don't do that?? I wasn't personally offended but it was a little like a slap to the face in some parts.
Funny and practical to those about to attend college. I enjoyed the sections on "Everything you need to know about (college major)" because most of them were spot on and very humorous. Other sections I enjoyed were things about how to not contract STD's, how to guide for Manners, and the description of the regions of the United States. They definitely gave me definite L-O-L's.

On the otherhand, this book was extremely preachy when it dealt with politics and religion. I do realize that these were
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I got this because it was a cheap Kindle Daily Deal. It looked like it would be funny and part of it was by Dan Savage. Actually it's pretty obnoxious with lot of unnecessary swearing because it's trying to sound cool. I hope that nobody starting college actually takes its advice seriously. There was one part that made me laugh, something about old people feeding pigeons. It was only one paragraph, though.
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Witty writing, as I would expect, but this is definitely geared towards the college audience. I honestly think portions of this should be required reading for new college admits, while other parts are a little too heavy on the snark that I think it would go over many new college kids' heads. The best portion of the book is obviously Dan Savage's responses to a number of letters asking for advice for certain scenarios, but the rest is also decently entertaining.
Kristen Mitchell
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
Wow. This book I read in less than a day and I could probably do that every day of the week. This book was quirky and hilariously informative. It had me busting up in laughter frequently and I was totally okay with that. It was a most excellent read and I sincerely hope to add it to my bookshelves given the slightest chance to do so. I would classify it as a must-read.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
It had some funny lines, but it felt like they rammed their opinions down your throat in parts. Definitely not a good read for anyone who leans towards the conservative side, but I'm pretty sure that they could figure that out from the title. All in ll, not too bad. Probably better read by a college student though.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
I checked this out because I love both Lindy West and Dan Savage and I thought it would be funny. There were about two funny lines a the beginning but then it just became SO. FREAKING. Condescending. It was really trying hard to be funny but it didn't make it. Clearly I am not the demographic for this book. Savage and West still rock though.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Funny (some parts). There were many laugh out loud moments if you have a good sense of humor.
But... I kinda draw the line at making fun of any religion or calling someone names that are hurtful. Be respectful dude.

Excrutiatingly boring (some parts) and annoying, especially when the person is trying their hardest to make a point in a comedic fashion.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
occasionally funny but honestly some of this is bad advice. and i feel bad for that woman whose cover letter they mocked, something tells me they didn't exactly ask her whether she was okay with them publishing it. 2.5 stars
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you already love Dan Savage and Lindy West and The Stranger, then you'll love this. And if you don't, then, 1) How can we be friends? 2) it's not too late to start. Hysterically funny at times, eminently practical at others, it's a great guide to life.
May 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2013
Probably should have read the blurb (or the subtitle) before I bought this, as I'm definitely not the intended audience, but it was still a fun read. Would be a great gift for a college-bound relative.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was funny & should be mandatory reading for all 18 & 19 year olds as they head out into the real world. In fact, I know some 20 somethings and 30 somethings that might benefit from reading this book.
Jackie Guy
Oct 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: made-me-squirm
His trans chapter ruined the whole thing for me
Apr 12, 2015 rated it liked it
This is co-written by Dan Savage, who I love. The book is bold and cute and could be fun for a college age person to read. But, it is also meant to entertain, so it wouldn't be the sole advice book to consider.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hysterical and helpful - what a combination! Great advice for both young and old. I think this makes a great high school graduation gift. Warning - not for the faint of heart, this book has some explicit (but practical and human!) advice on sex and other possibly taboo matters.
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Lindy West is a columnist at The Guardian, a contributor to This American Life, and a freelance writer whose work focuses on feminism, social justice, humor, and body image. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Vulture, Jezebel, The Stranger, and others. She is the founder of I Believe You, It's Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens, as well as the reproductive rights ...more
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