Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More: For Young and Old Alike” as Want to Read:
This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More: For Young and Old Alike
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  9,418 Ratings  ·  1,443 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, Large Print, 295 pages
Published July 26th 2012 by Thorndike Press (first published May 8th 2012)
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 This Is How, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
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
Diane
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grief, audiobooks
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
...more
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 ...more
Teresa
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
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
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
...more
Melody
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jill Marie Hackett
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Molly
Oct 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brett
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Carmen
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and Everyone
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
Tarra
May 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Selwa
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy Smith
Sep 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elyse
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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......
...more
Liane
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marie
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessie
May 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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
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.
...more
Susan Tunis
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
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
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
David Yoon
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kathy
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Katy
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
da AL
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whereas the title might appear tongue in cheek or a downright lie, Burroughs does an amazing job of offering genuine wisdom here.
Luna
Perhaps my favorite thing about Augusten Burroughs is that he has the ability to make us laugh in life's darkest and crappiest moments. He makes us laugh but he also makes us think. He isn't afraid to write about the taboos in life, about our dirtiest and darkest troubles and experiences.

If you're an Augusten Burroughs fan (like me), then you'll most likely adore this book. If you're reading him for the first time, you might be confused and lost.

As always, his humor is on point. He made me lau
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload
  • Yeah, I Said It
  • I See Rude People: One woman's battle to beat some manners into impolite society
  • Mental Traps: The Overthinker's Guide to a Happier Life
  • Brain Trust: 93 Top Scientists Reveal Lab-Tested Secrets to Surfing, Dating, Dieting, Gambling, Growing Man-Eating Plants, and More!
  • The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity
  • Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head
  • The Rules of the Tunnel: A Brief Period of Madness
  • Speaking Truth to Power
  • The Creativity Cure: A Do-It-Yourself Prescription for Happiness
  • Zen and the Art of Happiness
  • Knee Deep in Paradise
  • Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity
  • They Eat Puppies, Don't They?
  • Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
  • The Original Beauty Bible: Skin Care Facts for Ageless Beauty
  • Blue Genes: A Memoir of Loss and Survival
  • Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food
3058
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...

Share This Book

“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.”
155 likes
“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.” 135 likes
More quotes…