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

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  10,922 ratings  ·  1,368 reviews
If 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 all begins with th
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Paperback, 273 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing
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Angela Jr. I only just started listening to this one, but in the beginning she talks about this very issue and says that yes, everyone can get something out of…moreI only just started listening to this one, but in the beginning she talks about this very issue and says that yes, everyone can get something out of this book.(less)

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Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
I picked this up as the "free" book in a B&N "Buy Two, Get Third Free" shamwow as it was the only thing left that looked even remotely interesting.

And I thought I would read it for entertainment value only.

Because we ALL know I got this whole adulting thing so fucking down it isn't even funny.

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But I actually really ended up liking this thing.

For realz though.

How can you not love advice like this?

I picked this up as the "free" book in a B&N "Buy Two, Get Third Free" shamwow as it was the only thing left that looked even remotely interesting.

And I thought I would read it for entertainment value only.

Because we ALL know I got this whole adulting thing so fucking down it isn't even funny.

description

But I actually really ended up liking this thing.

For realz though.

How can you not love advice like this?

description

I love that part about jealously.

People say this so much: "Oh, it's okay Little Susie, they don't like you because they are just jealous."

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"Ignore them, Betty Lou, she's just jealous of you."

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I'm sure there are people who don't like me - and not because they are jealous of my mad wordsmithing skills and ability to go on tangents like a dog seeing a squirrel - but because they think I'm obnoxious and offensive.

And guess what?

THAT'S OKAY.

Because I AM obnoxious and offensive.

And, strangely, not everyone is down with that.

We are who we are.

And as long as you aren't a fucking serial killer or hoarding a collection of legit child porn, I say, we should all just be ourselves, no?

So stop teaching poor Little Susie and Betty Lou that it's not okay to be disliked or that something is wrong with one or both parties if two people don't get along.

This drives me crazy.

Speaking of crazy, this brings me to another awesome step...

DO NOT ENGAGE WITH CRAZY.

This was awesome.

Cause, you know who attracts the crazy like flies to shit?

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Yup, that's right.

THIS girl.

Because sometimes, you don't always know that someone's got the crazy until it's too late.

Thus, step 123:

"Do not engage with crazy...

Here, I am not talking about the mentally ill, but rather people whose perception of the world is so skewed that it is difficult for them to interact with the rest of us. Think people who scream at waitresses. Those types of people.

Engaging with them will never, ever provide the desired effect for you. You can't make crazy people not-crazy with your reasonable thoughts and words. There is one direction sanity will flow, and it is away from you as the madness spreads, and soon your thoughts and words won't be even slightly reasonable...The next time you find yourself interacting with someone who is just completely out there, don't tell them they are being unreasonable because that won't do anything.

Remind yourself that you do not engage with crazy (silently, of course; saying this aloud wll probably make things mush worse). Treat them kindly, and gingerly, and then get away..."


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The only..."caveat" to this above nugget of brilliance?

"Drunk counts as crazy here, in both the short term ('Oh, she's drunk') and the long term ('Oh, he's a drunk')."


Yeah, so we will just ignore that part.

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I also skipped the entire section about cooking.

But keep in mind the first time I ever tried baking on my own...the fire department had to be called.

And I'm DEAD serious here.

But what can I say?

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Dawn Albright
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
I thought this was going to be a tongue-in-cheek sort of book. It was not . . . . .



It's terrifying to think people (like there's a very good chance I'm raising two of them) might need the kind of sage advice presented here. Things like "jobs are good" and "so is toilet paper." Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?
Whitney Atkinson
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was super entertaining! I really have few complaints about it, but the issue with the matter is that I read this book too soon. I assumed adulthood began at age 18 so this book would benefit me, but this is more geared toward college graduates and people trying to figure out their lives away from home. Therefore, I felt like half of the advice in this book went in one ear and out the other because I didn't have to think about stuff like that yet.

A lot of the advice in this book was a
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Sophie
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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 afte
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C.E. G
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 descript
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Yen-Tzu
Jul 20, 2018 is currently reading it
First progress update after almost 1 year

Becoming a grown-up is going terribly. I have killed my houseplant, Susan. In my defense, she did seem very determined to die. I used a makeup brush to carefully remove dust from her leaves, I made sure she was never in direct sunlight, I sprayed water onto her leaves as directed by the plant book that I bought to find out how to take good care of her, and I perhaps watered her a bit too often out of loving her too much.

Also, I have stopped reading
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Jillian
May 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was literally written for the most absolutely lost young adults on the planet. Alternate title: guide to being a person. Helpful if you 1). Were raised by people who did not teach you anything/raised by wolves, 2). Don't know how to interact with other humans, 3). Are so incompetent that you need to know how to make sandwich or sweep a floor, 4). Did nothing but drink all through college and are now in a complete stupor and need help living. This could have been cute if it wasn't so ri ...more
Alicia
Nov 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015
Right now I honestly don't think I will bother finishing this book. I expected "Adulting" to be charming, witty, and full of good advice. In actuality it is pretentious, annoying, and sometimes has questionable advice. I read to page 113, but I did skip the cooking chapter for the most part. (I already like to cook so the majority of this advice was rudimentary in my case.) What I dislike the most about this book is that her advice is sometimes too specific in a way that it doesn't seem like she ...more
Amanda
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book got 3 stars because there was some helpful information in it and it was quite funny. However, this book champions one way of "adulting" that is very middle-class, North American, white collar professional. Not everyone wants or can aspire for this life. Upholding it as the correct way to adult (though there is a disclaimer at the beginning to pick and choose what steps to follow) is naive and excluding of many different sorts of people and lifestyles. I was hoping for this book to prov ...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 ever
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Logan Hughes
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm a fan of Kelly Williams Brown's Adulting blog (adultingblog.com), 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
Andi 앤 디
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, self-growth

Decent manual for high school or college grads who are just starting to be independent adults. It’s a beginner’s guide to owning/maintaining a car, casual dating and relationships, friendships, work life, living with roommates, family problems, emergencies, and many more. Rest is pretty much straightforward and common sense.

Be aware that this was written by a 20-something year old, basing on her own experience. Unfortunately, I was not aware of that, so about 98% of this book is not new to me. She and I p
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Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
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
Carol
I liked the author's voice - she was easy and breezy but also serious and mature. However, one thing about this book bummed me out - she seemed to want people to be perfect! You were supposed to do all these things, and if you did you'd be an adult. The problem is, most adults don't do many of the things listed, and they're still responsible, contributing members of society. So if you're young and just starting out, take all these requirements with a grain of salt.
Stephanie
Let me say this short thing about me first. I'm a twenty-one woman who doesn't know what the fuck she is gonna do in her life. Since I was twenty, I didn't know what to do with it. This book cleared so many things. I still don't know what the fuck to do, but I have a start and I will seek more help along the way, this book taught me how. I started this book with zero expectations and came out with a lot of good advices and a lot of laughs at our true life.

Let me say this short thing about me first. I'm a twenty-one woman who doesn't know what the fuck she is gonna do in her life. Since I was twenty, I didn't know what to do with it. This book cleared so many things. I still don't know what the fuck to do, but I have a start and I will seek more help along the way, this book taught me how. I started this book with zero expectations and came out with a lot of good advices and a lot of laughs at our true life.

Full review on my blog.
...more
Erica
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'll be honest, I skimmed the headers of each step. If it was something I didn't think was super obvious, I read the paragraph below. Overall I guess I was just expecting more out of this one. Expecting it to be... funnier, deeper, actually teach me something of a introspective nature if not a literal skill. It did not, it taught me all things I already knew. Maybe this is because I've already lived on my own (with roommates) before, and because my mother taught me how to be a decent, self-suffi ...more
Lucie
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This was great! As a person that is going through the ongoing crisis that is "adulthood" I found a lot of the tips helpful and look forward to implementing them. The tips that weren't as helpful to me were still fun to read because Brown's voice was so enjoyable to read from. I do think it's worth noting that I fit pretty squarely into the demographic she wrote for as I'm 22, been out of school for barely a year, have a white collar office job, and grew up middle class so maybe I was predisposed ...more
Megankellie
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
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Sabrina
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a cute and insightful book into what to expect and be prepared for when entering new adulthood. This book could provide helpful advice to almost anyone who is about to graduate from college (like me), trying to find their first career, living on their own for the first time, etc. It provides helpful advice on a plethora of topics from personal finance to friendships and familial relationships. While a reasonable amount of the book's steps did not apply to me, many of them did, or otherwi ...more
Cait
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013, nonfiction
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??!"
Ashlee Bree
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
What a fun, laugh-out-loud read full of practical and necessary tidbits about what being an adult truly means. Like how we should stop enjoying things "ironically" and simply enjoy them. (Kudos to me for being wholly, completely unapologetic about my nerd status already. Got that one down!) That we need to accept that some people won't like us, never, never will - and that's okay! It's also good to to find the serenity to deal with the assholes of the world, without, you know, become one ourselv ...more
MargaretDH
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I wish I had read this 10 years ago. Not because it doesn't have anything to teach me now, but because it really puts adulthood in persepective: a series of tasks and choices that are often mundane, tedious or downright unpleasant that add up to independence and self-confidence. And all those steps, once broken down, are not really that big a deal!

Williams Brown is funny and compassionate, and this is really cute.
Kristin Antosz
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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Zara
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gifts, non-fiction, own
It took me a full eight months to finish this book (more time than any fat tome with tiny print I've read), but not because it was dull or uninteresting - rather, Kelly Williams Brown's writing is something I enjoyed dipping into a bit at a time, every once in a while, for some solid advice and a good laugh. Of course, parts of the book were less useful to me than others (I've got cooking down pat, other bits less so), but that comes with the territory, and even the less useful bits were often e ...more
Ris
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
I picked this book up to skim it for a Basic Life Skills program series we're looking to host at my job. (I work at a library.) I ended up spending a lot more time sitting down and actually reading it than I expected to, partially because I just found her amusing and needed a giggle, and there was some useful stuff tucked into it.

Like most books in the self-help genre, this book is not designed to take you from 0-360 overnight. A good chunk of it is common sense, things you've probab
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Heather
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Who knows how to make a meal salad now because of this book? This kid.

Funny, useful, and practical. Very Mrs. Beeton for the 21st-century twenty-something. I had a lot of fun reading this, and I'm sure I'll return to it as I continue making grown-up steps.

But this is not a one size fits all resource. The way the Finance section is set up, it seems like saving for retirement is something you do when you're not poor anymore, which seems a little misguided.

At the beginning, there is a caveat tha
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Wendi Lee
Adulting is hard. This how-to manual is targeted toward the just-out-college, first-real-job crowd, but I found some of her advice useful because my adulting skills are still not at 100%, especially when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning is my nemesis, grrrr. This may be because I insist on cleaning with a book in one hand, but whatever.

Williams Brown has a lot of common sense etiquette here (from what to do after job interviews to how to behave at parties), with advice from everything from car ma
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Jennifer Jimenez
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is actually amazing. I feel like the title and subtitle don't really do it justice, as it almost sounds child-like and geared towards someone more naive. However, I'm about to be 30 and found it to be really great.

This book is full of very, very useful life-tips for anyone, even if they think they have it all figured out as an adult. It can be used as a checklist, or as a reference manual. I was so pleasantly surprised the whole time I was reading it. I borrowed it from the library, b
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Joshua Gross
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that these types of books are my guilty pleasure books. I've read a lot of them, like 30 things to know before you're 30, and Life 101. This one is comprehensive, and kind of helps with the idea that many millennials weren't really taught much about life by their parents and are routinely made to feel bad about not knowing things.

This is pretty comprehensive, fun, and full of cliches. Mostly influenced by the white, hetero, female experience but she does at least ackn
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“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.”
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