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

Augusten Burroughs
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (328 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

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 feel like it's your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don't want to have sex with your spouse and don't know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you're lost in life. If you have ever wondered, How am I aupposed to survive this?

This is How.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2012: In writing and in life, Augusten Burroughs has repeatedly summoned the courage to grab the wolves of his past by their foaming muzzles and peer into their wild eyes until he owns them--and because of this, he's survived nearly every horrific experience a person in a modern-day, first-world country could face and emerged as an astonishingly well-adjusted person. After turning his profoundly messed-up early life and its alcoholic aftermath into six harrowing, uplifting memoirs--including Running with Scissors and Dry--Burroughs lost interest in writing about himself. He kept meeting people who were locked in the same struggles he’d overcome and decided they needed to know they had options for fixing their lives. In This Is How, Burroughs delivers prescriptions for handling life's most pernicious problems. Don't let the snake-oil-salesmannish title put you off: this is raw, hard-knock-life advice, veering from brutal to hilarious to deeply compassionate. Burroughs doesn’t really believe in "happiness" or "healing." He’s honest about the limits of recovery, but even those in the depths of despair will be energized by his exhortations to claw their way back to OK, even if it means leaving the life they’ve known in the dust. --Mari Malcolm


The last self-help book you'll ever read. (Janice Harper, The Huffington Post)

Hilarious and searingly straight forward…Burroughs turns the self-help genre upside-down. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

Fans of the author's massively popular confessional memoirs will likely agree with that statement, and all of the wisdom he dispenses in his new book -- delivered with the dark, acidic humor we've come to expect -- is certainly well-earned. (The Boston Globe)

Product Details

  • File Size: 401 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312563558
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JJPHA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
221 of 237 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Actual Advice March 30, 2012
By booksy
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Judging by the slightly whimsical cover of this book and having read a couple of Augusten Burroughs' previous memoirs, I was expecting a darkly humorous skewering of the self-help movement and the state of psychiatry today. Burroughs has had a difficult life and has extensive experience with all sorts of social and mental health issues, as well as a lot of time spent with at least one psychiatrist, so I really thought it would be savagely funny.

Wrong! This is actually an honest-to-goodness self-help book. Sure, it might seem to be coming from a somewhat twisted perspective, and flies in the face of a lot of standard tropes of self-help, but Mr. Burroughs has written a serious and probing book about improving one's mental life and dealing with all sorts of issues, from addiction to grief. Each chapter discusses a different topic, and though the chapter headings might point to humor ("How to Fail," "How to End Your Life"), Burroughs has really thought through what he wants to say and lays it out in a mostly straightforward, honest way.

I think that some people will take issue with some of Burroughs' unconventional thoughts on certain issues like AA (he's got problems with it) and using affirmations (against it). He points out the mistakes that people make when thinking about their problems and offers solutions that worked for him. He uses examples from his own life to illustrate his points, instead of the cheery composite characters that most self-help books come up with. I loved that he writes in a straightforward manner and doesn't use ridiculous "systems" (follow the BrightThought principle!) or bullet points to cheerlead you on. It's refreshing to read a more realistic view of the world.
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135 of 145 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncle Augie Tells it All May 8, 2012
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 to read what people are talking about. But, perhaps most of all, I was expecting a self-help satire--I mean, look at the full title. But the joke was on me, because despite a little irreverent humor, Mr. Burroughs appears to be quite sincere in his advice giving.

Certainly, I paused a few times and wondered at his qualifications as an advice-provider, beyond, apparently, having made quite a few mistakes in his life. I didn't always agree with his suggestions, though most had the feel of good common sense that you sometimes need to hear from someone else. The author appears to be dispensing advice with kindness. What surprised me the most was that I kept turning pages, reading the book from cover to cover in an afternoon. It held my interest.

I think this was due to the breadth of topics covered. Some chapters were longer than others, but Mr. Burroughs kept things moving along swiftly. There was never a chance to grow bored.
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92 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't ask anything more of a book. March 29, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's hard to write a review of a book this good. It's like reading Mark Twain or Marcus Aurelius and coming up with words that describe the experience. This is How - was funny, horrifying, amusing and inspiring. It made me smile, cry, pull back, and in the end it gave hope. It is a glorious book about being human with all the pain and love that humanity includes. Self-Help? who cares if it is or isn't. This book is interesting from cover to cover.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wasn't sure what to make of this book at first. I've read all of Burroughs' other books and I love his brutally honest but funny no nonsense style of telling it like it is. That's what this book is full of. It's like a good friend sitting you down and giving you some really good, completely honest advice, with some damn funny anecdotes thrown in to illustrate the points he makes.

Some of my favorite advice: 'Wipe that f cking smile off you face. Unless of course, you didn't put it there. If it just happened, great. You can leave it be. But if you did manufacture that smile to try to maintain a sunny positive attitude, get rid of it. Put your bitter scowl back on. And stop standing up so straight. Instead of trying to alleviate some of the uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions you feel by "trying to be positive" try being negative instead.' But my all-time favorite has to be; 'Put another way, to be more confident you need to give a whole lot less of a sh t about what other people think of you.' I loved his advice and whole heartedly agree with much of it.

I was surprised to see many readers who read this had never read any of Augustens' other work. If you are a fan of Augusten Burroughs I think you will appreciate this. And if you are looking for some good no nonsense advice on how to live a better life you might appreciate it as well. Folks who are not fans of witty sometimes profane and irreverent humor might want to find something else to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best life affirming powerful book
Burroughs once again delivers truth to the reader. This time it's not his truth, as he's shared through his prior memoirs, but it is The Truth that he illuminates for us, which for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful way.
Everyone should read this book. Augusten outlines how to do life in a witty, beautiful way.
Published 1 month ago by Kellie
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most kind, loving, heart-wrenching, fear-provoking books...
I don't really do much reviewing, either because I am usually disappointed in whatever book I read or because I am too lazy to sign in, think, type and submit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by squirrelmomma
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my faves.
Has become one of my favorite books. I've read it a few times and given it as a gift.
Published 1 month ago by ShackLA
4.0 out of 5 stars A practical field guide for life from a person who ...
A practical field guide for life from a person who has survived almost everything. His pearls of wisdom will be applicable to someone you know.
Published 1 month ago by Sofie B
3.0 out of 5 stars I feel like Augusten Burroughs has grown up and moved on from ...
I feel like Augusten Burroughs has grown up and moved on from his crazy childhood. This was the jaded version of a self help book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by April D
2.0 out of 5 stars Not For Me
This book was a lot of talk and not a lot of action. Most of the advice comes in the form of "just do it," which I found insincere and not very helpful.
Published 1 month ago by Janessa
5.0 out of 5 stars Ohhhh You'll Love This, No Matter Who You Are
Can Augusten do wrong...ever? Nope. This is rivalling Dry for my favorite Burroughs work. I keep taking pics of different passages to send to friends because this is more of an... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kelly Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this man
I love this man. I own every book he's written. 3 chapters in and I've already laughed out loud more than once. He makes me think too. I love that.
Published 2 months ago by Jess
4.0 out of 5 stars Generally insightful and Funny, Try the audiobook version.
I found the essays of advice surprisingly insightful as a whole. Enjoyable to read even though I do not face most problems the essays address. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher Ammons
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More About the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the author of the autobiographical works "Running with Scissors," "Dry," "Magical Thinking," "Possible Side Effects" and "A Wolf at the Table," all of which were New York Times bestsellers. "Running with Scissors" remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two consecutive years and was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Annette Bening. His only novel, "Sellevision," is currently in development as a series for NBC. "Dry," Augusten's memoir of his alcoholism and recovery, is being developed by Showtime. In addition, Burroughs is currently creating an original prime-time series for CBS. Augusten's latest book is called "You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas."

Twice named to Entertainment Weekly's list of the funniest people in America, Augusten has also been the subject of a Vanity Fair cover story and a Jeopardy! answer. His books have made guest appearances in two James Patterson novels, one Linkin Park music video, numerous television shows and a porn movie.

Augusten has been a photographer since childhood and many of his images can be seen on his website, He lives in New York City.

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