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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. Hardcover – May 8, 2012


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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. + Sellevision: A Novel + Magical Thinking: True Stories
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312563558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312563554
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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

Review

"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
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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, www.augusten.com. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

I enjoyed this book, and the author's engaging and humorous writing style.
LibraryGirl2014
If you're looking for a lot of sympathetic hand holding and comforting pats on the back, this may not be the book for you.
Kindred
For me the book read fluidly from start to finish, like a long (and very good) conversation.
lindsey719

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

214 of 230 people found the following review helpful By booksy on March 30, 2012
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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133 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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89 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Barbarino on March 30, 2012
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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