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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. Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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Told with Burroughs's unique voice, black humor, and in-your-face advice, This is How is Running With Scissorsâwith recipes.
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I wanted to read this book for a long time before I actually did; not sure why I waited and anticipated so long. In all, it has some really good, practical advice on a number of subjects. It has some absolutely delightful advice on a few subjects and had me in tears in a couple parts. However, it also has some TERRIBLE advice in some parts in my estimation and that is why I'm going to throw my copy of this book in the trash lest I be responsible for my daughter or anyone else reading it.
This book contains some absolutely harrowing descriptions of rape - one in the first chapter that literally left me awake at night. I have never been a victim of this crime, thankfully, but I found that particularly traumatizing. If I read the author correctly, he then goes on to suggest that anyone who has been a rape victim or has undergone most any trauma except for HUGE ones such as the Holocaust needs to just suck it up, so to speak and realize that we all go through stuff, life isn't fair and we need to just move on. Not to discount the Holocaust or any other BIG traumatic events in the course of human history, but ALL of our traumas are big to those of us experiencing them and they absolutely deserve to feel their anger and rage and even to wallow in it if they like. Like I said, I've never been a victim of rape, but just reading Augusten Burroughs' description of it makes me angry and makes me want to go hurt a rapist - today. How dare I tell a victim of this crime to just realize that life isn't fair and because she or he didn't go through a large-scale trauma that they should just suck it up since life isn't fair? Unacceptable.
I can't pass this book on to a used bookstore to let another person read this advice and feel that their pain isn't deserving of anger because it wasn't BIG enough.
I don't agree 100 percent with everything, like his criticisms of AA, which I believe in based on what I've read and been told by those I respect. But then he's the alcoholic who's been there, not me, and this is a book of personal truths. So maybe I ought to give it five stars. But there's the AA stuff that while personally true for him feels kind of irresponsible too. That's the book's memoiristic aspect, for better and possibly in this instance for worse.
A five-star book in this genre is Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, and Burrough's advice about letting go of the past is the same. Everyone kind of says the same thing over and over. So why the need for more? Because we need to keep hearing it. And because the way someone says something might be finally the way you need to hear it to finally get it. Maybe Tolle prepared me to know that Burroughs is right, as did my failing to change to the depth that Tolle says is possible. Burroughs' advice and precepts may seem more doable to me because they don't come from a glowing saint but from someone who fell repeatedly and who is still flawed, damaged, sad, maybe feels a bit broken himself.
This is How is Uncle Augusten's gift to the world. For instance, here he is on loss:
"As it happens, we human beings are able to live just fine with many holes of many sizes and shapes.
"And pleasure, love, compassion, fulfillment--these things do not leak out of holes of any size.
"So we can be filled with holes and loss and wide expanses of unhealed geography--and we can also be excited by life and in love and content at the exact same moment.
"Though there will always be days, like the weather, when the loss returns fresh and full and we will reside within it once again, for a while.
"Loss creates a greater overall surface area within a person. You expand as a result of it."
I sat right up, reading it, very quiet, intent and amazed. A gifted writer's blazing truths will do that to you.