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This Is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't Paperback – April 23, 2013
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“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
About the Author
AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Wolf At The Table, Possible Side Effects, You Better Not Cry, Magical Thinking, Dry, Running with Scissors, and Sellevision. He lives in Manhattan.
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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.
No, I will not give this book away.