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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.

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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...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Burroughs's voice is persuasive and humble, and he sounds like he genuinely wants to give good advice.” – AudioFile Magazine
Publishers Weekly
In this hilarious and searingly straightforward memoir, Burroughs (Running with Scissors) turns the self-help genre upside down with his advice on matters ranging broadly from “how to be fat” and “how to lose someone you love” to “how to hold onto your dream or maybe not” and “how to finish your drink.” On “how to find love,” for example, he counsels, “be the person you are, not the person you think you should be… if you want to have a chance at meeting somebody with whom you are genuinely compatible, never put your best foot forward… be exactly the person you would be if you were alone or with somebody it was safe to fart around.” On “Why Having It All Is Not,” Burroughs commends the virtues of limits and the ways that such limits force improvisation; he doesn’t believe “you can feel deep satisfaction in your life unless your life contains restless areas, holes, and imperfections.” In “How to End Your Life,” Burroughs, recalling his own teenage experience, distinguishes between suicide and ending life. After his brush with suicide, he realizes that he really didn’t want to kill himself; what he really wanted was to end his life, which he accomplishes simply by changing his name and walking out the door and starting a new life. As always, Burroughs is smart and energetically forthright about living and loving. (May)
Library Journal
Burroughs (Running with Scissors) playfully shares his hard-won insights in a book that is the antidote to the "just be positive" approach to life. Not a memoir, it reads more like a conversation with a close friend about truthfulness and authenticity, figuring things out and being hopeful, starting from where one is and learning to listen to oneself. Each short chapter explores a different topic: shame, despair, loss, body issues, hardship. Grounded in the understanding that life is a messy business, the book overflows with moments both wonderful and difficult. It is hard to know what to do with anger, pain, and obsession, Burroughs acknowledges, but he offers a kind of remedy: learn to live with it, to transform it, to move forward. This is about how to create a life from the circumstances of the present moment. The book has a soft ending, but readers won't mind because it's been a great ride. VERDICT There will be lots of attention and interest in this book: definitely order. Recommended for readers of popular culture, self-help, and psychology. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/11.]—Nancy Almand, Fresno City Coll. Lib., CA
Kirkus Reviews
Acclaimed memoirist Burroughs (You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas, 2009, etc.) charts new territory, offering his readers advice on life. With a cinematic novel and a series of bestselling memoirs under his belt, the author now presents life advice that's as unconventionally scattered as one would expect. His tongue-in-cheek guidance, predictably couched in personal anecdotes, opens with a chapter on rejecting the "superupbeat umbrella" of positive affirmations, and proceeds to deliver the straight, though clichéd, dope on bad love ("Abusive people never change"), the search for romantic connections ("get out of your own way"), weight loss ("real beauty comes from the inside") and guilt-free self-pity ("sometimes you just feel like shit"). Most sections straddle the line between supportive empowerment and tough love and are written with the author's characteristic dark humor, which consistently entertains and, as the pages turn, earnestly educates. Burroughs offers smart counsel on keeping communication honest (with yourself and others), the right to personal freedoms and the best mindset for a job interview; he also gives personal perspectives on his suicide attempt and how he conquered alcoholism. Some chapters focus constructively on self-esteem and positive affirmations, while others meander, as in a heartfelt piece on love that veers off to describe the benefits of residing on the southern tip of Manhattan. Both introspective and uneven, the outspoken author wraps everything up with an ethereal final chapter draped in the kind of mawkish Zen goodness that will work wonders for those in need of a morale booster. Despite pages of platitudes, Burroughs provides plenty of worthy material on the absurdity of the human condition and the unpredictability of contemporary life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781427221636
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Augusten Burroughs

AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS is the number one New York Times bestselling author of A Wolf At The Table, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, Dry, Running with Scissors, and Sellevision. He lives in Manhattan.

Biography

Although Augusten Burroughs achieved moderate success with his debut novel, Sellevision, it was his 2002 memoir, Running with Scissors, that catapulted him into the literary stratosphere. Indeed, few writers have spun a bizarre childhood and eccentric personal life into literary gold with as much wit and panache as Burroughs, whose harrowing accounts of dysfunction and addiction are offset by an acerbic humor readers and critics find irresistible.

Born Christopher Robison (he changed his name when he turned 18), Burroughs is the son of an alcoholic father who abandoned his family and a manic-depressive mother who fancied herself a poet in the style of Anne Sexton. At age 12, he was farmed out to his mother's psychiatrist, a deeply disturbed -- and disturbing -- man whose medical license was ultimately revoked for gross misconduct. In Running with Scissors, Burroughs recounts his life with the pseudonymous Finch family as an experience tantamount to being raised by wolves. The characters he describes are unforgettable: children of assorted ages running wild through a filthy, dilapidated Victorian house, totally unfettered by rules or inhibitions; a variety of deranged patients who take up residence with the Finches seemingly at will; and a 33-year-old pedophile who lives in the backyard shed and initiates an intense, openly homosexual relationship with the 13-year-old Burroughs right under the doctor's nose.

That he is able to wring humor and insight out of this shocking scenario is testimony to Burroughs's writing skill. Upon its publication in 2002, Scissors was hailed as "mordantly funny" (Los Angeles Times), "hilarious" (San Francisco Chronicle), and "sociologically suggestive and psychologically astute" (The New York Times). The book became a #1 bestseller and was turned into a 2006 movie starring Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, and Joseph Fienes.

[Although the doctor who "raised" Burroughs was never named in the memoir, six members of the real-life family sued the author and his publisher for defamation, claiming that whole portions of the book were fabricated. Burroughs insisted that the book was entirely accurate but agreed in the 2007 settlement to change the wording of the author's note and acknowledgement in future editions of the book. He was never required to change a single word of the memoir itself.]

Since Running with Scissors, Burroughs has mined snippets of his life for more bestsellers, including further installments of his memoir (Dry, A Wolf at the Table) and several well-received collections of razor-sharp essays. His writing continues to appear in newspapers and magazines around the world, and he is a regular contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Burroughs:

"When I was very young, maybe six or seven, I used to make little books out of construction paper and wallpaper. Then I'd sew the spine of the book with a needle and thread. Only after I had the actual book did I sit down with a pencil and write the text. I actually still have one of these little books and it's titled, obliquely, Little Book."

"Well, all of a sudden I am obsessed with PMC. For those of you who think I am speaking about plastic plumbing fixtures, I am not. PMC stands for Precious Metal Clay. And it works just like clay clay. You can shape it into anything you want. But after you fire it, you have something made of solid 22k gold or silver. So you want to be very careful. Anyway, I plan to make dog tags. So there's something."

"I'm a huge fan of English shortbread cookies, of anything English really. I very nearly worship David Strathairn. And I'm afraid that if I ever return to Sydney, Australia, I may not return."

"I will never refuse potato chips or buttered popcorn cooked in one of those thingamajigs you crank on top of the stove."

"And my politics could be considered extreme, as I truly believe that people who molest or otherwise abuse children should be buried in pits. And I do believe our country has been served by white male presidents quite enough for the next few hundred years. I really could go on and on here, so I'd best stop."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Augusten X. Burroughs
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York and western Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 23, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      No formal education beyond elementary school
    2. Website:

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 47 )
Rating Distribution

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(27)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(7)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Highly recommended

    What I recommend is reading all of Augusten's books in order. He will really connect with you. It's like you know him. He is hands down one of the best writers out now.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    I cannot say enough about how wonderful I found this book to be.

    I cannot say enough about how wonderful I found this book to be. I am wary of the mental health field, self-help guides, blah, blah, blah. This was a no nonsense, practical, down-to-earth handbook for life's many hurdles. I have already given 2 as gifts. Anyone who is contemplating the therapy route should read this book first.

    Thank you, Mr. Burroughs, for your wisdom and humor.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2012

    *advanced readers copy* Augusten Burroughs provides methods of o

    *advanced readers copy*
    Augusten Burroughs provides methods of overcoming numerous obstacles in our own psyches like: grief, shyness, lushery and spinsterhood to name a few. This advice coming from a realist is honest and darkly humorous at the same time. He covers every topic that is the bread and butter for psychologists everywhere.
    I am not a fan of self help. I have seen people go down dangerous and illegal avenues after reading some self help books available on the market. This is not that kind of self help. You aren’t required to travel the world spending money you don’t have or buying a bunch of vitamins you can’t pronounce. This is the stuff that we already know, but are too lazy to face. To use the now famous cliché; I had several ah-ha moments while reading this and getting stomach cramps because I was laughing so hard. This is the one self help book I will recommend to everyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2012

    I am addicted to self help books and so when I heard Mr. B wrote

    I am addicted to self help books and so when I heard Mr. B wrote one I ran to get it. This is funny and harsh yet a real eye opener. I agree with him, this is the book he was meant to write!! I heart him

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    this is a must read for any person of any age. a raw and honest

    this is a must read for any person of any age.
    a raw and honest book that makes you re- examine every element of your own life is almost impossible to come by, but this one does so seamlessly.
    this has changed the way that i think about my life in more ways than one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Probably my favorite book , got my copy signed at a book signing

    Probably my favorite book , got my copy signed at a book signing in LA and lent it to a friend, bought a second copy to give as a gift, just all a great no b/s kind of book, I suggest  if you feel the same to buy a second copy and lend it out. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Highly disappointed in this book. I wasn't expecting it to be a

    Highly disappointed in this book. I wasn't expecting it to be a genuine self-help book, which it was. I read all his books ferociously and love them. However, this is mediocre.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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