This Is How: Help for the Self: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude and More for the Young and Old Alike.

Augusten Burroughs. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-56355-4
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)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2012
Release date: 05/08/2012
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Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-1-4272-2163-6
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-1-250-03210-2
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-986-173-951-9
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Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-250-01156-5
Hardcover - 295 pages - 978-1-4104-4913-9
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