REVIEW: This Is How by Augusten Burroughs (Guest Reviewer: Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach)

by |May 2, 2012

In June, Augusten Burroughs will pop his spectacled noggin up over the horizon of the literary landscape once again with another treat for fans of his work and those fearful of it alike. In his new offering This Is How, Burroughs rips a hole in the starboard side of the self-help industry and takes it upon himself to be your very own agony uncle.

Using extraordinary life experiences that he previously drew upon to write the book that propelled him into a superstar, Running With Scissors, Burroughs takes aim at problems we all face, the great quandaries of the human condition. Topics like self-esteem, addiction, suicide and the 9 to 5 are subjected to his unique voice and signature black humour.

If you never thought you’d buy a self-help book rest assured this isn’t one. However it’s without a doubt more effective than any out there. You can read it as a memoir of sorts, or as a tongue in cheek anthropological study from the watchful eyes of a master word smith.

If you love the self help genre and see it as the putty that fills in the cracks, Burroughs’ treatment of edgy subjects are excellent, his wit and wisdom the implements with which to open your mind to new ways of thinking and living.

The key to This Is How is the over-riding feeling Burroughs is simply suggesting alternatives to the current channels, not screaming at you from the pages as so many life advice books do today. His humility is paramount as he almost apologetically tackles potential problems head on, aware to be simply another voice around the table, albeit the most compelling and sensible one out there in recent times.

This Is How never directs and never forces, and like Burroughs’ other acclaimed books it will take you through the full gambit of emotions in just a few treasure filled pages.

Augusten Burroughs wants you to know that you matter, just as he has discovered himself, and with a deft touch he’ll empower you to discover the beauty of your world and everything around it.

Guest Reviewer: Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach

Click here to read all of Andrew’s Posts. Click here to follow Andrew on twitter.

Click here to order This is How from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


This is How

Augusten Burroughs

From the New York Times bestselling author of Running With Scissors comes a groundbreaking book that explores how to survive the “unsurvivable”.

Augusten Burroughs has lived an unusual life, and has faced more than his fair share of humiliation, transformation and everything in between. This Is How is his noholdsbarred book of advice on topics as varied as:

  • How to feel like crap
  • How to ride an elevator
  • How to be thin
  • How to be fat
  • How to find love
  • How to feel sorry for yourself
  • How to get the job
  • How to end your life
  • How to remain unhealed
  • How to finish your drink
  • How to regret as little as possible

And much more

Told with Burroughs’ unique voice, black humour, and in-your-face advice, This is How is Running With Scissors – with recipes.

Click here to order This is How from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

US hardcover edition also available from May 8th.
Click here for more details or to order.

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

Follow Andrew: Twitter


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