A self-help book you can finish
I'm a Youth Services Librarian, so I don't often venture into the world of adult books, except for the rare James Patterson novel or a book about parenting. I do occasionally go on self-help kicks, but I have to admit -- I have never finished one. Diet books, meditation, the power of positive thinking -- I have started many books on these subjects, but they just haven't been interesting enough to get me to the last page. When I saw that Augusten Burroughs had written a self-help book, though, I put it on hold immediately. I, like millions of others, loved Running with Scissors and was hoping that Burroughs's wit and honesty would prove a winning combination.
And did they ever. On the back cover of the book, Burroughs's bio states "This Is How is the book he was born to write." For me, it was the book I was born to read--all the way to the very end. With brutal honesty and that charming sense of humor, his advice on everything from how to never diet again to how to lose a loved one made me laugh and cry and promptly cancel my next therapy session. Over and over again, I caught myself thinking "He's so right. It's so simple, why couldn't I see that before?"
This Is How is indeed help for those needing to overcome shyness, grief, molestation, disease, fatness, lushery, spinsterhood, decrepitude and more. It's one of those books that you buy, highlight and pass around to every member of your family. But don't let them borrow it for too long -- you'll want to check those highlighted passages again soon.