Augusten Burroughs doesn’t shy aware from the more painful, embarrassing aspects of his world and his crazy thoughts. I’m now reading his break-out memoir, “Running With Scissors,” for a book and film club which I started at my local library. We read the book during the month, then get together to see the movie, and discuss how they compare. Both “Running With Scissors” and “This Is How” appeal to a certain audience who are interested in the inner workings of a creative mind.

This latest novel, “This Is How,” however, reads more like a really well-crafted blog. If you don’t like reading blogs, you may find yourself disappointed. In his newest set of reflections,he’s more hard-hitting with his thought process. His story has been hard earned, which makes us cheer for him all the more.

As a non-drinker myself, I was especially drawn to his thought process on alcoholism. He doesn’t particularly endorse AA, but he has forged a path of his own choosing. On page 141, Burroughs details his process, saying, “The way to stop drinking is to want sobriety more.” Indeed.

Another thought provoking chapter is titled, “How to Be Fat.” He notes that the more you focus on the problem, the bigger the problem becomes. This relates directly to the difficulty of achieving weight loss, and he says, “In fact, the more obsessed one is with getting thin, the more certain it becomes that one will never get there,” (page 45). He suggest you become satisfied with where you’re at, not concentrating on what may prove to be unachievable goals.

Another mental aside of his: “Like so much in life, happiness is sold separately,” (page 34). Many many gems such as these are carefully placed within his reflections and musings. If, however, you’re looking for a good summertime fiction read, you’re likely to be disappointed, and if you hope his story will mirror his earlier work, it just isn’t going to happen. My mindset is, a good advice book is always welcome, especially when it is loaded with humorous moments.

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