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"...on top of everything else, the audiobook features a multi-textural and atmospheric full-cast performance...This is a wild, spookily engaging take on a memoir from an iconic writer." -- Paste From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky. "Here's a partial list of things I don't be "...on top of everything else, the audiobook features a multi-textural and atmospheric full-cast performance...This is a wild, spookily engaging take on a memoir from an iconic writer." -- Paste From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky. "Here's a partial list of things I don't believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Life after death. Vampires. Zombies. Reiki. Homeopathy. Rolfing. Reflexology. Note that 'witches' and 'witchcraft' are absent from this list. The thing is, I wouldn't believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch." For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn't have known. He manifested things that shouldn't have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared--until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that's a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift. From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man's journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of Satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all. "[Toil & Trouble] is fully brought to life in a complete and unabridged 'theatre of the mind' audio book experience by the narrative team of Augusten Burroughs, Anne Bobby, Robin Miles, and Gabra Zackman." -- Midwest Book Review


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"...on top of everything else, the audiobook features a multi-textural and atmospheric full-cast performance...This is a wild, spookily engaging take on a memoir from an iconic writer." -- Paste From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky. "Here's a partial list of things I don't be "...on top of everything else, the audiobook features a multi-textural and atmospheric full-cast performance...This is a wild, spookily engaging take on a memoir from an iconic writer." -- Paste From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky. "Here's a partial list of things I don't believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Life after death. Vampires. Zombies. Reiki. Homeopathy. Rolfing. Reflexology. Note that 'witches' and 'witchcraft' are absent from this list. The thing is, I wouldn't believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch." For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn't have known. He manifested things that shouldn't have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared--until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that's a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift. From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man's journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of Satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all. "[Toil & Trouble] is fully brought to life in a complete and unabridged 'theatre of the mind' audio book experience by the narrative team of Augusten Burroughs, Anne Bobby, Robin Miles, and Gabra Zackman." -- Midwest Book Review

30 review for Toil & Trouble: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    It’s pretty impressive that one person can write so many memoirs. In this one, he reveals that he’s a witch, from a long line of witches. He’s otherwise a nonbeliever, of ghosts, God, zombies, Bigfoot and so on. He explains that being a witch isn’t supernatural, it’s natural. For him it’s about seeing things just before they happen (across the country sometimes) and setting intentions—in his case, he creates rhyming spells to create something he wants to attain or avoid. Dubious? Yeah, me too, a It’s pretty impressive that one person can write so many memoirs. In this one, he reveals that he’s a witch, from a long line of witches. He’s otherwise a nonbeliever, of ghosts, God, zombies, Bigfoot and so on. He explains that being a witch isn’t supernatural, it’s natural. For him it’s about seeing things just before they happen (across the country sometimes) and setting intentions—in his case, he creates rhyming spells to create something he wants to attain or avoid. Dubious? Yeah, me too, although his tales are provocative. He’s such a good writer that after I finished and had started reading another book, I found myself wondering what was going on with Augusten, his husband Christopher, their four dogs, and the intriguing characters they’ve met since moving from Manhattan to the Connecticut countryside. Many years ago, my publisher asked me to write a novella for an anthology that featured a witch. I thought I should study up on Wiccan because I thought that’s what a witch was. I was way off according to Mr. Burroughs. I learned a lot about witches in this book, which is a subject I find fascinating, primarily because uppity women were drowned or burned on a pyre under the guise that they were witches, and uppity women are my people. The very little I studied on Wiccan, it seemed like nice stuff, not that far off from what I understand (from books and movies) are some of the rituals of Catholicism with lighting candles and, instead of saying prayers, saying kind of incantations—things to do to attract love and financial stability or to banish a bad experience. I think setting intentions is great. What I learned in Toil and Trouble, however, is that Wiccan is something a guy in England came up with in the 1950s. What Augusten is talking about is quite different, and I found it extremely interesting. This book has some chuckles, although it’s not as funny as some of his earlier works. I enjoyed it, and I appreciate the opportunity for an advance copy from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. The RELEASE DATE IS OCTOBER 1, 2019. For more reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Witchy-Wonderful!!! “There are three things you should know about witches. 1-“As long as there have been human beings there have been witch beings” 2- “Witches have always been misunderstood”. 3 - “Witches are real”. “Witchcraft is not a religion. It’s the craftwork of a witch; it’s the thing witches do”. “Witches can possess any and all of these traits in greater or less or degree”. [Augusten shared a partial list of things he doesn’t believe in]: God, The devil, heaven, hell, Bigfoot, ancient alien Witchy-Wonderful!!! “There are three things you should know about witches. 1-“As long as there have been human beings there have been witch beings” 2- “Witches have always been misunderstood”. 3 - “Witches are real”. “Witchcraft is not a religion. It’s the craftwork of a witch; it’s the thing witches do”. “Witches can possess any and all of these traits in greater or less or degree”. [Augusten shared a partial list of things he doesn’t believe in]: God, The devil, heaven, hell, Bigfoot, ancient aliens, past lives, life after death, vampires, zombies, Reiki, homeopathy, rolfing, reflexology”. “Note that ‘witches’ and ‘witchcraft’ are absent from the list”. Augusten says: “The thing is, I wouldn’t believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing”: **NEWS FLASH**..... Augusten Burroughs is a witch!!! YEP... Augusten is not joking! But he ‘is extremely funny!! We know many things about Augusten Burroughs from past books: ( novels and memoirs)... He is: outrageously funny...self aware...wise..honest...gay, entertaining...inspiring... ingenious...had a past disaster personal life...raised in a very dysfunctional home... suffered from alcohol addiction for many years... overcame harrowing challenges... he is smart...real... personable...honest... brilliant and lovable...etc. etc. etc.!!!! [I feel like I’ve been growing up ‘with’ him]..... But this is his first memoir where we learn about his unique spooky-magical abilities! (with fabulous interesting coming of age stories). WITCHIE-TALENTED Augusten outdid himself with this memoir!!!! It’s awesome with tasteful humor and tasteful truth. “Toil and Trouble”.... the title of this book comes from Shakespeare. “Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble”.... is one of the most famous lines in English literature. These lines are spoken in unison by three witches who predict Macbeth’s future throughout. “Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all”. This new Burroughs memoir was fascinating, exciting to read, quirky, genuine, and it completely warmed my heart!!! Big thanks to St. Martins Publishing, 📚✍️📚 Netgalley, 👀 and Augusten Burroughs!!!!🥳 I LOVE THIS NEW BOOK!! Burroughs’ rocks my book-reading-thinking/feeling world!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Thank you Netgslley. More later Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    Many thanks to Jessica at St. Martins Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review This book was one of my least favorites of 2019. See the rest on my video, The WORST Books of 2019! ☕☕ -------------- ”Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a Many thanks to Jessica at St. Martins Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review This book was one of my least favorites of 2019. See the rest on my video, The WORST Books of 2019! ☕☕ -------------- ”Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Cool it with a baboon's blood, Then the charm is firm and good. “ -William Shakespeare, Macbeth All the magic in the world couldn't salvage make me like this book. It may not seem like it (because I am going to be dragging Toil and Trouble in this review) but I really am sad that this book turned out the way it did. Augusten Burroughs seems like such a genuine and fun person to be around and I will forever be in love with this cover. But even a pretty cover can't save a train wreck. Let me start by saying that I do believe in magic. In this world, it would be impossible to accurately say that magic, or anything supernatural for that matter, isn't real. I mean take human life, for example. The way human bodies work so intricately, every tiny gear turning at the right time, couldn't be an accident. Whether it be God, magic, or something else, there is, without a doubt, something out there that is much bigger than us. I, personally, am a Christian. I believe in God, Jesus, Satan, Heaven, Hell, etc. etc. Blah, blah, blah. You guys know this sh*t. But I also believe in magic. I mean there is Satanism but I also think God gives certain people supernatural abilities. My mom's friend's neighbor is what I like to call "A Christian Psychic". Basically, she prays and then she gets answers and prayer requests from God. Even though I'm a Christian, I was skeptical but then… ya know she told my mom things about me that she didn't know and hadn't been told so… that's fun. Oh, have I ever told you that, when I was baby, a Christian psychic told my parents that "like an arrow, he will shoot farther than you." So, basically what she (was it a she? i don't know.) said that I'm better than my parents. Anywho, magic is real but Augusten Burroughs does not have it. I really want to make it clear that I'm not denying the rest of his story and I would never ever want to tell someone that their voice and their story were not valid. My heart breaks for Augusten and the rough childhood he had to endure and I am so happy that he has come so far from it. That said, I simply can't believe that Augusten is a witch. Every bit of 'magic' he mentioned in this book can be chalked up to coincidence or explained by science. There may be some reading this review thinking to themselves Oh, you silly skeptic. You're so adorable. and they'd be right… I am adorable but I am not a skeptic. I believe in the supernatural but I do not believe that any of the events described in this book were supernatural. For example, Augusten and his husband, Chris (his name is Chris, right?) live in the woods(ish) and are having chipmunk troubles. It is getting annoying so Augusten decides to cast a spell to summon an owl to eat the chipmunks (trigger warning for chipmunk murder) and the next day, Augusten spots an owl and believes it's because he cast the spell. NO B*TCH IT'S BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN THE WOODS. Another example was when he cast a spell on a bully to turn him into a frog. The spell did not work but a few months (maybe longer? I don't remember because I've been trying to repress this mess out of my mind.) later the bully develops "precocious puberty” (a real thing, apparently) Augusten believes this is because of him. The final example I want to bring up isn't really specific but a general happening. Many times, Augusten described premonitions that came true. Here's the thing. The average person has thousands and thousands of thoughts every day. The chances of one of them happening are not exactly astronomical. I personally have had "premonitions" that have come true. For instance, I was sitting in class the other day and thought I wonder if I will get called down to the office and boom! The office called up to my classroom and I went down. Magic? No. I must confess that for a day or two, I did try the things he described in these pages because... how could I not? I wouldn't be a good scientist if I didn't experiment. Finally, I want to discuss a very important point but first I want to say that I am not at all trying to minimize mental illness, trauma or anything like that. I actually considered not talking about this to avoid sounding cruel but I feel that it is an important point. Augusten mentioned multiple times that mental illness runs in the family. I felt as though Augusten's mother subconsciously used magic as a coping skill for her mental instability. Oh, that sounds so awful and I hate to say it because it sounds like I'm saying "She's crazy and that's why she thinks she's a witch. And even though that is the basic thought I had, I am not at all minimizing coping skills and mental illness. Once again, I truly feel for Augusten and his family and I value the voices of those who deal with trauma and mental illness. And finally, I want to address the author directly on the very low chance that he ever reads this review. Augusten, I am not trying to say that you are crazy or wrong. You are always entitled to your opinion and beliefs. I am so glad you have been able to find comfort in this. I am so immensely happy and proud that you have been able to have a successful career and a happy life in spite of the rough childhood you dealt with. I may not believe a word you said in this book but that doesn't mean none of it was untrue. I really would love to be proven wrong and see that you are a witch because… that would be so cool! Lastly, my low rating does not reflect how I feel about you as a person or your writing skills. I think you are a very skilled, super funny writer and I would love to meet you in real life some day. All my love, Tucker Bottom Line: 1.5 Stars Age Rating: [ R ] Content Screening (Spoilers) - Educational Value (0/0) - [None] ~ Positive Messages (2/5) - [Independence, resilience] ~ Violence (1/5) - [Brief descriptions of homophobic violence] ~ Sex (0/0) - [None] ~ Langauge (3/5) - [F**k, d*ck, b*tch, asshole, d*mn, sh*t] ~ Drinking/Drugs (4/5) - [Alcohol, Nyquil, Other Medicinal Drugs ] Trigger and Content Warning - Loss of a loved one, Homophobia, PTSD, Anxiety Reps: [Gay, PTSD] Cover: 5/5 ~ Characters ~ Plot ~ Audio: 4/5 Publication Date: Publisher: St. Martins Press Genre: Memoir/Nonfiction Blurb: “eh” P.S. Sorry, Jessica! ----------- 1.5 stars.... yikes that was awful ----------- this cover is beyond stunning. also, i didn't know that Augusten was gay. so cool! i love supporting my fellow lgbtqiaap+ writers! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  5. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    3.5 Stars My love of biographies drew me to this offering from Augusten Burroughs (not the name he was born with, but one he fashioned for himself). He is a gay writer who formerly worked in marketing, who has been married to his literary agent Christopher for a couple of decades. Oh, and he's a witch. There are actually a lot of witches in his family, primarily his mother and grandmother, and his Uncle Mercer- who constantly fights against the notion of being one. As the book begins, Augusten re 3.5 Stars My love of biographies drew me to this offering from Augusten Burroughs (not the name he was born with, but one he fashioned for himself). He is a gay writer who formerly worked in marketing, who has been married to his literary agent Christopher for a couple of decades. Oh, and he's a witch. There are actually a lot of witches in his family, primarily his mother and grandmother, and his Uncle Mercer- who constantly fights against the notion of being one. As the book begins, Augusten relates the story of being a pre-teen child riding along on his school bus and having a clear, sudden premonition that something bad happened to his grandmother. He jolted from the bus, on a tear to ask his mother about it. It was then that she had the heart to heart about Augusten's "gift" and the legacy of it running in the family. Augusten clarifies the realities of what a witch can do, and how the gift actually operates in contrast to what one might surmise from a campy witch movie. He had a rough time during his childhood, being treated like an outcast. He had a penchant for dressing a lot differently than the other kids, in perhaps what would be considered a garish/flamboyant fashion. He also didn't get very far in school, but through sheer talent and gumption became successful in the marketing field. He also literally willed himself to succeed in writing, and you could call it a kind of magic that he did. My favorite part of the book was when he convinced his husband to move from New York City (where Christopher had an apartment for decades) to an old, secluded house in Connecticut with lots of land around it. This new environment was fodder for many interesting stories involving an eccentric neighbor, a huge, ancient maple tree, supernatural events with paintings, etc. One unfortunate faux pas I encountered were some political slams, something that's been cropping up in a lot of autobiographies lately. Congratulations on isolating half of your audience. Otherwise, the writing quality was very good, and inflected with humor. Thank you to the publisher St. Martin's Press for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I call B.S., but still am bewitched! Run, run, run! This madman swears he’s a witch, and I swear it’s B.S. Yet here I sit, squirmy happy because the guy has me in the palm of his sweaty little witch hand. This writer (of Running with Scissors fame) has done it again in his latest funny and endearing memoir. I had my doubts. Right from the very beginning, Burroughs starts with the witch business. Look at me, look at me, I’m a witch—like a little kid running around on a broom, giggling away. I didn’ I call B.S., but still am bewitched! Run, run, run! This madman swears he’s a witch, and I swear it’s B.S. Yet here I sit, squirmy happy because the guy has me in the palm of his sweaty little witch hand. This writer (of Running with Scissors fame) has done it again in his latest funny and endearing memoir. I had my doubts. Right from the very beginning, Burroughs starts with the witch business. Look at me, look at me, I’m a witch—like a little kid running around on a broom, giggling away. I didn’t want to hear this weirdo claim; it made me uncomfortable as all get out. I wanted him to talk normal, knock it off. My instant reaction was that it was cheesy and gimmicky and juvenile. Besides, I have a strict witch rule: they’re only allowed to exist in kids’ books. Period. Yet…yet…here I go, along on his wild ride. I used to not believe any woo-woo stuff, but in the last five years or so, I’ve seen and experienced so, so many coincidences, I now believe that something deliciously weird and funny is going on in the universe. However, I do not believe anyone has the power to make things happen, including the charming Mr. Burroughs. Cut the witch crap! So here’s the scoop: Burroughs does talk about lots of amazing coincidences, and they drew me in and appealed to my embarrassing (though thankfully limited) woo-woo tendencies. Yet, damn, every time he summed up a story, he claimed credit for the coincidence. Since this writer can basically do no wrong, I just said to myself, “Well, dear Augusten believes this, so it’s okay. It’s just the way his art goes. It doesn’t keep me from loving his brilliant writing. I’ll just look the other way when he goes all witchy on me.” And I even kept my cool as he gave a little lecture on the history of witches early on, as well as when he went totally over-the-top woo-woo at the end. Because this guy can write. He makes me laugh and he makes me dance. I’m a sucker for comedians, I really am. He’s a bit like Sedaris, only I think he’s a little warmer and crazier. He has an anxiety disorder, among other mental disorders, and boy can he articulate what he’s anxious about. Often he writes about hysterical worst-case scenarios, and I just love those. And he talks about the sad cycle of doing something rash to assuage your anxiety, and later regretting that you went to that extreme—the old “relief followed by regret” scenario. (This happens to me every time I brutally murder a harmless spider.) In this memoir, he chronicles his life as a middle-aged man, married to a man he loves, the father of a few dogs, and living in an ancient house in Connecticut after spending his adult life in New York City. I loved all his tales. There is a fantastic story about a crazy man living in a garish mansion. Burroughs gives a zillion vivid details of the contents of the house. Usually I hate descriptions of objects, but damn if he didn’t have me hanging on his every word! Two other stand-out topics: nicotine patches and candy bars—both were absolutely hysterical bits. I’ll always remember the story of his ominous tree, too. What makes Burroughs so likeable is that he’s charming, self-effacing, and pretty crazy. There’s so much wit in this witch! Plus, he’s able to set it up so you feel like you’re sitting across from him. Not every writer can pull this off. I also like that he’s dramatic and so creative. Sure, he probably exaggerates for effect, but if it’s entertaining, I don’t care whether it all went down exactly as he said it did. His metaphors are relatable and not self-conscious in the least; they’re not all Iowa writing workshop-ish. His metaphors are sharp NYC, not flow-y nature. I relate to the NYC style more than Walden Pond. I highlighted a lot. Given how much I twitched with all the witch talk, it goes to show that authors I love can get away with anything. Yes, the witch knocked a star out of my hand, but the book stands proud as a 4-star, and I’ll smile whenever I think of it. You combine witty with cynical and then add an anxiety disorder, and you get some pretty great stuff—oh, if you have the writing chops, that is. And Burroughs for sure does. Never mind that he goes overboard with the witch business, la la la, I’m looking the other way…despite the last line of the book: “You don’t have to believe in witches. But don’t ever fuck with one.” Thanks to Edelweiss for the advance copy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    So last night I had a dream i was eating a Twix bar, today I was at the grocery store checking out and holy cow would you believe it there was the very same Twix bar from my dream. So I must be a witch! This book is a mash-up of different "predictions" and weak stories trying so desperately to make himself believe hes different for a reason or has some greater purpose. I give this hot mess 0 stars and would demand a refund except I was unfortunate enough to be picked as a give away winner...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    😁

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    I've read about Augusten Burroughs' unusual upbringing, and about his struggles with alcoholism. I've read the one about his father, and I even read his not-so-holly-jolly Christmas stories. This book will be remembered as the one where Augusten Burroughs claims to be a witch. I don't believe him, but I enjoyed it anyway. I don't believe that having prophetic visions makes you a witch. My husband has had some eerily prescient dreams. One morning he woke up laughing, saying he dreamed that our n I've read about Augusten Burroughs' unusual upbringing, and about his struggles with alcoholism. I've read the one about his father, and I even read his not-so-holly-jolly Christmas stories. This book will be remembered as the one where Augusten Burroughs claims to be a witch. I don't believe him, but I enjoyed it anyway. I don't believe that having prophetic visions makes you a witch. My husband has had some eerily prescient dreams. One morning he woke up laughing, saying he dreamed that our neighbor, Leslie, had had an above-ground swimming pool installed in her driveway. Later that same day, a large truck delivered one of those driveway dumpsters to Leslie's house . . . and, you guessed it - it looked like she had an above-ground swimming pool in her driveway. Does that mean my husband is a witch? If he was, I'm pretty sure he'd have turned his previous boss into a hagfish by now. I also don't believe that wishing for things, and reciting little rhymes will make them come true. A few years ago, I was walking my dog, and had just finished scooping his poo from the side of the road, when an old man poked his head out his front door, and asked, "Did you clean it up?" I gave my standard answer to this question which is, "Yes, I did. Would you like to see it?" In this case, I also added, "Would you also like me to pick up this Milky Way wrapper that's been lying out here for over three weeks, but apparently hasn't bothered you in the slightest," but he had gone back inside. For about two weeks after that, every time I walked past that old geezer's house, I would mutter quietly, "A curse on this house, and all who dwell in it." Less than three months later, that old man DIED. Did I kill him? I doubt it. He was old, and cranky, and probably lived on a diet of canned peaches, and sodium-saturated soups. It's called coincidence. Shit happens, and wishin' and hopin' don't make things so. Anyway, the witch thing kind of annoyed me, but, I LOVED the essays that dealt with Burroughs' husband, Christopher, and their dogs. I laughed, and sympathized over their search for the perfect house, their egomaniacal diva neighbor, and their local handyman, Eddie. The one where Burroughs accompanies a realtor pal to visit the home of a prospective client is hysterical, as is his account of a doctor visit where many unexpected addictions are revealed. Whether you believe he's a witch or not, Burroughs can sure brew up some fun anecdotes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I'm a long-time Augusten Burroughs fan, and Toil & Trouble: A Memoir is the kind of engaging, funny, eccentric, likable book that I would expect from him. Look, I'm not going to debate the existence of witches or witchcraft, but I found Toil & Trouble: A Memoir to be pretty compelling. His stories that involved his magical abilities were interesting, but it isn't his talent that made the stories so wonderful, but the way he told the stories. I could listen to some of those stories for hours, jus I'm a long-time Augusten Burroughs fan, and Toil & Trouble: A Memoir is the kind of engaging, funny, eccentric, likable book that I would expect from him. Look, I'm not going to debate the existence of witches or witchcraft, but I found Toil & Trouble: A Memoir to be pretty compelling. His stories that involved his magical abilities were interesting, but it isn't his talent that made the stories so wonderful, but the way he told the stories. I could listen to some of those stories for hours, just read them or have someone read them to me over and over again, and I don't think I would ever get tired of them. Unlike many of his previous books, Toil & Trouble: A Memoir doesn't have any sad components. Maybe some scenes were melancholy, but the rest of the book was just a fascinating tale of his move to rural Connecticut with his husband. And, yes, he made that a thousand times more interesting that it sounds when I type it out. His skills in describing people are genius. I wanted to meet the characters in the story, and just be a fly on the wall for some of the interactions. I actually laughed out loud at times. The book isn't funny, but some of the scenes are so absurd that you have to laugh. I found the whole thing to be charming and believable, even the witchy parts, and I just enjoyed myself the whole way through. I would read a chapter a day, almost as a palate-cleanser between other books, and it always made me feel good. Go in with an open mind and you won't be disappointed. *Copy provided in exchange for an honest review* goodreads|instagram|twitter|blog

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest The other day at work, I was listening to music on YouTube with "autoplay" on, as one does, and because I have excellent taste in music, "Inexplicable" by The Correspondents came on. I heard the lyrics "When I was four / I raised my finger to a moving car / It crashed / So I assumed I had a super power" and I thought, my gods, this man has surely read TOIL & TROUBLE and finds it as difficult a pill to swallow as I did. It's been a while s Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest The other day at work, I was listening to music on YouTube with "autoplay" on, as one does, and because I have excellent taste in music, "Inexplicable" by The Correspondents came on. I heard the lyrics "When I was four / I raised my finger to a moving car / It crashed / So I assumed I had a super power" and I thought, my gods, this man has surely read TOIL & TROUBLE and finds it as difficult a pill to swallow as I did. It's been a while since I've read an Augusten Burroughs book. Years, in fact. Originally, I gave this book a 4-star rating, but that's mostly because the second half of this book is much better than the first half, and I was able to forget my inordinate boredom with Augusten Burroughs' seemingly earnest belief that yes, he is in fact a real witch who makes strange things happen. I am probably the least religious/spiritual/magical thinking individual there is. So with parts of this book there was definitely a "help! I'm trapped on a bus next to a guy who thinks he's a witch!" vibe. I think I've only felt so cornered when this self-professed Wiccan told me that she was an indigo child with mood ring eyes who could see auras, and the one time I ever went to a Unitarian church where we all "hugged the sun" before hugging each other, and I swear to you, never have I fled a place of religious worship so fast. Hugging perfect strangers after assuming an unflattering pseudo yoga pose-- my actual worst nightmares. I'll take the blood and body of Christ, thanks. Anyway, Burroughs thinks he's a witch, and this collection of essays is intended to showcase his intuitions and the strange coincidences in his life that have made him (maybe?) believe this. I can't remember this coming up in any of the previous books of his I read-- SCISSORS, and the one about alcoholism-- so I'm not sure if he just felt too uncomfortable to bring it up before and now gives zero shits, or if this is something that he made up to delight and captivate (and, yes, sell books to) his audience. I found parts of this book very amusing-- my favorite part was probably his "I'm vegan but also eat bucket loads of non-vegan candy nightly" essay and also the essay about the truly one of a kind essay about the man known as Jeffrey, who is like if Joan Collins was a self-hating gay man. Overall, I think TOIL & TROUBLE accomplished what it set out to do, which is to tell a series of interesting (if somewhat exasperating and unbelievable) anecdotes about a life lived with some pretty unusual and attention-catching coincidences that ended up playing huge roles in his life. Is he a witch? Well, I don't think so. But hey, if it makes him happy and it does no harm, then why not? As long as people aren't forcing their doctrines on me or using it to control or influence my life in any way, I'm perfectly happy for them to believe what they like. Whatever gives you comfort and brings you joy, yeah? And Augusten seems thoroughly delighted with himself, so good for him, I guess. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 3 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ JFC, this one didn’t make it to the Currently Reading list either??? Methinks things may have been getting glitchy up in the phone version of the ‘Reads. I can see me missing marking one book, but not two. Toil & Trouble was the third Burroughs’ offering I picked up and I have one thing to say . . . . And also, WHERE MY GIRLS AT?!?!?!?!?! You know who you are (*cough Debbie cough*) – the ones who get dreamy swoon-face like Lisa Sim Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ JFC, this one didn’t make it to the Currently Reading list either??? Methinks things may have been getting glitchy up in the phone version of the ‘Reads. I can see me missing marking one book, but not two. Toil & Trouble was the third Burroughs’ offering I picked up and I have one thing to say . . . . And also, WHERE MY GIRLS AT?!?!?!?!?! You know who you are (*cough Debbie cough*) – the ones who get dreamy swoon-face like Lisa Simpson here whenever our favorite culottes-wearing elf releases a new memoir . . . . . Now, I can’t say that all of Augusten’s personal history will be something you want to consume since he was raised by a literal mental patient and molested throughout his youth (just to name a couple of cringe-worthy inclusions), but in this book Burroughs is married, pushing 50, moving to Connecticut and it is oh-so-very-Sedaris-esque which had me like . . . . . Tales of Eddie the fix-it man, an undisclosed candy addiction and (of course) the first house he fell in love with . . . . . Not even kidding: Wow. The walls down here are literally made of mold. I am doing the renovation math in my mind as we walk, and we are now at around four hundred thousand dollars. So far, I kind of hate it. “I love it,” Christopher tells Corky. Christopher has always loved a good wreck. He married me, after all. When we first started dating, he asked, “Have you seen Grey Gardens?” I told him I hadn’t. He said, “Oh, you have to watch it. It’s a crazy, great documentary.” He’d already seen it a few times, he loved it so much. But I told him to shut it off after the first five minutes. “I’m sure it’s amazing, but this reminds me way too much of my childhood. People living in squalor and eating cat food is a horrible memory, not entertainment, even if they are related to Jacqueline Kennedy.” And, of course, there’s the witchcraft. Whether you are truly able to pick up what Burroughs is putting down or simply dismiss it as something like The Secret Oprah was pushing on everyone a decade or so ago or chalk it up to . . . . . It certainly makes for some entertaining reading. After all . . . . You don’t have to believe in witches. But don’t ever fuck with one. Every Star.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Devyn

    I recieved this book from Goodreads. I approached this book with an open mind; with neither the belief or disbelief of witches and witchcraft. I read it like I would any other autobiography. That being said, Toil & Trouble: A Memoir is definitely not like any autobiography I ever read before. And that isn't necessarily a good thing. Nothing about reading this book screamed 'nonfiction memoir' and the witchcraft wasn't to blame. Granted, I have no right to say what is true and what isn't in a compl I recieved this book from Goodreads. I approached this book with an open mind; with neither the belief or disbelief of witches and witchcraft. I read it like I would any other autobiography. That being said, Toil & Trouble: A Memoir is definitely not like any autobiography I ever read before. And that isn't necessarily a good thing. Nothing about reading this book screamed 'nonfiction memoir' and the witchcraft wasn't to blame. Granted, I have no right to say what is true and what isn't in a complete stranger's book about their life, but the extreme exaggeration and flamboyant magnification of everything made me inuitivly skepical of every written word. I understand that this is Augusten Burroughs distinctive and revered writing style, but if the nonfiction genre is slapped onto a book that reads like a YA fantasy and I'm feeling like I'm being spoonfed bullshit from a jewel-encrusted spoon- I'm going to be a little bit mad about it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Burroughs is a magnificent storyteller. He has an uncanny ability to pull you into his story and just when you think you might put the book down, he tugs on that literary string and pulls you right back in. Burroughs is excellent at creating comfort so that you feel you are reading something from your best friend. This book is an excellent addition to his previous memoirs. While reading his books do you ever get the feeling that he's sitting right next to you, whispering the words into your ear? Burroughs is a magnificent storyteller. He has an uncanny ability to pull you into his story and just when you think you might put the book down, he tugs on that literary string and pulls you right back in. Burroughs is excellent at creating comfort so that you feel you are reading something from your best friend. This book is an excellent addition to his previous memoirs. While reading his books do you ever get the feeling that he's sitting right next to you, whispering the words into your ear? You are going to love this book. It's laugh out loud funny and warm at the same time. This book is not being released until October 2019, just in time for Halloween, and with this title, I hope it flies off of the shelves into the hands of brand new readers. Thank you to Augusten Burroughs, St. Martin's Press and Goodreads Giveaway. I would also like to add that this book arrived and I was actually surprised by it's beauty. The texture of the book feels like silk. The book has an outer cover with a magnet closure. It is truly a work of art and holds a special place in my library. Thank you again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I was not sure about this one because of the witchcraft but I was wrong to be cautious. This is vintage Augusten, comforting and beautiful, like sitting down with an old friend. Unlike much of his previous writing, this is a book about being happy and what it took to get there. It’s life-affirming (still darkly humourous) and enlightening. Keep an open mind and you will love it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky. "Here’s a partial list of things I don’t believe in - God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. From the number one New York Times bestselling author comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching...and just a little spooky. "Here’s a partial list of things I don’t believe in - God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Vampires. Zombies. Homoeopathy. Bigfoot. Canola oil, because there's no such thing as a canola. Note that “witches” and “witchcraft” are absent from this list. When really they should be right there at the top. The thing is, I wouldn’t believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch." —From Toil & Trouble For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn't have known. He manifested things that shouldn't have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared - until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that's a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift. From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man's journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all. This book blew my mind. BLEW MY MIND. (BOOM 🎆 🎆 🎆 BOOM!) I have read all of his works and loved them but this was spooky and creepy and I recommend that you read it in the daylight. Witches are real and they don't wear black pointy hats (or sparkly dresses a la Glinda) and they are among us. I love how he describes witchcraft as it is not all "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble", Salem Massachusets' insanity in October and evil. But more than that, it is a book about being happy in your life, yet no one lives on the edge and with more black humour more than Augusten Burroughs. He always blows my mind and I want to send props to the artist who designed the cover --- it is STUNNING!!!!!! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millennials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🕸🕸🕸🕸🕸 NOTE: I cannot link this review to LinkedIn - there is something wrong with the linking/programming and it will not happen.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aga Durka

    Augusten Burrough’s new memoir did not disappoint!! It was a fascinating read about Mr. Burrough’s life as a witch, and his quirky and genuine writing style made this book a pleasure to read. It was funny and quite enlightening, I’ve learned some new things about witches and the history of their existence, (or non-existence, whichever one believes, I guess). Augusten Burrough is an excellent storyteller, and from the first pages I was captivated by his writing. His genuine and unapologetic way o Augusten Burrough’s new memoir did not disappoint!! It was a fascinating read about Mr. Burrough’s life as a witch, and his quirky and genuine writing style made this book a pleasure to read. It was funny and quite enlightening, I’ve learned some new things about witches and the history of their existence, (or non-existence, whichever one believes, I guess). Augusten Burrough is an excellent storyteller, and from the first pages I was captivated by his writing. His genuine and unapologetic way of telling his life stories makes his memoirs so much more special. If you loved the author’s previous memoirs, this book is a perfect read for you. Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    I absolutely loved Augusten Burroughs memoir "Running with Scissors". I loved it so much that it is on my favorites shelf. I thought this one was okay, I guess just not really my thing. However, if you are interested in this one...you have to do it on Audio. He does a great job narrating his memoirs and he is a fantastic story teller.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    Here’s a partial list of things I don’t believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Life after death. Vampires. Zombies. Reiki. Homeopathy. Rolfing. Reflexology. Note that “witches” and “witchcraft” are absent from this list. The thing is, I wouldn’t believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch. Like so many others, I read Running with Scissors when it was first released – telling the sad/funny story of a Here’s a partial list of things I don’t believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Life after death. Vampires. Zombies. Reiki. Homeopathy. Rolfing. Reflexology. Note that “witches” and “witchcraft” are absent from this list. The thing is, I wouldn’t believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch. Like so many others, I read Running with Scissors when it was first released – telling the sad/funny story of a shocking childhood, it was a publishing phenomenon and established Augusten Burroughs as a superstar memoirist. When I followed that up with Dry (about Burroughs' lost years as an alcoholic copywriter), it felt like another intriguing puzzle piece had clicked into place, “Aha, that's how he got from there to here.” When he later released A Wolf at the Table, I was horrified to learn of Burroughs' cruel and abusive father (yet it provided another puzzle piece) and I was later gratified to learn that he had finally found love and stability with his husband, Christopher, in Lust & Wonder; you could definitely say that I'm a fan of Burroughs' style and tone, and having lived a life outside the bounds of anything I've known personally, his stories are always intriguing and provocative. With his latest, Toil & Trouble, Burroughs reveals that he's a witch – he always has been, as was his mother and grandmother (and long generations) before him – and while this didn't quite have the satisfying click of another puzzle piece being snapped into place (is he pulling our legs here?), his personal stories are as intriguing as ever and the details of his practise of magick (witchcraft not Wicca) was interesting to me as well. Most importantly, I continue to enjoy Burroughs' engaging writing style; this feels like checking in with an old friend, and I was happy to learn that things are going well for him. Witchcraft is not supernatural; it's hypernatural. Witches are by default attuned to the thrumming network of connections that exist just beneath the obvious surface layer of reality we all experience. They are able to visualize an outcome to such a powerful and intense degree that something on the quantum level is triggered; a particle feels observed and thus decides whether it is in this state or that state. So, you're either going to believe or not believe that Burroughs is capable of some degree of premonition and that he is also able to use spells (really just a method of focussing his energies on a desired outcome) in order to influence the future. Because he was quite young when he discovered his “gift”, Burroughs was able to bond with his mother over witchcraft, and in the years before she had a mental breakdown, discussing magick and its uses seems to be the main form of nurturing that Burroughs received from her. Burroughs tells a few happy stories from his childhood, but this time around he also shares that being a witch was probably something that marked him as different to others as a child, and he tells more stories of being bullied by other children and the teachers at school; this was an unhappy childhood long before his mother sent him to live with her lunatic therapist: Possibility was my fuel. It was the One Thing that prevented me from slitting my wrists on any given horrid day. The fact that at any moment, everything could change. As easily as you could be hit by a car, so you could be carried away by one. As a sort of framing device for revealing to the world that he is a witch, Burroughs explains how he decided he wanted to leave Manhattan and move to an old house in the country somewhere. Knowing that this would eventually happen, Burroughs needed to influence his husband (an avowed New Yorker till death), using both spells and his experience in marketing. The moment that Burroughs knew this move needed to happen was while out walking their two dogs past a brand new upscale playground in Battery Park at night; watching in disgust as it was overrun with giant rats: This is a conglomeration – a rally, really, of rats that have traveled to get here. Not the relatively small “maybe-it-was-a-big-mouse” creatures that scuttle across the subway tracks, the hipster playground rodents are massive, overstimulated from munching on the Adderall tablets that tumble out of smock-dress and jeans pockets during the day. These are meaty, fleshy, muscular rats on stimulants, dragging their weighty genitals over all the bright yellow, sky blue, and fire-engine red child-friendly surfaces. Naturally, the move to the country does happen and this provides for many interesting and funny stories. The tone veers into David Sedaris' deadpan-witness-to-the-horrifying-range-of-human-types territory (there is a retired opera Diva in the next house over, a foul-mouthed handyman, a surfer dude arborist called in to deal with a demonic maple; all material for dry and cutting observation), and after he becomes good friends with their area real estate agent, Burroughs is brought along to meet some of her more eccentric clients, including a former male model, now in his sixties and preparing to sell his bizarrely decorated home in order to move to Europe for his comeback: “I'll show you the master bedroom next,” he says over his shoulder, expecting us to follow, which we do, across the hall and into a large bedroom with a centrally positioned four-poster king-sized bed draped with multiple mink blankets, beneath which is a deep red velvet bedspread, beneath which are deep red satin sheets. Perhaps a dozen – probably more – pillows are positioned at the head of the bed, each “dented” perfectly in the center with one decisive karate chop of the hand. On the wall opposite the bed is a collection of framed photographs – Jefferey in Paris! Jefferey in the snow wearing a fur and laughing, his teeth one shade whiter than the snow itself! Jefferey in a white tuxedo, arms crossed and smiling! Jefferey in a powdered wig and waxed moustache! And in the center of these photographs is a gigantic oil painting of his face set like a rare blue diamond into a gilt rococo frame. His own face would be the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth thing he'd see each morning. (It's hard to tell if that passage really captures how bizarre this encounter was; every scene builds to a vibrating thrum of the uncanny.) Like me, I'd imagine anyone who has been following Augusten Burroughs and his memoirs since the beginning will be happy to read that the move to the country has been good for him, his husband, and their (at the time of writing, four) dogs; the witch stuff is interesting but didn't really blow my mind. I was pleased to read that through (the purported use of) magick, Burroughs has reached a place of reconciliation with his long dead mother, and for someone with so many ghosts, Burroughs is in a place of calm and happiness. Another intriguing story, well told; I'll continue to check in with Burroughs for as long as he keeps writing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I love books about witches. Love them! When I saw this one, I thought - I will love this. But alas, I didn't. I think the author uses the term witch in a much looser way than I would. I too have a life filled to the brim with coincidence and intuition, but I would never describe myself as a witch. I just think I pay more attention to the details of life than most people, and therefore, make connections between events others wouldn't even notice. But putting that difference aside I just didn't co I love books about witches. Love them! When I saw this one, I thought - I will love this. But alas, I didn't. I think the author uses the term witch in a much looser way than I would. I too have a life filled to the brim with coincidence and intuition, but I would never describe myself as a witch. I just think I pay more attention to the details of life than most people, and therefore, make connections between events others wouldn't even notice. But putting that difference aside I just didn't connect with the story. I think it was the very non-linear way it was told. It felt disjointed to me. Although I did like the writing style. It was very casual and easy to read, very much like listening to a friend talk. And the publisher sent me the book enclosed inside a very cool fold out box that looked just like the book itself and had the same soft velvety texture. Really delightful! Many thanks to the Goodreads giveaway and the publisher for my copy of this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela Pineda

    3.5 stars. Full disclosure: Augusten Burroughs is one of the reasons I became a 'reader.' He's the reason I started reading memoirs, which I still consider my favorite genre (though thrillers have crept their way up in the last year or so). I vividly remember loving & dying laughing while reading "Running with Scissors", "Dry", "Magical Thinking" and "Possible Side Effects" when I was in college. Though a few of AB's recent memoirs I (own but) haven't read yet- I was excited to read this one (an 3.5 stars. Full disclosure: Augusten Burroughs is one of the reasons I became a 'reader.' He's the reason I started reading memoirs, which I still consider my favorite genre (though thrillers have crept their way up in the last year or so). I vividly remember loving & dying laughing while reading "Running with Scissors", "Dry", "Magical Thinking" and "Possible Side Effects" when I was in college. Though a few of AB's recent memoirs I (own but) haven't read yet- I was excited to read this one (and it's the first ARC I've ever received! Finally!). My 3.5 star rating comes from the fact that it's not as magical as his earlier works; though I still laughed, loved reading about him and his house/husband/dogs, I didn't feel the 'pull' to read this as I have other ones. (Albeit while I remember reading "Wolf at the Table" and "You Better Not Cry" - I remember liking them, but nothing overly memorable about them.) It's a pretty mean feat to me to have written seven+ memoirs - so maybe AB is running out of stories? His humor is still as great as ever; I'm convinced we'd be good friends if we knew each other in person. Overall, not my favorite memoir of his - not even near the top - but I'm glad I read it. If you're an AB fan, I'd definitely read it. Thanks to GoodReads and St. Martin's Press for my very first ARC!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    This was so astonishingly bad. I was downright gleeful when I got rid of it. I have enjoyed Augusten's other books to varying degrees, so I stuck with this far longer than I should have. Finally I just couldn't bear one more word. Toil and Trouble? Oil and Rubble, I say. Before launching into his "I am a witch" fantasy, he lists some things he doesn't believe in, including God, the Devil, Heaven, Hell, Bigfoot, past lives, life after death, Vampires, Zombies, and Reiki. I agree with him on almos This was so astonishingly bad. I was downright gleeful when I got rid of it. I have enjoyed Augusten's other books to varying degrees, so I stuck with this far longer than I should have. Finally I just couldn't bear one more word. Toil and Trouble? Oil and Rubble, I say. Before launching into his "I am a witch" fantasy, he lists some things he doesn't believe in, including God, the Devil, Heaven, Hell, Bigfoot, past lives, life after death, Vampires, Zombies, and Reiki. I agree with him on almost all of the things on the list, so I was interested to learn his arguments for believing he comes from a family of witches. Turns out his definition of "witch" is what most of us would call an attentive and "tuned in" human being. Having a telepathic connection with someone you love does not mean you're a witch. Sensing something is going to happen before it occurs does not make you a witch. Some people are extremely sensitive and hyper-aware. I am one of those people. When I ignore the red flag warnings that my senses detect, I pay a high price. I am not psychic, and I am most certainly not a witch. Sometimes I just know stuff. I don't know if Burroughs really believes he's a witch, or if he just needed a gimmick for a new book. I think a lot of readers will enjoy this book if they take it in a lighthearted way. For me it was just too preposterous, and annoyingly written.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    A weird book. The story is off the wild blue yonder charts. However, it is a well-written book and keeps your interest --- for a while. Some chapters/situations get boring because of too much dialog. Overall I'd give it a strong 3.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)

    It's a fairly common misconception that your everyday witch has glowing green skin, a nose full of warts and a janky broomstick that cruises through the clouds. But did you know there are many that actually live among us? They could be your kids teachers! Your next door neighbor! The barista who always misspells your name at Starbucks! (Seriously, is 'Kate' really THAT hard?!) Or they could also be a New York Times bestselling author. Augusten Burroughs has always tackled some pretty astonishing a It's a fairly common misconception that your everyday witch has glowing green skin, a nose full of warts and a janky broomstick that cruises through the clouds. But did you know there are many that actually live among us? They could be your kids teachers! Your next door neighbor! The barista who always misspells your name at Starbucks! (Seriously, is 'Kate' really THAT hard?!) Or they could also be a New York Times bestselling author. Augusten Burroughs has always tackled some pretty astonishing autobiographical topics in his books including battling alcoholism and his looney tunes mother. And this one is no different. Delivered in his classic conversational and snarky voice, Toil & Trouble will have you in stitches. Because of witches. He comes from a long line of witches in fact, and the occurrences that have happened throughout his life are a bit more intense than mere coincidences. A bit heavier than your average déjà vu. And definitely not your typical hoodwink trickery. This guy casts spells. And then things happen. I always enjoy reading about people who have special abilities. And when it's combined with hilarious stories of serial killer trees, washed up opera singers, a plant hospital, rambunctious Great Dane puppies, and satanic beavers.... well, let's just say this book has me under it's spell.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an advanced reader's edition from St. Martin's Press for my honest review. I immediately signed up for the giveaway because I saw it was an Augusten Burroughs book, and I adore everything he has ever written. Then it came in the mail and I realized it was about witches. Specifically, Augusten being a witch. I absolutely do not enjoy books (or movies) about witches and sorcery and all that stuff. I began reading only because I promised to give my review, and was sucked in to this book I received an advanced reader's edition from St. Martin's Press for my honest review. I immediately signed up for the giveaway because I saw it was an Augusten Burroughs book, and I adore everything he has ever written. Then it came in the mail and I realized it was about witches. Specifically, Augusten being a witch. I absolutely do not enjoy books (or movies) about witches and sorcery and all that stuff. I began reading only because I promised to give my review, and was sucked in to this book and never wanted it to end. Not only does it bring Augusten's famous snarky humor, but his stories are very believable and go way beyond coincidences. I know his fans will love this book and hope it brings in a new breed of readers as well!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura • lauralovestoread

    “𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚎𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚜. 𝙽𝚞𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚗𝚎: 𝚊𝚜 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜.” -𝙰𝚞𝚐𝚞𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝙱𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚜, 𝚃𝚘𝚒𝚕 & 𝚃𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚎 I enjoyed Toil & Trouble so much, and appreciated how transparent that Augusten Burroughs appeared to be. He’s funny and charming but also honest and relatable. The fact that witches are real, and happen to be living among you and me, makes for a very interesting memoir! Witches on broomsticks and pointy hats don’t make an app “𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚎𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚜. 𝙽𝚞𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚗𝚎: 𝚊𝚜 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜.” -𝙰𝚞𝚐𝚞𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝙱𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚜, 𝚃𝚘𝚒𝚕 & 𝚃𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚎 I enjoyed Toil & Trouble so much, and appreciated how transparent that Augusten Burroughs appeared to be. He’s funny and charming but also honest and relatable. The fact that witches are real, and happen to be living among you and me, makes for a very interesting memoir! Witches on broomsticks and pointy hats don’t make an appearance, but learning more about the craft and special abilities was very amusing and quite interesting. *Thank you St Martin’s Press for this beautiful gifted copy for review. All opinions are my own

  27. 4 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    Augusten Burroughs is one of the reasons I finally became a reader. I picked up his first memoir in my early 20s, fell in love with the genre, the rest is history. He’s a darkly humorous and talented storyteller. When I saw the basis of this one, I wasn’t sure what hokeyness awaited, but it was quite interesting. Yes, he discusses his “powers,” but it’s also about his mom, moving to the country, and, of course, dogs. 🐾

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    3.5 stars. There are authors I read whose writing is so deeply satisfying to me (usually on some level I don't completely understand) that I really don't care what they write about, I'm going to enjoy it. Augusten Burroughs is one of those writers. I love his neurotic, anxious, lunatic energy. I love his way of looking at people and the world. In Toil &Trouble, Burroughs declares himself a witch from a long line of witches. Chapter after chapter, he explains how he's manifested some reality by m 3.5 stars. There are authors I read whose writing is so deeply satisfying to me (usually on some level I don't completely understand) that I really don't care what they write about, I'm going to enjoy it. Augusten Burroughs is one of those writers. I love his neurotic, anxious, lunatic energy. I love his way of looking at people and the world. In Toil &Trouble, Burroughs declares himself a witch from a long line of witches. Chapter after chapter, he explains how he's manifested some reality by magick and then goes on to descibe the events. Do I care if he's actually a witch? No. Do I love hearing him describe how he is and how these events prove it? Yes.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    Read this review and others on my blog: https://thriftybibliophile.com Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs is a fascinating memoir about Burroughs’ life is as a witch. Burroughs hails from a long line of witches, and his mother taught him everything she knew before she succumbed to mental illness. Burroughs always knew he was different growing up. He could often see flashes of the future before events unfolded and simply knew things others didn’t. He had no idea he was a witch until his mother to Read this review and others on my blog: https://thriftybibliophile.com Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs is a fascinating memoir about Burroughs’ life is as a witch. Burroughs hails from a long line of witches, and his mother taught him everything she knew before she succumbed to mental illness. Burroughs always knew he was different growing up. He could often see flashes of the future before events unfolded and simply knew things others didn’t. He had no idea he was a witch until his mother told him as a child, but it made a lot of sense. It was the perfect explanation for his uniqueness. As an adult, Burroughs is comfortable with his witch side. So is his husband. I loved reading Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs. It was eye-opening, witty, and positively intriguing. I enjoyed reading about Burroughs’ childhood and the different ways his witch side has manifested over the years. Do you believe in witches? I don’t know about you, but I typically associate witches with either Wicca or the stereotypical Halloween witch who dons a pointy hat and rides around on a broomstick. I had no idea that witches are very separate from Wicca and Pagan witchcraft. While this book doesn’t go deep into Burroughs’ brand of witchery, the details he provides were enlightening. Burroughs has a wonderful way with words. If you’re a fan of his other memoirs, you’ll enjoy this one. His wit and subtle snobbery is on point. The memoir made me laugh on a number of occasions. While Burroughs can come off as judgement, his antics are entertaining to read. While I’m still on the fence about what I believe regarding witches, there’s no denying that Augusten Burroughs’ life is an interesting one. If you’re a fan of memoirs, add Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs to your shopping cart! Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen M

    I think the reason I enjoy memoirs is because it’s like living your life out loud but doing it with paper and print so anyone of us voyeurs can enjoy “stepping” into a life that belongs to someone else. We quickly learn that Augusten Burroughs comes from a long line of witches. Okay, now we’ve dropped that bomb I have to say this memoir was not so much about him being a witch as a new home owner in a totally alien environment to which he believes he and his partner have been drawn. A pair of city I think the reason I enjoy memoirs is because it’s like living your life out loud but doing it with paper and print so anyone of us voyeurs can enjoy “stepping” into a life that belongs to someone else. We quickly learn that Augusten Burroughs comes from a long line of witches. Okay, now we’ve dropped that bomb I have to say this memoir was not so much about him being a witch as a new home owner in a totally alien environment to which he believes he and his partner have been drawn. A pair of city dwellers move to the country into a very old house and learn to be country dwelling people. Threatening maple trees, yellow houses, opera singing neighbors, four dogs, a handyman who uses four letter words in every sentence, an arborist who doesn’t doctor The Maple, a real estate agent witch and Mother Nature all conspire to make this move to the country an enjoyable read. I enjoyed visiting Augusten and Christopher in Connecticut and I definitely recommend you stop by and see them soon. This book was won in a FirstReads giveaway. Thank you to Augusten Burroughs and St. Martin’s Press.

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