REVIEW: You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs


You’ve eaten too much candy at Christmas…but have you ever eaten the face off a six-foot-stuffed Santa? You’ve seen gingerbread houses…but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You’ve woken up with a hangover…but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.

Title: You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas
Author: Augusten Burroughs
Format: hardcover, 206 pages
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
Source: review copy
Published: October 2009
Buy the book: The Book Depository |

Reviewed by Knitz with Catz 
I’ve enjoyed reading most of this Augusten Burroughs’ books. I like the overall tone of his writing. I’m comfortable with this author; he writes a certain way and you know what you’re getting into when you start. I have read all of his books, with the exception of Sellevision, and I really like them. Burrough’s warped, off-beat sense of humor appeals to me. I figured that since You Better Not Cry was about Christmas, it would be more funny than the last book he wrote, A Wolf at the Table which I found to be more mean than anything else. (That book I couldn’t get into - I didn’t even get past the first page.)

I was glad I read You Better Not Cry and although it didn’t hold up as much as his other works I still enjoyed reading it. I found that throwing Christmas into the mix toned down his humor.

You Better Not Cry is a collection of short essays based on the author’s past Christmases during his lifetime. The chapters are not in chorological order. You can read one or two, put it down and come back to it later and not get lost in the storyline. The author never has a perfect Christmas; something bad always happens but that’s what makes them so memorable and funny.

My favorite Christmas story was the last one in the book. It was about a recent Christmas; the author had just came through the front door of his house and noticed the beautiful, radiant reflection on the floor from the Christmas tree. Then he realizes that the floor isn’t that shinny. Come to find out, there was a massive water leak in his house. He had to get everything cleaned up. In the end, everything turned out to be okay and ended up being as perfect as possible. 

Another story I found funny was the author getting confused about Santa and Jesus. The reasoning behind it makes senses even though his grandparents thought he was crazy.

The book was long enough to make it worth the read yet not too long where it would have started to lose its audience’s attention It was more touching; not so much LOL funny. I would recommend You Better Not Cry to people who have read books by this author before. I would also recommend this book for those who enjoy humorous essays, books by David Sedaris or even if you enjoy watching the Christmas Story. And though You Better Not Cry was not one of my favorite books by this author, I enjoyed reading it and look forward to his next book.


Knitz with Catz’s Rating


Where to find Augusten Burroughs online
website | twitter | facebook | myspace

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I picked this up for Christmas and read a few, I loved it, was crying with laughter. I did put it down though so I can finish it this Christmas, I can't do Christmas throughout the year.

    I bought Running with Scissors that I am sure I will read soon.

  2. Ohh - the licking or eating Santa was hilarious....

  3. I just can't get into his writing...just not my style.


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