Get your first book for $9.99 with code BREEZE at checkout.

Join today!

We’ll make this quick.

We’ll make this quick.

First, enter your email. Then choose your move.

By pressing "Pick a book now" or "Pick a book later", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Get your first book for $9.99 with code BREEZE at checkout.

Join today!
undefined

You did it!

You did it!

Your account is now up to date.

get the appget the app

Our app is where it’s at.

Unlock our Reading Challenge, earn prizes, and get notified of new books on our app.

Our app is where it’s at.

Unlock our Reading Challenge, earn prizes, and get notified of new books on our app.

get the ios appget the android app

Already have the app? Explore here.

get the ios appget the android app
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life by Helen Fisher

Contemporary fiction

Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life

by Helen Fisher

Excellent choice

Excellent choice

Just enter your email to add this book to your box.

By pressing "Add to box", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Quick take

In this heartwarming story, a neurodivergent young man learns how to build community and carve his own path in life.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Inspirational

    Inspirational

  • Illustrated icon, Quirky

    Quirky

  • Illustrated icon, Underdog

    Underdog

Synopsis

A thoroughly uplifting novel about a neurodivergent young man who unexpectedly builds a community and saves a friend in need by following—in a way only he can—his mother’s words of wisdom.

Joe-Nathan likes the two parts of his name separate, just like dinner and dessert. Mean Charlie at work sometimes calls him Joe-Nuthin. But Joe is far from nothing. Joe is a good friend, good at his job, good at making things and at following rules, and he is learning how to do lots of things by himself.

Joe’s mother knows there are a million things he isn’t yet prepared for. While she helps to guide him every day, she is also writing notebooks of advice for Joe, of all the things she hasn’t yet told him about life and things he might forget.

By following her advice, Joe’s life is about to be more of a surprise than he expects. Because he’s about to learn that remarkable things can happen when you leave your comfort zone, and that you can do even the hardest things with a little help from your friends.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life.

Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life

1

A man of no mean bones

Joe-Nathan’s mum, Janet, always told him he didn’t have a mean bone in his body, and he was thinking this as he wheeled a trolley of go-backs round the store: returning items that had been picked up by customers in one aisle and put down in another. He was certain that candles—for example—felt lost and lonely when they were abandoned among jars of peanut butter or the towels, certain that they were relieved to be reunited with their own candle-kind. Joe liked to think that if he were displaced, someone would do the same for him.

Joe worked hard to prove his mother right and to try to make other people feel the same way about him. To be considered a man of no mean bones was his raison d’être.

“There’s a spill on aisle five,” said Hugo, putting one hand on Joe’s trolley and tilting his head as though he felt bad asking him to clean it up. “You okay to do it?”

Joe saluted. “Yes, sir, what color is it? Is it red?”

“It’s just milk, and please don’t call me sir. I may be old enough to be your father, but only just! If you call me ‘sir,’ you’ll make me feel really old.” He whispered the next sentence as though it were a secret. “I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable being the boss. Just call me Hugo.”

“Hugo Boss,” said Joe without humor (because none was intended) and saluted again. He tried not to look at Hugo’s short fuzz of closely shaved hair, which covered his head from the apex to the nape of his neck. He always felt the urge to polish it clean so it was nice and shiny like his dad’s head used to be.

Hugo smiled. “Okay, Joe. So, aisle five?”

“Sir!”

“No, don’t call me ‘sir,’” Hugo said again. “Remember, I’m old but not that old.” And suddenly he was a whole aisle away, shaking his head and looking at his clipboard.

Create a free account!

Create a free account!

Sign up to see book details, our quick takes, and more.

By pressing "Sign up", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Why I love it

If you’re losing faith in the world, then I suggest reading Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life. In it, Helen Fisher tells the story of 23-year-old Joe-Nathan, a neurodivergent man who loses his mom suddenly and must learn to navigate the world on his own. But his mom did not leave him completely stranded. Fearing such a day, she filled up many notebooks—each with a different colored cover—with instructions for the simplest tasks to some of life’s most complicated situations.

Using these notebooks, Joe-Nathan learns to deal with life day-by-day—from eating dinner alone, to getting himself ready for work, to socializing with co-workers and dealing with bullies. With each step, Joe-Nathan must learn to manage his emotions and perceptions through his own particular lens. Along the way, people will show up for him, and he will prove to be a hero when it’s least expected.

Charming, life-affirming, and big-hearted, this is the perfect read to restore your spirits and remind us all that faith, friendship, and a wee-bit of wisdom will go a long way to making life more joyful. Do yourself a favor and add Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life to your blue box!

Contemporary fiction
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Honey
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
Jackpot Summer
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Again and Again
Evil Eye
Black Cake
Maame
Romantic Comedy
Someone Else’s Shoes
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
The Bad Muslim Discount
What Comes After
Olga Dies Dreaming
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
Monster in the Middle
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes
Honey Girl
In Every Mirror She's Black
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
Sankofa
The Unsinkable Greta James
The Love of My Life
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Wishing Game
Behold the Dreamers
The Mothers
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Little Fires Everywhere
The Music Shop
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The Reckless Oath We Made
Dear Edward
When We Were Vikings
The Girl with the Louding Voice
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
All Adults Here
Happy & You Know It
Friends and Strangers
The Comeback
True Story
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Chicken Sisters
The Prophets
The Kindest Lie
In a Book Club Far Away
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Most Likely Club
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket
Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Honey
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
Jackpot Summer
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Again and Again
Evil Eye
Black Cake
Maame
Romantic Comedy
Someone Else’s Shoes
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
The Bad Muslim Discount
What Comes After
Olga Dies Dreaming
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
Monster in the Middle
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes
Honey Girl
In Every Mirror She's Black
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
Sankofa
The Unsinkable Greta James
The Love of My Life
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Wishing Game
Behold the Dreamers
The Mothers
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Little Fires Everywhere
The Music Shop
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The Reckless Oath We Made
Dear Edward
When We Were Vikings
The Girl with the Louding Voice
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
All Adults Here
Happy & You Know It
Friends and Strangers
The Comeback
True Story
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Chicken Sisters
The Prophets
The Kindest Lie
In a Book Club Far Away
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Most Likely Club
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket