I’ve read some of Ruby Wax’s previous books, and had mixed feelings about them.  You can’t deny she has done an awful lot to bring Mental Health and holistic treatment approaches like Mindfulness to the fore.  But sometimes I felt the content a little dumbed down or formulaic – and perhaps the books an acquired taste. 

I was pleasantly surprised by this book – its eminently readable, and practical, and benefits from the insights of a Monk and Neuroscientist. The approach is to try and create a “user manual” for the Human Experience, something both ambitious and at risk of being trite, but in fact comes across well.

Topics covered include Evolution – how we got the brains we did – Thoughts, Emotions, Compassion, Addiction.  These are looked at it terms of what Brain and Mind are doing, and how we may both understand and influence that process.  This is back up by the “riff” – discussion – between Wax and her Monk and Neuroscientist friends to see their perspectives.

It comes across well, and whilst there was little new for me, it certainly was refreshing to see the content in an easy to understand format and I benefited from the update and revisiting these ideas.

For anyone wanting to know a little more about why they think, feel and behave the way they do, I’d endorse this work.

How To Be Human can be purchased on Amazon