Book Review: How to be Human (The Manual) by Ruby Wax

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Book & Author: How To Be Human (The Manual) by Ruby Wax

Genre: Self Help/Non fiction


There are books that work for you, and then there are books that just don’t cut it. It may be a best seller or a book by a renowned author, and yet, if you have to be honest, you would admit that a book didn’t work for you. The reasons could be multiple, trivial or very relevant, and yet- there are some things that you just need to accept and move on.

This book was one such disappointment for me. It hurts a little more, because I bought a paper book to read after ages, and found out that this wasn’t a keeper, and because I won’t be recommending this book, I’m not sure how to recycle it:) Any ideas would be welcome.

To be fair, I hadn’t heard of Ruby Wax or any of her previous works and just bought this book at the airport WH Smith shop because the cover page looked interesting and I imagined it to contain some other information, than what I found out.

So I’m going to write a very scientific minded review for this one, with my list of what I liked in the book, and what didn’t work for me. And then leave it to you to decide if you would want to read this book based on these facts:) Hope this was helpful!

What I liked:

  • She is a comedian, from what I gathered from the book, so it definitely is funny in some parts
  • I liked the concept of including a scientific and spiritual take on each subject that the author discusses
  • There are some good practical steps that one can follow, if you’re looking for guidance on how to practice mindfulness or meditate to relieve stress, anxiety and other negative feelings

What didn’t work for me:

  • I just wasn’t in the mood for a self help! When I bought the book, I imagined it to contain stories from the world of science or the world of monks about people and their humanity- I don’t know why I thought this, but I did, and nope, it isn’t about this
  • The last chapter about forgiveness talked about the author’s history/family background. I could not feel the forgiveness part, it felt like a chapter on history and I literally fast forwarded through that chapter
  • Although she touches upon some really interesting subjects, I found that she stated known facts rather than provide some new insights as to why we behave in certain ways or feel a particular way about various aspects of our lives. In some chapters, I found the scientific information more interesting than the spiritual one
  • And what was that blank chapter on Sex?! That seemed childish or like a practical joke by the author- I wasn’t amused- 2 blank pages in a book! Why have that chapter in the first place if you don’t intend to write anything about it?:)

I want to over ride the taste of this book by reading something nice now and I’m struggling to choose what to read next! What are you reading and have you read this book? Did you find it helpful or did you have similar views as mine after reading this book?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: How to be Human (The Manual) by Ruby Wax

    1. Yeah I did find her book funny but I guess it was just the content that I probably wasn’t ready for or something that didn’t resonate with me at this particular moment😊


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