How to Be Human
Ruby Wax

Book cover image

Narrated By: Ruby Wax, Ash Ranpura, Gelong Thubten

Duration: 7 hours and 10 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of How to be Human: The Manual written and read by Ruby Wax with Ash Ranpura and Gelong Thubten.

A three way encounter between a Monk, a neuroscientist and Ruby Wax sounds like the set up for a joke. Instead it's produced one of the most fascinating, intriguing and informative books about minds and bodies and brains and mindfulness I've ever encountered. A triangulation on what it means to be human. Utterly readable and surprisingly wise. Neil Gaiman

How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy. Ruby, the Monk and the Neuroscientist are today's Magi. Joanna Lumley

With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment. Stephen Fry

It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now. No question, anyone reading this has won the evolutionary Hunger Games by the fact you're on all twos and not some fossil. This should make us all the happiest species alive - most of us aren't, what's gone wrong? We've started treating ourselves more like machines and less like humans. We're so used to upgrading things like our iPhones: as soon as the new one comes out, we don't think twice, we dump it. (Many people I know are now on iWife4 or iHusband8, the motto being, if it's new, it's better.)

We can't stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we're on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, we'll still, fingers crossed, have our minds, which, hopefully, we'll be able use for things like compassion, rather than chasing what's 'better', and if we can do that we're on the yellow brick road to happiness.

I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, and also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains what makes us 'us' in the brain. We answer every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you'll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iPhone.

Genre

Social, group or collective psychology, Psychology: the self, ego, identity, personality, Coping with stress, Evolutionary anthropology, Anthropology, Popular science, Popular psychology, History of science, Psychology: emotions, Family & relationships: advice & issues

Listen to a sample

Ruby Wax has spent a lifetime trying to be human.... with this book, she's so very nearly there...

Dawn French

This is a present for your head and your heart. Do yourself a favour and read it, you'll love it

Davina McCall

With this marvellous book, Ruby Wax has confirmed her position as one of the most readable, inspirational and engaging writers in the field of human mental health, happiness and fulfilment.

Stephen Fry

Ruby Wax is a stitch. And this stitch can make you laugh while showing you some exceedingly useful things to heal and transform your life. What she is pointing to is way too serious to take too seriously. Seriously!

Jon kabat-Zinn

Ready to laugh and cry as you dive deeply into what it means to be human? Guiding us across evolution, from the far past into the present and even preparing us for the future, Ruby Wax and her neuroscientist and meditating monk colleagues provide us with a science-informed, practical, and humorous guide that is as hysterical as it is profound. Be prepared to feel your way into well-being with this magnificent blending of entertainment and education into the nature of our minds' thoughts, feelings, and identity as you explore and expand who really you are.

Daniel J. Siegel

As I expected its funny and thoroughly readable but what I hadn't expected was that it would change the way I think about how I think. Remarkable work from Miss Wax

Jennifer Saunders

A guide to mindfulness that's as hilarious as it is useful

Arianna Huffington on 'A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled'

How to Be Human is, without exaggeration, a lifeline; wise, practical and funny, it is a handbook for those in despair. It is actually for everyone alive, for the curious, or disillusioned or muddled or just plain happy. Ruby, the Monk and the Neuroscientist are today's Magi.

Joanna Lumley

Ruby has beautifully fused neurology and spirituality and given us a means to cope with operating both a mind and a brain. If this mental upgrade works then all other books will become defunct as we repose in bliss.

Russell Brand

A wonderful book full of passion and verve