ARCs · Books

ARC Review: You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass): Understanding the Hidden Forces That Make You You by Mike McHargue

I was kindly provided with an early copy of this book via e-Arc, thanks to NetGalley. This does not influence my opinions. 

I love applying for books on Netgalley and those same books end up having meaningful impact on my way of thinking.

Goodreads synopsis:

“Holding brain science in one hand and rich emotional presence in the other, this book feels timely and necessary.”—Shauna Niequist, New York Times bestselling author of Present Over Perfect

Why is there such a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do? The host of Ask Science Mike explains why our desires and our real lives are so wildly different—and what you can do to close the gap.

For thousands of years, scientists, philosophers, and self-help gurus have wrestled with one of the basic conundrums of human life: Why do we do the things we do? Or, rather, why do we so often not do the things we want to do? As a podcast host whose voice goes out to millions each month, Mike McHargue gets countless emails from people seeking to understand their own misbehavior—why we binge on Netflix when we know taking a walk outside would be better for us, or why we argue politics on Facebook when our real friends live just down the street. Everyone wants to be a good person, but few of us, twenty years into the new millennium, have any idea how to do that.

In You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass), McHargue addresses these issues. We like to think we’re in control of our thoughts and decisions, he writes, but science has shown that a host of competing impulses, emotions, and environmental factors are at play in every action we undertake. Touching on his podcast listeners’ most pressing questions, from relationships and ethics to stress and mental health, and sharing some of the biggest triumphs and hardships from his own life, McHargue shows us how some of our qualities that seem most frustrating—including “negative” emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety—are actually key to helping humans survive and thrive. In doing so, he invites us on a path of self-understanding and, ultimately, self-acceptance.

You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass) is a guided tour through the mystery of human consciousness, showing readers how to live more at peace with themselves in a complex world.

My Thoughts

The author shares his personal experience of analyzing and challenging his issues surrounding his personal diagnosis of Autism and history of childhood trauma, depression, but his experience can be applied to various situations in which many of us will find ourselves throughout life.

What I liked about this book: This book was a very interesting read, especially for someone like me, who doesn’t reach for non-fiction often. I love reading and learning about other people’s journeys of self-love and acceptance,a journey that I have been on for a long time now. I love that Science Mike offers his truth – as difficult as it is – for his readers to learn from. He shares how he has overcome his struggles in the past, the patterns of his behavior, the science behind those behaviors and how those behaviors can be changed. He shares the struggles that have started for him in school and how those struggles have impacted his life. This book is not an overnight solution to your problems, but it could help start a healing process or push you into the direction of seeking help.

As someone who has their own struggles, who has been fighting unhealthy habits for a while and who visits therapy as regularly as possible, this book opened my eyes a lot and was very educational to me. Besides his own personal struggles that he shares with his audience, Science Mike backs it all up with scientific data, which to me, makes the work all that more valuable.

This book is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year and I haven’t stopped recommending it since I picked it up. It comes out tomorrow (28th April 2020) and you can learn more about it on the Penguin Random House website.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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