Cover Image: You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass)

You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass)

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Member Reviews

This is a fantastic book. Few writers can so effortlessly and seamlessly distill neuroscience and academic therapy models and combine them with deeply vulnerable personal stories that demonstrate how both the science and the therapy play out in our actual lives. McHargue reminds his readers that we have to treat our selves, our health holistically and that our mind, body, and emotions cannot be separated and treated as discrete elements. The science confirms what the great wisdom traditions have always taught: what effects one part, effects the whole even when we cannot see it. It's only when we accept that fact and work with it, rather than fighting it, that we are able to work towards true health and wholeness.
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If you are looking for tips on how to help get you off of your butt and out the door for a walk instead of binging your favorite tv show, then you should definitely pick up this book. Mike gives practical tips on how to get yourself to do what you want, instead of the easy thing that you are doing.  I found this fascinating and full of tips on how to do what I actually wanted to do to fulfill my dreams and have a more fulfilling life.
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I first learned of Mike McHargue through his work on The Liturgists podcast, then his Ask Science Mike podcast. I had the chance to talk to him in person for a little bit at the Evolving Faith Conference in 2018 and he really is the nicest person. 

I enjoyed reading his first book, Finding God in the Waves, which was about his faith journey from southern baptist evangelical to atheist, to progressive Christian appreciative of the mystical/contemplative forms of faith. 

In this book, he talks about the way our brains work and different strategies for helping our brains heal after trauma, and this is all interspersed with his story of learning to have true compassion and love for himself, which he wants his readers to be able to have for ourselves too. I really enjoyed reading this one and I want to re-read it soon!
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I have not downloaded the book. It was on my book list, sorry for missing out on reading and being able to review the book.
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By taking the time to reveal the value behind so many of the characteristics that we despise about ourselves, Mike McHargue is on a journey to invite readers into a newfound freedom in their self-understanding. Rather than spend our days disliking aspects about our relationships, responses, and emotions, the author encourages us to see those aspects as strengths, instead--to see how they might serve us well if we allow them to.
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The book You’re a Miracle and a Pain in the Ass by Mike McHargue is a mix of memoir and the science behind the interplay between our brain, thoughts, & emotions. It blends his own experiences with the science to understand these experiences so you’ll get lessons in psychology, neuroscience, and sociology. The book takes the reader along to learn about the interplay among emotions, habits, thinking, and our brain/body. Central to much of this is the question: ‘why did I do that?’ and the book answers that. It’s interesting.
Thank you to NetGalley for the complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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This book was a hot cup of coffee on an unprimed tongue haha. Like, the information was great but I wasn't expecting to get my life handed to me while reading it! Loved it!
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This is an excellent book! It's a combination of incredibly open and honest memoir and fascinating (yet accessible!) scientific information about the human brain. I will definitely read this one again.
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You won't find a more authentic voice than Mike McHargue. In his classic style, he delivers hard science wrapped in tender words. 

In this book he delves into the workings of emotions and reason. He uses his own experiences to illustrate his points. As he learns, he teaches us. Clearly, honestly, with acceptance. 

Science Mike both enlightens us intellectually as well as emotionally. 

"The accuser fears the exposure, and in response I do my best to hide nothing. What has the accuser to work with if I am someone who is honest about my feelings? The risk evaporates. I no longer have to wonder 'What if?' Instead, I am freed to focus on 'what is.'"

I highly recommend this book.

My thanks to Net Galley for the review copy.
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I appreciate Mike McHargue and his work very much. His latest book is written in the same kind, considerate voice with which he speaks to us in his podcasts and videos. In the silence of my reading, Mike’s voice came through loud and clear and comforting. 
Mike weaves together science, sociology, psychology, and his own lived experiences as he discusses how our brains and bodies and memories make us uniquely individual and amazing. 
This is not a step-by-step self help book. But in the end I found myself understanding my own emotions and habits a little bit better. And that, I believe, is the purpose of this book - to provide some new information and some authentic acceptance that together push us to take the next step in our life-long journeys of fulfillment and growth.
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I always enjoy reading Mike McHargue! 

Mike brings you into his journey. I appreciate his  vulnerability.  Mike shares his journey into and through his struggles. He provides me hope and courage for struggles I face in my life. I was more interested in hearing his journey than in the science stuff scattered throughout this book. As I read this book I could hear him humbly and sometimes stumbling speaking to me. I trusted Mike. He is a genuine, kind and nice man. I wanted to hear more. That is why I took two reads of this wonderful book. 

I pulled out this quote to often remind myself. Thank you Mike! 

“No, this book says you are a miracle, because like me you survive all this and worse, and you are still here. This book says you are stronger than you’ll ever imagine, even if you feel weak.“
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I really enjoyed McHargue's first book on reconciling his doubt with his faith, but this book felt like it was a bit less focused and a bit more meandering. There is a lot of science-y stuff that I found interesting here, but I didn't find it to be new. Most of what McHargue writes about has already been discussed by others either in the news or in other books and while synthesizing these ideas is helpful for some readers I personally felt like it was re-treading old ground. Still, I do think this book is worth reading, has heart, and will help some people grow. It just fell a little short for me.
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A very interesting book where Mike talks about his issues and the things he learned about our bodies, brains, and emotions that helped him (and can help us) to grow, change, and develop healthier habits for coping with various stresses.

It really had me think about reactions that I have had to certain stressors and what might be behind them.
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Beloved podcaster Science Mike, (aka Mike McHargue) is no stranger to questions on how the mind works. In fact, he's had a front row seat to the world of depression and mental illness. In his new book, You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass) Mike takes a look at the reason behind why we think as we think, and do what we do. For example, why is it we know we should work out and not eat and entire pizza, but somehow end up bingeing four hours of Netflix and eating an entire Little Caesers' pizza instead of going for a job?

There are amazing passages about why we argue on Facebook, or think we are in the right when sometimes everyone else can see we are in the wrong. McHargue's voice is friendly and understanding, making the book incredibly easy to fly though. It feels more like a conversation with your science-focused friends.  Complex topics are broken down in ways that feel easy to grasp and McHargue is careful not to talk down to his audience, but rather is happy to express all the times he's made mistakes, fought his way back from the brink, and even had a breakdown.

You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass) is now available from Convergent Books and a worthy read.
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I just finished Mike McHargue’s latest book YOU’RE A MIRACLE (AND A PAIN IN THE ASS). I started reading it a few days ago and posted about Mike’s and my shared affinity for pizza. After all, pizza is fantastic! And, already in chapter three, I could tell that this was a deeply personal book that triumphed the much-needed proclamations to “love yourself.”
Mike starts his book with an author’s note of caution. There are some trigger warnings in this book (literal and figurative). Meaning, you’ll read about your friend (his writing draws you in as a friend) who has struggled with some serious issues throughout his life. From his teenage years to the days before finalizing his book, Mike faced a slew of potentially debilitating demons. Yet, he assures you that your demons, while some may be similar, are just as crushing, if not more so. Mike guides his writing to take you by your hand and lead you through the path of non-judgment into the place of acceptance. He identifies with you so that you can identify with yourself. He loves you so that you can love yourself.
Knocking
There are doors in your life that you need to open. Shame and judgment have kept those doors closed. Without being overly technical, Science Mike explains the human process. He uses diagrams, metaphors (human-dog-gator), and even stick figures to guide you into understanding larger concepts. If you want to be technical, there are appendixes and references aplenty. But, the goal is not science, but understanding.
Our brains have advanced, yet they need care. Our social involvement with each other has created a bundle of light and of mess. Reading this book won’t untangle the knots, but it will help us see the knots as color and beauty.
Mike is your friend
Mike shares a little of himself in each chapter. The first and last chapters are what spoke to me the most on a personal level. I’ve grappled with wanting to end my life. I’ve struggled with medical issues that have left me owing too many people, too much money. Yet, I’m not alone. Neither are you.
Hopefully, in reading this book, you will see that there are people that care for you. And, if you can’t see that, I hope you will recognize that you are worthy of caring for yourself. You are worth loving. You are worth cherishing. And if a book helps you realize this, then that’s a great book.
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You're A Miracle (And a Pain in the Ass)
I had a difficult time getting into and thru this book, but the author has plenty to say.
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I have loved learning from Science Mike over the years (on The Liturgists podcast and at the Evolving Faith conference) and I was so excited to read his new book. I highlighted a lot of this one, especially in the chapters about learning to love our bodies and how our brains work, and so appreciated the combination of science and stories and honesty and heart in these pages.
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As you might expect from someone belovedly known as Science Mike, "You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass): Embracing the Emotions, Habits, and Mystery That Make You You" carefully curates facts, science and solid scholarship. It is a map of the well traveled avenues, the direct routes to compassion for humanity that asking and answering the question "why" and struggling to understand often are. But what this collection of words truly is, this science all intricately woven with story and heartache and deep love, is actually an unpaved path that will lead you to *the* most breathtaking view, compassion for your own being. I could not be more grateful for the lessons that remain as a result of reading, nor could I recommend a more appropriate book for surviving and ultimately thriving in the world's current emotional climate.
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How often do we ask ourselves why we do the things we do? A lot, I bet. In this book, Mike McHargue, whose podcast reaches many each month, discusses many of the issues, culled from emails he receives and his own vast experience in this area, we humans wonder about about ourselves and our actions. Mike Points to the myriad of things that drive us to do what we do, providing a glimpse in how we may be able to corral things and use them our benefit, so we might be able to come to terms with life and be more at peace with ourselves. The combination of neuroscience, psychology, insights into the ways and whys people act helps shed some light on just who humans are and how we can use our own psyches to make ourselves and the world a better place. This is a pretty good book that has helped me better understand myself and my life as well as that of others around me. It is not the normal genre of books I read on a regular basis, but one I am glad I had the opportunity to read. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
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This book was fascinating and a much-needed reminder that there's often a gap between what we envision for our lives and what we actually do with them. I appreciated how it both brought this issue to light and offered strategies for bringing more purpose to life.
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