How to Change Your Mind

By Michael Pollan,

Book cover of How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

Book description

Now on Netflix as a 4-part documentary series!

"Pollan keeps you turning the pages . . . cleareyed and assured." -New York Times

A #1 New York Times Bestseller, New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018, and New York Times Notable Book

A brilliant and brave investigation…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked How to Change Your Mind as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

To understand our motivations, I believe we first need to understand our minds. For decades, I have studied books from authors like Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Steven Pinker, and other science writers to help me better understand our evolutionary past. From there, I expanded into books about cutting-edge neuroscience that are accessible to laymen (such as myself).

Finally, I discovered this book, written by one of the best immersive investigative journalists alive today. It delves into our species’ long history of ingesting psychedelic drugs to engender transformative experiences and how today, using tools of neuroscience and medicine, these substances (administered…

We read Michael Pollan’s essay in the New Yorker and jumped to this book shortly after. We loved it, not because of the novelty of “drug” talk, but because of the charm, naivety, and lack of agenda with which he handles the subject.

We found ourselves rereading passages so we could really absorb the words because we wanted to go on and tell everyone who would listen to us about it!  

From Akwasi and Tahira's list on social justice and the need for transformative change.

Before the 1960s drug scene and Timothy Leary’s “Turn on, tune in, drop out” hippie culture, magic mushrooms, and LSD were being hailed as the cure for everything from alcoholism and depression to the fear of death among the terminally ill.

Tests were run at prestigious universities, intellectuals like Aldous Huxley were knocking back psychedelics and LSD was touted on the cover of Time magazine. Then drugs became the centerpiece of the counter-culture in the midst of the Vietnam War, scaring the establishment into declaring a war on drugs.

What was being vaunted as a revolution in consciousness and spiritualism…

Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

By Sharman Apt Russell,

Book cover of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

Sharman Apt Russell Author Of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Explorer Runner Mother

Sharman's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Citizen Scientist begins with this extraordinary statement by the Keeper of Entomology at the London Museum of Natural History, “Study any obscure insect for a week and you will then know more than anyone else on the planet.”

As the author chases the obscure Western red-bellied tiger beetle across New Mexico, where she lives, she explores a dozen other citizen science programs with lyrical prose, humor, and a profound sense of connection to place. Diary of a Citizen Scientist celebrates a renewed optimism in the mysteries of the world and a renewed faith in how ordinary people can contribute to science and environmental activism.

Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

By Sharman Apt Russell,

What is this book about?

A critically acclaimed nature writer explores the citizen scientist movement through the lens of entomological field research in the American Southwest.

Award-winning nature writer Sharman Apt Russell felt pressed by the current environmental crisis to pick up her pen yet again. Encouraged by the phenomenon of citizen science, she decided to turn her attention to the Western red-bellied tiger beetle, an insect found widely around the world and near her home in the Gila River Valley of New Mexico.

In a lyrical, often humorous voice, Russell shares her journey across a wild, rural landscape tracking this little-known species, an insect…

Many people will talk about Michael Pollan’s ideas, but not actually read his books. This goes for people who have read interviews with him or articles by him, and a whole cadre of young men in business who listen to podcasts at twice the recorded speed. They will tell you they don’t have time to read his big books, and they got the ideas from these interviews, but they are wrong. Michael Pollan is many things. An amazing thinker. A prescient analyst of unfolding future trends (invest in whatever he’s writing about). A keen observer of science, and a talented…

From David's list on picks for book club.

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