8 books like The Abandoned Narcotic

By Ron Brunton,

Here are 8 books that The Abandoned Narcotic fans have personally recommended if you like The Abandoned Narcotic. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Kava: The Pacific Elixir: The Definitive Guide to Its Ethnobotany, History, and Chemistry

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From my list on kava (piper methysticum).

Why am I passionate about this?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Lamont Lindstrom Why did Lamont love this book?

This is the kava Bible. Kava expert Vincent Lebot shares his comparative analysis of 247 kava cultivars collected from 55 Pacific islands to identify their morphological, chemical, and genetic characteristics—including the six major kavalactones responsible for kava’s physiological effects. Lebot’s research pinpointed kava’s origins in northern Vanuatu as a domesticated form of “wild kava” (Piper wichmannii). The book provides ethnographic information about the religious and social significance of kava across the Pacific, including origin myths, ceremonial and recreation uses, its ethnomedical applications, and growing importance as a cash crop. The authors predicted, successfully, that kava will become the next world drug.

By Vincent Lebot, Mark Merlin, Lamont Lindstrom

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kava as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

• The most comprehensive book ever written on nature's most effective stress-relieving plant.

• First paperback edition of the classic comprehensive text originally published by Yale University Press.

This complete guide to kava summarizes the literature and research on a plant that is now considered comparable or superior to anti-stress prescription drugs, and describes its use in the religious, political, and economic life of the Pacific islands for centuries. Beyond its soporific qualities kava is also used throughout the the Pacific as an analgesic, a diuretic, and an anesthetic. There is even evidence suggesting it is effective in the treatment…


Book cover of Buveurs de Kava

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From my list on kava (piper methysticum).

Why am I passionate about this?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Lamont Lindstrom Why did Lamont love this book?

For those who read French, Vincent Lebot and geographer wife Patricia Siméoni offer a “coffee table” kava compendium filled with beautiful historic and contemporary illustrations—both classic kava engravings and contemporary photographs. Although focused on the origins and use of kava in Vanuatu, the authors range widely and discuss kava production and consumption across the Pacific. Appendices gather all known kava origin myths and stories, and island names for kava bowls, drinking cups, filters, and other preparation equipment. Maps depict kava’s historical and contemporary range, and the authors discuss cultivation techniques within suitable ecosystems. They advocate that Pacific Islanders concentrate on marketing the “noble varieties” of the plant, grown in its traditional terroir, along the lines of high-quality French wine. 

By Patricia Siméoni, Vincent Lebot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Buveurs de Kava as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Le kava est un trait culturel majeur du Pacifique insulaire dans la mesure où il le distingue du reste du monde. Il existe là et nulle part ailleurs. Il est le dénominateur commun aux Mélanésiens, Polynésiens et Micronésiens qui le cultivent, le transforment et le boivent selon leurs préférences culturelles. Cette plante emblématique d’une vaste zone géographique est aussi l'expression d'identités locales diverses. Le kava est une porte d'entrée de choix pour aborder la complexité des îles du grand océan, il est aussi au coeur de l'évolution de ses sociétés. Tant pour son rôle dans l'histoire des îles du Pacifique…


Book cover of Kava: Medicine Hunting in Paradise: The Pursuit of a Natural Alternative to Anti-Anxiety Drugs and Sleeping Pills

Lamont Lindstrom Author Of Tanna Times: Islanders in the World

From my list on kava (piper methysticum).

Why am I passionate about this?

I first tasted kava in the colonial New Hebrides (Vanuatu today) in early 1978. Since then, I have returned to Vanuatu many times to carry out ethnographic and linguistic research on Tanna Island on a range of issues. Although firmly incorporated within global systems since explorer James Cook visited in 1774, Islanders have fiercely maintained their island culture and languages. In addition to kava and other traditional drug substances, I have published books and articles about local knowledge systems, “cargo cults,” contemporary chiefs, Islander experience in the Pacific War, urban migration, and early Pacific photography. Currently, I am Kendall Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Tulsa. 

Lamont's book list on kava (piper methysticum)

Lamont Lindstrom Why did Lamont love this book?

Kilham was an early promoter of kava as an herbal treatment for anxiety and other disorders. Kava, in fact, has proven therapeutic benefits and, along with anxiety and insomnia, treats depression, stress, muscle pain, urinary problems, and much more. It also has an emotional leveling effect, promoting temporary feelings of happiness and peace. Kilham brings readers along to Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands as he investigated kava’s local uses and its potential for consumers everywhere. Readers will appreciate the description of his first kava taste of kava that sparked his passionate promotion of the plant.

By Christopher S. Kilham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kava as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kava, Piper Methysticum, is the most effective relaxing and stress-relieving plant in all of nature. This book is the tale of plant researcher Chris Kilham's investigations into this plant and his far-ranging explorations deep in the South Pacific in search of a source of kava. Kilham takes the reader on an adventurous journey through the mystical native legends, outlandish history, and exciting science surrounding this potent plant. A story replete with pulpit-pounding missionaries, kava-drinking natives, sorcerers, a mysterious Tahitian prince, and the author's own humorous outlook amidst difficult and perilous circumstances, Kava is a must-read for those who love tales…


Book cover of The Sexual Life of Savages in North Western Melanesia

Gillian Gillison Author Of She Speaks Her Anger: Myths and Conversations of Gimi Women: A Psychological Ethnography in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea

From my list on anthropology to understand women's myths and rites.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family of beautiful, accomplished women at a time when most women stayed home. But the spectacular women in my mother's family also suffered spectacularly, and I was determined to understand family life at its very roots. I studied anthropology and, over a 15-year period, lived in a remote part of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea among a group of Gimi women who spent most of their time apart from men. I shared women's difficult daily lives, participated in their separate rites, learned their myths, and, through my writing, have devoted myself to giving them voices of their own.

Gillian's book list on anthropology to understand women's myths and rites

Gillian Gillison Why did Gillian love this book?

Still exciting after all these years! Perhaps because it is politically incorrect and unself-conscious. 

The cover blurb says it is an "investigation of the sex lives of the men and women of the Trobriand Islands and deals with prenuptial intercourse, marriage, divorce, pregnancy, erotic psychology, ritual, morals, and manners" – forbidden territory nowadays. 

I do not excuse the sexism and racism occasionally detectable, but think the detail, intimacy, and authorial reflexivity about a disappeared world are more valuable now than ever.  A century ahead of his time, Malinowski included himself in his observations and ideas about others. 

By Bronislaw Malinowski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sexual Life of Savages in North Western Melanesia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


Book cover of On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact

Christina Thompson Author Of Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia

From my list on Polynesian history.

Why am I passionate about this?

A dual citizen of Australia and the US, Christina Thompson has traveled extensively in the Pacific, including through most of the archipelagoes in Polynesia. She is the author of two books about Polynesia: a memoir of her marriage to a Māori man called Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All and a history of the ancient voyagers of the Pacific called Sea People. She edits the literary journal Harvard Review and teaches in the writing program at Harvard University Extension. 

Christina's book list on Polynesian history

Christina Thompson Why did Christina love this book?

I like to think of Patrick Kirch as “Mr. Pacific Archaeology”—no one has written more, or more winningly, about Polynesian prehistory—and On the Road of the Winds is his introduction to the field. First published in 2002 and reissued in an updated edition in 2017, this elegant, eminently readable survey not only covers the history of archaeology in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia but explains how the archaeological findings of the past half-century relate to discoveries in biology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, botany, and countless other fields.

By Patrick Vinton Kirch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Road of the Winds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth's surface and encompasses many thousands of islands, which are home to numerous human societies and cultures. Among these indigenous Oceanic cultures are the intrepid Polynesian double-hulled canoe navigators, the atoll dwellers of Micronesia, the statue carvers of remote Easter Island, and the famed traders of Melanesia. Decades of archaeological excavations, combined with allied research in historical linguistics, biological anthropology, and comparative ethnography, have revealed much new information about the long-term history of these Pacific Island societies and cultures. On the Road of the Winds synthesizes the grand sweep of human history in…


Book cover of The Ethnology of Vanuatu:  An Early Twentieth Century Study

Brian D. Hayden Author Of The Power of Ritual in Prehistory: Secret Societies and Origins of Social Complexity

From my list on secret societies in traditional cultures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first became intrigued by secret societies when a student who I worked with suggested that the French Upper Paleolithic painted caves might have been decorated and used by secret societies. I subsequently enlisted another student to study the spatial use of the paintings from this perspective. Combined with the observations of Robert Hare on the motivations of psychopaths and sociopaths to control others, I realized that secret societies plausibly constituted powerful forces promoting certain cultural changes that appeared later and continued into our own modern societies. I found the prospects for understanding our own cultures fascinating and wanted to document how this all came about in my own book.

Brian's book list on secret societies in traditional cultures

Brian D. Hayden Why did Brian love this book?

This remarkable work was first printed in German in 1923 and was only translated and published in English in 1996. It is largely concerned with the secret societies in the New Hebrides Islands of Southeast Asia. Speiser documents the lavish initiation rituals, the megalithic constructions that were part of the secret society ritual locations, the power of the ritual organizations and their leaders, the special burials of secret society leaders, the plastering of their skulls, and many other fascinating aspects of these secret societies. It is just one outstanding example among other ethnographies that document the special nature of secret societies including Philip Drucker's Kwakiutl Dancing Societies, Walter Hoffman's The Midewiwinor 'Grand Medicine Society' of the Ojibwa, and Amaury Talbot's In the Shadow of the Bush.

By Felix Speiser, D. Q. Stephenson (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ethnology of Vanuatu as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in German in 1923, this work records much of Vanuatu's early material culture. It was the result of two years of field work by Swiss anthropologist Felix Speiser between 1920 and 1912.


Book cover of The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers

Mike Nixon Author Of Life Travel And The People In Between

From my list on travel lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ultimately, I’m someone who enjoys a good adventure. Prior to the age of twenty, I had never gone on a vacation or been camping, and the only place I saw Mickey Mouse was on television. Determined to experience a more fulfilling life, I set my sights on becoming a world traveler. I’ve done almost everything to transform the dream into a reality. I’ve studied abroad, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, worked for an international NGO, served in the U.S. Navy, and done some off-the-grid exploring. After spending nine years abroad and visiting thirty countries, I’m finally a published author. Life Travel And The People In Between is my debut memoir.

Mike's book list on travel lovers

Mike Nixon Why did Mike love this book?

For me, it’s the stories that make The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer one of the best travel books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Some are powerful and heartful while others are strange and hilarious. The stories take place in different parts of the world, and somehow Eric Hansen finds himself in the middle of all of them. From cooking lessons with an elderly Russian lady who lives in a dangerous Manhattan project to bird-watching field trips with strippers, Eric’s stories are adventurous, inspiring, and deeply human. This is a must-read for all those who love travel reads!

By Eric Hansen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eric Hansen survives a cyclone on a boat off the Australian coast, cradles a dying man in Calcutta, and drinks mind-altering kava in Vanuatu. He helps a widower search for his wife's wedding ring amid plane-crash wreckage in Borneo and accompanies topless dancers on a bird-watching expedition in California. From the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Washington Heights, Eric Hansen has a way of getting himself into the most sacred ceremonies and the most candid conversations.


Book cover of Transit of Venus: Travels in the Pacific

Simon Michael Prior Author Of The Coconut Wireless

From my list on remote tropical islands.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon Michael Prior loves small islands, and has travelled to remote countries in search of unique island experiences. He inflicts all aspects of life on himself so that readers can enjoy learning about his latest exploits. During his forty-year adolescence, he’s lived on two boats, sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food, and paper bags; visited fifty countries, lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; learnt to wakeboard; trained as a Marine Rescue skipper, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

Simon's book list on remote tropical islands

Simon Michael Prior Why did Simon love this book?

Julian Evans takes us on a personal tour through the islands of the South Pacific, a region for which I have my own fondness. As well as places I know and love such as Tonga and Vanuatu, Evans visits harder to reach places: The Marshall islands and the Gilbert and Ellis group. Encountering natives, visitors, political and geographical challenges, his story is told with good humour and adventure.

By Julian Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Transit of Venus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Pacific Ocean calls to mind a world of fabulous kingdoms and noble savages, guilt free sex and gin-clear lagoons, and a perfect idleness fed by lush fruits and fish-rich seas. Ever since Captain Cook first went to Tahiti in 1769 to observe the transit of Venus across the sun, this dream of the Pacific has not lost its force. But Julian Evans's journey through the island archipelagos of the Great Ocean was also informed by a quest into our more modern myths - such as Peacekeeper missiles and nuclear bombs being tested by the US Army. With humour and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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