Staff Reviews

Michael Pollan Weighs the Therapeutic Value of Psychedelic Drugs in How to Change Your Mind

Psychedelic drugs like LSD and “magic” mushrooms tend to stir up a particular association with the rebellious youth of the late ‘60s. But Michael Pollan, the respected journalist who deconstructed American eating habits in books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma, has started a psychedelic conversation that has nothing to do with rebellion.

In How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science About Psychedelics Teaches us About Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Pollan argues that psychedelic experiences can be useful—and therapeutic—for patients with repetitive brain patterns. Through meticulous research, Pollan presents a compelling exploration of LSD and psilocybin treatment for those suffering from depression, alcoholism, and anxiety. For interested parties and skeptics alike, Pollan’s exploration of the subject comes mixes enough science and history with his own personal experiences to make for a compelling trip.

In Enlightenment Now, a Harvard Professor Calls on Raw Data to Argue Positive Worldview

Newspapers have never been go-to sources of comfort for Americans, especially while utilizing the mantra “if it bleeds, it leads.” But Harvard professor and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker has a counter-argument for those negative headlines—and any person who argues that society is headed toward a complete collapse. Pinker’s latest book—Enlightenment Now: The Case for Science, Humanism, and Progress—argues that we are in a golden age for happiness and prosperity, and that there’s data to prove it. The author calls on 75 graphs across a variety of subjects to show global progress, as well as its ties to concepts in Enlightenment thinking. What’s more, the book just received a glowing endorsement from Bill Gates, who called it his “new favorite book of all time.”

You can place a hold on Enlightenment Now, now.

Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage Explores Commitment Under Duress

An American Marriage Book Cover

Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage is one of the few 2018 titles generating buzz among critics and readers alike. The novel, which is the latest installment in Oprah’s Book Club, follows two young professionals in Atlanta: Celestial and Roy. The newlyweds face a nightmare scenario when Roy is wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison, leaving Celestial to decide how to live her own life outside. Readers and critics have lauded Jones for the compelling premise, but also for her difficult exploration of the concepts of marriage and commitment.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

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