february 2020 – good to read

Agency

William Gibson
San Francisco, 2017. Clinton’s in the White House, Brexit never happened – and Verity Jane’s got herself a new job. They call Verity ‘the app-whisperer,’ and she’s just been hired by a shadowy start-up to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice. Only Eunice has other ideas. Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she’s ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid – which is just as well since suddenly some bad people are after Verity. Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist
Penguin, January 2020

The Shadow King

Maaze Mengiste
With the threat of Mussolini’s army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid in Kidane and his wife Aster’s household. Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie’s army, rushes to mobilise his strongest men before the Italians invade. Meanwhile, Mussolini’s technologically advanced army prepares for an easy victory. Hundreds of thousands of Italians – Jewish photographer Ettore among them – march on Ethiopia seeking adventure. What follows is a gorgeously crafted and unputdownable exploration of female power, with Hirut as the fierce, original, and brilliant voice at its heart. In incandescent, lyrical prose, Maaza Mengiste breathes life into complicated characters on both sides of the battle line, shaping a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.
W.W. Norton, January 2020

Sex and Lies

Leila Slimani
In Morocco, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, and sex outside of marriage are all punishable by law. Sexuality is both an obsession and a taboo, provoking violence, frustration, secrecy, and shame, and women have only two choices: They can be wives or virgins. Leila Slimani was in her native Morocco promoting her first novel, Adèle, about a woman addicted to sex, when she began meeting women who confided the dark secrets of their sexual lives, from assault to their closeted homosexuality to the perils of leading a sexually liberated lifestyle. Their vivid, often harrowing testimonies, combined with Slimani’s passionate and intelligent commentary, make a galvanising case for a sexual revolution in the Arab world.
Faber & Faber, February 2020

Warhol. A Life As Art

Blake Gopnik
Based on years of archival research and on interviews with hundreds of Warhol’s surviving friends, lovers and enemies, Warhol traces the artist’s path from his origins as the impoverished son of Eastern European immigrants in 1930s Pittsburgh, through his early success as a commercial illustrator and his groundbreaking pivot into fine art, to the society portraiture and popular celebrity of the ’70s and ’80s, as he reflected and responded to the changing dynamics of commerce and culture. Behind the public glitter of the artist’s Factory, with its superstars, drag queens and socialites, there was a man who lived with his mother for much of his life. He overcame the vicious homophobia of his youth to become a symbol of gay achievement.
Allen Lane, February 2020

Going Dark. The Secret Social Lives of Extremists

Julia Ebner
By day, Julia Ebner works at a counter-extremism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside. But two years ago, she began to feel she was only seeing half the picture; she needed to get inside the groups to truly understand them. She decided to go undercover in her spare hours – late nights, holidays, weekends – adopting five different identities, and joining a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum. Ebner takes the reader on a deeply compulsive journey into the darkest recesses of extremist thinking, exposing how closely we are surrounded by their fanatical ideology every day, the changing nature and practice of these groups, and what is being done to counter them.
Bloomsbury, February 2020

january 2020 – good to read

The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

H.P.Lovecraft (Author), Leslie S. Klinger (Editor)
In this follow-up to the 2014 book by the same name, twenty-five more Lovecraft stories are re-presented as well as a number of never-before-seen revisions and collaborations with other authors. Included are “Rats in the Wall”, a post–First World War story about the terrors of the past and the newly contextualised “The Horror at Red Hook,” which has been adapted recently by Victor LaValle. Klinger reanimates Lovecraft with clarity and historical insight, offering a revelatory volume in which the author’s story-writing method is uncovered, his vivid dreams are recorded and first drafts of stories are seen in immaturity. In addition to his ground-breaking writing, we glimpse a personal side of Lovecraft: his favourite stories are highlighted and his vulnerability as a young writer is obvious.
W.W. Norton, October 2019

Spellwork for Self-Care – 40 Spells to Soothe the Spirit

Potter Gift
For those who want to infuse their self-care routine with a little magic, this guidebook provides readers with simple spells to enhance their daily lives. Topics range from relationships and emotional health to self-love, work, school, and more. This book of 40 spells combines witchy spiritual practices with our culture’s hunger for self-care, creating a compact resource for those seeking alternate paths to better mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Self-care is about a lot more than bubble baths. Even when the action is as minor as taking half a day off for mental health, caring for yourself is a small, one-person, rebellion.
Penguin Random House, December 2019

The Banished Immortal – A Life of Li Bai (Li Po)

Ha Jin
In his own time (701–762), Li Bai’s poems – shaped by Daoist thought and characterised by their passion, romance, and lust for life – were never given their proper due by the official literary gatekeepers. Nonetheless, his lines rang out on the lips of court entertainers, tavern singers, soldiers, and writers throughout the Tang dynasty. Today, Bai’s verses are still taught to China’s schoolchildren and recited at parties and toasts; they remain an inextricable part of the Chinese language. Ha Jin draws on a wide range of historical and literary sources to weave the great poet’s life story. He follows Bai from his origins on the western frontier to his ramblings travels as a young man to the poet’s later years—in which he became swept up in a military rebellion that altered the course of China’s history—and the mysterious circumstances of his death, which are surrounded by legend.
Knopf Doubleday, December 2019

A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel

Isabel Allende
In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them we find Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Along with two thousand other refugees, they embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.
Bloomsbury Publishing, January 2019

Intentional Tarot

Denise Hesselroth
This book shows you how to become an active participant in your tarot readings. It encourages you to engage with your life’s purpose and strengthen your sense of self. With this new approach, you’ll learn to get “off book” and add a proactive element to your practice. Divination is only the first step—once you have the information from your reading, what will you do with it? The author presents effective techniques and spreads from both traditional and intentional reading methods, making it easy to discover which ones work best for you. Designed with different learning styles in mind, Intentional Tarot provides everything you need to understand the cards, develop your personal style, and take action for a successful future.
Llewellyn, January 2020

dezember 2019 – good to read

Confessions of an English DMT-Eater

Guy Omar
In playful homage to Thomas De Quincey’s most infamous work, Confessions of an English DMT-Eater is the author’s personal experience of the many Heavens and Hells of DMT intoxication. A Twenty-First century memoir of his private engagement with nature’s most fascinating, mystifying, and sometimes terrifying psychedelic compound. Confessions of an English DMT-Eater by Guy Omar takes many of the broader structural elements of De Quincey’s classic, with chapters on the «pain» and «pleasure» of, but deals with the phenomenally tricky business of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). There are also a couple of sections on a cannabis experience and 5-MEO-DMT, which is «unimaginably intense, you are instantly blasted into a realm in which your thought patterns are somehow dissolving into a far larger ocean» The DMT universe, however, is visually ripe for a confessional.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, February 2019

Blowout. Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest and Most Destructive Industry on Earth

Rachel Maddow 
With her trademark black humour, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 US election. She demonstrates how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbours, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. Blowout is a call to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers.
Penguin Random House, October 2019

Jay-Z: Made in America

Michael Eric Dyson
JAY-Z: Made in America is the fruit of Michael Eric Dyson’s decade of teaching the work of one of the greatest poets this nation has produced, as gifted a wordsmith as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he’s sometimes not given the credit he deserves for just how great an artist he’s been for so long. This book wrestles with the biggest themes of JAY-Z’s career, including hustling, and it recognizes the way that he’s always weaved politics into his music, making important statements about race, criminal justice, black wealth and social injustice. As he enters his fifties, and to mark his thirty years as a recording artist, this is the perfect time to take a look at JAY-Z’s career and his role in making this nation what it is today.
St. Martin’s Press, November 2019

The Beautiful Ones

Prince
Prince was a musical genius, one of the most beloved, accomplished, and acclaimed musicians of our time. He was a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of «Uptown» to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of «Paisley Park.» But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, one of the greatest pop stars of any era. Prince — a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s introduction about his profound collaboration with Prince in his final months
Penguin Random House, December 2019

Yoko Ono & John Lennon – Liberté Conquérante / Growing Freedom

Michael Allred, Steve Horton & Laura Allred
Yoko is a leading experimental and avant-garde artist. In Tokyo during the 1950s, she introduced original questions about the concept of art and the art object, breaking down the traditional boundaries between branches of art. She has since been associated with conceptual art, performance, Fluxus, and 1960s happenings — one of the few women to participate in these movements. Through her performances and activism, she created a new kind of relationship with both spectators and fellow artists — including her late husband, John Lennon — by inviting them to play an active part in the creative process. In addition, her influence brings together Eastern and Western cultures, which extend and strengthen each other in continuous innovation.
Hirmer Publishers, December 2019

november 2019 – good to read

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind

Stephen Kinzer
The visionary chemist Sidney Gottlieb was the CIA’s master magician and gentle-hearted torturer ― the agency’s «poisoner in chief.» He made pills, powders, and potions that could kill or maim without a trace ― including some intended for Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders. His experiments spread LSD across the United States, making him a hidden godfather of the 1960s counterculture. For years he was the chief supplier of spy tools used by CIA officers around the world. Stephen Kinzer, author of groundbreaking books about US clandestine operations, brings to life one of the most powerful unknown Americans of the twentieth century. Gottlieb’s reckless experiments on «expendable» human subjects destroyed many lives, yet he considered himself deeply spiritual.
NG Media, September 2019

Out of My Head. On the Trail of Consciousness

Tim Parks 
Hardly a day goes by without some discussion about whether computers can be conscious, whether our universe is some kind of simulation, whether mind is a unique quality of human beings or spread out across the universe like butter on bread. Most philosophers believe that our experience is locked inside our skulls, an unreliable representation of a quite different reality outside. Colour, smell and sound, they tell us, occur only in our heads. Yet when neuroscientists look inside our brains to see what’s going on, they find only billions of neurons exchanging electrical impulses and releasing chemical substances. Out of My Head tells the gripping, highly personal, often surprisingly funny, story of Tim Parks’ quest to discover more about this fascinating topic.
Random House, October 2019 

LSD and the Mind of the Universe. Diamonds From Heaven

Christopher M. Bache, Ph.D.
Journey alongside professor Bache as he touches the living intelligence of our universe – an intelligence that both embraced and crushed him – and demonstrates how direct experience of the divine can change your perspective on core issues in philosophy and religion. Chronicling his 73 sessions, the author reveals the spiral of death and rebirth that took him through the collective unconscious into the creative intelligence of the universe. Making a powerful case for the value of psychedelically induced spiritual experience, Bache shares his immersion in the fierce love and creative intent of the unified field of consciousness that underlies all physical existence. He describes the incalculable value of embracing the pain and suffering he encountered in his sessions and the challenges he faced integrating his experiences into his everyday life.
Park Street Press, October 2019

Hell Is Around the Corner

Tricky 
This unique, no-holds barred autobiography is not only a portrait of an incredible artist — it is also a gripping slice of social history packed with extraordinary anecdotes and voices from the margins of society. Tricky examines how his creativity has helped him find a different path to that of his relatives, some of whom were bare-knuckle fighters and gangsters, and how his mother’s suicide has had a lifelong effect on him, both creatively and psychologically. With his unique heritage and experience, his story will be one of the most talked-about music autobiographies of the decade. «Although it is bookended by tragedy, and shot through with the violence and abuse of his early life, Hell Is Round the Corner proves an ultimately uplifting read, the testament of a fierce, funny and seemingly indomitable spirit.» (The Guardian)
Blink, October 2019

BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns & Moonage Daydreams Michael Allred, Steve Horton & Laura Allred

Michael Allred, Steve Horton & Laura Allred
In life, David Bowie was one of the most magnetic icons of modern pop culture, seducing generations of fans with both his music and his counterculture persona. In death, the cult of Bowie has only intensified. As a musician alone, Bowie’s legacy is remarkable, but his place in the popular imagination is due to so much more than his music. As a visual performer, he defied classification with his psychedelic aesthetics, his larger-than-life image, and his way of hovering on the border of the surreal. BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams chronicles the rise of Bowie’s career from obscurity to fame; and paralleled by the rise and fall of his alter ego as well as the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust. As the Spiders from Mars slowly implode, Bowie wrestles with his Ziggy persona. The outcome of this internal conflict will change not only David Bowie, but also, the world.
Insight Comics, January 2020

october 2019 – good to read

How To Be An Antiracist

Ibram X Kendi
Using his extraordinary gifts as a teacher and story-teller, Kendi helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether they realise it or not, and by describing with moving humility his own journey from racism to antiracism, he shows us how instead to be a force for good. Along the way, Kendi punctures all the myths and taboos that so often cloud our understanding, from arguments about what race is and whether racial differences exist to the complications that arise when race intersects with ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. In the process he demolishes the myth of the post-racial society and builds from the ground up a vital new understanding of racism – what it is, where it is hidden, how to identify it and what to do about it.
Penguin, August 2019

We Are The Weather. Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Jonathan Safran Foer 
Climate crisis is the single biggest threat to human survival. And it is happening right now. We all understand that time is running out – but do we truly believe it? And, caught between the seemingly unimaginable and the apparently unthinkable, how can we take the first step towards action, to arrest our race to extinction? We can begin with our knife and fork. The link between farming animals and the climate crisis is barely discussed, because giving up our meat-based diets feels like an impossible task. But we don’t have to go cold turkey. Cutting out animal products for just part of the day is enough to change the world. Jonathan Safran Foer presents the essential debate of our time as no one else could, bringing it to vivid and urgent life and offering us all a much-needed way out.
Penguin, September 2019

On Fire.The Burning Case for a New Green Deal

Naomi Klein
For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people and planet—and an unapologetic champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with justice at its center. In lucid, elegant dispatches from the frontlines of contemporary natural disaster, she pens surging, indispensable essays for a wide public: prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future. On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal gathers more than a decade of her impassioned writing, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of our immediate political and economic choices. An expansive exploration that sees the battle for a greener world as indistinguishable from the fight for our lives.
Simon & Schuster, September 2019

The Year of the Monkey

Patti Smith
Following a run of New Year’s concerts at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. Unfettered by logic or time, she draws us into her private wonderland with no design, yet heeding signs–including a talking sign that looms above her, prodding and sparring like the Cheshire Cat. In February, a surreal lunar year begins, bringing with it unexpected turns, heightened mischief, and inescapable sorrow. In a stranger’s words, «Anything is possible: after all, it’s the Year of the Monkey.» For Patti the year evolves as one of reckoning with the changes in life’s gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America.
Simon & Schuster, September 2019

Face it (My Story)

Debbie Harry
Musician, actor, activist, and celebrated beauty, Debbie Harry, the front woman of Blondie, has collaborated, as a muse, with some of the boldest artists of the past four decades. The scope of her impact on our culture has been matched only by her reticence to reveal her rich inner life—until now. In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and visuals including new photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It upends the standard music memoir while delivering a prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, Face It re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City, where Blondie played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
Harper Collins, October 2019

september 2019 – good to read

The Peyote Effect. From the Inquisition to the War on Drugs

Alexander S, Dawson
While some have attempted to explain the cultural and religious significance peyote, Alexander S. Dawson offers a completely new way of understanding the place of ths special cactus in history, arguing that it has marked the boundary between the Indian and the West since the Spanish Inquisition outlawed it in 1620. For nearly four centuries ecclesiastical, legal, scientific, and scholarly authorities have tried (unsuccessfully) to police that boundary to ensure that, while indigenous subjects might consume peyote, others could not. The Peyote Effect explores how battles over who might enjoy a right to consume peyote have unfolded in both hemispheres, and how these conflicts have produced the systems that characterises modern drug regimes
University of California Press, September 2018

Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day

Brian Blomerth
Brooklyn illustrator, musician and self-described «comic stripper» Brian Blomerth has spent years combining classic underground art styles with his bitingly irreverent visual wit in zines, comics, and album covers. With Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day, the artist has produced his most ambitious work to date: a historical account of the events of April 19, 1943, when Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann ingested an experimental dose of a new compound known as lysergic acid diethylamide and embarked on the world’s first acid trip. Combining an extraordinary true story told in journalistic detail with the artist’s gritty, timelessly Technicolor comics style, Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day is a testament to mind expansion and a stunningly original visual history.
Anthology, June 2019

Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence

James Lovelock with Bryan Appleyard
New beings will emerge from existing artificial intelligence systems. They will think 10,000 times faster than we do and they will regard us as we now regard plants – as desperately slow acting and thinking creatures. But this will not be the cruel, violent machine takeover of the planet imagined by sci-fi writers and film-makers. These hyper-intelligent beings will be as dependent on the health of the planet as we are. They will need the planetary cooling system of Gaia to defend them from the increasing heat of the sun as much as we do. And Gaia depends on organic life. We will be partners in this project. This is how James Lovelock, father of the Gaia Theory, sees our future.
The MIT Press, July 2019

The Last Ocean. A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting

Nicci Gerrard
After a diagnosis of dementia, Nicci Gerrard’s father, John, continued to live life on his own terms, alongside the disease. But when an isolating hospital stay precipitated a dramatic turn for the worse, Gerrard, an award-winning journalist and author, recognised that it was not just the disease, but misguided protocol and harmful practices that cause such pain at the end of life. Gerrard was inspired to seek a better course for all who suffer because of the disease. She examines the philosophy of what it means to have a self, as well as how we can offer dignity and peace to those who suffer with this terrible disease. Not only will it aid those walking with dementia patients, The Last Ocean will prompt all of us to think on the nature of a life well lived.
PenguinRandom House, August 2019

The Testaments

Margaret Atwood
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her – freedom, prison or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. «Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.» More acclaim for Margaret Atwood to follow.
Random House UK, September 2019

august 2019 – good to read

Consciousness Medicine: Indigenous Wisdom, Entheogens, and Expanded States of Consciousness for Healing and Growth

Krishna Hunter, Françoise Bourzat
Psychedelic medicines also known as entheogens are entering the mainstream. No wonder: despite having access to the latest wellness trends and advances in technology, we’re no healthier, happier, or more meaningfully connected. Psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and LSD — as well as other time-tested techniques with the power to shift consciousness such as drumming, meditation, and vision quests — are now being recognised as potent catalysts for change and healing. But how do we ensure that we’re approaching them effectively? Françoise Bourzat — a counsellor and experienced guide with sanctioned training in the Mazatec and other indigenous traditions—and healer Kristina Hunter introduce a holistic model focusing on the threefold process of preparation, journey, and integration. A comprehensive guide to the safe and ethical application of expanded states of consciousness, for therapists, healing practitioners and explorers.
Copyrighted material, June 2019 

Alien Information: Psychedelic Drug Technologies and the Cosmic Game

Andrew R. Gallimore
The neurobiologist, chemist, and pharmacologist explains how DMT provides the secret to the very structure of our reality, and how our Universe can be likened to a cosmic game that we now find ourselves playing, using a fundamental code which generated our Universe — and countless others — as a digital device built from pure information with the purpose of enabling conscious intelligences, such as ourselves, to emerge. You will learn how fundamental digital information self-organises and complexities to generate the myriad complex forms and organisms that fill our world; how your brain constructs your subjective world and how psychedelic drugs alter the structure of this world; how DMT switches the reality channel by allowing the brain to access information from normally hidden orthogonal dimensions of reality.
Strange World Press, June 2019

Shapeshifters

John B. Kachuba
The myths, magic, and meaning surrounding shapeshifters are brought vividly to life in John B. Kachuba’s compelling and original cultural history. Rituals in early cultures worldwide seemingly allowed shamans, sorcerers, witches, and wizards to transform at will into animals and back again. Today, there are millions of people who believe that shapeshifters walk among us and may even be world leaders. Featuring a fantastic and ghoulish array of examples from history, literature, film, TV, and computer games, Shapeshifters explores our secret desire to become something other than human. Real or imaginary, shapeshifters lurk deep in our psyches and remain formidable cultural icons.
University of Chicago Press, June 2019

The Way of the Psychonaut. Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys. Volumes I and II

Stanislav Grof, M.D., PhD.
Written in his late eighties, at the height of his career, The Way of the Psychonaut is possibly Stanislav Grof’s greatest contribution. The astounding breadth and depth of his knowledge, the easy and accessible tone of his writing, and his narratives brightened with amusing anecdotes, intriguing personal accounts, and brilliant case studies makes it a page-turner. Grof reviews the history of depth psychotherapy, the important revisions needed to make it more effective, and why the inner quest is such an essential pursuit. As one of the fathers of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, its most experienced practitioner, and deeply deserving of a Nobel Prize in medicine, in these two volumes Grof has successfully unveiled a new and sweeping paradigm in self-exploration and healing. The vast and practical knowledge in this book is sure to be an invaluable and treasured resource for all serious seekers.
MAPS, July 2019

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Silvia-Moreno-Garcia
The Jazz Age is in full swing but Cassiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Instead, she spends her time dreaming of a life of her own far from her small town in Southern Mexico. This new life seems as distant the start until she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. By opening it, she accidentally releases the spirit of the Mayan god of death who requests her help in recovering his throne from his brother. This is a mission she cannot refuse or fail but success could make her dreams come true. In the company of the strangely alluring gods, Cassiopea begins a cross-country odyssey that takes her from the jungles of Yucatan to the bright lights of Mexico City as well as deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
Barnes and Noble, August 2019

july 2019 – good to read

Hello World. How to be Human in the Age of the Machine

Hannah Fry
You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate – a human or an algorithm?
An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgment. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.  Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions – in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want?
Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us, she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.
Transpub Publishing,  March 2019

Atlas of Poetic Zoology

Emmanuelle Pouydebat
This Atlas of Poetic Zoology leads readers into a world of wonders where turtles fly under the sea, lizards walk on water, insects impersonate flowers, birds don’t fly, frogs come back from the dead, and virgin sharks give birth. Animals, writes Emmanuelle Pouydebat, are lyric poets; they discover and shape the world when they sing, dance, explore, and reproduce. The animal kingdom has been evolving for 700,000 million years, weathering many crises of extinction; this book allows us to draw inspiration from animals’ enduring vitality. Emmanuelle Pouydebat is a permanent researcher employed by the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), working at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.
The MIT Press, March 2019

Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic

Mike Jay
Mescaline was isolated in 1897 from the peyote cactus, first encountered by Europeans during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. During the twentieth century it was used by psychologists investigating the secrets of consciousness, spiritual seekers from Aleister Crowley to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, artists exploring the creative process, and psychiatrists looking to cure schizophrenia. Meanwhile peyote played a vital role in preserving and shaping Native American identity. Drawing on botany, pharmacology, ethnography, and the mind sciences and examining the mescaline experiences of figures from William James to Walter Benjamin to Hunter S. Thompson, this is an enthralling narrative of mescaline’s many lives.
Yale University Press, June 2019

High Weirdnes. Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson.
Erik Davis 
America’s leading scholar on things extraordinary examines the writings of three iconoclastic thinkers and their life-changing mystical experiences. After a sound theoretical and scholarly introduction to various strange states, their meaning and possible origins (the author writes we can skip if we want), we get to the core experiences of our three proponents: Terence and Dennis McKenna and their – psychotic or shamanic  – adventures in La Chorrera, Columbia; Robert Anton Wilson and the synchronicities and altered states he experienced while writing CosmicTrigger and last but not least, Philip K. Dick and an occurrence that goes by the name of 2-3-74. As beyond the norm these experiences may be, Davis’ finds a fascinating context for them, as well as presenting them seriously, which elevates them beyond mere lore and lends them respectability. This is not an easy book but it is highly worthwhile, a true Bible of Weirdness shedding light on the mystical thinking of an entire generation. (sgs)

MindApps. Multistate Theory and Tools for Mind Desig

Thomas B. Roberts (Introduction: James Fadiman) 
Using psychedelics as the prime example, Thomas B. Roberts explores the many different kinds of mindapps, including meditation, other psychoactive plants and chemicals, sensory overload and deprivation, biofeedback and neurofeedback, hypnosis and suggestion, sleep and lucid dreaming, creative imagery, transcranial brain stimulation and optical brain stimulation, rites of passage, martial arts and exercise routines, yoga, breathing techniques, and contemplative prayer. He also looks at the future of mindapps, the potential for new mindapps yet to be invented, and how installing multiple mindapps can produce new, yet to be explored mind states. Drawing on decades of research, he shows how psychedelics in particular are «ideagens»–powerful tools for generating new ideas and new ways of thinking. Reformulating how we think about the human mind, MindApps unveils the new multistate landscape of the mind and how we can each enter the world of mind design.

june 2019 – good to read

Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

Oliver Sacks
Dr. Oliver Sacks spent more than fifty years working as a neurologist and writing books about the neurological predicaments and conditions of his patients, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatMusicophilia, and Hallucinations. The New York Times referred to him as «the poet laureate of medicine,» and over the years he received many awards, including honours from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Royal College of Physicians. His memoir On the Move was published shortly before his death in August 2015. Everything in Its Place is a celebration of Sacks’s myriad interests, told with his characteristic compassion and erudition, and in his luminous prose.
Random House, April 2019

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A therapist, her therapist, and our lives revealed

Lori Gottlieb
Therapy used to be a taboo subject, but thankfully seeing a professional to help us is no longer looked down on. In Maybe You Should to Talk to Someone, therapist Lori Gottlieb helps patients in her Los Angeles practice, including a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness and a 20-something who can’t stop getting together with the wrong men. And then, one day, disaster strikes and Gottlieb finds that she is the one in need of a therapist. Enter Wendall, a quirky but seasoned practitioner who helps Gottlieb with the questions she’s been struggling with. Candid and deeply personal, this is a book about being both patient and clinician, and one that offers hope to us al.
Scribe, May 2019

The Age of Living Machines

Susan Hockfield 
Today, the world’s population is projected to rise to well over 9.5 billion by 2050, and we are currently faced with the consequences of producing the energy that fuels, heats, and cools us. With temperatures and sea levels rising, and large portions of the globe plagued with drought, famine, and drug-resistant diseases, we need new technologies to tackle these problems. But we are on the cusp of a new convergence, argues world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Hockfield, with discoveries in biology coming together with engineering to produce another array of almost inconceivable technologies—next-generation products that have the potential to be every bit as paradigm shifting as the twentieth century’s digital wonders.
Norton, May 2019

Into the Forest: How Trees can Help You Find Health and Happiness

Dr Qing Li
Humans are increasingly becoming an indoor species. We spend 90 per cent of our life indoors. And, on average, we dedicate eight hours a day looking at screens. Our increasingly domestic lives are having huge consequences to our health. In Into the Forest, Immunologist and Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li, examines the unprecedented benefits of the world’s largest natural health resource: the great outdoors. Applying cutting-edge research and emerging science, Dr Li explores the inherent connection between nature and improved wellbeing. This practical guide will help you overcome some of life’s most problematic health issues. From mindful strolls in your local park to listening to the wind, from watching the sunset to walking barefoot in the grass, Dr Li reveals the life-improving advantages of spending time around trees, for a healthier and happier you.
Penguin, June 2019

Taking Up Space – The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change

Chelsea Kwakye / Ore Ugunbiyi
As a minority in a predominantly white institution, taking up space is an act of resistance. And in higher education, feeling like you constantly have to justify your existence within institutions that weren’t made for you is an ongoing struggle for many people. Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi, two recent Cambridge graduates, wrote Taking Up Space as a guide and a manifesto for change: tackling issues of access, unrepresentative curricula, discrimination in the classroom, the problems of activism, and life before and after university. Featuring honest conversations with students past and present, Taking Up Space goes beyond the buzzwords of diversity and inclusion and explores what those words truly mean for young black girls today.
Penguin, June 2019

mai 2019 – good to read

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present

David Treuer 
The received idea of Native American history has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization did as well. Growing up Ojibwa on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear–and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence–the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention.
Riverhead Books, January 2019

Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, from Dispensaries to Dinner Parties

Lizzie Post
Although the stigma surrounding marijuana use is disappearing, many Americans still don’t know how to be responsible, respectful users in the modern era. Enter Lizzie Post, great-great granddaughter of Emily Post, co-president of the world’s most respected etiquette brand, and an experienced cannabis user. In Higher Etiquette, Post answers every question you have about pot today: how to bring it to a dinner party, how to respectfully use it as a houseguest, and how to present it as a gift, plus a primer on the wide world of cannabis products that are available today. With charming illustrations and a handsome, jacketless hardcover format, this is a book you will read, use, gift, and proudly display on your coffee table.
Futuros Genios, March 2019

Blossoms in Autumn

Zidrou and Aimée de Jongh
This graphic novel, a collaboration between the Dutch artist Aimée de Jongh and the Belgian writer Zidrou, tells the sometimes a little corny story of two older people falling in love. The lonely Ulysses, who used to work in removal but was laid off, and the former beauty queen turned owner of a cheese shop, chance upon each other at Ulysses doctor son’s cabinet though Ulysses has been trying to force «chance» to the best of his abilities. Of course he never thought of this possibility. Ms Solenza believes she is no longer desirable, and though she is beautiful, all she sees when she looks in the mirror at herself are wrinkles, rolls and creases. Love fixes all of that and gives the two lonely hearts a new lease on life. (sgs)
Self Made Hero, April 2019

Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine

Maria Papaspyrou, Chiara Baldini & David Luke 
Women have been shamans since time immemorial. Whether female or male, the altered states produced by psychedelics and ecstatic trance expand our minds to tap into and enhance our feminine states of consciousness as well as reconnect us to the web of life. Here, we discover the transformative powers of feminine consciousness and altered states as revealed by contributors both female and male, including revered scholars, visionary artists, anthropologists, modern shamans, witches, psychotherapists, and policy makers. They study the archetypal dimensions of the feminine principle and how entheogens give us open access to these ancient archetypes, including goddess consciousness and the dark feminine as well as exploring the feminine in the creative process and discuss feminist psychedelic activism.
Park Street Press, May 2019

No Walls and the Recurring Dream. A Memoir

Ani di Franco
Ani’s coming of age story is defined by her ethos of fierce independence –  from being an emancipated minor sleeping in a Buffalo bus station to unwaveringly building a career through appearances at small clubs and festivals, to releasing her first album at the age of 18, to consciously rejecting the mainstream recording industry and creating her own label, Righteous Babe Records. In these pages, as in life, she never hesitates to question established rules and expectations, maintaining a level of artistic integrity that has inspired and challenged more than a few. Ani continues to be a major touring and recording artist as well as a celebrated activist and feminist.
Penguin/Random House, May 2019

Posts navigation

1 2 3
Scroll to top