april 2018 – good to read

Things That Bother Me: Death, Freedom, The Self etc.

Galen Strawson
The author might be described as the Montaigne of modern philosophers, endlessly curious, enormously erudite, unafraid of strange, difficult, and provocative propositions, and able to describe them clearly – in other words, he is a true essayist. This book gathers three of them: “A Fallacy of Our Age”, “The Sense of Self” and “Real Naturalism.” “Galen Strawson’s Things That Bother Me is, despite its title, no collection of complaints. Rather, Strawson invokes the notion of being bothered in the largest sense, engaging with the ideas, or conditions of living, that will not leave him alone…” (Ian McEwan) Drawing on literature and life as much as on philosophy, this is a book that prompts both argument and wonder.
Series: New York Review of Books, March 2018

Real Magic – Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Powers of the Universe

Dean Radin
The chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) turns a critical eye toward such practices as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. Are such powers really possible? Science says yes.
According to the bestselling author of The Conscious Universe magic is a natural aspect of reality, and each of us can tap into this power with diligent practice. The author, who worked on the US government’s top secret psychic espionage program known as Stargate, has spent the last forty years conducting controlled experiments that demonstrate that thoughts are things, that we can sense others’ emotions and intentions from a distance, that intuition is more powerful than we thought, and that we can tap into the power of intention. These dormant powers can help us to lead more interesting and fulfilling lives.
Harmony, April 2018

The Wife’s Tale

Aida Edemariam
In this fascinating memoir that recalls the life of her ninety-five-year old grandmother, Guardian journalist Aida Edemariam tells the story of modern Ethiopia—a nation that would undergo a tumultuous transformation from feudalism to monarchy to Marxist revolution to democracy over the course of one century. Born in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar in about 1916, Yetemegnu was married and had given birth before she turned fifteen. Over the next decades Yetemegnu endured extraordinary trials: the death of some of her children; her husband’s imprisonment; and the detention of one of her sons. She witnessed the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia and the subsequent resistance, suffered Allied bombardment and exile from her city; lived through a bloody revolution and the nationalization of her land, and much more.
Harper/Collins, March 2018

Elemental Divination – A Dice Oracle

Stephen Ball
This book shares instructions and rituals for using the oracle with dice or other divinatory tools. You will also find a list of meanings for every possible elemental combination, and explanations of how Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Sun, and Moon manifest in this divination system. When you explore the oracle’s patterns and correspondences, you gain insight into the challenges and concerns that we all face. With just three dice, you can receive answers to basic questions or initiate a deeper interpretive journey. Based on elemental forces that have been consulted by healers and sages for thousands of years, this dice oracle will inspire you to see yourself and the world with a whole new perspective.
Llewellyn, March 2018

A Tokyo Romance – A Memoir

Ian Buruma
A Tokyo Romance is a portrait of a young artist and the fantastical city that shaped him. With his signature acuity, Ian Buruma brilliantly captures the historical tensions between east and west, the clash of conflicting cultures, and the dilemma of the gaijin in Japanese society, constantly free, yet always on the outside. The result is a timeless story about the desire to transgress boundaries: cultural, artistic, and sexual. And so a child of European privilege wound up vamping in a red jockstrap, doing a whiskey ad with Akira Kurosawa, and having affairs with women and men. Most astonishingly, he left six years later with the same girlfriend, his future wife.
Penguin/Random House, March 2018

march 2018 – good to read

The Beatles in India

Paul Saltzmann
This new edition of The Beatles in India brings intimate images of the group, taken at an ashram in Rishikesh, India, to a wider audience than ever before. No photographers or press were allowed at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas, but the Beatles had no objection to fellow visitor Paul Saltzman freely snapping pictures during their time there. Containing a wide-ranging narrative by Saltzman – about everything from the story of how “Dear Prudence” came to be to George Harrison’s description of the first time he picked up a sitar – this unique and exclusive exploration of one of the Beatles’ most tender and bittersweet periods is a must-have for all fans of the legendary rock group.
Simon & Schuster, February 2018 

Winter

Karl Ove Knausgaard
The second volume in his autobiographical quartet based on the seasons, Winter is an achingly beautiful collection of daily meditations and letters addressed directly to the author’s unborn daughter. In preparation for her arrival, Karl Ove Knausgaard takes stock of the world, seeing it as if for the first time. In his inimitably sensitive style, he writes about the moon, water, messiness, owls, birthdays – to name just a handful of his subjects. These oh-so-familiar objects and ideas he fills with new meaning, taking nothing for granted or as given. New life is on the horizon, but the earth is also in hibernation, waiting for the warmer weather to return, and so a contradictory melancholy inflects his gaze.
Penguin Random House, January 2018

The Healing Self – A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life

Deepak Chopra / Rudolph E. Tanzi
After collaborating on two major books featured as PBS specials, Super Brain and Super Genes, Chopra and Tanzi now tackle the issue of lifelong health and heightened immunity. They want to help readers make the best decisions possible when it comes to creating a holistic and transformative health plan for life. In The Healing Self they not only push the boundaries of the intellect to put forward the newest research and insights on the mind-body, mind-gene, and mind-immunity connections, but they offer a cutting-edge, seven-day action plan, which outlines the key tools everyone needs to develop their own effective and personalised path to self-healing.
Rider, February 2018

A Hero for High Times

Ian Marchant
This is the story of how an old man called Bob Rowberry ended up in a broken-down bus, in a forgotten part of the world. It tells of how, along the way, Procol Harum were named after his cat, how he sold Owsley acid to R.D. Laing, of how he annoyed Saddam Hussein and the IRA, and how he was freed from jail in Mexico by a popular uprising of the peasantry who had come to know him as ‘El Maestro’. It’s also the story of his times, and the ideas that shaped him, of why you know your birth sign, why you have friends called Willow, why Yoko Ono affected how we eat much more than Linda McCartney ever did, why sex and drugs and rock’n’roll once mattered more than money, why dance music stopped the New Age Travellers from travelling, and why you need to think twice before taking the brown acid.
Jonathan Cape, March 2018

Feel Free

Zadie Smith
Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, “Joy,” and, “Find Your Beach,” Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive – and never any less than perfect company. Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel, White Teeth, almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. This is literary journalism at its best.
Penguin Random House, February 2018

february 2018 – good to read

The Most Dangerous Man in America – Timothy Leary, Richard Nixon and the Hunt for the Fugitive King of LSD 

Bill Minutaglio & Steven L. Davis
The adventures of Timothy Leary’s odyssee from Harvard to hell and back make for a racy read. Spanning twenty-eight months, President Nixon’s careening, global manhunt for Dr. Leary winds its way among homegrown radicals, European aristocrats, a Black Panther outpost in Algeria, an international arms dealer, hash-smuggling hippies from the Brotherhood of Eternal Love and secret agents on four continents. The “LSD Apostle’s” escape from jail took him to Switzerland, Algeria and Afghanistan and back to jail in California, where Charles Manson was his neighbor. Based on freshly uncovered primary sources and new firsthand interviews.

Tuning the Human Biofield – Healing with Vibrational Sound Therapy

Eileen Day McKusick
When Eileen McKusick began offering sound therapy in her massage practice she soon discovered she could use tuning forks to locate and hear disturbances in the energy field, or biofield, that surrounds each of us. She found these energetic disturbances correlated with the emotional and physical traumas her clients had experienced throughout their lives, the biofield acting as a record of pain, stress and trauma from gestation onward.
Healing Arts Press, January 2018

Joe Hill – A Biographical Novel

Wallace Stegner 
Stegner retells the story of the bard who became the stuff of fiction for the alleged murder of a Salt Lake City businessman. Organiser, rebel, singer of Labor Songs who fought relentllessly for Trade Unions, Joel Hill was a peerless fighter in frequently violent battles between organised labour and industry. This is a full-bodied portrait of both the man & the myth: from his entrance into the short-lived Industrial Workers of the World union to his trial, imprisonment & final martyrdom.
Penguin Random House, January 2018

Exit Stage Left. The Snagglepuss Comics 

Mark Russell & Steve Pugh (illustrations) 
In Russell and Feehan’s hands, Hanna-Barbera’s audacious pink mountain lion is given a new, Flintstonian shading: this Snagglepuss is more stylish, more fuchsia, more unapologetic than his original cartoon iteration. He’s a successful, adored playwright, smooth and confident even if the world around him is on fire. He’s also gay, and living as a closeted homosexual mountain lion in 1953 is awful – all the more since success has made him a target.
DC Comics, January 2018

The New Psychedelic Revolution – The Genesis of the Visionary Age 

James Oroc 
Entheogens are powerful tools of self-discovery; Oroc studies the works and lives of Albert Hofmann, Terence McKenna and Alexander Shulgin in order to gain deeper insight into the history and future of psychedelics and how to cultivate a positive attitude towards the dreamtime that could transform our culture. The author is an active part of the psychedelic renaissance, a revival that has been a long time coming though it never was a long time gone.
Park Street Press, January 201

january 2018 – good to read

The Illustrated Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

Bobby Campbell
Come take a quick trip through the lives & ideas of Robert Anton Wilson in this illustrated elucidation of some but not all his most illuminating memes and profundities. Visionary cartoonist Bobby Campbell gleefully adapts Wilson’s neurosemantic brilliance into the visual language of the comic book medium in an explosion of non-linear, cosmic psychedelia. Whether you are a fully initiated Discordian Pope, or a starry eyed seeker of the 23 enigma, this RAW funny book will bring the synchronistic magick of Illuminatus! right where you are sitting now.
Hilaritas Press, December 2017

Transcendental Journeys – A Visionary Quest for Freedom

Torsten E. Klimmer (Omananda)
Transcendental Journeys is a world traveler’s testimony of three decades. A mystical near death experience in Sumatra starts the spiritual journeys of the author who describes the process of conscious awakening in the collective evolution of man through his visionary writings. This artful multimedia book with photography and embedded video links urges people to free themselves. It inspires direct action towards the profound shift in perspective that is required today. Discoveries in exotic places and shamanic dimensions are slowly revealed during this nonfictional cosmic adventure that offers an exciting view into the visual, spiritual, and practical possibilities available to anyone with an open mind.
© Omananda, December 2017

A Long Way from Home

Peter Carey 
This thrilling, high-speed story starts in one way and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, the more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves. Set in the 1950s amid the consequences of the age of empires, this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of a timeless culture – the high purpose they invented and the crimes they committed along the way. Peter Carey has twice won the Booker Prize for his explorations of Australian history. A Long Way from Home is his late-style masterpiece.
Kindle, February 2018

Legends of the Condor Heroes – A Hero Born

Jin Yong
The world imagined by Chinese writer Jin Yong is one which celebrates loyalty, courage and the triumph of the individual over a corrupt and authoritarian state. The world’s biggest kung fu fantasy writer, Jin Yong, the “Lord of the Rings of Chinese literature” enjoys huge popularity in the Chinese-speaking world. In the west, however, his name is barely known, largely due to the complexity of the world he has created and the puzzle that has posed for translators. Set in China in 1200 and written in the wuxia or fighting hero tradition, A Hero Born tells of an empire close to collapse. Under attack from the Jurchen Jin dynasty, the future of the entire Chinese population rests in the hands of a few lone martial arts exponents.
Kindle, February 2018

The Silk Roads – A New History of the World

Peter Frankopan
Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next. From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years. Frankopan teaches us that to understand what is at stake for the cities and nations built on these intricate trade routes, we must first understand their astounding pasts.
Penguin, March 2017

december 2017 – good to read

The Origin of Others (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)

Toni Morrison
America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison’s most personal work of nonfiction to date.
© Toni Morrison, September 2017

The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief and Compassion – Surprising Observations of a Hidden World

Peter Wohlleben
Through vivid stories of devoted pigs, two-timing magpies, and scheming roosters, The Inner Life of Animals weaves the latest scientific research into how animals interact with the world with Peter Wohlleben’s personal experiences in forests and fields. Horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids. Ravens call their friends by name, rats regret bad choices, and butterflies choose the very best places for their children to grow up.
Greystone books, November 2017

Science and Spiritual Practice – Transformative experiences and their effects on our bodies, brains and health

Rupert Sheldrake
In this pioneering book Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which all religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage: Meditation, Gratitude, Connecting with nature, Relating to plants, Rituals, Singing and chanting, Pilgrimage and holy places. The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier. Rupert Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research in these fields.
Hodder & Stoughton, November 2017

Psychedelic Medicine – The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin and Ayahuasca

Dr. Richard Louis Miller
This book explores the tumultuous history of psychedelic research, the efforts to restore psychedelic therapies, and the links between psychiatric drugs and mental illness. It includes the work of Rick Doblin, Stanislav Grof, James Fadiman, Julie Holland, Dennis McKenna, David Nichols, Charles Grob, Phil Wolfson, Michael and Annie Mithoefer, Roland Griffiths, Katherine MacLean, and Robert Whitaker.
Park Street Press, November 2017

Dare not linger – The Presidential Years

Nelson Mandela & Mandla Langa
The long-awaited second volume of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs, left unfinished at his death and never before available, is here completed and expanded with notes and speeches written by Mandela during his historic presidency, making for a moving sequel to his worldwide bestseller Long Walk to Freedom.
Park Street Press, November 2017

november 2017 – good to read

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders
In 1862, when Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie dies, his grieving father reportedly returns to the vault several times, alone, to hold the boy’s body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins a story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state – called the bardo in the Tibetan tradition – a struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a theatrical panorama of voices to ask the timeless question: How do we live and love when weknow that everything we love must end? We are delighted that a book we chose for you just won the prestigious Booker Prize!
Random House, February 2017

Consciousness and Object. A mind-object identity physicalist theory

Riccardo Manzotti
What is the conscious mind? What is experience? In 1968, David Armstrong
asked “What is a man?” and replied that a man is “a certain sort of material object”. This book starts from his question but proceeds along a different path. The traditional mind-brain identity theory is set aside, and a mind-object identity theory is proposed in its place: to be conscious of an object is simply to be made of that object. Consciousness is physical but not neural.
John Benjamins, October 2017

Standing at the Edge. Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet

Joan Halifax
Joan Halifax has enriched thousands of lives around the world through her work as a humanitarian, a social activist, an anthropologist, and a Buddhist teacher. Over many decades, she has also collaborated with neuroscientists, clinicians, and psychologists to understand how contemplative practice can be a vehicle for social transformation. Through her unusual background, she developed an understanding of how our greatest challenges can become the most valuable source of our wisdom – and how we can transform our experience of suffering into the power of compassion for others.
Flatiron, May 2017

Lou Reed: A Life

Anthony DeCurtis 
With unparalleled access to dozens of Lou’s friends, family, and collaborators, DeCurtis tracks the singer’s five-decade career through the accounts of those who knew him and through his most revealing testimony, his music. We travel deep into his defiantly subterranean world, enter the studio as the Velvet Underground record their groundbreaking work, and revel in Lou’s relationships with such legendary figures as Andy Warhol, David Bowie and Laurie Anderson. Gritty, intimate, and unflinching, Lou Reedis an illuminating tribute to one of the most incendiary artists of our time.
Jon Murray, October 2017

Deconstructing Gurdjieff. Biography of a Spiritual Magician

Tobias Churton
Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath the self-crafted mythology of Gurdjieff, revealing a perilous childhood in a Greek family, persecuted by Turks, forced to migrate to Georgia and Armenia, only to grow up amid more war, persecution, genocide and revolt. Placing Gurdjieff in the true context of his times, Churton explores the spiritual teacher’s roles in esoteric movements taking root in the Russian Empire and in epic imperial construction projects in the Kars Oblast, Transcaucasia and central Asia. He reveals the sources of Gurdjieff’s transformative philosophy, his early interest in hypnosis, magic, Theosophy, and spiritualism and the profound influence of the Yezidis and the Sufis, the “gnostics” of Islam, on Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way teachings and the “Work.” Churton also explores Gurdjieff’s ties to Freemasonry and his relationships with other spiritual teachers and philosophers of the age, such as Madame Blavatsky, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Aleister Crowley.
Inner Traditions, June 2017

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