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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Of all the many things humans rely on plants for, surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate, calm, or completely alter the qualities of our mental experience. In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan explores three very different drugs - opium, caffeine and mescaline - and throws the fundamental strangeness of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs, while consuming (or in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants and the equally powerful taboos.

In a unique blend of history, science, memoir and reportage, Pollan shines a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively. In doing so, he proves that there is much more to say about these plants than simply debating their regulation, for when we take them into our bodies and let them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can. This ground-breaking and singular book holds up a mirror to our fundamental human needs and aspirations, the operations of our minds and our entanglement with the natural world.

©2021 Michael Pollan (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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couldn't stop listening

Beautifully written and fascinating, I couldn't stop listening! The author's narration is great, even funny at times, and he handles sensitive subjects with care/compassion. The plants themselves are fascinating, but learning about our relationship with them, including the author's, was such an unexpected joy.

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Right under your nose

Amazing to think so many mysterious plants are manipulating us more than were manipulating them in this codependent relationship right under our noses. If we made so many questionable decisions in the past, you have to wonder how what we are doing today will be judged by our grand children's children. I'm decided to reduce my caffeine, drink more tea, grow poppies for spring colour and find a san pedro cutting, just to look and respect it.

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  • Jeffrey Kendall
  • 10-07-2021

A wonderful book, once again.

I really enjoy Pollan's style and how he intertwines various plants into a narrative.

This is a fascinating look at the criminal war on drugs, the amazing power of caffine and gave me a beautiful new perspective on peyote.

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  • Tout en chantant
  • 08-07-2021

No table of contents?!?!?

Unacceptable that they should, in this day and age, publish an audiobook without a table of contents!!!

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  • Jamie O'Shaughnessy
  • 18-07-2021

Interesting, but not as good as How to change your mind

I’ve very much enjoyed Michael Pollan’s books and this is a great read too - or great reading by the author I should say. It’s a nice accompaniment to his previous book, How to Change Your Mind, which I highly recommend. However, a bit shorter, a bit lighter, it just wasn’t as deep or good. One chapter being a previously published article, was this a bit of a rushed book through the pandemic? It seems like it. Worth reading but I feel there was more in the author.

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  • James K.
  • 11-07-2021

Another great book from Pollan

This book explores two subjects that I have not given much thought to and one that I think about constantly.

The material is interesting, peppered with interviews and read as only an author can read their book.

For me, the chapter on caffeine seemed quite light, likely because I have already researched coffee a fair bit. (I would like to point out that although Pollen makes the point that growers make barely any money, the process from bean to cup accounts for a lot of different costs, and if the café is charging a sensible premium then the costs to get the coffee to you do make up 98%< of the cost and are warranted.)

Additionally I feel like, although Pollan points out the difference between cultural appropriation and the use of peyote (diminishing supply for native Americans). The use of the term is self reinforcing its use in culture - cultures have borrowed and changed each others customs for melania and the current narrative that this is a bad thing only serves to demonise those who a bad actor wishes to dispense with.

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  • Tim Rudall
  • 29-07-2021

a good listen, many thought provoking ideas , fact

interesting facts about the top plants in our lives,a different perspective on how maybe the plants have won the propagation battle to survive because of our dependency on them, plants are clearly conscious of their surroundings and their own precarious frailties

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  • Joseph
  • 23-07-2021

Another fascinating and educational book by my nee favourite author

Again Michael Pollan writes and edicates in such an educational yet gripping way. Not only did I find this an interesting read, but it will shape my future relationship with caffeine and other plant derived mind altering substances

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  • James
  • 21-07-2021

Wonderfully insightful

After listening to a podcast with Michael Pollan, I purchased this book and was pleasantly surprised to hear he has done the audio for it.
Michael provides a great insight into the complexities of opium, caffeine and mescaline in society taking into account the views of the law and the people who use these substances.

I can highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in subjects around stimulants, depressants and psychedelics!

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