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Michael Pollan recommends 4 books that will change the way you think about your brain

Michael Pollan’s work has mostly focused on what we eat and why, most famously in his 2006 book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. That book’s advice — Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. — became gospel for many readers (including my mom, who still recites those words like a mantra). Pollan’s 2013 book about the transformative process of cooking, Cooked, was adapted into a Netflix series. But on this week’s episode of The Ezra Klein Show, he talks about something very different: psychedelics.

Pollan’s new book, How to Change Your Mind, started out as an investigation into how LSD and other mind-altering drugs are being used to treat terminally ill patients and evolved into a “mental travelogue” comparing the science of human consciousness to our lived experiences. The book, subtitled What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, will be released Wednesday. Ezra called it “one of the most mind-expanding books I have read this year.”

Buy How to Change Your Mind here: Amazon | Barnes Noble

Over the course of this conversation, Klein and Pollan use several metaphors for psychedelic use. One compares tripping to rebooting a computer, hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete on your brain, or filling a sled imprint with freshly fallen snow. Pollan describes the way our senses dictate our experience of reality, comparing it to that of a bee whose body emphasizes different sensory experiences. It’s a trippy conversation about a trippy subject, one that will make you come away questioning your reality for days, no LSD required.

When asking for book recommendations, Ezra specifically requested books that “changed the way [Pollan] think[s] about [his] brain.” Two of

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