Interest in psychedelics is on the rise, as demonstrated by Michael Pollan’s bestselling How to Change Your Mind, which has sold more than 93,000 copies since its publication in May, according to NPD BookScan. Although mind-altering drugs have been used for centuries, Pollan explores new research on how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) can help people with depression, addiction, and even spiritual transcendence. Several forthcoming titles will delve into the history and benefits of using LSD, psilocybin, and other psychedelics such as DMT.
Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds
Lauren Slater (Back Bay, Feb. 2019)
Slater, a psychologist and writer who has won an NEA literature fellowship, details the history of psychiatric drugs, including early use of Thorazine and Prozac, as well as experimental treatments involving ecstasy (MDMA), psilocybin, and other substances, offering a personal assessment of how each treatment works.
DMT Dialogues: Encounters with the Spirit Molecule
Edited by David Luke and Rory Spowers (Park Street, Aug.)
Based on a 2015 meeting of researchers, this collection of discussions on and experiences with dimethyltryptamine (DMT) argues that the naturally occurring psychedelic is a channel for interspecies communication, discarnate consciousness, and more.
Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America
Jesse Jarnow (Da Capo, Sept.)
Jarnow, a music writer, draws on interviews and research to highlight the American subculture associated with fans of the Grateful Dead, including the use of LSD.
Psychedelic Mystery Traditions: Spirit Plants, Magical Practices, and Ecstatic States
Thomas Hatsis (Park Street, Sept.)
Hatsis, a historian and author, explores the traditions of psychedelic use from neolithic times to the Victorian era, showing how psychedelics were integrated into Jewish, Roman, and Christian traditions and the role the plants played.
The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy: LSD Psychotherapy in America
Matthew Oram (Johns Hopkins Univ., Sept.)
New Zealand historian Oram traces the success of using LSD to treat chronic alcoholism in the U.S. during the 1960s, until research was halted due to strict standards for efficacy evaluations.
Shamanic Plant Medicine—Magic Mushrooms: The Holy Children
Ross Heaven (Moon, Feb. 2019)
Ross, a psychologist in the U.K. who died earlier this year, provides an introduction to LSD and psilocybin and examines how cultures around the world use magic mushrooms for spirit communion, healing, divination, and personal discovery.
More on Mind-Altering Drugs: Marijuana Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen
Stephanie Hua and Coreen Carroll (Chronicle, Nov.)
This collection of 30 small, low-dose recipes for cannabis-infused baked goods is said to offer eaters a “heavenly experience,” according to the publisher.
A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, and Sleep Better—and Get High Like a Lady
Nikki Furrer (Workman, Dec.)
From the owner of a cannabis cultivation center in Illinois comes a collection of answers to the questions most frequently asked by women about using marijuana.