Category: VSP

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Reveals the mind boggling neuroscience connecting brain, body, mind, and society, by examining a range of brain disorders, in the tradition of Oliver Sacks.

Identifying what makes up the nature of the human mind has long been neuroscience’s greatest challenge – a mystery perhaps never to be fully understood. Award-winning author and master of science journalism Anil Ananthaswamy smartly explores the concept of self by way of several mental conditions that alter patients’ identities, showing how we learn a lot about being human from people with a fragmented or altered sense of self.

He travels the world to meet those who suffer from “maladies of the self” interviewing patients, psychiatrists, philosophers and neuroscientists along the way. He charts how the self is affected by Asperger’s, autism, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, among many other mental conditions, revealing how the brain constructs our sense of self. Each chapter is anchored with stories of people who experience themselves differently from the norm.

The Man Who Wasn’t There is a magical mystery tour of scientific analysis and philosophical pondering, now utterly transformed by recent advances in cutting-edge neuroscience.

***PRAISE FOR THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE***

‘Ananthaswamy excels at making theoretical concepts and experimental procedures both comprehensible and compelling.’ Science

‘If you simply want to read a great science book, I can’t recommend any more highly than this one.’ Forbes

‘A compelling and entertaining look at the last untapped mystery, the true final frontier: the nature of our selves. Science journalism at its best.’ Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind

‘An agreeably written travelogue through this mysterious landscape at the frontiers of knowledge.’ The Wall Street Journal 

‘You’ll never see yourself—or others—the same way again.’ People

‘Ananthaswamy’s remarkable achievement is to make sense of these unhappy individuals’ otherness, while holding on to their human sameness. You’ll come away enlightened and chastened, asking searching questions about who you are.’ Nicholas Humphrey, author of A History of the Mind

‘It is an astonishing journey and an ambitious book, bringing together cutting-edge science and philosophy from West and East. You will not be quite the same self after reading it.’ New Scientist

The Importance of Living

A tremendous bestseller when it was first published in 1937, The Importance of Living has been a classic for over sixty years. Intended as an antidote to the dizzying pace of the modern world, Lin Yutang’s prescription is the classic distillation of ancient Chinese wisdom: revere inaction as much as action, invoke humour to maintain a healthy attitude, and never forget that there will always be plenty of fools around who are willing – indeed eager – to be busy, to make themselves useful, and to exercise power while you bask in the simple joy of existence. 

Now, more than six decades later, with our lives accelerated to unbelievable levels, this wise and timeless book is more pertinent than ever before. In an era when we’re overwhelmed with wake-up calls, it’s an entertaining innovation to savour life’s beauty, its endless fascination and its slow, sure, simple pleasures. 

The Friendship Cure

Our best friends, gal-pals, bromances, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, long- distance buddies and WhatsApp threads define us in ways we rarely acknowledge. There is so much about friendship we either don t know or don t articulate: why do some friendships last a lifetime, while others are only temporary? How do you break up with a toxic friend? And maybe the most important question: how can we live in the most interconnected age and still find ourselves stuck in the greatest loneliness epidemic of our time? It s killing us, making us miserable and causing a public health crisis. What if meaningful friendships are the solution, not a distraction 

In The Friendship Cure, Kate Leaver’s much anticipated manifesto brings to light what modern friendship means, how it can survive, why we need it and what we can do to get the most from it. From behavioural scientists to best mates, Kate finds extraordinary stories and research, drawing on her own experiences to create a fascinating blend of accessible smart thinking, investigative journalism, pop culture and memoir.

A Very Short Tour of the Mind

Leading us through cognitive theory, neuroscience and Darwinian evolution with his trademark wit and wisdom, Michael Corballis explains what we know and don’t know about our minds. How do we know if we’re really the top dogs in brain power? Does our creativity stem solely from the right brain? From language to standing upright, composing music to lying, he uncovers our most common misconceptions and the fascinating habits and abilities that make us human.

‘We’re fortunate to have Corballis as our learned and charming guide on this all-too-short tour of the human mind’ Steven Pinker

Why Won’t You Apologize?

Renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger sheds new light on the two most important words in the English language, "I’m sorry," and offers a unique perspective on the challenge of healing broken relationships and restoring trust. Dr. Harriet Lerner has been studying apologies for more than two decades, namely, why some people won’t give them. Now she offers compelling stories and solid theory that demonstrates the transformative power of making amends and what is required for healing when the damage we’ve inflicted (or received) is far from simple. Readers will learn how to craft a meaningful apology and avoid signals of insincerity that only deepen suffering. In Why Won’t You Apologize? Lerner challenges the popular notion that forgiveness is the only path to peace of mind and helps those who have been injured to resist pressure to forgive too easily. She explains what drives both the non-apologizer and the over-apologizer, and why the people who do the worst things are the least able to own their misdeeds. With her trademark humour and wit, Lerner offers a joyful and sanity-saving guide to setting things right.