An eye-opening perspective that New Age fans and open-minded readers should value.



A writer mixes metaphysics and hardcore science to map out a life plan.

In a scientifically grounded look at the concept of alternate realities, debut author Scott shows readers how to leave unsatisfying elements of their lives behind and shift into an existence where they are the people they want to be. It’s not the old TV series Quantum Leap, in which the main character is zapped backward in time and literally jumps into someone else’s body. Readers retain their own identities but leap into improved versions of themselves—who, for example, have better credit ratings or are free from addiction. The book distinguishes itself from genre tomes that take a purely metaphysical view of parallel universes because it accords equal, if not more, weight to the role of physics: quantum entanglement, wormholes and black holes, folding space, and warp drive. These ideas come from Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Feynman, who developed equations about varying concepts of reality. The volume is organized in four parts, starting with the backstory that triggered Scott’s awareness of the ability to shift into alternate realities. He breaks his theory down to simple principles and starts by explaining them in a straightforward, easily understandable manner. In Part 2, he delivers practical methods to take control of one’s present reality: changing one’s name (as he did), moving to another home or city, or learning a new language. Then come the fun parts: learning his techniques to “hack reality” and move forward into a self-designed consciousness. At 400 pages, the book covers a lot of territory, with instructional chapters on how to maintain love, health, and prosperity. The author puts his own stamp on the theory of transurfing, which was developed by Russian physicist Vadim Zeland. While Zeland eschews focusing on the present moment and advocates looking ahead to compose the direction of one’s reality, Scott weaves in the tenets of mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and Zen. Rigorously researched, the book is lucid and instills confidence through the author’s calm, authoritative voice. The work should intrigue readers who don’t dismiss metaphysics out of hand or who at least refuse to paint an indelible line between New Age thought and science.

An eye-opening perspective that New Age fans and open-minded readers should value.

Pub Date: March 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0620-3

Page Count: 402

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2020

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A lucid (in the sky with diamonds) look at the hows, whys, and occasional demerits of altering one’s mind.


Building on his lysergically drenched book How to Change Your Mind (2018), Pollan looks at three plant-based drugs and the mental effects they can produce.

The disastrous war on drugs began under Nixon to control two classes of perceived enemies: anti-war protestors and Black citizens. That cynical effort, writes the author, drives home the point that “societies condone the mind-changing drugs that help uphold society’s rule and ban the ones that are seen to undermine it.” One such drug is opium, for which Pollan daringly offers a recipe for home gardeners to make a tea laced with the stuff, producing “a radical and by no means unpleasant sense of passivity.” You can’t overthrow a government when so chilled out, and the real crisis is the manufacture of synthetic opioids, which the author roundly condemns. Pollan delivers a compelling backstory: This section dates to 1997, but he had to leave portions out of the original publication to keep the Drug Enforcement Administration from his door. Caffeine is legal, but it has stronger effects than opium, as the author learned when he tried to quit: “I came to see how integral caffeine is to the daily work of knitting ourselves back together after the fraying of consciousness during sleep.” Still, back in the day, the introduction of caffeine to the marketplace tempered the massive amounts of alcohol people were drinking even though a cup of coffee at noon will keep banging on your brain at midnight. As for the cactus species that “is busy transforming sunlight into mescaline right in my front yard”? Anyone can grow it, it seems, but not everyone will enjoy effects that, in one Pollan experiment, “felt like a kind of madness.” To his credit, the author also wrestles with issues of cultural appropriation, since in some places it’s now easier for a suburbanite to grow San Pedro cacti than for a Native American to use it ceremonially.

A lucid (in the sky with diamonds) look at the hows, whys, and occasional demerits of altering one’s mind.

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-29690-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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