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Publication Date: 2016-01-08
A history of the world in 6 glasses by
Standage avoids a dry look at history by viewing it through a new lens: drinks. The technology editor of the Economist pairs various eras with a signature beverage and notes the effect of each. This highly engaging look at beer, wine, hard spirits, tea, coffee, and cola takes a sweeping yet succinct look at the past. Standage is able to cover a lot of ground by focusing more on the relationship between drink and society than history in general, keeping the book entertaining.
Unconventional nonfiction books about substance abuse filtered through the lens of popular culture, these works look at how alcohol and drug use has shaped – and been shaped by – the society around it. Eschewing traditional narratives that focus on a single individual’s struggle with addiction, these works variously take as their subject everything from a time period to a unique slang to a particular drink, telling the story of substance use through that particular lens and in the process elucidating it from an entirely new and unexpected perspective.
Stuart: a life backwards by
Upon finishing the first draft of this biography of Stuart Shorter, an ex-junkie ex-homeless friend, author Alexander Masters was told by Stuart himself that it should be more interesting, "like what Tom Clancy writes." In the end, he assembled a heartbreaking and deeply personal account of an extraordinary life without giving in to sentimentality. Unfortunately, the award-winning finished product was never seen by Stuart, who stepped in front of a train before it was completed. Masters takes an unconventional look at an unconventional life, starting from Stuart’s death and leading to the traumatic events that drove him to drug use and homelessness.
Olive or twist?: a book of drinking cartoons by
New Yorker cartoonist Jack Ziegler compiled 122 hilarious cartoons about drinking. Jokes range from the silly to sidesplitting literary jokes ("Meanwhile at the Cafe de la Mort: Ernest Hemingway is ridiculing Oscar Wilde's wine spritzer while Truman Capote takes notes").
Buzz: the science and lore of alcohol and caffeine by
Award-winning scientist Stephen Braun inspects the relationship between coffee and booze and the people that love them. As funny as it is informative, this collection of stories, trivia, and history chronicles the effect that caffeine and alcohol have on the human body without getting bogged down in scientific detail.
Sacred Bliss by
Publication Date: 2016-10-20
One of the most important relationships that human beings have with plants is changing our consciousness -- consider the plants that give us coffee, tea, chocolate, and nicotine. Sacred Bliss challenges traditional attitudes about cannabis by tracing its essential role in the spiritual and curative traditions in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from prehistory to the present day. In highlighting the continued use of cannabis around the globe, Sacred Bliss offers compelling evidence of cannabis as an entheogen used for thousands of years to evoke peak-experiences, or moments of expanded perception or spiritual awareness. Today, the growing utilization of medical cannabis to alleviate the pain and symptoms of physical illness raises the possibility of using cannabis to treat the mind along with the body. By engaging sacred and secular texts from around the world, Sacred Bliss demonstrates that throughout religious history, cannabis has offered access to increased imagination and creativity, heightened perspective and insight, and deeper levels of thought."
Pot culture: the A-Z guide to stoner language and life by
The former editor of High Times and a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly document the ins and outs of pot culture. The book contains lists of the best stoner movies of all time, celebrity contributions, and a detailed glossary of drug slang. Replete with hilarious trivia and clever illustrations, this book will be sure to entertain anyone it is put in front of.
Publication Date: 2014-10-28
Through rich illustration and narrative, Sobriety: A Graphic Novel offers an inside look to recovery from the perspectives of five Twelve Step group members, each with a unique set of addictions, philosophies, struggles, and successes while working the Steps.