"Combining a poet's sensibility with a scientist's love of fact, Diane Ackerman offers us An Alchemy of Mind, a brilliant distillation of the mysterious intersection of metaphysics, and the physical world, all delivered in miraculously readable prose." --Elle




An Alchemy of Mind

"The human psyche fascinates revered naturalist and poet Ackerman as much as any other aspect of the grand carnival of life, hence this agile, involving, and uniquely far-ranging and insightful inquiry into “how the brain becomes the mind.” As always, Ackerman is positively scintillating, thanks to the intensity of her observations, the imaginativeness of her interpretations of both natural phenomena and science, the splendor of her distinctive prose, and her flair for making her discoveries personal, relevant, and resonant. Erudite and playful, Ackerman explores the differences between the right and left brains and the brains of men and women, and cogently explains the chemistry of the “microscopic hubbub” generated inside our heads as neurons speak “an electrochemical lingo all their own.” She explicates memory, ponders the jumble of genetics and circumstances that engender personalities, delineates the mechanics and impact of emotions, and reveals how profoundly malleable and adaptive the brain is. Most movingly, Ackerman marvels over our creativity, especially our facilities for language, story, and metaphor. She writes, “One of the most surprising facts about human beings is that we seem to require a poetic version of life,” the very gift Ackerman bestows upon her rapt and illuminated readers. Booklist

A dramatic love story that combines science, inspiration, wisdom, and heart.
A true WWII story of people, animals, and subversive acts of compassion.
A book that celebrates nature at dawn, many forms of awakening, and the healing power of nature.
A poetic exploration of the mysteries of the brain and the marvel of the mind.
A natural history of the garden, by an intellectual sensualist. “An enchanting book.”--New York Times Book Review
A celebration of the five senses. "An aphrodisiac for the sense receptors." --Chicago tribune
A special caliber of play that awakens the most creative, sentient, and joyful aspects of our inner selves.
Adventure stories among endangered animals.
More adventures among endangered animals.
A memoir about learning to fly and what that teaches one about the world.
A delightfully witty collection of poems showing how the senses enrich the experiences of all living beings.