The nonfiction bookclub that’s all about learning new things and challenging our perspectives. In each episode I meet with an author and discuss their book with them. Subscribe so you don't miss an episode!
#68: Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness with Nicholas Humphrey
Nicolas Humphrey has been studying the evolution of intelligence and consciousness for over 50 years.
He has been a Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford, Assistant Director of the Subdepartment of Animal Behaviour at Cambridge, Senior Research Fellow in Parapsychology at Cambridge, Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research, New York, and School Professor at the London School of Economics.
I had the pleasure of discussing with him his book titled: Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness.
Some of the topics we discussed in this episode includes:
What sparked Nick's interest in exploring the evolutionary history of consciousness ?What has Nick seen thats changed his perspective from his research in animal science and behaviour?Phenomenal ConsciousnessDo animals have Phenomenal Consciousness?What is the criteria for a machine to possess Phenomenal Consciousness and does the rise of Artificial Intelligence, make this a possibility ?What are the most pressing areas of research for consciousness in the future?
The Book and Audiobook: Sentience: The Invention of Consciousness is out now.
You can also find out more about Nick on his website https://www.humphrey.org.uk
As of now, my podcast is biweekly and prior to an episode I’ll let you know what book/audiobook I’ll be listening to before the next show so we can delve into it together!
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Listeners: Did I cover a book you read or listened to? Did I discuss the things which also stuck out to you? Or did I miss it out?..... get in touch, and let me know what your experience was or to give me audiobook recommendations: firstname.lastname@example.org
#67: The Black Lit Fic ( Literary Fiction) Extravaganza with @jpreads6
I had a fascinating conversation with John-Paul (@jpreads6. His TikTok account is one of the most prominent in an engaging and community focused niche, black literary fiction. The books mentioned in the episodes are:
Honey and Spice, by Bolu BabalolaThe Sex Lives of African Women by Nana Darkoa SekyiamahOpen Water by Caleb Azumah NelsonSmall World by Caleb Azumah NelsonIn Every Mirror She's Black by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmEverything is Not Enough by Lola Akinmade ÅkerströmLight Seekers by Femi KayodeThe Perfect Find by Tia WilliamsPercy Jackson by Rick RiordanBlessings by Chukwuebuka IbehSome of our topics discussed were:
What inspired John-Paul on showcasing authors from black authors and how he chooses the books to reviewHow are social media platforms changing the ways books are discussed and discovered How does John-Paul feel about the responsibility and influence that comes with his reviewsBooks that had a profound impact on his perspective and emotionsHow do the books on the black experience contribute towards a better understanding of diverse narratives? Are there any trends he has noticed in the portrayal of black characters in the stories he's read?John-Pauls recommendation of an authors that deserves more recognition TV adaptations of booksUpcoming books that he's excited about
#66: Talking Heads: The New Science of How Conversation Shapes Our Worlds with Shane O'Mara
Shane O'Mara is a Professor of Experimental Brain Research in Trinity College Dublin, and am a Principal Investigator in, and currently the Director of, the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and a member of the academic staff of the School of Psychology.
I had the please of discussing with him, his latest book titled: Talking Heads: The New Science of How Conversation Shapes Our Worlds
Some of the topics discussed includes:
How our memories influence our conversations and the importance of group conversationsWhat happens when our mind wonders?The role of conversations in shaping societiesThe potential for conversation to build a better future and how it can contribute to positive social and societal change.The Book and Audiobook: Talking Heads: The New Science of How Conversation Shapes Our Worlds is out now.
You can also find out more about Shane via his instagram https://www.instagram.com/shanewriter
or his substack https://brainpizza.substack.com/
#65: For The Book Enthusiasts: In Conversation with @NotThatCosta
I had a lovely conversation with Costa (@NotThatCosta) about all things books. His TikTok account is one of my favourite to follow to hear some fascinating book reviews and recommendations. Fair to say that after this episode, my 'to be read list' has grown much larger! The books mentioned in this episode includes:
1984, by George OrwellWhy Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverley TatumNatives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by AkalaUnorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminists Forgot
by Mikki Kendall Black Boy by Richard Wright On Connection by Kae Tempest Don't Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing by John Boughton The Extreme Centre by Tariq Ali Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner black girl, no magic: essays and reflections on living whilst black by Kimberly McIntosh Some of our topics discussed were:
How did he get into reading books and if there was any book that ignited his interest?Deciding on the next book to read.Preferring to read books that are under 400 pagesHow has some of the books he's read, contributed to a broader understanding of cultural and social issues?Has been a book thats challenged his preconceived notions or reconsider a particular topicThe topic of 'Self Help Books'Is there a book he finds himself referencing or mentioning to others to others?A book he would recommend for anyone who wants to get into reading?
#64: Free Your Mind: The New World of Manipulation and How to Resist It with Patrick Fagan
Patrick Fagan is a Sunday Times bestselling author, and public speaker, and consults for brands and political campaigns around the world.
I had the please of discussing with him, his latest book which he co-authored with journalist Laura Dodsworth titled: Free Your Mind: The New World of Manipulation and How to Resist It.
Some of the topics discussed includes:
How he came up with the idea of putting the book togetherWhy when it comes to freeing our mind, must we compare ourselves to soldiers on a battlefield How effective have governmental nudge units been?How being smart, or having a high level of intellect, doesn't immune you from being brainwashed or manipulated.Do social media platforms keep us from being politically informed? and why must we practice social media distancingThe importance of readingHow changing our own information space, means we change our environment Did Patrick's life change after writing the book?The Book and Audiobook: Free Your Mind: The New World of Manipulation and How to Resist It is out now.
You can also find out more about Pat via his twitter @PFagan87
or his website https://www.patrickfagan.co.uk/
#63: What Is a Doctor?: A GP's Prescription for the Future with Dr Phil Whitaker
Dr Phil Whitaker has lived in a variety of locations around the UK including Nottingham, where he studied in medicine, and Oxford, where he undertook postgraduate training in general practice.
I had the please of discussing with him, his latest book titled: What Is a Doctor?: A GP's Prescription for the Future.
Using stories and case studies from across his thirty-year career as a GP, Dr Phil Whitaker offers insight into the medical movements, political interference and societal changes that have transformed the role of doctor over the past three decades.
Some of the topics discussed includes:
How 'Evidence Based Medicine' has been hijacked by 'Evidence Dictated Medicine'What has changed the two way relationship between a doctor and a patient?Is it still an attractive job to be GP?How reliable are algorithmic softwares such as'GP at Hand' and is it helping or hurting the role of being a GP?Phil's thoughts on patient centred consulting in the form of: Ideas Concerns & Expectations (ICE)What concepts that should be introduced to undergraduate medicine education, and is Phil optimistic for the future?
The Book and Audiobook: What Is a Doctor?: A GP's Prescription for the Future is out now.
You can also find out more about Phil via his twitter @pwhitakerwriter
or his website https://philwhitaker.co.uk