Love, sex, and the brain

Into the Magic Shop

Neurosurgeon Jim Doty is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. In Into the Magic Shop (named for a transformative experience he had as a boy), Doty shares his own story of moving past his successful-but-unhappy life by changing both his brain and his heart, and gives scientific and practical guidance for doing the same yourself.

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

What do generosity, learning, and exercise have in common with liquor, drugs, cheesecake, and gambling? According to David J. Linden, they all activate our “pleasure center” and can become addictive to us. In The Compass of Pleasure, Linden examines brain research and evolutionary science findings to determine what kinds of things our brains find pleasurable, and why we get such a rush from them. Linden’s writing style is witty and conversational, making The Compass of Pleasure a fun and intriguing summer read.

This Is Your Brain on Sex: The Science Behind the Search for Love

After a divorce, author Kayt Sukel decided to dive into the wild and crazy world of the neuroscience of love and sex. Talking with a wide variety of experts, and in some cases, being a guinea pig in their experiments, she approached the topic from many different angles. How does your brain choose between love and lust? Why are love and hate such close emotions? Sukel answers these questions, and many more, in this funny, heartfelt, and informative book.