Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty

Into the Magic Shop

Extraordinary things happen when we harness the power of both the brain and the heartGrowing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. But back then his life was at a dead end u...

Details Into the Magic Shop

TitleInto the Magic Shop
Release DateFeb 2nd, 2016
Number of pages288 pages
GenreNonfiction, Science, Autobiography, Memoir, Self Help, Medical, Psychology

Reviews Into the Magic Shop

  • Darth J
    There's just something so sapioromantic about this book. You just have to stop and revel in the gorgeous wonder of the brain, the sheer capacity of all it can do. While there are graphic depictions of brain surgery here, the focus is mainly on neuroplasticity and the importance that presence and concentration can have on our health.(view spoiler)[(hide spoiler)]I also like the early nostalgic bits of when the author was a child in the 60s and lea...
  • Maureen
    The power of positive thinking and mindfulness are nothing new, but this is the first time that I've heard of a child learning such things. Jim Doty had a pretty poor childhood both financially, and in terms of nurturing. There's no doubt that HE was the adult in his family - caring and worrying about his mother, father and brother, and then came that fateful day when he met Ruth. Ruth taught him all manner of what he saw as magical things, not o...
  • Myrthe
    This book wasn't like I expected it to be. I thought it would focus on the 'Neurosurgeon' part of the title, so I expected it to be a story about how we can discover the mysteries of the brain through academic research or something like that. However, it was a spiritual story and when I discovered that, I almost stopped reading. I am so glad that I didn't, though! Although I am not big on spirituality, this story was still extremely interesting a...
  • Heidi The Hippie Librarian
    I received a free advance reading copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!Into the Magic Shop is James Doty's memoir. He had a tragic childhood with parents who, for various reasons, were not present for him. Then, after an encounter with a total stranger, James was taught meditation, creative visualization, and positive thought practices that changed his life. As he comes of age, he dismisses the compassion related...
  • Vanessa
    One of those rare books where, as I'm reading it, I keep thinking of more and more and more people I want to give it to! One of those rare ‪books‬ where, as I'm ‪reading‬ it, I keep thinking of more and more and more people I want to give it to!
  • Claire McAlpine
    James Doty never really set out to write this book, but he told his story to so many people with whom it resonated and being one of the founding creators of CCARE (The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research) he was eventually convinced how many more people could be inspired by his story and learn about the amazing work being undertaken, that he agreed to share his experience.Doty came from a poor background, raised in a dsyfunctional family,...
  • Angie
    Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart This story will make you love Ruth. And like little Jim and root for him. And then hate big Jim. And then come to like big Jim again.Jim Doty has been both a good guy and a bad guy, and this book tells the story of his journey and encourages others to make the same journey toward good -- surely if a guy that selfish can make the journey...
  • Rob Slaven
    I received this book free for review from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. Despite the privilege of receiving a free book, I’m absolutely candid about it below because I believe authors and readers will benefit most from honest reviews rather than vacuous 5-star reviews.The nutshell on this book is that it is, essentially, a self-help book. It doesn't start out that way but at the end of the day, it's quite a lot of flu...
  • Charlene
    This was basically Tuesdays With Morrie with some neuroscience thrown in. Far too sensational. Far too exaggerated. Far too ...... everything. Was he really that insightful at such a young age? Is any of that even true? Was Ruth that insightful? I doubt it. This reads more like a morphed memory of how he became a neurosurgeon. If it were an historical fiction book, I am sure I would have enjoyed it. But, passing off this much sensation as fact, e...
  • Jancee Wright
    Back in college, one of the first people I met was a girl named Sarah. We met at orientation, but I left thinking that we would never be friends. Our personalities just seemed too different. She looked every bit the hippie, with long flowing skirts, healthy snacks, and a soft voice. Luckily, first impressions don’t often mean much, and we went on to become great friends. Today we live about an hour apart, and every so often the roommates and I ...
  • Diane Holcomb
    A friend at the bookstore where I work received an advance copy of this book and told me, "You've got to read this! It's the best explanation of mindfulness I've ever seen." She flipped through three-quarters of the book, saying, "I read this much in the first sitting." Well, mindfulness is a topic that I'm deeply interested in, so I was eager to dive into this book. I was hooked at the beginning.This true story of a boy who wanders into a magic ...
  • Justin
    I received this book, for free, in exchange for an honest review.This book is a quality spiritual tale along the lines of Coelho,Castenada and Millman. The author is genuine and the story is well told and engaging.The author breaks down the lessons from the story into a handful of exercises that you can practice to improve your life. To me the overall lesson of the book is to be more compassionate/loving to all people. When the author states this...
  • Penmouse
    Into the Magic Shop is a testament of how one person can change the life of another by making time to help someone in need of help. James R. Doty, MD was a poor kid growing up in Lancaster, California with a poor family background. Thanks to the compassion of Ruth, who he met at a local magic shop, his life was turned around.Doty's writing will keep you interested as it's lively and fast-paced. I stayed up far too late as I couldn't put his book ...
  • Steven
    Fascinating amalgam of science, esoterica, and philosophy that neither bored nor pandered to the reader. Note: I received this via NetGalley for an honest review.
  • Dana
    Doty’s “magic tricks” and “powers” of the heart and brain are meditation and visualization. He claims that you can do and have whatever you want if you use these techniques, but, realistically, they’ll just influence your attitude, confidence and resolve. You still need to put in work, and may need some luck, to reach your goals. This book is useful in showing the value of, and providing the basics for, meditation and visualization, b...
  • Barbara
    For me this memoir divides into four topics: - Author's heartbreaking youth and teenage years- Discussion of and instruction in "the magic"- Author overcoming incredible odds to reach - and then lose - incredible wealth- Author's redemption by re-orienting his focus from building wealth to helping patientsThe topics are interwoven with basic neurological and physiological information, which balances the "woo woo" aspects of the magic steps. The m...
  • Patrice
    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Net Galley, for an honest review. Please note that this book is not set to publish until February 2016.Honestly, great book. It is well written and engages the reader. There are instances where the author explains things in some technical medical terms; but, he goes on to explain so that the layman will understand. There are parts of the book that brought me to tears. It is a memoir as wel...
  • Jeanie
    Intriguing and thought provoking read!Not knowing what to expect from this book I was surprised to find it speaking directly to my own experiences and beliefs! I devoured this book all the while thinking "finally, someone who put this in simple understandable terms and a story!". It is hard to impart the vision of drawing energy from mental clearing and positive thinking. I especially loved the "foggy window" exercise. It made a great visual for ...
  • Justin
    I received this book, for free, in exchange for an honest review.I tend to read many books in the narrative self help genre. I enjoy authors like Dan Millman, Paulo Coelho, and Carlos Castaneda. This book fits well among the aforementioned authors' works. It is an enjoyable read that is filled with practical examples.I definitely learned some things from this book. The only thing preventing this book from having 5 stars is that there are a handfu...
  • Angie McDonald
    This dude is wildly narcissistic. He fabricates a simple and digestible story so that he can reframe meditation and mindfulness as his own unique idea to sell books to the masses. For being a neurosurgeon, there's little science in this book. His own selfish desires and egocentric lifestyle clearly caught up with him but only after losing millions of dollars did he begin to consider others. No amount of charitable work or artificial regret in the...
  • Sue Smith
    Fantastic book with some very very interesting insights. I love it when I pick up a book for no other reason than it speaks to me and then discover it was probably put in my path for a reason. Loved this book for that!!! If everyone followed this man's advice there wouldn't be half the world issues there are today. It's really that good!6 stars and I recommend it to everyone!
  • Barbara
    Review to follow.
  • Laura
    Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to send a big thank you to NetGalley for this book, and also to everyone at Penguin Group – Avery Publishing, as well as James R. Doty himself.I also published this review on my blog. You can check it out here.Despite its title, this book is not a work of fiction. It is not about the kind of magic we read in books like Harry Potter. The mag...
  • SundayAtDusk
    This book is an interesting one that I read in one night. It is both a memoir and a metaphysical book, and is written by a neurosurgeon. The introduction has a graphic description of brain surgery which I stopped reading long before it was over. Chapter One then goes back to Lancaster, California in 1968, where the author is a twelve-year-old who feels like he is most unlucky where his family is concerned. His father is an alcoholic with unsteady...
  • Devon H
    Date Completed: 12/11/2015Rating: 9.5/10This book drew me in from the very first sentence: “There’s a certain sound the scalp makes when it’s being ripped off of a skull – like a large piece of Velcro tearing away from its source” (subject to change before publication in February). I mean, don’t you want to hear more from this author? I’m simultaneously disgusted and intrigued, and I’m reading something I’ve never read before. T...
  • Amina
    It is the story of James, a little boy who grew up to be more than an ordinary neurosurgeon..James grew up in an unstable house, with a depressed mom and a drunken dad, he was really poor but he has always had that "caring thing".. One day, he went to a magic shop to buy a plastic thumb and that's where he met Ruth, the lady who's gonna change his life, Ruth taught him through six weeks another kind of magic, the magic of the heart and the brain ...
  • Maryann Taylor
    Dr. James Doty combines his memoir with science, as he teaches us how to change our lives by changing our brains and our hearts. Absolutely fascinating reading---I could not put this book down. Don't skip the introduction---it is just as compelling as the meat of this book. Dr. Doty, a Neurosurgeon, began his life in a poor and very dysfunctional environment. During the Summer before he begins 8th grade, he has a chance encounter with a compassio...
  • Diane Webber-thrush
    I read this book in one sitting on a cross country flight.His life story really captivated me, and it is as good a guide on how to meditate as any I've read. The basic story is that he met a woman in a magic shop when he was twelve who taught him how to meditate over the course of the summer. It was a skill that probably saved him, allowing him to escape his impoverished childhood unscathed despite an alcoholic father and depressed mother. He gro...
  • Paul Mcfarland
    James R. Doty MD is a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University who credits his accent, from a poor highly dysfunctional family to his chance encounter with a woman in a Magic Shop in California.Hs book is structured around the lessons he learned at that shop and his desire to reach as many people as possible with that knowledge. As a retired Neurosurgical Nurse reading this book I was impressed by the depth of knowledge ...
  • Patricia
    I guess I was expecting a medical memoir - a genre I seek out. But this book was a combination of a guide to meditation which then continued in the vein of "The Secret" (best selling self-help book). Although the author had a few medical stories, his self-avowed arrogance and his poor attitude left me cold about this book.