*The Falling Sky*
The subtitle is Words of a Yanomami Shaman, and the shaman is Davi Kopenawa from the Amazon, with transcription and assistance from French anthropologist Bruce Albert. Imagine 487 pp. of a highly intelligent, articulate shaman telling you what he thinks, and perhaps more importantly telling you what he thinks about. Here is one bit:
As children, we gradually start to think straight. We realize that the xapiri [spirits] really exist and that the elders’ words are true. Little by little, we understand that the shamans do not behave as ghosts without a reason. Our thought fixes itself on the spirits’ words, and then we really want to see them. We take hold of the idea that later we will be able to ask the elders to blow the yakoana into our nostrils and give us the xapiri’s songs. This is how it happened for me a long time ago. The spirits often came to visit me in dreams. This is how they started to know me well.
For those who are willing to swerve in the direction of the mystical, I recommend this strongly, read the Amazon reviews at the first link above. Here is a brief excerpt from one: “This is an astonishing book, a gripping story, and a poetic revelation of an entirely different world view than our own. Every single page sparkles with provocative meditations on the impact that industrial societies have on the environment and the role of Yanomami shamans in protecting it for the sake of all humanity.” You won’t find cost-benefit analysis here. Here are some selections from the book. Here is one blog review from LSE. Google is not turning up too many other reviews, but this came out in late 2013 and it is a truly significant work deserving of further attention and it is rather dramatically under-reviewed.