Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart
When a young Jim Doty walked into the magic shop that day, he never suspected that the next six weeks would affect his life so much. Instead of learning magic tricks, he was trained in meditation, visualization, and focus, all valuable tools that would help him realize his dreams. And yet, it was only when he achieved those dreams that he realized he should have been seeking something else entirely.
In Into the Magic Shop, Doty shares his life story—a journey from an impoverished youngster from a broken home to an accomplished neurosurgeon and businessman—casting it in the light of his two greatest influences: a fascination with the brain and learned techniques for wish-fulfillment from his childhood.
A curious memoir mixing mindfulness, philosophy, science, and tell-all elements, Into the Magic Shop trades on its scientific content in order to push a more spiritual message, which feels a little disingenuous to me. And although there are valuable lessons to be drawn from Doty’s story—particularly ones on humility and determination—I would advise any reader to treat this more as a source of inspiration and less as a scientific text on neuroplasticity.
James R. Doty MD