Reviews and Praise

“A hugely entertaining look at why we enjoy the things we enjoy. … There's hardcore biology here, but it's tempered with personal anecdotes, penetrating observations and quotes from the likes of comedian Mitch Hedberg and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. If you're science-phobic, don't worry: Linden is incredibly smart, but comes across as the funny, patient professor you wish you'd had in college.”

-National Public Radio, Michael Schaub


"This cheerful summary of the brain's reward system is a profound experience… Pleasure is a superb book.  My brain has been changed by reading it.”

-The Guardian (UK), Leo Benedictus


"Linden's conversational style, his abundant use of anecdotes, and his successful coupling of wit with insight makes [The Compass of Pleasure] a joy to read.  Even the footnotes are sprinkled with hidden gems."

-Publisher's Weekly


"This book is highly readable and full of fascinating facts and theories... You're sure to get pleasure from reading Pleasure"

-BBC Focus (UK), Susan Blackmore


"In his book “The Compass of Pleasure,” the Johns Hopkins neurobiologist David J. Linden explicates the workings of these regions, known collectively as the reward system, elegantly drawing on sources ranging from personal experience to studies of brain activity to experiments with molecules and genes."

-The New York Times, Christopher Chabris


"Important, timely and fascinating."

-Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth and The End of America


"Conventional wisdom advises, “If it feels good, stop it. If it tastes good, spit it out.” But why? Because indulging pleasurable excess, whether of drugs, food, or sex, has an unforgiving downside. The biology of how we know this is the topic of Linden’s fascinating, by turns technical and entertaining effort."

-Booklist, Donna Chavez


"How do orgasms, heroin, greasy foods and juicy gossip jolt the same neurons? Neuroscientist David Linden delves into the research, mixing in plenty of trippy anecdotes."

-Psychology Today


"A professor of neuroscience, David Linden’s latest book looks at what’s going on in the brain when we do things that make us feel good, be it drinking a glass of red wine or doing volunteer work. Linden has scientific explanations for what’s happening between your gut and your brain in why-am-I-hungry-for-a-fourth-macaroon-moments.

 -Vogue, Molly Creeden

"A lively description of the pursuit of pleasure, one of the most powerful forces in the human brain."

-Science News


"This is your brain. You may as well enjoy it, and this romp through the science of pleasure is a blast of dopamine.", Joel Gardner

 © David J. Linden 2013