Hot Best Seller

Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

Availability: Ready to download

From the bestselling author of Gratitude andOn the Move, a final volume of essays that showcases Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passions for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, renowned scientist and storyteller, is adored by readers for his neurological case histories, hi From the bestselling author of Gratitude andOn the Move, a final volume of essays that showcases Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passions for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, renowned scientist and storyteller, is adored by readers for his neurological case histories, his fascination and familiarity with human behaviour at its most unexpected and unfamiliar. Everything in Its Place is a celebration of Sacks's myriad interests, all told with his characteristic compassion, erudition, and luminous prose. From the celebrated case history of Spalding Gray that appeared in The New Yorker four months before his death to reflections on mental asylums; from piercing accounts of Schizophrenia to a reminiscence of Robin Williams; from the riveting tale of a medical colleague falling victim to Alzheimer's to the cinematography of Michael Powell, this volume celebrates and reflects the wondrous curiosity of Oliver Sacks.


Compare

From the bestselling author of Gratitude andOn the Move, a final volume of essays that showcases Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passions for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, renowned scientist and storyteller, is adored by readers for his neurological case histories, hi From the bestselling author of Gratitude andOn the Move, a final volume of essays that showcases Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passions for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, renowned scientist and storyteller, is adored by readers for his neurological case histories, his fascination and familiarity with human behaviour at its most unexpected and unfamiliar. Everything in Its Place is a celebration of Sacks's myriad interests, all told with his characteristic compassion, erudition, and luminous prose. From the celebrated case history of Spalding Gray that appeared in The New Yorker four months before his death to reflections on mental asylums; from piercing accounts of Schizophrenia to a reminiscence of Robin Williams; from the riveting tale of a medical colleague falling victim to Alzheimer's to the cinematography of Michael Powell, this volume celebrates and reflects the wondrous curiosity of Oliver Sacks.

30 review for Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Simon Fletcher

    It's with tears in my eyes that I turn the last page on this book. Oliver Sacks was for me the benchmark; the medical and scientific writer by which all others were judged and largely found wanting. I remember watching a series of programmes he made for UK television when I was a teenager and being amazed by the vastness of his knowledge, his enthusiasm and his humanity. A few years later having watched and read Awakenings his writing became a permanent fixture in my reading. As each new book cam It's with tears in my eyes that I turn the last page on this book. Oliver Sacks was for me the benchmark; the medical and scientific writer by which all others were judged and largely found wanting. I remember watching a series of programmes he made for UK television when I was a teenager and being amazed by the vastness of his knowledge, his enthusiasm and his humanity. A few years later having watched and read Awakenings his writing became a permanent fixture in my reading. As each new book came out it instantly went to the top of my 'to read list'. This though will be his last new book and what a book it was. Sometimes these kind of books, collections of essays and monographs can be a little hit and miss, they tend to collate things the writer never intended to go into a book as they don't fit or weren't right. This though is a gem. Every article has been thought about and curated perfectly to show the breadth of Sacks' work and interests. If I'm honest this isn't his best book (nothing could top either Awakenings or On The Move) but as it's his last it gets *****. Beautiful from cover to cover.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Any time spent with Dr Sacks is time well spent.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Valeri Drach

    This book of short essays by Oliver Sachs is beautiful. They are gathered from different years of his life and show the scope of his humanity and vast knowledge on many varied topics from bipolar disorder to the invention of cinematography. But underneath is his vast knowledge of neurology and how it affects our humanity. His loss will always be felt.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    Before you read: Familiarize yourself with the word "[post]encephalitic". This is one word I noticed showed up several times throughout. As a science major, I greatly appreciate Sacks' attention to the minute, biochemical details when it comes to medical curiosities. I'm amazed at his ability to be so technical, yet still write without sounding pompous. He truly presents himself as a polymath, which can either be inspiring or intimidating. It bordered sometimes for me, but overall he inspires me Before you read: Familiarize yourself with the word "[post]encephalitic". This is one word I noticed showed up several times throughout. As a science major, I greatly appreciate Sacks' attention to the minute, biochemical details when it comes to medical curiosities. I'm amazed at his ability to be so technical, yet still write without sounding pompous. He truly presents himself as a polymath, which can either be inspiring or intimidating. It bordered sometimes for me, but overall he inspires me to learn more, instead of intimidating me into thinking "ugh, I could never know this much!" With my own ventures in mind, the Clinical Tales then was thus my favorite section overall, with the Humphry Davy essay getting an honorable mention. Shame, I've never heard of his story before! So interesting. Sacks did a fantastic job depicting, through Davy's life, how science can have passion and be romanticized and poetic (though, Sacks' writing itself presents this). Island of Stability was also very good. I think I, personally, possess a curiosity for what already exists. This is a mindset I wish I didn't possess... my tendency to say "Why? What's the point?" So, while interesting to read of the INVENTION (not discovery) of new elements, I kept thinking "Why all the effort? For what?" Coincidentally, Sacks commented toward the end "One can never tell in advance what the practical use... of anything new might be". I'll have to keep this in mind as I go on myself. Several times he touched on the nature of books/reading: Libraries, Reading the Fine Print, Life Continues. So these are my next favorites. I appreciate being encouraged to pick up that dusty, esoteric book way in the back of the library. Sacks did this, and he obviously found ways to use it in his life, even if just to mention the books' titles in his essays. I'll never have such use for the dusty books I read. Me, I'll read a book and forget everything about it the next week. But I still desire to read it for joy it brings in the moment. I believe Sacks understood this and encouraged this. Reading just to read. I must admit, even as a bibliophile and someone who personally forbids herself to post too much [of my life] online, I felt he was a little gripe-y about the rise of technology and ebooks. He said he didn't want an ereader, even though it could have benefited him. As with everything, it requires using it purposefully and with good intention. But this may be an argument that someone will run away with, unless they already have a partial stance against it to begin with. Maybe that's why Sacks' was staunch in his complaints. Some other essays/comments: That dreams can be a suggestion for diagnosis ("Neurological Dreams"). Amazing idea, that I wouldn't mind to be true, but I find fantastical. Not that I've read much on it, but I was a vague believer in NDE's and OBE's. He pretty much obliterated the authenticity of those ("Seeing God in the Third Millennium"). But again, the details were amazing, about how the brain can create what you perceive as a Godly experience. "Urge" was... uncomfortable. A sticky topic: pedophilia being the cause of a damaged rewards center in the brain. Sacks' obviously possessed an unbiased nature to introduce this idea and explain how it works, and I can respect that unbiased-ness. He broke down the complexity of life and the possibility of alien life somewhere out there ("Anybody Out There?"). Another idea I vaguely believed in, and I felt he annihilated! Arguments here even more convincing than the NDE/OBE annihilation. Life really is too insanely complex, maybe the biggest freak accident to ever be imagined and it's unlikely such a big accident could happen twice. But I feel he ended the essay with considerable skepticism and ideas for why alien life may still be an idea to consider (if not a possibility). "Kuru" kinda made me want to become vegan. Infected animal tissue that causes a spongy-holed brain?! The horror! Several times he touched on the psychology. He talked about the deinstitutionalization of mentally ill from insane asylums ("The Lost Virtues of the Asylum"). As well as talking about mania and depression (or both) in some neurological disorders (several essays). A huge variety of topics as you see! Without ever feeling scrambled. I can say only one or two bored me. Everything else, even if not my cup of tea, was fascinating/interesting (ex. "Clupeophilia"... now I want to try herring!). A really great book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick Rolston

    Sacks tells a stream-of-consciousness set of stories in this final memoir as the end of his life loomed. Like most of his books, he shared some clinical tales that were particularly fascinating, my favorite of which which related to a man who suffered from a thyroid malfunction that caused him to remain in a cold stupor with a body temperature 30 degrees below normal. His family finally consulted with doctors after nearly a decade of being frozen in time, and a quick procedure re-energized him w Sacks tells a stream-of-consciousness set of stories in this final memoir as the end of his life loomed. Like most of his books, he shared some clinical tales that were particularly fascinating, my favorite of which which related to a man who suffered from a thyroid malfunction that caused him to remain in a cold stupor with a body temperature 30 degrees below normal. His family finally consulted with doctors after nearly a decade of being frozen in time, and a quick procedure re-energized him with no memory of the years spent in the stupor. Ironically, as his body began to function again, it turned out he also carried a very malignant cancer that quickly metastasized and took his life. Sacks also reflected on his life from his early days as an athlete to his final days re-discovering a childhood dish of gefilte fish when he was unable to digest other foods that reminded him of the circular nature of life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    The best part about reading a book by Oliver Sacks is being inside the mind of a genius. This one was published after his death and so contains varied writings on many subjects. He includes cases of all types of mental illness, some very rare types, and also the aging brain and dementia. The breadth of his interests and his enthusiasm for them is amazing. He tells of the herring festival, the fern society, the possibility of life on other planets, and the discovery of new elements on the periodi The best part about reading a book by Oliver Sacks is being inside the mind of a genius. This one was published after his death and so contains varied writings on many subjects. He includes cases of all types of mental illness, some very rare types, and also the aging brain and dementia. The breadth of his interests and his enthusiasm for them is amazing. He tells of the herring festival, the fern society, the possibility of life on other planets, and the discovery of new elements on the periodic table. His work is always written in a way that makes even difficult subjects exciting and easy to understand.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Becky Loader

    How have I never read more of Oliver Sacks after "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat"? These eclectic stories are from the very tail end of his life, and they are grouped loosely by subject matter. I especially enjoyed his description of museums and the library, and how they played such an important part in his childhood. I also was fascinated by the essays about some of the more complex cases he dealt with as a neurologist. Very well written and very interesting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Lovely to spend time with Oliver Sachs in his final volume of essays! Brilliant, gentle, reverent, and unique, he is an extraordinary guide to the mysteries of the human brain and the wonders of flora and fauna. I say “is” because aren’t we lucky to have so many books of his to read and re-read?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Shea

    If you love Oliver Sacks, and who doesn't, this is a bitterweet read, his last work. Some of the chapters are delightful and full of joy, such as his description of learning to swim when he was very young and his life long love of swimming. Other chapters are short, just a single reaction to a single moment. He refers often to his other books and seems to be tidying up loose ends. In the last chapter, he mourns the loss of actual books to the craze of reading online and how so few books are publ If you love Oliver Sacks, and who doesn't, this is a bitterweet read, his last work. Some of the chapters are delightful and full of joy, such as his description of learning to swim when he was very young and his life long love of swimming. Other chapters are short, just a single reaction to a single moment. He refers often to his other books and seems to be tidying up loose ends. In the last chapter, he mourns the loss of actual books to the craze of reading online and how so few books are published in large print, now that a reader can just adjust the screen's zoom. I agree with him. It's not the same as holding a book in your hands. He also has concerns about libraries which are no longer sacred places but more like community centers with too much noise and activity to make them conducive to study and contemplation. He also has fears, as many do, that raising kids to attend to screens rather than to talk to other human beings will end up fragmenting societies and encourage shallow, reactive thought rather than deeper, more contemplative ideas.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gunjan

    Short, easy, touching essays. I bought this because of his short essay on gardens that was published online as an excerpt but stayed for the stories about his patients and essays about things like mental asylums, old scientists, ferns, etc. Worth a read, worth reading again as well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    Many tributes have been written to Oliver Sacks. After having read this book and several of his other books I can say those tributes are well deserved. Sacks was a brilliant, curious, well read and well spoken man comfortable writing with feeling and authority about a wide range of subjects. Living with madness. Life in space. His mother’s gefilte fish. All beautiful. His writing is a gift.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Barron_Author

    Review to follow, in Otago Daily Times and on www.lovewordsmusic.com Favourite quotes: So it is not just about the absence of disease or preservation of function that we should be concerned with, but the potential for continuing development throughout life. Cerebral function is not like cardiac or renal function, which proceeds autonomously, almost mechanically, in a family uniform way throughout a life. The brain/mind, in contrast, is anything but automatic, for it is always seeking, at every lev Review to follow, in Otago Daily Times and on www.lovewordsmusic.com Favourite quotes: So it is not just about the absence of disease or preservation of function that we should be concerned with, but the potential for continuing development throughout life. Cerebral function is not like cardiac or renal function, which proceeds autonomously, almost mechanically, in a family uniform way throughout a life. The brain/mind, in contrast, is anything but automatic, for it is always seeking, at every level from the perceptual to the philosophical, to categorize and recategorized the world, to comprehend and give meaning to its own experience. It is the nature of living a real life that experience is not uniform, but ever changing and ever challenging and requiring more and more comprehensive integration. It is not enough for the brain/mind simply to tick over, maintaining uniform function (like the heart); it must adventure and advance throughout life. The very concept of health or wellness requires a special definition in relation to the brain. . . . If the brain is to stay healthy, it must remain active, wondering, playing, exploring, and experimenting right to the end. (page 152/3) Perhaps, too, it will remind us of what a narrow ridge of normality we all inhabit, with the abysses of mania and depression yawning to either side. (page 183) There are certain passions—one wants to call them innocent, ingenuous passions—that are great democratizers. Baseball, music, and bird-watching come immediately to mind. At the herring festival, there was no talk about the stock market, no gossiping about celebrities. People had come to eat herring—to savor them, to compare them. (page 213) In forty years of medical practice, I have found only two types of non-pharmaceutiful "therapy" to be vitally important for patients with chronic neurological diseases: music and gardens. (page 243) I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disables neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication. (page 245). I have a number of patients with very advanced dementia or Alzheimer's disease, who may have very little sense of orientation to their surroundings. They have forgotten, or cannot access, how to tie their shoes or handle cooking implements. But put them in front of a flower bed with some seedlings, and they will know exactly what to do—I have never seen such a patient plant something upside down. (page 245) Clearly, nature calls to something very deep in us. Biophilia, the love of nature and living things, is an essential part of the human condition. Hortophilia, the desire to interact with, manage, and tend nature, is also deeply instilled in us. (page 246) [On iPhones and tech]: I worry more about the subtle, pervasive drawing out of meaning, of intimate contact, from our society and culture. (page 257) . . . What we are seeing—and bringing on ourselves—resembles a neurological catastrophe on a gigantic scale. (page 258).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I received an ARC copy of this - thank you!! I adore Oliver Sacks and his writing - all manner of his writing - his write-ups of strange neurological cases, his memoirs, his broader science and biographical writing. I haven't read all of his works but probably at least half, including On The Move, The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, A Leg to Stand On, and An Anthropologist on Mars. When reading this collection, I realized that my very favorite pieces of his are his writeups of patients, especi I received an ARC copy of this - thank you!! I adore Oliver Sacks and his writing - all manner of his writing - his write-ups of strange neurological cases, his memoirs, his broader science and biographical writing. I haven't read all of his works but probably at least half, including On The Move, The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, A Leg to Stand On, and An Anthropologist on Mars. When reading this collection, I realized that my very favorite pieces of his are his writeups of patients, especially diagnostic mysteries. Nobody does it quite like him. I do wish there were more of those pieces in the book - but perhaps there just aren't many more left that hadn't been published. And I had read one or two that had been published, at least one of the in the New Yorker. A couple of the longer pieces at the beginning of the book could have used a stronger editing hand; it felt like there was quite a lot of fat that could have been trimmed. (But then, I find that to be the case in so many books these days...)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andy Zell

    I really enjoyed this collection of short pieces by Oliver Sacks. I've known about Dr. Sacks ever since I saw Robin Williams portray a doctor modeled after him in the movie version of Awakenings. The movie was one of my favorites in my early high school days (curiously, our copy was in black and white when our VCR mysteriously taped it that way during an HBO free weekend, but I liked it that way). Years later I listened to Dr. Sacks on multiple occasions when he was a guest on the Radiolab podca I really enjoyed this collection of short pieces by Oliver Sacks. I've known about Dr. Sacks ever since I saw Robin Williams portray a doctor modeled after him in the movie version of Awakenings. The movie was one of my favorites in my early high school days (curiously, our copy was in black and white when our VCR mysteriously taped it that way during an HBO free weekend, but I liked it that way). Years later I listened to Dr. Sacks on multiple occasions when he was a guest on the Radiolab podcast (I highly recommend checking those out). I started reading some case studies in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, but I haven't finished the book (but I'm going to go back to it, and after reading this collection, I think I'll read most of his books). Everything in Its Place has three types of essays: memoir-ish personal stories, history of science stories, and case studies. All of them have their charms, and I learned a lot from each of them. The personal essays, at least some of them, felt like they might have been culled from his autobiography. He writes eloquently about going to libraries and museums as a child, or driving on a motorcycle across America while waiting for his green card. In the history of science pieces, I especially enjoyed the one that detailed the history of taking pictures of animals to study their gaits, which led to the zoetrope and early motion pictures. The case studies are the centerpiece of the book and may be what Dr. Sacks is most known for. He offers patients with Tourette's, dementia, and schizophrenia, among other ailments. Sacks is always compassionate and curious about the human condition. The only false note was an essay where Dr. Sacks complains about smartphones. Not that there aren't plenty of valid criticisms to make about our ubiquitous pocket screens, but Sacks does it without any nuance and comes across as an old man shaking his fist at the clouds. But I can forgive him for this one. The rest of the book is wonderful. I received a copy of Everything in Its Place from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    What is the most extraordinary thing about Sacks? His breadth? (When he says everything, he means everything.) Curiosity? Insight? Writing style? Sense of humanity? Respect for history? It's the whole package, of course, spread out over these mostly wonderful essays, topics ranging from the lost virtues of "insane asylums" to ferns (ok, glad that was short), heart-rending and heart-mending patient stories and a brilliant closing screed against the pernicious effect of cellphones that yet ends on What is the most extraordinary thing about Sacks? His breadth? (When he says everything, he means everything.) Curiosity? Insight? Writing style? Sense of humanity? Respect for history? It's the whole package, of course, spread out over these mostly wonderful essays, topics ranging from the lost virtues of "insane asylums" to ferns (ok, glad that was short), heart-rending and heart-mending patient stories and a brilliant closing screed against the pernicious effect of cellphones that yet ends on a positive, albeit not terribly persuasive note. Brilliant in no small part when juxtaposed against Sacks' love of books, and non-virtual libraries, celebrated elsewhere. One is tempted to just simply quote passage after passage, even at random, that reveal Sacks' special intellect. Here's one I hope to hold onto in my anecdotage: "If we are lucky enough to reach a healthy old age, this sense of wonder can keep us passionate and productive to the end of our lives."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Otero

    In this remarkable collection of essays, the late author and neurologist Sacks writes about his youth, his career and his final days. In a gentle, ruminative voice, he recalls his friendships, his passion for swimming and his hilarious obsession with cuttlefish. Of the many medical cases, “Cold Case” stands out for its sheer intrigue and “Travels with Lowell” as a lesson in social tolerance. Sacks laments the poor selection of large print books available for his failing eyesight and discusses th In this remarkable collection of essays, the late author and neurologist Sacks writes about his youth, his career and his final days. In a gentle, ruminative voice, he recalls his friendships, his passion for swimming and his hilarious obsession with cuttlefish. Of the many medical cases, “Cold Case” stands out for its sheer intrigue and “Travels with Lowell” as a lesson in social tolerance. Sacks laments the poor selection of large print books available for his failing eyesight and discusses the importance of nature – both physically and spiritually. His short piece on the orangutan is exquisite. He sounds a warning on the perils of becoming “bewitched” with digital technology, stating that “we are in the midst of a neurological catastrophe on a gigantic scale”. Published in SA Weekend, The Advertiser, 22nd June, 2019.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Nourse

    Loved this book! I am ashamed to say I had never heard of this wonderful man and intelligent doctor before. This book of his First loves and Last Tales was published in 2019 four years after his death. I will read his other books. These stories cover swimming, why we need gardens, orangutans, as well as his work understanding and treating people with schizophrenia, dementia and Alzheimers. He shares stories of scientists of long ago who began the work of understanding these afflictions. He has s Loved this book! I am ashamed to say I had never heard of this wonderful man and intelligent doctor before. This book of his First loves and Last Tales was published in 2019 four years after his death. I will read his other books. These stories cover swimming, why we need gardens, orangutans, as well as his work understanding and treating people with schizophrenia, dementia and Alzheimers. He shares stories of scientists of long ago who began the work of understanding these afflictions. He has shared very human and very powerful insights into the mind. I am going to buy myself a copy of this book. It would be interesting to read these stories again.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Another, and sadly final, great read from Dr. Sacks. From Amazon: From the best-selling author of Gratitude and On the Move, a final volume of essays that showcase Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passion for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, scientist and storyteller, is beloved by readers for his neurological case histories and his fascination and familiarity with human behavior at its most un Another, and sadly final, great read from Dr. Sacks. From Amazon: From the best-selling author of Gratitude and On the Move, a final volume of essays that showcase Sacks's broad range of interests--from his passion for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's. Oliver Sacks, scientist and storyteller, is beloved by readers for his neurological case histories and his fascination and familiarity with human behavior at its most unexpected and unfamiliar. Everything in Its Place is a celebration of Sacks's myriad interests, told with his characteristic compassion and erudition, and in his luminous prose.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joanne J

    Oliver Sacks has had a wonderfully interesting life and a zest for sharing it with the world. This book consists of short essays and reflections as he is preparing to die so there is an obvious nostalgia in his writing accompanied by the poignancy of final thoughts, putting a bow on his first loves and the last tales he will write. There are several essays about mental illness but that was his area of expertise and he writes about it with clarity and empathy. Having followed Oliver Sacks since " Oliver Sacks has had a wonderfully interesting life and a zest for sharing it with the world. This book consists of short essays and reflections as he is preparing to die so there is an obvious nostalgia in his writing accompanied by the poignancy of final thoughts, putting a bow on his first loves and the last tales he will write. There are several essays about mental illness but that was his area of expertise and he writes about it with clarity and empathy. Having followed Oliver Sacks since "Awakenings," I liked the book as a farewell to a wonderful, contributing human being.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ⋟Kimari⋞

    You might also enjoy: ✱ Gratitude ✱ On the Move: A Life ✱ The River of Consciousness ✱ Musicophilia ✱ Hallucinations ✱ The Disappearing Spoon ✱ Forgetting ✱ The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness ✱ A Field Guide to Getting Lost ✱ Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Watts

    As an incredibly dynamic storyteller and prolific writer, Oliver Sacks’ final work is gripping in its unique range of topics, prose style, and, ultimately, catalogues a range of experiences, thoughts, and wisdom, of one of the greatest neurologists of our time. With introspective pieces intermixed with his spin on clinical cases, the structure of the novel leans easily to the science and non-science inclined alike—a book that I think anyone should read, if given the chance, regardless of their a As an incredibly dynamic storyteller and prolific writer, Oliver Sacks’ final work is gripping in its unique range of topics, prose style, and, ultimately, catalogues a range of experiences, thoughts, and wisdom, of one of the greatest neurologists of our time. With introspective pieces intermixed with his spin on clinical cases, the structure of the novel leans easily to the science and non-science inclined alike—a book that I think anyone should read, if given the chance, regardless of their academic background.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Prashaantbhujbal

    A beautiful memoir. Before I comment on the contents,wish to thank to the publishers to make the kindle edition available at one third of the paper copy. Like Sacks, I also love the hard copy books , its smell , its feel in the hand and the way it sits on my table or in cupboards. Bought the digital as it was cheap. Now coming to the contents , all are his beautiful and many times poignant essays published elsewhere. Sacks himself had this arranged in his last days. Reading one at a time so I can A beautiful memoir. Before I comment on the contents,wish to thank to the publishers to make the kindle edition available at one third of the paper copy. Like Sacks, I also love the hard copy books , its smell , its feel in the hand and the way it sits on my table or in cupboards. Bought the digital as it was cheap. Now coming to the contents , all are his beautiful and many times poignant essays published elsewhere. Sacks himself had this arranged in his last days. Reading one at a time so I can keep reading it a while. Strong recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    This volume is a mixture of essays: personal biography and some narrative of psychological experiences with patients. Topics range from a consideration of what social media does to minds, to Humphrey Davy, Colorado Springs, psychosis, aging, Tourette's syndrome. What holds all of these variant topics together is OS's humanity, humility, and honesty. As in his other books, Oliver's wide reading, sympathy for the human condition, gratitude for those who influenced and taught him come through. The This volume is a mixture of essays: personal biography and some narrative of psychological experiences with patients. Topics range from a consideration of what social media does to minds, to Humphrey Davy, Colorado Springs, psychosis, aging, Tourette's syndrome. What holds all of these variant topics together is OS's humanity, humility, and honesty. As in his other books, Oliver's wide reading, sympathy for the human condition, gratitude for those who influenced and taught him come through. The essays are mostly short, but will last long in ones' memory.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wendyjune

    I am not sure I can ever read enough Oliver Sacks. I love listening to him geek out. What a mind. He is a deeply humanistic thinker and I love him for it. I am happy to bounce around any subject that he throws my way, his observations as a neurologist, the changing conditions of mental health institutions over time and the effect it has had on patients, to his thoughts about the planet, gardens and communing with orang-utan mothers at the zoo. Oliver Sacks always takes you on a wonderful journey I am not sure I can ever read enough Oliver Sacks. I love listening to him geek out. What a mind. He is a deeply humanistic thinker and I love him for it. I am happy to bounce around any subject that he throws my way, his observations as a neurologist, the changing conditions of mental health institutions over time and the effect it has had on patients, to his thoughts about the planet, gardens and communing with orang-utan mothers at the zoo. Oliver Sacks always takes you on a wonderful journey of the planet and the mind.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peter Reczek

    This is a collected work of essays written by Sacks over the course of his 40+ year writing career. All are well written and most will appeal to a given readers' tastes. I [particularly liked the essays on "Libraries" "Urges" and his last that sums up a life well lived. A great fan of Sacks will find at turns ones that you enjoy, such as his case studies and ones that are sort of boring like his case studies....you've heard it all before.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Corey Nelson

    Not the first Oliver Sacks book I bought, but the first I read. It started off with how he likes swimming...a lot. This turned not just into memories, but wonderful stories of how Mr Sacks learned, was inspired, and with some of his final thoughts on how the world works. The last article was the most compelling for me, and I teared up a bit, as I recently lost my husband far too early. But the chapter on dementia and the loss of attention into smartphones was thought-provoking beyond anything el Not the first Oliver Sacks book I bought, but the first I read. It started off with how he likes swimming...a lot. This turned not just into memories, but wonderful stories of how Mr Sacks learned, was inspired, and with some of his final thoughts on how the world works. The last article was the most compelling for me, and I teared up a bit, as I recently lost my husband far too early. But the chapter on dementia and the loss of attention into smartphones was thought-provoking beyond anything else in a long time. This book just got better with each chapter and I wholly recommend it to anyone that appreciates the quest for knowledge. This is a memoir of Mr. Sacks' life in snippets as he discovered science, life, and how he was able to also contribute to the common good. He never lost his inquisitive nature.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Cesare

    Very enjoyable collection of essays and stories from Sacks. I’ve been a longtime fan since finding “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” on my mom’s bookshelf sometime as a child. My favorite piece from this set was a story recalling one summer when he and a couple of other nerdy science friends decided they would attempt to scientifically jar preserve some cuttlefish in one of their basements. Hilariously disgusting outcome. Also loved the piece on libraries and their meaning in his life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Oliver Sacks is truly a Renaissance man! From ferns to gingkos to pickled herring, and of course neurology - the man knows it all and writes about it in a way that is totally relatable. That said, I wish I had enjoyed this book more. The clinical tales were slight and not half as interesting as the ones which fill his other books, and some of the other topics just didn't hold my interest. He was an amazing man!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erick Mertz

    Picked this up at random from our local library. Enjoyed every bit of it, filled with strange and curious moments that can only be described as one of a kind. Reminded me of some of Jung’s later, reflective writings. A lot of short, bite-sized observations and stories about his intellectual life. As a writer, I love these little insights. A really fun, light read. Perfect beach book. www.erickmertzauthor.com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina Dudley

    This little collection of essays combines memoir with references to his own past works with a few curmudgeonly pieces on how the world has changed (for the worse, of course). In that way it reminded me of Bill Bryson's old-man grumping in THE ROAD TO LITTLE DRIBBLING. I would have loved to hear more Alzheimer's stories, since I don't recall his other books that I've read talking in depth about something so awful and increasingly common, but the few brain essays there were were as good as usual.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.