Oliver Sacks. Photo: Douglas White. This image is the cover of Oliver's next book, On the Move, which comes out in May 2015.
I'm a huge fan of Dr. Oliver Sacks. He's led a very interesting life, as a medical researcher, professor of neurology, lover of music, lover of things that explode, and intrepid psychonaut.
He's got a memoir coming out this April called On the Move: A Life, and it has this cover photo of him astride his BMW bike in Greenwich Village in 1961. He could have been a fashion model as well as a neurologist!
When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction and then in New York, where he discovered a long forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life.
With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weightlifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists — Thom Gunn, A.R. Luria, W.H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick — who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer — and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
(Here's a podcast interview that David and I did with Dr. Sacks a couple of years ago, when his book Hallucinations came out.)
I came across Astonish Yourself: 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life when I took my kids to the California Science Center in Los Angeles in 2009 and found it in the gift store. It was written by philosopher Roger-Pol Droit, a researcher at the Centre de Recherche Scientifique and, as the title indicates, […]
Here are two lists of e-books being made freely available on-line. Please add more in the comments! PublicBooks.org’s Public Books Database This is a list of academic presses making their books and research freely available. Jim C. Hines’ list of Free and Legal Science Fiction and Fantasy Hines has collected a list of authors providing […]
If you enjoyed Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files, you’ll love Now, Then and Everywhen. Walker digs into deep into the backstory of her fantastic time travel series, expands greatly on the world-building and time-physics, and adds a few great characters. She also colors in the backstory that fueled the original series. I really enjoyed Walker’s YA […]
Have you ever had more time to hone in on fine details than right now? Sure, at first glance, this might not seem like the time to get tripped up on the nitty-gritty of minutia. But how often are you ever going to have this much time to really stop and think about hows and […]
There are plenty of productive ways to spend time while stuck indoors. While it’s undoubtedly fun to binge all 15 seasons of Supernatural or sink days of playtime into an Overwatch campaign, learning something new is definitely a more meaningful and long-term beneficial use of open hours. And if you’re going to invest time in […]
Yoga studios are closed nationwide. The irony is that between the anxieties of the outside world and those popping up inside your very own home with everyone trapped indoors, there’s probably never been a time where yoga’s calming zen was more vital and needed. Rather than just throwing in the yoga mat and subjecting family […]