Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Many readers (of which I am one) remember with vivid clarity the first time they read a book written by Oliver Sacks. My first was The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. I remember how the cases almost leapt off the page, effortlessly transporting me to another place and time. I also remember being left with an impression of his insatiably curiosity and absolute reverence for life. But what I remember and appreciated most was Sacks’ talent for making the complex and impenetrable approachable, even simple.
For those readers who have come to expect this quality in Sacks’ writing, Gratitude does not disappoint. It is a summary of one man’s life work, yet its sentiment is universal. Although there are only four essays in this trim volume, each is picturesque, profound and without one extraneous word. The essays currently comprise Sacks’ definitive words on living his own life, the contribution of his generation, and an articulation of the intense gratitude he feels to have been a sentient being on this beautiful planet. Savor this book, read it several times, and then give it to someone you like.
- Carolyn Pletsch