Oliver Sacks has reportedly died

Oliver Sacks has reportedly died

I love reading non-fiction.

What I particularly enjoy is when something gives me a new take on the normal.

I have that right now with

Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, there was a particular non-fiction book that became were actively seeking. It wasn’t just the typical feeling of someone just being intrigued…it felt more like they were looking for insight.

That book was

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (at AmazonSmile*)

by the neurologist Oliver Sacks.

I’ve always been fascinated by how people think: I’m a trainer (which requires a strong understanding of that), a writer, and have been working in the medical field (not as a clinician) for quite some time.

Oddly, though, I’ve never actually read the book.

Not too long ago, I happily downloaded it to my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)

as part of our membership in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s right: a book which was a bestseller, and which I’ve thought about reading since before the Kindle existed, was available for me at no additional cost.

I was saddened, then, to have the book as yet unread on my device when I heard about Oliver Sacks passing.

It wasn’t a surprise: I knew that the author had cancer about a decade ago, and that it had taken a serious turn for the worse earlier this year.

There is the consolation that Oliver Sacks will  continue to have a presence in the world and to influence people’s lives through the books.

While “Hat” (4.3 stars out of 5 with 420 reviews) is the only one available through KU, there are fourteen Oliver Sacks books in the USA Kindle store:

Oliver Sack’s Amazon Author Central page (at AmazonSmile*)

Having “Hat” in KU is a good strategy: people reading that one certainly might want to read some of the others, which include:

  • Musicophilia
  • Awakenings (which became an Oscar and Golden Globe nominated movie with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro
  • An Anthropologist on Mars (which is unavailable in p-book…paperbook…right now)
  • The Island of the Colorblind
  • Hallucinations
  • Seeing Voices
  • A Leg to Stand On

While we can mourn his loss, we can be thankful that we can still connect with Oliver Sacks through the books of someone who was both a great thinker and a feeling individual…and with the rare gift of being able to communicate both perspectives.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

3 Responses to “Oliver Sacks has reportedly died”

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    I’d also recommend his very recent autobiography, “On the Move: A Life”, which he completed and published following the diagnosis which ultimately proved accurate. Evidently he also largely completed two additional books prior to his death, including a children’s book. What an amazing person.

  2. Louis Says:

    He did not “pass,” he died.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Louis!

      You may be unfamiliar with the idiom, but in this context they are basically synonymous. If you check the dictionary for the word “pass”, you will likely find “to die” as one of the definitions.

      I believe that use dates from about the 1300s, but I am also sure that it is not universal amongst English-speaking cultures.

      Your comment made me curious, so I checked to see if there might be some objection to using it.

      One writer cautioned against it because of possible confusion but since I had used the word “died” in the headline, I didn’t think that was going to be the case.

      It also seemed like it would be clear from context what I meant.

      There also seem to be some people who dislike the term “pass on” since it has a specific religious connotation of moving to a different plane. “Passing”, though, doesn’t appear to have that issue. After all, a storm can pass, a mood can pass; it doesn’t seem to imply what happens afterwards.

      I have never used it personally to mean a “gradual diminishment”, but that also seems to be one of the possibilities.

      If there was any ambiguity in my use of the term, hopefully this comment will clear up any confusion. I used it partially because I had used “died “in the headline, and I have a writer’s caution about using the same words repeatedly in an article…even though I have done it in this reply. 😉

      Please let me know if you have a question about it, or if you want to tell me why you think to use it was inappropriate. That can help me going forward.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: