The mind is a complicated and wonderful place. It makes us who we are and yet there are so many things about it we just don’t understand. In his inimitable style, psychiatrist Oliver Sacks brings us a little closer with his latest title The Mind’s Eye (PB $35). This is Sacks’ tenth book (previous titles include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (PB $27) and Musicophilia (PB $25)) on the brain and its various quirks, but with a subject matter as interesting and as endless as the brain, The Mind’s Eye does not disappoint.
The Mind’s Eye focuses on the stories of people who have lost the ability to ‘see’, whether that be the loss of actual sight, or the the loss of the ability to read or recognize faces. And lest you think he is speaking only from an observers point of view, Sacks himself suffers from prosopagnosia, a severe difficulty in recognizing faces.
While the difficulties the people in this book experience are clearly important, even more important are the ways they learn to deal with and largely overcome those difficulties. Amazingly, a concert pianist struck down by a sudden inability to read music, managed to continue living a fulfilled musical life by playing only pieces from her extensive musical memory.
Very readable and intensely interesting, The Mind’s Eye is highly recommended!