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The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks

June's book is from an author I feel like I should have read, but he just hasn't come to the top of my To-Be-Read list yet. Perhaps it's the same for you?

Book description:

In The Mind’s Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world.

There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and is eventually unable even to recognize everyday objects, and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties.

There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and active member of her community, despite the fact that she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence, and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read.

And there is Dr. Sacks himself, who tells the story of his own eye cancer and the bizarre and disconcerting effects of losing vision to one side.

Sacks explores some very strange paradoxes—people who can see perfectly well but cannot recognize their own children, and blind people who become hyper-visual or who navigate by “tongue vision.” He also considers more fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think? How important is internal imagery—or vision, for that matter? Why is it that, although writing is only five thousand years old, humans have a universal, seemingly innate, potential for reading?

The Mind’s Eye
is a testament to the complexity of vision and the brain and to the power of creativity and adaptation. And it provides a whole new perspective on the power of language and communication, as we try to imagine what it is to see with another person’s eyes, or another person’s mind.


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  • Cy

    So sorry I missed it! Got confused on time and location. Will do my best to be there next time!

    June 25, 2013

  • Kristin

    Boo, sickness. Have fun everyone!

    June 24, 2013

  • Meredith

    Any chance someone is done with their copy and i can borrow until minday? I'm actually free to make it for the first time in ages and Dr. Sacks has been on my list to read. I've missed gentext!

    June 18, 2013

    • Jennifer

      I'm done with my copy. Can you come to Southwest to get it?

      June 19, 2013

  • Scott

    Looking forward to reading this book! I read one of his books before - very good.

    May 21, 2013

  • Cy

    I have also been meaning to pick up one of his books for years! See you then!

    May 21, 2013

  • Pat

    BAH! I like OS very much. I'll be sad to miss this one.

    May 20, 2013

  • Kristin

    Yes! I was just thinking last night that I should suggest something by Oliver Sacks. Love him.

    May 20, 2013

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