Oliver Sacks is a Neurologist who has spent a career investigating oddities of the brain and its capacity to confound humans. He has written a number of extremely compelling books on the subject, beginning with the book Awakenings.
A number of Years ago I read an Oliver Sacks book entitled “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”. It’s about peculiar cases of people who have very strange phycological problems (including a man who would literally mistake his wife for a hat.) I loved that book – it was perfect for a borderline ADD like me because it was full of short 10-20 minutes chapters. The type of thing you could leave in your bathroom.
About a year ago, I heard about a new book of his called “Musicophilia”. It was the same sort of format as “The man who mistook his Wife for a Hat”, but focussed on people with music and audio-related problems. In Musicophilia, he examines the power of music, using experiences gathered from patients, musicians and everyday people. His medical case studies range from a man who is struck by lightning and is suddenly inspired to become a pianist, to a group of children who are hypermusical from birth and a woman who hears old war songs as a soundtrack to her life.
Here’s an interview with Oliver Sacks:
I enjoyed the book immensely as it brings together unbeleiveably weird brain problems with music. I thought it was well written and each story stands on its own. Even the tone deaf will be enthralled by Oliver Sack’s Musicophilia – it was a New York Times bestseller, has was named one of the Best Books of 2007 by the Washington Post and the editors of Amazon.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in music in some way. It’s definitely worth a read – check it out.