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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  12,264 ratings  ·  1,353 reviews
A deeply moving testimony and celebration of how to embrace life.

In January 2015, Oliver Sacks was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer, and he shared this news in a New York Times essay that inspired readers all over the world: "I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.... Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking anima
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Knopf Canada (first published November 2015)
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Adam Clark morality is the ongoing discovery of the various elements that contribute to human well-being and how we can live good lives together.

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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,264 ratings  ·  1,353 reviews

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Petra Eggs
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a very short book. I had read two of the essays before, this time I got the audio book and listened to them. Sometimes it is a different experience. Just four essays written by Oliver Sacks before he died. All the links are to the essays as they were originally published.

The first essay, Mercury or the Joy of Old Age is a brief meditation on what it will mean to him to be very old, 80.

The second essay, My Own Life on learning the cancer from his eye has metastised and is now terminal. It
Iris P

Short but profound reflections on life, aging and confronting sickness and the end of your life with dignity and grace.
In an essay called "Mercury", Sacks reflects:
"My father, who lived to 94, often said that the 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’, too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and b
Elyse Walters
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this audio yesterday while in the woods. (a gift to the world, by Oliver Sacks)
It felt so unflinchingly honest that it hurt.
Oliver Sacks was a remarkably accomplished man --His gifts were huge --and his heart even bigger!

Sad-tender-and so very beautiful!

”Eighty! I can hardly believe it. I often feel that life is about to begin, only to realize it is almost over.”

This is the first of Oliver Sach’s books, writings, I have read, and I loved reading his thoughts, musings, feelings, and observations as he faced the realization that the end of his life was near. The things he hasn’t done, whether he meant to ever do them or not, are now almost unthinkable – foreign languages he never learned, traveling the world and experiencing other cultures… and
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Four essays written prior to his death, a reflection on living and coming to terms with his death.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a set of four short, but beautiful and profound essays by Oliver Sacks. They are reflections on his life, after learning that he was terminally ill.

I have read several of his books on neurology, but in this short book I learned about Sacks himself, and his life. I never realized that he was an "elements guy". That is to say, his hobby was learning and collecting elements from the periodic table. And he had a lifelong love for the physical sciences, beyond his career in the biological sc
João Barradas
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Os profissionais da área da saúde sofrem de uma maldição: negam a própria vivência para se dedicarem a melhorar a vida dos outros. E não se contentam em cuidar deles – almejam sempre encontrar a cura para todas as maleitas que afectem os demais.
Sacks misturou a sua vida com a tentativa de desvendar os mistérios da mente dos seus doentes, aproveitando para desenvolver uma área tantas vezes esquecida – a medicina narrativa. Num paradoxo laboral (afinal, os médicos não podem estar doentes), Sacks
Even if you’ve never read anything by neurologist Oliver Sacks, I bet you’ve seen the famous movie based on his book Awakenings, with Robin Williams as the Sacks character and Robert de Niro as a patient “awakened” from a catatonic state.

Neurology may have been his professional field, but the man was so much more--a naturalist and philosopher, loved by many. Sacks wrote this tiny “quartet of essays” in the last years of his life, the first, Mercury, just be
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oliver Sacks pens these four essays over the span of a few years at different times during his battle with an eye melanoma that metastasized. Short and poignant, these essays really hit home. I can only imagine the lasting legacy they've created for Dr. Sacks. This book is short at only 45 pages and it is interspersed with pictures. What a way to memorialize a person that has been a resounding voice in the written word.
Jun 30, 2016 added it
It has been my lot to stand outside stores while family shops. It could be Venice or La Jolla or just back home. Doesn't matter. Leather coats are modeled; children's designer socks are awwwwwwwed at; I stand outside, watching the passing parade of life.

But on a recent trip to Seattle I was spared the awkward shuffling of stance by a daughter who finally felt some pity. Or maybe she just worried that I would wander off, being in my dotage years, and it would take too long to recover me. Oh, the
Nelson Zagalo
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic, memoir
Não é bem um livro, é antes um pequeno conjunto de 4 artigos de jornal, os últimos 4 artigos escritos por Sacks, todos para o New York Times - “The Joy of Old Age” (6 jul. 2013), “My Own Life” (19 fev. 2015), “My Periodic Table” (24 jul. 2015) e “Sabbath” (14 ago. 2015) - o que não vai além das 5 mil palavras, 20 páginas.

Sacks é um dos psiquiatras e neurologistas mais famosos do século passado, principalmente pelos vários livros publicados, de entre os quais o mais famoso é sem dúvida "O Homem q
Brendon Schrodinger
David read this recently and gave it a great big thumbs up, and it inspired me to pick it up also. It's a very small book and came cheap as an ebook, and I finished it easily one night before bed. It consists of four essays that Oliver wrote before his death. From just before his terminal diagnosis to a couple of months before his death.

Oliver writes logically and emotionally about a life well-lived. He has a certain profound wisdom that comes from a life with many experiences. And there is no
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays, memoir
A short collection of essays, but one that is beautifully written, and perfectly put together. I really appreciated his thoughts on aging, and on morality. It was heavy, but it didn't feel dark or oppressive either. I liked the glimpse it gave me of the author, his thought process, and his understanding of the world. I haven't read anything by him, but he is one of my sister's favorite authors, and after this I have a deep desire to read more.

It also inspired me to look up my element year, Krypt
Que maravilhosa e inspiradora leitura que este pequeno (grande!) livro me proporcionou!

O livro reúne quatro pequenos ensaios, os últimos escritos pelo autor (que infelizmente faleceu em 2015) e que haviam sido publicados no New York Times.

No primeiro, o autor fala-nos um pouco sobre a sua vida, sobre como se sente aos 80 anos, nos seus planos de vida, de trabalho, como se sente cheio de energia e vontade de trabalhar e como ainda tem tanto por fazer... Mas a "sorte" traíu esses seus planos de vi
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-audible
A very moving audio. It made me want to hear more...
In one of his essays (Mercury) in this book, Oliver Sacks mentioned how the elements and his birthdays had always been intertwined (e.g., he would say, "I'm sodium," the element with the atomic number eleven, in his eleventh birthday), and so I borrowed this idea, and used it to write to him this little eulogy:

When he was a year old he became hydrogen and he made up galaxies and stars.
A year later, he got fused into helium, and made us laugh out loud.
At three, he was lithium, and allowed the i
David Schaafsma
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I first read the work of neurologist Oliver Sacks when I was in graduate school, and was researching the use of narrative, of storytelling, as a form of inquiry in a range of disciplines. Stories in neurology, the ultimate mystifying brain science? But it made sense to me. There are scientific research and facts, but the way to fully understand these facts is in the context of actual human lives, in anecdote, and biography, and experience. Thus I read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat that ...more
Quando em poucas páginas se diz tanto, se levantam tantas questões!
Lubinka Dimitrova
A bittersweet reminder to count our blessings each and every day.
Tiffany Reisz
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I only pray I handle the end of my life as gracefully as the great Oliver Sacks did, may he rest in peace.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
64 sayfalık (fotoğraflar ve YKY'nin kitap listelerini çıkarınca belki yarısından azı kalıyordur okumak için) bir kitap. Sacks'ın ömrünün son aylarında yazdığı dört yazıdan oluşuyor. Benim Hayatım isimli yazıyı New York Times'ta yayımlandığı zaman okuduğumu hatırlıyorum. Yıllar önce Uyanışlar filmiyle bilmeden tanışmış olsam da yazar olarak yeni tanıdığım Sacks'ın yakında hayatını kaybedecek olmasına üzülmüştüm. Sonrasında Hareket Halinde (On The Move: A Life) isimli otobiyografisini de okumuştum ...more
André Nuno
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
"Não há tempo para nada que não seja essencial."
"Non posso fingere di non aver paura. A dominare, però, è un sentimento di gratitudine."

Bellissima idea quella di considerare gli anni della propria vita come la tavola degli elementi. 80 - Mercurio, per il primo scritto e un grido: 'I'm glad I'm not dead!'. Quanti di noi possono dire di aver avuto un vero, sincero e profondo 'contatto con il mondo?'
Un inno alla gioia.
Non vi dirò altro di queste 54 pagine, tranne il fatto che le ho rubate a Figlia, innamorata di Sacks e penso a ragione.
Non vi di
Krista Regester
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A touching and very personal sentiment between Oliver Sacks and the world of readers. This is a quick and beautiful read.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: da-bmtv, 2017
Um pequeno grande livro...

P. 28- "As pessoas, quando morrem, não podem ser substituídas. Deixam buracos que não podem ser colmatados, porque é destino de cada ser humano - seu destino genético e neural - ser um indivíduo único, descobrir o seu próprio caminho, viver a sua própria vida, morrer a sua própria morte.
Não posso fingir que me sinto sem medo. Mas o meu sentimento predominante é de gratidão. Amei e fui amado; recebi muito e dei alguma coisa em contrapartida; li e viajei e pensei e escrev
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
There is nothing I can say about this book- a very brief collection of four essays- besides that it is extraordinarily beautiful, illuminating, thoughtful, and, most of all, lucid. Sacks brings his life to a close within these tiny pages, and it is nothing short of touching. He has the sort of mentality- the unceasing wonder at (and fondness for) the world and the people and creatures on it- that is truly inspiring, and reading his works here one can't help but be a little proud of the human rac ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past number of decades, as a reader and a physician and simply as a thoughtful person, I have read Oliver Sacks’ books with interest, pleasure, and appreciation. This present book, a collection of four essays that Sacks wrote in the last three years of his life, three with the knowledge that he was dying, is slight but slight only in its length, not in its wisdom. The gratitude that he expresses as he looks back over his life and his experiences is mirrored by the gratitude of his many r ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
sacks <3
Sinem A.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
bu kadar samimi ve içten olduğu kitaplarından belliydi zaten caanım Sacks
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
singurul motiv (superficial, asta-i clar) pentru care nu i-am dat cinci stele este ca aceasta carte marturisire este atat de scurta....
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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, was a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple: Sam, a physician, and Elsie, a surgeon. When he wa
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“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
“There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate—the genetic and neural fate—of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death. I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” 67 likes
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