This book, following Uncle Tungsten, was fascinating to me just because of how much I didn’t know about the man. It starts when he was about fourteen, tells about his young adult years, univeristy education, how he figured out his career, his experiences writing books, his intellectual family (and schizophrenic older brother), many lasting friendships with colleagues, his compassion and concern for neurologic patients, and so much more. I would have had no idea (apart from the cover image) that Sacks was very much into motorcycles as a young man, and loved to travel the country on his bike. That he was seriously into weight-lifting. That he was gay, fell in love a few times, it never quite worked out. That he wanted to do research but was kind of a “walking disaster” in the lab- loosing items, breaking things, etc- until he was politely told to leave (this during university years). His passion was people- learning about their lives and how everything interacted with or influenced their neurological disease. He was vividly interested in the case histories his mother would tell (she was a surgeon) and put this same passion into telling stories, only in book form- and after gaining the consent of patients, many whom wished their stories told, because they felt forgotten and ignored. These were often patients who lived in long-term care facilities or hospitals. Sacks tells of his writing process, his many frustrations in bringing books to press, his travels and the thrill of new discoveries in the field. It was wonderful to read the “backstory” as it were, of his books that I’m familiar with, and has fired my interest to read all the others. The last chapters of this book were difficult for me to get through- they go into more detail on the workings of the brain, which I struggled to understand. But this one’s staying on my shelf, maybe I’ll comprehend more with a re-read someday.