I made a mistake in the title. I wanted to write: A memoir worth reading, instead of living, but then I settled for what seemed to have come out naturally and probably was the perfect meaning because memoirs are meant to be lived as we read on, as we immerse ourselves in another person’s life intimately. Just like armchair travel books, memoirs in essence are the same. We may be sitting in the safety of our own homes but travelling with the author through his life “mentally” experiencing it in 3D.
In these later years I have taken to Memoirs and nonfiction, probably because I am now more interested in human nature and how life seems to work itself out. I am growing older and this also seems to bring up a greater and deeper appreciation of people and their personal journeys through thick and thin, teaching us a lot through their accounts, even if it’s second hand experience, it’s invaluable. Something read at the right time can transform us forever.
In my search for another nonfiction to inspire me this summer, I came upon the article in The New York Times written by Oliver Sacks: “My own life.” After reading his piece, which was very moving, I decided I wanted to read more about him. His voice in his writing seemed fresh, intimate and honest. I sought out his latest book, a Memoir: On the move. Thus, my journey began into his personal life.
The memoir is written with such humility, unafraid to expose his faults, failures, relationships, his coming out to his family as a gay man, and his struggles to follow his heart in his medical field. Everything seems intertwined. Everything in his life is connected by love and care, not only for his friends and family but his patients.
He tells of his drug addiction fearlessly; as an anecdote that could have killed him but which he was finally able to give up. He exposes all this very humbly as he does his medical career and his writing.
This is the kind of book you don’t want to finish because this would mean ending the conversation with a friend. One of those books that once you finish you are left feeling a little lost.
There are many lessons to be learnt from this memoir. I urge anyone to read it, especially those who need to read something inspiring. This is it!