Book Review: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat

As I mentioned a few times this year, my husband and I moved from South Carolina to Washington state in late January/early February. Why such a big move? Well, the Navy told us we had to. 😉 With such a big move means a new home, new community, and new people. I’ve made a friend or two here in Washington, but spend a lot of my socializing time with my husband and his friends (who are now my friends, whether they like it or not hahaha). I don’t need a lot of people in my life, but it is nice to get out of the house sometimes! So when someone posted in a local military wives Facebook group asking who would be interested in a book club I, along with several other women, jumped at the chance.

We planned our first meeting to decide which book to read first and how often to meet for the next Saturday. The Saturday came, and I almost didn’t go. But I’m glad I did! It wound up being just me and the original organizer, but we had a great time getting to know each other and coming up with a tentative plan for the book club. And, we picked the first book! We selected The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks because it sounded like it would be a great way to get to know people through what they thought about it. themanwhomistookhiswifeforahat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat is not the book it seems to be. I had heard of it several years ago and assumed it was a more comedic book. Then, reading further about it, I thought maybe it was written by a clinical psychologist. So you can imagine my surprise when I started reading and discovered that it was written by a neurologist! In this collection of clinical tales, Dr. Sacks shares accounts of numerous unusual neurology cases he encountered throughout his career, namely during the late 70s and early 80s.

Some things in the book are a tad outdated like certain clinical procedures, theories, and even how certain people are viewed. So the easily offended need not read. However, I found what Dr. Sacks had to say about his various patients both fascinating and ahead of his time. His treatment of his patients with lower mental function was admirable and unusual for his time. They wound up being some of my favorite stories, simply because he treated them like people who mattered and had something to contribute to the world, rather than useless. I also loved reading each story as it showed all of the unusual things that can happen when our brain malfunctions, be it a tumor, stroke, or just natural deterioration. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how our brains work!

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks gets 4/5 stars.

If you would like to read The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hatyou can find it on Book Depository. 

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