Tue Jul 26, 2011
The other day, I watched a highly entertaining guest on Stephen Colbert’s show, Neuroscientist David Eagleman. You can watch the bit here. Intrigued, I ended up reading a bit more about him (there is a fascinating piece The New Yorker did on some of his current research), I ordered both his fictional anthology “Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlife” and his newest book, “Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain“.
“Sum” arrived yesterday, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in ages. I love books with a spiritual twist, and this is sort of like reading a mashup of Thich Nhat Hanh and Carl Sagan. The stories are all very short in this slender little volume, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t weighty.
We’re in the midst of our annual visit from a French exchange student, Genevieve, who has been staying with us each summer for the past five years. G, equally enthralled with the book, spent last night practicing her English pronunciation and accent, by reading the stories aloud to me. We were up until almost 11pm (late, for her) but we left a few stories to savor tonight.
In short, in my view this is a must-read even if you’re not normally drawn to fiction or sci-fi. As for “Incognito”, it hasn’t arrived yet, but I imagine it’ll be as entertaining as the rest of Eagleman’s thoughts.