4 journalers for this copy...
From the back cover:
Bill Hayes came to New York in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city's incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera.
And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015). Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes's distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.
I really loved this book - yes, it was fascinating to find out more about Sacks who is an endearing combination of genius and naivety. But also, it was a wonderfully touching meditation on grief, as well as a lovesong to New York City. I resonated with everything he said about his adopted hometown, as it mirrors so closely the way I feel about London even after nearly 40 years of living here. I know lots of people find city living dirty, crowded and exhausting but for me it's always felt exciting, vibrant and awe-inspiring to live in London so I really enjoyed reading the thoughts of someone who has that same connection with where they live.
I can't recommend this book enough and am so glad to have stumbled across it.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I'd already picked out and bought a copy of another book to use for this roundabout but then read this one and loved it so much I had to make a switch!
The reading order for this book is:
1 Dark-Draco UK
2 Arvores Portugal
3 Fifna Netherlands
4 Icila France
5 Lamilla Belarus
6 Estelle1806 Ireland
7 Math-Girl Canada
8 mcsar Canada
9 Valpete USA
10 Aramena USA
11 Earthcaroleanne UK
Never in a million years would I have picked this book up by choice, but being handed to me meant that I had to give it a go. I'm not a city person - prefer woods, fields and the absence of people! - and had no real idea who Hayes or Sacks are, so I didn't have the highest of hopes.
I was wrong.
The writing is beautiful. I preferred the essays to the Journal notes as there was more to get your head round. But everything was lovely to read. The love for the City and the love for Sacks shone through every word, and even though there is a sadness that runs through it, there's also joy, hope and a passion for his new life in New York.
The photos are also brilliant - some were mentioned in the text that didn't appear, so I have a list of them to try and track down. Mainly curious to see if the images sparked in my head are anywhere near the real thing.
Definitely glad I read this.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
In several occasions, I had tears trying to find their way in my eyes, and then followed by a wonderful and relaxing laugh.
I didn't know anything about the author, and only had a slight idea about who Oliver Sacks was. But I definitely will search about their work.
Thank you so much for sharing. I truly enjoyed this one.