Our Favorite Books of 2016

Looking for the perfect gift, or just some enlightenment? As 2016 draws to a close, we’d like to share with you some of our favorite books of the year.


Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment by Andrew Lees. The memoir of a world-renowned neurologist who has done groundbreaking work with Parkinson’s patients as well as discovered for himself the hallucinogenic powers of ayahuasca and other drugs. No, we’re talking not about Oliver Sacks but about his good friend and colleague Andrew Lees. You will be caught up in this tale of medical detective work, written with verve and erudition, and gorgeously published by Notting Hill Editions.

Waking the Spirit by Andrew Schulman. A world-class musician discovers the hard way the profound power of music in life and death situations. Schulman’s story is compelling and inspiring, a gripping journey that reveals fundamental truths about music and the brain.

The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf. Alexander von Humboldt was one of Dr. Sacks’s greatest heroes. He would have adored Wulf’s acclaimed biography of Humboldt, an intrepid adventurer and visionary polymath whose understanding of the natural world inspired Darwin and others, and is equally relevant today.

For more great ideas, check out Brainpickings‘ top 2016 science books.

Have you explored all fourteen of Dr. Sacks’s own books?

Did we forget any of your favorite reads? Send us your suggestions!

Warm wishes from
The Oliver Sacks Foundation

PS: Find out how you can support the work of the Oliver Sacks Foundation with a year-end tax-deductible contribution.