So many wonderful things I could say about Steve Lopez’s book, The Soloist, but I am still processing it for a variety of reasons. Read it in a day, just couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Here’s a favorite passage, but it requires some set-up. Lopez is a Los Angeles Times columnist who has written about and befriended Nathanial, a homeless man who is a gifted musician. He writes:

Among my many new pen pals is Stella March, the mother of a son with schizophrenia, who is roughly Nathaniel’s age … March writes me encouraging notes about Nathaniel and my efforts on his behalf, but seldom offers specific advice, although she is the one who has taught me Nathaniel is not a mentally ill musician, as I’ve been referring to him, but a musician with mental illness. It’s a subtle but significant difference, recognizing the person before the condition.