Monday, May 9, 2011

Moonwalking with Einstein and Other Books to Remember

Oh, how I long for the days of trust, honour and small town values and where no one ever locked their doors! Why am I lamenting this? Well, because once again I forgot my keys and am locked out! I usually have a good memory. After all my name “ Rosemary” means remembrance. But when it comes to keys.....well my mind disappears just like my keys. I hope that you might create some memories - and perhaps avoid losing your keys- with the following books:

Moonwalking with Einstein : the art and science of remembering everything
by Joshua Foer

This book reminds me a bit of Oliver Sack’s books; a very readable science book. There is a competition entitled The U.S. Memory Championship. I wonder if the competitors have to mark the date on their calendar or they just remember to show up. Foer first attended as a science journalist and then became a contestant. He learned that the contestants did not have photogenic memory in most cases but used old fashion memory techniques. The title comes from one such technique : a mnemonic device that helped the author remember a pack of cards. In an interview Foer stated that with training and hard work it is possible to learn difficult things. He goes on to say we don’t really need a better memory; just use the one we have now more effectively. But he admits he still loses his car keys!

Music and Memory: an introduction
by Bob Snyder.

I couldn’t help adding this title to my list. Bob Snyder is a composer, video artist and Chair of the Sound Program at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. I have often wondered how much gray matter is taken up with the radio station in my head. The simplest things can set off an ear worm for me. This book shows more how human memory influences music as opposed to the other way around. I am such a music fan I had to include this title, plus I was amused to find a review of this book in MIT Press.

Training Your Brain for Dummies
by Tracy Packiam Alloway.

I am a huge fan of the “Dummies” book series. It is wonderful that “plain language” is used to explain any number of subjects. With most body training, this book does not only concentrate on one body part you want to improve; in the case, the brain. They recommended that you follow five considerations (as they call them, not rules or guides) : 1. mental health, 2. body matters (keeping in shape, healthy eating, sleeping, etc.), 3. friendship/communication, 4. don’t get suckered into relying on digital help and finally 5. find time to quiet your mind!

Age Proof Your Brain: sharpen your memory in 7 days
by Tony Buzan.

According the British Daily Mail, Buzan is “one of the world’s leading thinkers”. That made me wonder who the others are, but that is getting off the topic and probably one of the reason why my memory goes haywire! The Times helped answer part of my question by stating “Tony Buzar will do for the brain what Stephen Hawkins did for the Universe”. What seems to be the best thing about this book is that you can increase your memory in short 15 minute periods a day, by using simple but effective techniques. It also includes worksheets and nutrition advice. Maybe there is something in the old wives tales of fish being brain food?!

So until I go buy some brain food and wait until someone can let me into the house, I will have to “fish” through these books to help me with my “key” problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment