Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
First off, this book pulls no punches. A lot of it contains letters from REAL serial killers, and believe me, they are even more messed up than you can imagine! The author did an excellent job of letting the letters pretty much guide you through the story. I had never heard of most of these serial killers, but the author gives them a voice that makes them unforgettable. This book is graphic, and very gory at times, so be warned. However, if you like true crime books, this one is a MUST. Imagine your 3 favorite true crime books rolled into 1, and this is what you get.
Narraration is spot on. Couldn't have chosen a better reader.
Seung's theory, of how the brain stores memories/experiences, is quite extraordinary. I'm no brain scientist, but I've read a number of books on the subject, and as far as I know this is the first book to adequately detail this process. Seung describes this in a way that even the non-scholarly reader can understand. The basic brain science you NEED to know in order to understand this book, he explains quickly and effectively.
His last few chapters, on the future science of connectome research is worth the credit all by itself. He touches on cryogenics, and why it's probably not going to work the way that all the frozen people hope it will. He then discusses a few options of preserving your brain for eternity that MAY actually work.. Overall, if you enjoy brain science, and how the brain effects the way we see the world, then get this book.
Narrator is very good.
Markman lays out some useful strategies for improving your thinking. The tips aren't pulled out of thin air, as they are in some books on the topic; they're based on Markman's research and the research of others in the field.
One important technique is to evaluate your understanding of a topic by trying to explain it to yourself. Be honest in acknowledging where your explanations break down or gloss over a difficulty; then work on those until you *do* get them. (I've seen this suggestion in other contexts, where it's been described as the "Einstein technique," though I'm not really sure how that name came to be associated with it.)
Another important point is to recognize your mind's limitations - not just *your* mind, but *everybody's*. The human brain, according to Markman, can usually only process three distinct features of an experience; so he recommends regularly summarizing what you've learned by listing three main points. With careful selection, it's possible to use those points as triggers to a wider array of knowledge: the brain is like a fishing net, where latching onto one point can lead you to others. (My analogy, not Markman's.)
Markman offers some useful cautions as well. Especially in group settings, it's important to pause before making a final decision: feeling the visceral "click" when smart thinking leads to a breakthrough can be physically pleasurable; but you shouldn't let that glow influence your evaluation of the breakthrough. Wait a couple of days before you act on it.
Sean Pratt is a particularly effective narrator for this kind of material. He's done many titles for Gildan Media, and their titles in the self-development or "science for daily life" area tend to be a cut above the norm.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy "Five Elements of Effective Thinking" by Michael Starbird and Edward Burger. There is some overlap between the books; I found both of them helpful.