This was an interesting, well-written and eclectic book that entertained cover to cover. It has broader interest even though it's about a microsociety that most of us will never come across. It's another one of those books like Malcolm Gladwell's where you feel like you learned things, but you didn't realize it because it was interesting.
I enjoyed this book through and through. I read this in 2 days, while I was in Paris. There were many things I could have lent my attention to in those 2 days, but I found this book to be so captivating I couldn't put it down. I found myself making excuses to listen to it wherever I was. It combines interesting narrative with scientific information and historical context. One of my best reads this year.
Not a how to book but a wonderful description of the author’s journey into learning. Foer is an excellent writer reporting on a research study involving a memory experiment on himself.
I wish I was taught these memorization techniques early on in my life. They can help everybody. This book will blow your mind if you allow it to. Take some time to try out some of these exercises as you listen to this book.
I very much appreciated that this author dove into the subject matter by testing out the techniques for himself and even compete in memorization competitions.
Very fresh read!
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Ever since I came across one of Foer's magazine articles some years back, I've been looking forward to this book. I expected it would delve deeply into the science of memory. After all, Foer is consistently billed as a science journalist, and we live in an era when neurobiology is making great progress. I expected the memory contest thing to be a useful hook to frame the whole thing. Well, it turns out the memory contest is the dominant topic of the book. The science is little more than a rehashed version of things you will find in other neurobiology books floating around. In fact, we may be dangerously close to having all the science writers just rehashing each others' books--the same stories, anecdotes, and studies seem to come up in each of them.
I was disappointed there wasn't more science in here. Foer states early on that we really don't know that much about memory. I still would have liked to see more about what researchers have attempted, even if it hasn't led to results. Foer also spends quite a bit of time on the memory prodigies of our time. Again, I would have liked to see him spend more time with the researchers who have studied these people.
As for the memory contest, it turns out to be just as nerdy a subculture as you would imagine it to be. That's not giving anything away. It reads a whole lot more like a personal account of the author's adventures with these so-called "mental athletes" than like a journalistic inquiry into "the art and science of remembering everything."
The book is more about memorization than about memory. It's interesting but not what I expected.
The book was well written, however,it was not what I had expected . I was made aware that people did engaged in games that challenged remembering. I did not come away with a manner I could improve my memering.
Mainly a story of the author's personal experiences. If you are hoping to learn to improve your memory, this will not help at all - one of the key lessons is that memorizing things for a competition is a very narrow skill that doesn't really help in everyday life. I never got bored listening, though.
Mike Chamberlain made an incredible performance in the reading of this book. Since the book is about Foer sharing his experiences with the Memory World. Chamberlain gave the impression that you were sitting across a table with him as he shared with you his experiences and what he made of them. Would listen to again!