Moonwalking With Einstein – Joshua Foer

Posted on February 21, 2013

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What’s the last great book you read?  Can’t remember?  Having trouble recalling what you had for breakfast, where you parked your car, your wife’s birthday (or name)?  Well, who hasn’t wrestled with one or more of those lapses in memory?  And that’s exactly why Moonwalking With Einstein (Help me out, buy the book here!) should be high up on your list of books to read.

Foer navigates an armada of stories: a personal journey from a happenstance spectator as a journalist, at the 2005 USA Memory Championship to his subsequent crowning of USA Memory Champion in 2006; the historical development of memory techniques throughout humanity from near necessity and its once-considered mark of a true learned scholar, to its almost pity-envoking place of complete removal from our own dear grey matter and firmly entrenched in terabytic territory through external memory devices; he engages in several cursory lessons on memory techniques that the reader can use at their disposal with only scant effort (see the Major System and the PAO system, both very accessible); he describes several real life savants and their unfathomable mental abilities; and he even has time to delve into a little exposé on the so-called Brainman, Daniel Tammet (if that is his real name…)

To say this book is a necessity might be a stretch, but it is as enjoyable as it is interesting.  Very easy to read, very insightful, great writing.

Foer is no slouch and just a quick glance at his CV shows proof that he’s a talented individual, which is no knock on the hours

Joshua Foer prepares for battle.

Joshua Foer prepares for battle.

spent toiling away towards his championship.  Anyone who dresses like this for a day of competition has a sincere dedication to his craft, and an impeccable sense of fashion.  We all know of events, statistics, groups of people and things in our lives that we’d like to be able to recall even without an internet connection.  For me, it was the detailed line up of a local brewery.  And why not take up the spirit of Foer and challenge yourself to give the book some of your time and see how much you can use it to benefit your life?

Well, let me know what you think!  Please leave your comments 🙂

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