The four stars here are mostly for the layman's description of brain plasticity which is a concept that society is keen to ignore 'can't teach an old dog new tricks', 'i'm **** at maths' and 'I can't get myself out of this situation' etc whilst actually embracing it has the potential to enrich our lives, but as many things requires effort, which we are too 'busy' to put in.
I had been extolling brain plasticity for years as a teacher, and it was one of the reasons I got quantitive and qualitative results particularly with under performing (labelled 'naughty') boys, but it hasn't really hit the mainstream in education, nor the wider world. Once we realise that we can change and we aren't a sum of early labels there is little that we cannot accomplish- sounds very LA-LA let's hug and teach the world to sing, but it is there if we put the effort in to change.
Otherwise this book is a mishmash of common sense tied up with a neurological explanation-
Sugar is bad for you, don't take your kids Ritalin to make it through the day at work (duh), get enough sleep, drink water, keep your mind and body active- it reads like a diet or 'change your life in 30 minutes' magazine article!
That's what is a bit dissatisfying about the book, I think the author could've gone deeper without scaring the reader with too much academics.
I wasn't really inspired by this book as much as I have been about other similar books, however very interesting was the authors attitude to coffee which is very interesting and enlightening from a cognitive decline perspective.
Overall, a good reminder of common sense and a brilliant explanation of brain plasticity, I think it got a bit jumbled and light after that. I would've preferred he stick with brain plasticity and perhaps talked about research findings and or methods to really develop that rather than the general treatment of the brain.