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on 23 April 2017
Good entertaining read. Felt a little padded out midway through but still enjoyable.
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on 20 September 2017
A tad slow at the start but ultimately well-written, informative and most definitely inspiring. Would recommend to everyone I know.
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on 17 January 2018
Insightful and funny book, for anyone interested in decision making and memory should read it.
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on 9 January 2018
Perfect
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
So this book is neither a 'how to' manual, nor a history of memorization, nor a biography of the winner of the American Memory Championship, nor a clinical investigation into the working of the brain. It is, however, a mixture of all four--and this is where its strength or weakness lies, depending on what you were looking for.

I found it a really interesting mix - with enough information, examples, stories, interviews, history and storyline to keep me reading. Foer ranges through the history of memorization and reading, to meetings with people with all sorts of memory anomalies--those who remembered everything, or nothing, or who claimed to remember everything--to his own expereices of trying to improve his memory. I enjoyed the insights into how we remember and I even got round to putting some of it into practice to help me remember my bank login details. Ironically I highlighted other bits so that I could find them easily in the future - to save me having to remember them. I also enjoyed the insights into how we read, now much more extensively than intensively, and wondered whether I should change my reading style to read more intensively.

Whilst some of the techniques are nifty and smart for remembering things like bank login details, I did wonder what precisely is the practical use of much of the more advanced methods. As someone who speaks publicly for a living a could see little use in the techniques in my field. This of course takes nothing away from the book, although had the book simply been about techniques it would have done.

One feature I did like were the end-notes - allowing the reader to pursue their own lines of inquiry if they wished.

In some ways the style of the book is a little bit like Bill Bryson's works--not as thorough as a purist might like, but sufficient detail, interesting anecdotes and variety of information for an inquisitive tourist of the subject.
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on 7 November 2016
Great book. Worth a read. Arrived in good time.
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on 4 January 2017
Absolutely perfect, when I first turned the page I feared it was like 'The Clockwork Orange' with slang invented for the book that I would need to pick up. It was actually a nice introduction in retrospect, him thinking back to the cards that won the competition. When you pass this, you reach the story of Joshua going from journalist to USA memory champion, though still journalist I suppose. It is an intriguing narrative, intertwined with case studies of Joshua meeting people with extraordinary memories. While it did go both in to detail of how the techniques he applied were performed, and how long it took for him to practise these, I felt it could have delved deep at points. This is a minor, irrelevant complain however as this is not the main aspect of the book. It is not a guide on improving your memory, it is a recollection of how Joshua improved his memory, with you along for the ride. Although I would not disregard this if you are looking for techniques as I can still remember the order of a pack of thirteen cards I placed in my primary school memory palace at least 6 months ago. So it still has its educational value.
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on 26 October 2015
Foer takes on this subject from a number of refreshing and enlightening ways. It's nice to see how a novice approaches such a competition for the first time. I personally would like to have learned more about the techniques he used to perfect his skills, but I understand that wasn't the point of this book. He does flavour it nicely with a selection of highly compelling cases relating to both sides of the memory spectrum and boosts the book with many colourful and curious characters who get involved in these sorts of games and competitions. He also pulls off some fairly revealing interviews with Tony Buzan and Kim (Rainman) Peek amongst others. Overall this is a thoroughly enjoyable read with the odd dry lapse but I found it a valuable and memorable (excuse the pun) read.
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on 27 September 2014
Ever wanted to impress your friends with amazing memory feats? Joshua Foer, a science journalist never thought he did, that is until he covered the American memory championships for a popular science magazine. Expecting it to be a meeting of savants with photographic memories but what he found though was just a bunch of ordinary folk who were seemingly able to achieve amazing feats of memory. Talking to some of these, including Tony Buzan (of Mind Map fame), they convinced him that he would also be able to achieve such feats with the right training. Initially Joshua’s BS alert was on high, suspecting him as being just another of those snake-oil self-help gurus but he went one to take up Buzan’s challenge that almost anybody can perform the same amazing feats.

The book Moonwalking with Einstein written by Joshua Foer is about how he befriended and was coached by the memory Grandmaster Ed Cooke and returned the following year to win the American Memory Championships and then went on to represent his country in the World Championships. Along the way he looks into the history, research and personalities of this esoteric subculture.

Before embarking on his quest he needed a base line to measure his present memory capability, which...
Read the full review on www.johnnyroberts.co.uk
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on 7 April 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In 2005 Joshua Foer was sent to report on the US Memory Championship; a year later he was back as a competitor. "Moonwalking with Einstein" is part memoir describing Foer's training and the colourful mnemonists he meets along the way, and part popular science book tracing the nature and history of memory and the ways it can be improved.

This is a fascinating and well-written book which had me laughing out loud in several places. Foer covers a range of subjects from chicken sexing to savants, all of which are absolutely fascinating. The final chapter in which Foer describes competing in the championship was very exciting, even though I knew the outcome.

Although "Moonwalking with Einstein" is not meant to be a self-help book, it does give an insight into how one can improve one's memory and I will try out some of the techniques Foer describes. Memory training requires a lot of prior memorization of various mnemonic devices so it is clear that though highly effective there is no quick fix to remembering things. Thus "Moonwalking with Einstein" is also a meditation on how we can become more skilled in any area through a particular kind of practice, and this has a far wider significance than the party tricks Foer describes.
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