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VINE VOICEon 28 November 2012
I really enjoyed this book, devouring it in just a few sittings.
Ostensibly, it tells the story of how the author, covering the US memory championships, takes up the challenge to enter them himself and compete the following year.
But along the way the book is an overview of what we know, or think we know, about the way the brain works and how we remember (or fail to remember) stuff. Several common methods of memorisation are outlined - but note this isn't a "how to" book - as is the concept and use of memorisation itself. In a world where we don't have to remember anything - phone numbers, historical facts, the background to current events - because it's all there on devices we carry around, do we need to remember things at all?
The book will appeal if you like a good yarn, or your interested in psychology or education. It is entertaining, informative and at times pretty funny, and the end is quite emotional.
One of the people the author spends a lot of time with is Ed Cooke, who has since written the book "Remember, Remember..." which I bought and started straight after this. Within half an hour I could remember the names of all the Anglo-Saxon kings of England. Is that useful? No. But it's impressive (although I'm having trouble convincing friends and colleagues). More importantly, the method itself is very useful and I've employed it for other things since.
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on 29 October 2014
I was just looking at ideas for improving my own memory when I came across this book and was interested in reading about what and how Joshua had achieved, and particularly his views on the potential advantages of having a better memory.

I felt the style of writing was easy and various technicalities were very well, very simply explained (it's been a godsend as I've gone on to read more on the subject)

I thoroughly enjoyed Joshua's own presentation of his research too, finding it broad and highly informative.

Certainly, for anyone considering the pro' sand con's and potential usefulness, as well as the effort required to enhance ones memory, I'd have no hesitation in recommending this book! It's a great starting point from which then to investigate further techniques more in depth.
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on 9 June 2017
It was interesting reading about the authours journey, I would have been happier though, if he shared more of the techniques.
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on 8 September 2013
I purchased this book after watching a short clip of Joshua Foer explaining memory, I wanted to learn how to do what he does!

The book mainly features the story of how Joshua attended a memory competition as a journalist, and later went on to winning it!

There are small elements of the book which explain how to do the techniques, but overall I would say the book focuses mainly on the story of Foer. If you want to learn how to remember more, I suggest reading other books aswell.
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on 12 September 2014
I stumbled across this book by accident - but it turned out to be a an excellent read. The book is about a journalist who started off writing a story about memory competitions, and ends up participating himself. In parallel, he looks at the history of memory techniques and medical studies of memory, and meets some of the people involved, including the doctors and patients with memory loss.

While this is not a book to learn about how to improve your own memory, it does explain different techniques, and there are loads of references to other books that do. I have told a few people about this book and I am sure they will enjoy it as much as I did.
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on 4 September 2017
Enjoying the read glad I bought it
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on 23 October 2017
Great story of exploration, dedication and triumph and a realisation of how dependent society is becoming on technology and losing core skills. An eye opener for me and I still have the image of Claudia Schaffer and cottage cheese in my brain!
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on 5 July 2013
I bought this book as it was recommended by a colleague as a tool to improving my memory so was quite disappointed that it is just a meander through how the author(?) improved his memory... shows how interesting it was that I can't remember! Also, I didn't finish the book because I got bored.
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on 26 February 2013
I really loved the way all the science was related to stories. Stories of people who are defined their incredible propensity to remember, or to forget, or to amaze and confound the world with their mental abilities. The author really captured the human element for me and got me asking myself how my own memories define me as a person. This book got me intrigued about the power of practice and playing the strengths of the human brain. A really good read!
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on 12 May 2014
Less of a tutorial and more of a reportage on Joshuas journey to the memory championships. This book shows just what is possible with real, dedicated, hard work and the right techniques. If you are inspired I would recommend purchasing another , more tutorial style publication, but this volume is recommended to aspiring memory trainees for inspiration.
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