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Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by [Foer, Joshua]
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Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 317 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: Moonwalking with Einstein follows Joshua Foer's compelling journey as a participant in the U.S. Memory Championship. As a science journalist covering the competition, Foer became captivated by the secrets of the competitors, like how the current world memory champion, Ben Pridmore, could memorize the exact order of 1,528 digits in an hour. He met with individuals whose memories are truly unique—from one man whose memory only extends back to his most recent thought, to another who can memorize complex mathematical formulas without knowing any math. Brains remember visual imagery but have a harder time with other information, like lists, and so with the help of experts, Foer learned how to transform the kinds of memories he forgot into the kind his brain remembered naturally. The techniques he mastered made it easier to remember information, and Foer's story demonstrates that the tricks of the masters are accessible to anyone.
--Miriam Landis

Review

"Absolutely phenomenal... Part of the beauty of this book is that it makes clear how memory and understanding are not two different things. Building up the ability to reason and the ability to retain information go hand in hand... The book reminds us that we all start off with pretty much the same tools for the most part, and we can be intentional about strengthening them, or not."—Bill Gates

“Captivating. . . His narrative is smart and funny and, like the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks, it’s informed by a humanism that enables its author to place the mysteries of the brain within a larger philosophical and cultural context.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“His passionate and deeply engrossing book. . . is a resounding tribute to the muscularity of the mind. . .. In the end, Moonwalking with Einstein reminds us that though brain science is a wild frontier and the mechanics of memory little understood, our minds are capable of epic achievements.”—The Washington Post

“Joshua Foer’s book. . . is both fun and reassuring. All it takes to have a better memory, he contends, are a few tricks and a good erotic imagination.”—Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

“Highly entertaining.”—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“It’s delightful to travel with him on this unlikely journey, and his entertaining treatment of memory as both sport and science is spot on. . .. Moonwalking with Einstein proves uplifting: It shows that with motivation, focus, and a few clever tricks, our minds can do rather extraordinary things.”—The Wall Street Journal

“It’s a terrific book: sometimes weird but mostly smart, funny, and ultimately a lovely exploration of the ways that we preserve our lives and our world in the golden amber of human memory.”—Deborah Blum, New Scientist

“Foer’s book is relevant and entertaining as he shows us ways we can unlock our own talent to remember more.”—USA Today

“A fascinating scientific analysis of mnemonic mysteries. What we remember, [Foer] says, defines who we are.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Sprightly, entertaining. . . [Foer] has a gift for communicating fairly complex ideas in a manner that is palatable without being patronizing.”—Financial Times

“[An] inspired and well-written debut book about not just memorization, but about what it means to be educated and the best way to become so, about expertise in general, and about the not-so-hidden ‘secrets’ of acquiring skills.”—The Seattle Times

“[An] instant bestseller.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Funny, curious, erudite, and full of useful details about ancient techniques of training memory.”—The Boston Globe

“With originality, high energy, and an appealing blend of chutzpah and humility, [Foer] writes of his own adventures and probes the history and literature of memory, the science of how the brain functions, and the connections between memory, identity, and culture. . .. Moonwalking with Einstein. . . is engaging and timely.”—The Jewish Week

“A smart, thoughtful, engaging book.”—The Portland Oregonian

“Charming. . . The book is part of a grand tradition, the writer as participating athlete, reminiscent of George Plimpton taking up football in Paper Lion.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

“[A] wonderful first book.”—Newcity

“Fascinating.”—Town & Country

“For one year, Foer tried to attain total recall, extracting secrets from the top researchers, the real Rain Man, and the world’s memory champs. He triumphed, both in his quest and in this lively account, which is, no exaggeration, unforgettable.”—Parade

“In recounting his year in training for the USA Memory Championship, journalist Foer delivers a rich history of memory.”—Discover Magazine

“Foer’s history of memory is rich with information about the nature of memory and how it makes us who we are.”—Scientific American

“A brief and pithy recounting of Foer’s exploration of the fuzzy borders of his brain—a marveling at how and why it’s able to do something quite unexpected. . .. Moonwalking with Einstein fits handily inline with the recent tradition of ‘big idea’ books.”—The Millions

“An original, entertaining exploration about how and why we remember.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An engaging, informative, and for the forgetful, encouraging book.”—Booklist

“Hard to put down. . . The mind is a bigger thing than any of us realize, and Foer reminds us to keep exploring it.”—Barnes & Noble Review

“He has thought deeply about memory and his effort yields questions that are well worth reflecting on.”—The Daily Beast

“Intriguing. . . Foer does an excellent job of tracing the history of the arts of memory.”—The Forward

“The kind of nonfiction work that gets people talking. . . A highly enjoyable read.”—Thirteen.org

“You have to love a writer who employs chick-sexing to help explain human memory. Foer is a charmer, a crackling mind, a fresh wind. He approaches a complex topic with so much humanity, humor, and originality that you don’t realize how much you’re taking in and understanding. It’s kind of miraculous.”—Mary Roach, author of Packing for MarsBonkSpook, and Stiff

Moonwalking with Einstein isn’t just a splendid overview of an essential aspect of our humanity—our memory; it is also a witty and engaging account of how Foer went from being a guy with an average memory to winning the USA Memory Championship.”—Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke University and author of The Upside of Irrationality and Predictably Irrational

“In this marvelous book, Joshua Foer invents a new genre of nonfiction. This is a work of science journalism wrapped around an adventure story, a bildungs-roman fused to a vivid investigation of human memory. If you want to understand how we remember, and how we can all learn to remember better, then read this book.”—Jonah Lehrer, contributing editor to Wired and author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist

“Joshua Foer proves what few of us are willing to get our heads around: there’s more room in our brains than we ever imagined. Moonwalking with Einstein isn’t a how-to guide to remembering a name or where you put your keys. It’s a riveting exploration of humankind’s centuries-old obsession with memory, and one man’s improbable quest to master his own.”—Stefan Fatsis, author of A Few Seconds of Panic and Word Freak

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 980 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st edition (March 3 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H4XI5O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well happy with way the author delivers thoughts; enjoyed reading it.
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Format: Paperback
Who knew that there were international memory championships and that reading about them could be so interesting? In Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, author Joshua Foer writes about how he went from being an internet journalist assigned to cover this event to becoming a competitor in one, one year later. This is one of the most interesting accounts of participatory journalism ever told. But the book is much much more than this. In between the continuing tale of how the author first becomes exposed to this unique competition, how he befriends several of the competitors, is seen as a curious annoyance to others, how he is mentored and trained, how he actually trains for the competition, culminating in his competing in the American Memory Championships, Foer weaves in many pieces of interesting information. These include the techniques actually used to improve memory and to memorize vast chunks of information, a user-friendly explanation of the physiology and neurology of memory, the history of mnemonics beginning with the Greek Poet Simonedes of Ceos (who, according to legend, was able to recall the names and seating plan for all the attendees of a banquet hall suffering a roof collapse), the difference between remembering words and remembering images, profiles of those who have exploited memory techniques for personal gain and those who haven't, a wonderful discussion about the place of memorization in education, a profile of an inner city school utilizing memorization to improve the performance of its students, as well as interviews with some of the interesting personalities in the world of memory.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Got this product as a Father's Day gift. He loves the product. For its price, it is excellent quality. A very good looking tool too. In addition, the customer service was excellent. I certainly would recommend it! low price. quickly. my family need to change a new one , awesome and very well.
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Format: Hardcover
This is absolutely not a self-help book on how to improve your memory, but it's a fun and compelling read, with some very thought-provoking ideas. The descriptions of the various events, the people involved, and the author's own journey is very compelling. Apart from that, some of the ideas introduced in the book, looking at the role and meaning of education in relation to memory for example, were really interesting to me. They were not probed particularly deeply in the book, but it is something I definitively want to look further into, and this was a great start. The demonstration of how the techniques work are great, but some of the examples are bit overly detailed.
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Format: Hardcover
Although the book is in no way an exhaustive scientific research on memory and mnemonics, it touches on an interesting topic. Is there such a thing as an inborn talent or genius? Or is it something that any human can train and develop? After conducting an interesting and fun field experience, the author seems to be more inclined to believe that memory capacity and recollection genius are something that anyone can train and develop. On the other hand, the author also gives a couple of neurological examples on extreme human memory capacities that seem to be inborn and have more to do with physiology than conscious training efforts. The weakness of the books is that the author never gets more into details on the topic of memory, but it still can serve as an exciting, fun, and contemporary introduction into the world of memory training.

I particularly liked the chapter on the so-called OK-plateau. It is true that apart from the neurological disorders and accidents that could slow down our memory capacities, our simple human tendency to be lazy is also to blame.

In any case, the book is fun to read and lets you want to read further into the topic...
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Format: Hardcover
Joshua Foer recounts his journey as an average guy with an average memory who, in one year, becomes the US Memory Champion. Along the way he meets a variety of interesting, eccentric and other-worldly characters who train diligently to memorize decks of cards, lists of names, random numbers and obscure poetry. Mr. Foer is a skilled journalist who immersed himself in the topic to give the reader an inside look at the world of mnemonists. His narrative is complemented by research into the human mind and the forgotten role that memorization played in the lives of people before books became repositories of our memories. Don't read this book expecting to learn how to improve your memory, although there are overviews of techniques that can be employed. If anything, it will encourage you to learn more about the topic. However, Mr. Foer demonstrates that, with practice, anyone can learn to improve one's memory for specific tasks, like memorizing a shopping list. But improving one's overall memory is a different manner. At the end of it all, even this US memory champ forgot where he left his car keys. All in all, Moonwalking with Einstein is an enjoyable read.
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