Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Memory, when you really think about it, is bizarre. There have been times I have forgotten a close friend’s first name but I can in great detail describe to you my desk in first grade. It is like my mind enjoys playing tricks on me. I can remember everything and recall nothing at the exact same time.

Our memory is really the only way we interact with our surroundings. We live our lives in expectation of things occurring in a pattern, that is why things shock us (good or bad) when things are different.

Moonwalking with Einstein is n fascinating journey in remembering. Joshua Foer, who has written about memory competitions, decides to try it out for himself. He wants to know if remembering things is something any one can do or is it just for brilliant.

This book is his journey from interested bystander to national champion. He shows us the unique and interesting methods of memory champions. He walks us through the history of memory and how our ancestors valued and devalued memory.

For such a simple concept, this book was really interesting. I actually tried one of the methods in the book and it does work (pickled garlic, cottage cheese, smoked salmon, six bottles of wine, three pairs of socks, hula hoops, dry ice, so on). I have not committed to using any method in my life – this book is not a how to guide – but there are references to many methods used in the past that have proven to work. It is very interesting.