on November 5, 2011
I bought this book a little over 6 months ago. I'm not a memory expert, but have read more than my fair share of books on the subject to say this is one of the better ones I've encountered.
One of the reasons I liked this book is because of the many examples. The author never assumes that just because a concept was explained that you will automatically know how to use it. Instead he provides numerous illustrations that show you what to do. Not only that, he shows you different ways to apply them in different situations. The examples are practical and reference information that you'll likely need to learn or remember, whether for school, work, or day to day life.
Another reason I liked the book is because the author understands the limitations of each technique. He realizes that one method will not work for every situation. For example, you can't use acronyms to remind you of an appointment or a rhyme to remember where you misplaced your keys. Where one technique falls short, he provides others to compensate. Also, not all memory issues can be solved with a technique. Where a technique can't be used, he offers other strategies. He talks about everything from concentration, your diet, to getting organized.
The most helpful chapter for me was the one on affirmations. The author says that your beliefs about your ability to remember have a strong influence on your memory - more than any technique you can learn. He gives you an affirmation exercise to improve your beliefs, which I've been affirming regularly for a few months. I have to say, that alone has had an astounding shift. I am able to remember everything from appointments, schedules, errands, deadlines, due dates, and meetings without the use of any method. It has made me more attentive and aware of my priorities without learning or applying techniques, and lately, I am rarely forgetting what's on my plate.
Another chapter I really enjoyed was on using your sense of sight. Basically, you are showed ways to recall information similar to how people with photographic memory do. It sounds complicated and difficult, but it's not. For remembering a story or list, I'm not finding it too useful, but for complex processes and tasks, I'm getting really good results. I am able to remember the fine points of complicated procedures at work, which has impressed quite a few of my colleagues even those who put the procedure together.
I will admit, I didn't find all the techniques useful. Not that they don't work, which I'm sure they do. Either I myself couldn't get into them or they didn't work with my mental habits. Though those that did work, have been working really well. There are a lot of tips in this book, so you'll definitely find more than a few that will click for you.
Also, when it comes to memory improvement, most books and courses pretty much rehash the same tricks. In some respects, this book is no different. The author even admits that. In other respects, it presents unique ideas that I haven't heard discussed elsewhere. It runs the gambit from classic techniques such as acronyms, clustering, and the loci method to more unique ideas like facts association, mental practice, and the two I mentioned above.
All in all, this is a great book on improving your memory. Majority of the content lives up to the title of easy, fun, and simple. If you are new to memory improvement, I recommend this book over others as it's not terribly long and the content is well presented and comfortable to read. It will be much help to students looking to excel in school, professionals wanting to manage their work, busy people striving to get a grip, as well as the elderly striving for a more youthful memory.
on August 25, 2012
After following the instructions of reading this book a few times and after applying its lessons over the past months, I'm updating my review. I want to say I am really glad I bought it, there is a lot to learn here.
I've read other memory books on the kindle and they are weak in comparison. It seems like Amazon has a very poor screening process. They seem to let any author publish a book, regardless of the content or quality. The kindle library is full of so called "memory" books that are big on promises but short on results.
What's worse is that over half these books are 30 - 40 page pamphlets. The number of techniques you learn is limited, with very little substance. This is especially true of books in the Prime Lending Library.
If you want to take the safe route, get this book. Although not all the tips are unique and innovative, and no memory book is, the presentation is excellent. More than anything, this book is a complete resources. It is not a 30 page pamphlet like others. It contains the most memory improvement strategies, for the most possible situations you will encounter - all in one place. An added bonus is that the reading is very relaxed, never too complicated or dull.
on November 9, 2011
John Parker's "Memory: Simple, Easy, and Fun Ways to Improve Memory" is dedicated to the process of "exercising" our memory in order to maintain our ability to register, store and retrieve information. Its multitude of chapters provide readers with various techniques - including repetition, maintaining (or even creating) interest in the topic or concept you want to remember, visualizing, the use of positive reinforcement and even dietary suggestions to keep the body-mind combination healthy and able to work properly.
It tells us, for instance, that the brain and the body have distinct ways of storing and retrieving information, and that various methods are needed in order to enhance memory. It also tells us how repetition - a term which is often associated with boredom and lack of imagination - is actually a crucial element of memory enhancement: "You can use repetition to memorize any number of tasks and skills. To memorize new responsibilities at work, perform them several times. If you are learning to drive a car, go through the steps of checking the rear view mirror, breaking, putting the car in gear, pressing the gas, and steering several times before turning the ignition. Whether you are a white or blue collar worker, an athlete or artist, a student or caregiver, when you are presented with a new task to memorize, repeat it often."
Though part of the book is about how and why memory works, the author delves deeply into the topic of how memory can be enhanced, particularly by the use of active methods such as associations - which often involves connecting something you wish to remember to something that you are already familiar with - and the employment of acrostics and acronyms. (A good example of an acrostic, according to the book, is "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nuts", which takes the first letter of each of the names of our solar system's eight planets and uses it to form eight words that form a sentence to help us remember the names Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. (Interestingly, this acrostic actually jogged an old memory about the acrostic I was taught in order to remember the nine planets of the solar system: Matilda Visits Every Monday, Just Stays Until Noon, Period." (The "Period," of course, stands for Pluto, which several years ago was re-categorized as a dwarf planet.)
Parker explains both the concepts of memory and the techniques to maintain or enhance it in a clear and concise manner. He takes complex subjects and makes them understandable and interesting, which is a good approach for a writer to take since we all have memory issues of some kind. His prose is crisp and his tone is both authoritative and helpful, two very important traits that make "Memory: Simple, Easy, and Fun Ways to Improve Memory" a valuable resource to a wide range of readers.
on November 8, 2011
This book definitely lives up to its title: it is an organized set of easy techniques to help boost memory. The topics that are covered are all in harmony with how the brain stores and recalls information --visualization, association, repetition--and the techniques are simple and sensible.
The information is laid out in a clear and concise way, and it is written in plain English. There are some interesting facts about memory and forgetfulness and how the brain works with regards to storing and retrieving information. I liked the touches of humor in the writing; the whole book has an upbeat, positive tone making it easy to approach.
It has many techniques that would be easy to use in everyday life, as well as some more complex methods. The simpler techniques take little effort to learn and apply.
Also, a lot of the techniques for memorization would be very helpful for students in high school getting ready for their SATs and ACTs, or for college students planning to take the GRE. There are also some very helpful pointers about note taking that I would have liked to know when I was madly scribbling in my notebooks during college lectures.
Bottom line: This is a very comprehensive book. It is a good investment, especially for the price.
on February 28, 2013
This well written book gives tons of insight on how our memory works and then provides simple, helpful, easy to follow practical tips, practices, tricks and methods that you can use and apply in your everyday life. I love that there are no gimmicks, special tools, or add-ons required. By reading the book, you already possess the skills you need by simply using the power of your own thoughts.
There are a variety of topics covered from remembering names and numbers to dates, events, and places. If you are anything like me, I am sure you know how embarrassing it is when you recognize a face but cannot recall the name of the person standing right in front of you. This handy book offers a simple solution and gives step by step methods to ensure that this does not happen again. As a business owner that alone was the main reason I purchased the book but to my surprise I picked up so much more from the advice I can hardly wait to share this book with my employees
Learning to teach your brain how to store memories by making associations and mental pictures to help with recall is not something I had ever heard of before and I find it so amazing how complex and miraculous our minds are. A must read for students, busy people, older people, someone who simply wants to learn how to increase their memory capacity, or anyone that struggles to remember things.
on March 9, 2012
Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you were in there? How about that embarrassing moment at a company party, where you scramble your brain to try and remember your new boss' name? I struggle with remembering things all the time, and it only leads me to get more frustrated, causing me to be unable to remember even more. It makes me feel incompetent and look stupid in front of potentially important people.
I bought "Memory: Simple, Easy, & Fun Ways to Improve Memory" as a last ditch effort to help me before a job interview. What a great find. The book is easy to read, and gives you many ways to boost your memory that are simple to apply in real life situations.
The very first lesson is so straightforward you'll wonder why you'd never thought of it before. Just repeat something out loud until it sticks. Try it right now, and you'll find that even a few weeks from now you'll remember it, because you heard yourself say it. Even though this technique is straightforward, the author does a wonderful job of explaining how to apply it in different situations. You can expect this level of attention to all the techniques.
Not only does the book give you tips, but it also helps you understand why they work, in everyday language that doesn't send your head spinning. The advice within these pages runs the gamut from simple pnumonic devices to how to change your diet to help your memory get better. It's extensive and effective and probably the best book for the price.
on November 5, 2012
In his book, Memory: Simple, Easy and Fun Ways to Improve Memory, John Parker delivers exactly what the title promises. There's no need to plow through pages of text and take notes before achieving significant memory improvement.
His introduction explains how your brain functions, how memory can be improved with exercise, and what strategies for memory retention will be presented.. Then, in the first chapter, you're off and expanding your memory through repetition, something we're all familiar with; however, Parker expounds upon it in an interesting and enjoyable way that continues throughout the book.
If you've ever wondered how some people have great memories while you have trouble remembering where you parked the car at the mall, you may benefit from the other memory-related factors Parker discusses, such as your lifestyle, sleeping habits, diet and beliefs. He explains how these things can be adjusted to get your brain and memory functioning at peak efficiency. He gives tips for how to work with boring subjects that are difficult to pay attention to and makes learning actually fun (while reading this book, I learned facts about the Civil War, the legend of Atlantis and the introductory lines of the Gettysburg address presented in such an entertaining way that I still remember them).
This book is designed to reach all sorts of people, students obviously, but also business people, homemakers, seniors, and the children of seniors who may be concerned about their parent's ability to remember. His style is direct and conversational, which makes the book quite enjoyable to read. When he presents a technique, he works in an example to show you how easily the technique can be adapted to real situations. I especially found useful his techniques for remembering names when you're introduced to people. I've always had problems with this as I tend to concentrate on the act of meeting the person and not their name and, as a result, have been embarrassed on many occasion by not knowing an important contact or client's name. After reading this book, I'm not worrying about that happening again.
I was a little sorry to reach the end of the last chapter, and I'm planning on following the author's advice to read it several times. I've already incorporated a number of Parker's suggestions and techniques into my mental strategy but I am intrigued by the memory systems he presents in the later chapters. I highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in memory retention.
on January 7, 2013
I'm not a fan of non-fiction, and I usually don't read it at all. But there was something about this book that caught my eye. Maybe it's because I have the worst memory of anyone I know (I have been known to walk into a room and forget what I w ent in there for). I admit, when I started reading I was a bit skeptical. I wasn't even sure if I was going to read the whole thing because like I said, I'm not a non-fiction fan and even though the rest of the world seems to be, I'm not into e-books either. But I thought I would give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised! (And yes, I read the whole thing!)
The paragraphs are short and spaced out so that you don't feel like you're straining your eyes and you won't lose your place if you glance away from the computer. Then there's the information it contained. At the beginning of each chapter is a quote from someone who has had an impact on the world. Each quote is informative and entertaining, and goes along with the chapter it introduces.
There were several times that I read something and thought, okay, I'm not sure about this. (For example- there is a part that talks about letting go of negative thinking and speaking positive affirm ations) But I read on and found that the author discusses how skeptical others have been about that same advice and then discusses studies that have shown drastic improvements in people that tried it! I can't argue with that! So after reading this book, I tried what he said, and I haven't forgotten why I walked into a room since. So I give it a thumbs up!
on January 3, 2013
This book has helped me like no other and I did not feel bored at all as I got through it. What particularly caught my attention was the way the book is written; it is divided into organized chapters which flow perfectly into each other, once you begin the first chapter it's hard to stop. Not only did I find myself turning pages on-end, I found that at the end of each chapter I had perfect understanding of the concept which the chapter was trying to explaining.
The book introduced a few concepts which I hadn't known before I started reading and used examples from my everyday life which I related to perfectly to explain the concepts. I also liked how the author used famous quotes at the start of each chapter, and as I read through it, I came to understand how the quote related to the idea of that chapter.
I particularly liked the fact that as I read through the book I became more and more sure that the author actually wanted me to have a better memory and was not only filling the book with pointless pages as many others do. This was because the author was adding a few simple and quick exercises that consist of very few steps that didn't interrupt the flow of my reading. What also helped me was the detailed content page to which I was continuously going back to quickly get between chapters.
I have certainly learned a lot about my memory and feel that I understood the way my brain works much better by reading this book and I would recommend it to everyone because you can read it whether you want to improve your memory like me or just for a general guide of how our mind and brain works.
on December 28, 2012
As a birder, I regularly experience the limitations of human memory. You might have seconds to see the bird before it flies. Argh.
This book is a tight summary of almost every memory improvement technique known, other than prescription medications. You probably already know some of them. You just forget to use them. (Ah, the irony!) I'm especially interested in recalling visual information, but there's a full discussion
of how to recall everything from a string of numbers to an entire speech.
I've tried a number of these. The "Forget-Me-Not-Spot" saves hours of searching for lost keys. Creating silly sayings helps keep basic information at my fingertips. (A classic birder's example: "Downies are Dinky" helps distinguish Downy Woodpeckers from Hairies because of the Downy's "dinkier" bill.) Any student who follows the advice in just the first two chapters on repetition and focus will be miles ahead of the student who doesn't.
In my own student days, it became obvious that those of us who took written notes were scoring higher - sometimes much higher - on tests. A despairing low scorer told me, "But I can't listen and take notes at the same time." She needed the third chapter, which discusses several affirmations you can use to change your mental programming about what you can or can't do. If you already know some good memory improvement techniques, but you've failed to implement them in the past, you may want to turn here first. Reprogram your brain to get out of your own way.
For me, I realized that it's back to basics. Attention (backed up with a quick sketch) is the key to remembering the bird. But, whatever you need to remember, you should find a practical suggestion to help.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book.