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Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything Kindle Edition

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Length: 317 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Learn more about Joshua Foer's inspiration for Moonwalking with Einstein in this Amazon-exclusive author interview.

Editorial Reviews Review

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

From Booklist

If you sometimes can't remember where you put your car keys or, like Foer, the car itself, don't panic. You're not alone, and you can do something about it. In this intriguing look at the nature of memory, Foer reassures us that we don't need to acquire a better memory; we just need to use the one we have more effectively. Foer introduces us to people whose memories are both astonishing, like the man who could memorize 1,528 random digits in order, and frightening, such as a man with such an extreme case of amnesia that he doesn't know his own age and can't remember that he has a memory problem. He explores various ways in which we test our memories, such as the extensive training British cabbies must undergo. He also discusses ways we can train ourselves to have better memories, like the PAO system, in which, for example, every card in a deck is associated with an image of a specific person, action, or object. An engaging, informative, and for the forgetful, encouraging book. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • File Size: 953 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (March 3, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 3, 2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H4XI5O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joshua Foer has written for National Geographic, Esquire, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Slate.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

633 of 663 people found the following review helpful By David Sheppard on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those rare books that is not only a joy to read, but also immensely helpful. It can help all of us with something that is at once troublesome and worrisome: our memory. It does this with ease, not teaching us some grueling rote memory technique, but one that is easy, natural and intuitive. Yet Moonwalking with Einstein turns out to not be exclusively a how-to book on memory. So what is it?

Well, yes, it is about memory and how to improve it, but it is at once a history of techniques, a description of what memory is and what can go wrong with it, and also a running narrative of how the author, a journalist himself with no special memory skills, becomes one of the most proficient memory athletes in America.

I'd learned a mnemonic device to aid memorization decades ago while in college, and found it to be helpful, but for some reason I'd abandoned the technique once I graduated. But Moonwalking with Einstein expands the mnemonic technique I learned back then by use of something of which I'd never heard: the "Memory Palace." The Memory Palace exploits our inherent skill for remembering images and spatial locations, harnesses these two abilities we all posses in abundance, and relates them to the memorization of numbers, lists and assortments of other difficult to remember items. The amazing thing is that the Memory Palace not only makes memorization easy, it also makes it fun.

What makes the book so interesting is that it is narrative non-fiction and reads like a novel. The author locks his conflict with his own memory early on, gives a sense of rising tension as he accumulates the forces to overcome its limitations, and resolves this internal conflict at the end when he participates in the US Memory Championship.
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644 of 701 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Whether you have memory problems (can't recall the name of someone you met a week ago?) or not, you're likely to improve your memory after reading this book. Even if you don't - but odds are you will - it makes for fascinating reading.

It definitely was a major aid for me and I do think of it as a unique "self help" book, one that can have immediate results, helping to make life easier, alleviate tricky memory issues and more. I think it is important to disclose that I'm a Baby Boomer and my memory seems to have worsened with age. I used to recall the name of nearly everyone I met as well as both major and minor actors and actresses, all of my teachers (from kindergarten through high school) as well as the first and last names of every one of my high school classmates. I could recall even tiny details of books read long ago.

But Moonwalking with Einstein goes far beyond remembering the names of acqaintances. It can help make your daily life easier, aiding you when you try to find lost items - or keep them from getting lost in the first place- and actually train you to find ways to improve your memory.

For added fun, the author includes examples of people who have amazing abilities to recall things. I wondered if at least one of them could give Vegas a run for its money or even be banned from casinos. Although I don't plan to test my abilities in Vegas, I have been practicing in casual card games, with gratifying results. The surprised looks from friends and family members was worth the cost of the book.

I'd strongly recommend you give this one a try. The techniques can even be fun for a whole family to share - and test -together. And c' can you pass up a book which explores "the art and science of remembering everything"?
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459 of 507 people found the following review helpful By Tony R. Vaughan on March 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first chapter of this book online, I went out and picked up a copy and read it. I was under the impression from reading that first chapter that this book would be about Joshua's year of training his memory. There is a large gap between knowing about a memory technique and how to actually use that technique. I was interested in reading about the author's efforts, problems, and his solutions to those problems. Unfortunately for me, only a small part of this book actually was about the author's actual training. He does cover a good deal of academic ground on memory. If you have a undergarduate degree in psychology, most of this material will be familiar. The author is correct when he said that this book isn't a self-help book, but there are a few pearls within its cover. My expectations for this book resulted in my being disappointed with it. That's my problem. I do consider the book to be a good read and would recommend it to friends and associates.
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90 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Man of La Book on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer is a memoir of the author's attempted to win the U.S. memory championship. Along the way Mr. Foer attempts to explain some tricks, techniques and the science around memory.

The book follows the gripping journey taken by Joshua Foer as he participates in the U.S. Memory Championship. As a science journalist Foer becomes interested in the champions' secrets as well as the secrets of the brain which we still do not fully understand.

Foer learns how to naturally memorize information with the help of experts and to master techniques which make memorization easier.

"Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer is a fabulous memoir which is not only personal and informative, but also highly entertaining.

As a journalist, Mr. Foer became interested in those "mental athletes" who can memorize random data (order of packs of cards, long lists, etc.) when he covered the U.S. Memory Championship as an assignment. As he researched more into this area he became intrigued and wondered if he could do it also.

At the start of his research, Mr. Foer went to meet psychologist Anders Ericsson who studies those with exceptional memory. "SF" can remember 80 digits after a single hearing, for example. During Foer's attempt, Ericsson would study him - a man without an exceptional memory. However, in a very poignant part of the book he also meets with a man who completely lost his short term memory.

Over the next year Foer studied hard to improve his memory, or rather improve memorizing random stuff (there is a difference as we find out). The path we find ourselves going along with Mr.
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