Top positive review
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The best book on memory training...easy and clear to understand
on August 31, 2010
Earlier this year I started a new job as an investigator. I was overwhelmed with all the questions and follow-up questions and all the various points I was required to cover. In desperation I sought help from mnemonics. A couple of decades ago I had gone through most of "The Memory Book" by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. It was somewhat helpful at the time, but I did not pursue it. It seemed like alot of effort that was not easily applicable to real life learning and situations.
So, earlier in the year, when I was desperate for some memory help, I searched and stumbled upon Dominic O'Brien and his work (both his Quantum Memory Power audio and a few of his books-- including "How to Develop a Perfect Memory"). It opened up a world I didn't know existed. This new-fangled mnemonics and memory sports (competition has a way of improving through refining). Dominic O'Brien really inspired me but his DOMINIC system was hard (to come up with people for initials) and his breezy approach was not as helpful.
I went through other works: Scott Hagwood, Dean Vaughn, Tony Buzan, Frank Felberbaum, and lots and lots of online material. And on one of the online memory sites I found a review of a book by former junior memory champ, Christiane Stenger. I ordered the book and slowly devoured it. It is the best by far. It is much more tangible and straightforward than other books on the subject (with the possible exception of Dean Vaughn, which is very good, but I found his cube method harder to apply than the route/journey method). Stenger gives concrete and easily applicable techniques ("Imagine a beautiful giraffe...Imagine her shrinking, so she fits in a matchbox...Take paintbrush and paint her all blue. Imagine adding red dots to her blue hide..." p. 50). And it gives you extra confidence that the techniques are not just theory and suggestions (like alot of study books I wasted money on in college) but actually work because they have been used to reach the highest levels of the World Memory Championships.
What I found amazing is that this is a translation from the German. You would NEVER know it. It uses examples from American/English-speaking culture. I guess given her young age and globalism there is not the difference in language and culture there once was. And/or the translators did an excellent job.
If I had to choose one book on memory learning, hands down this would be my choice. The others have some good nuggets to add, but EVERYTHING one needs for a first-rate, world-class memory is in the book. In addition, I really liked the first part of her book where she details the benefits of memory development to other aspects of life and human development. It was very encouraging.
Also, this book has been the book that got top memory champs Dorothea Seitz and Dennis Mueller started (they both mentioned this book in interviews).
Lastly, the book is nicely laid out and user friendly. It is a MacGraw-Hill book so the binding and paper is excellent quality.
This book belongs in every library and in every school and on every bookshelf.