On September 4th, 2012 the Texas Talking Book Book Club hosted Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein, at our telephone book club meeting. Foer's book has been translated into 31 languages and was on the New York Times bestseller list. Foer is the 2006 U.S.A Memory Champion, and his work as a journalist has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Nation. We were honored to have him join our book club meeting.
Moonwalking with Einstein (2011) DB 72817, LB 6903
Science journalist and 2006 U.S. Memory Championship winner describes the year he spent working to improve his memory. Explores ancient philosophers' and medieval scholars' techniques such as the memory palace, an imagined spatial construction used to organize recollections. Discusses savants and amnesiacs--and why memorization still matters.
- Listen to the event Podcast
- Read the transcript of our meeting
- View Talking Book blog
- Visit Joshua Foer's website
Moonwalking with Einstein Reading List
Read about your brain | Books mentioned in Moonwalking with Einstein | Fiction about Simonides | Fiction about Synthesia | Books by Joshua Foer's Family
Read about your BRAIN!
Crossword and logic puzzles, anagrams, word searches, and general- knowledge quizzes. (British)
USE YOUR BRAIN TO CHANGE YOUR AGE: SECRETS TO LOOK, FEEL, AND THINK YOUNGER EVERY DAY
AMEN, DANIEL G Original Date: 2012
Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body (DB 71340) details strategies to slow aging and decrease the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. Uses case studies to illustrate the benefits of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising. Also discusses ways to treat brain damage.
DB 74839 IPN
CONNECTOME: HOW THE BRAIN'S WIRING MAKES US WHO WE ARE
SEUNG, SEBASTIAN Original Date: 2012
Neuroscientist explains the concept of "connectomes"--the connections between neurons that, he argues, provide a biological basis for personality, intelligence, and memory. Explores the role of genes and life experiences in "wiring" the brain and the impact this field of study could have on medicine and science. Commercial audiobook.
NOW YOU SEE IT: HOW THE BRAIN SCIENCE OF ATTENTION WILL TRANSFORM THE WAY WE LIVE, WORK AND LEARN
DAVIDSON, CATHY N., 1949- Original Date: 2011
Explores the nature of attention and the influence the educational system has on it. Recounts an experiment during which students assigned to count passes between basketball players in a film failed to notice a person wearing a gorilla suit who walked through the middle of the game. Commercial audiobook.
DB 74386 IPN
INCOGNITO: THE SECRET LIVES OF THE BRAIN
EAGLEMAN, DAVID Original Date: 2011
Neuroscientist, who asserts that most mental activity is not under a person's conscious control, explores the depths of the subconscious. Discusses visual illusions, brain damage, artificial intelligence, the effects of various drugs, and the causes of phenomena such as synesthesia. Bestseller.
NEVER SAY DIE: THE MYTH AND MARKETING OF THE NEW OLD AGE
JACOBY, SUSAN, 1945- Original Date: 2011
Social critic and author of The Age of American Unreason (DB/RC 66150) paints a pessimistic, yet realistic, overview of old age. Combines social, economic, and historical analyses as well as personal
experience to portray the issues--with special attention to Alzheimer's disease--that aging baby boomers will encounter.
THINKING, FAST AND SLOW
KAHNEMAN, DANIEL, 1934- Original Date: 2011
Nobel Prize-winning psychologist synthesizes decades of research on intuition versus systematic thinking. Analyzes quick, emotional thinking, which he calls System 1, and deliberative, logical thinking,
which he calls System 2. Discusses the ways people make choices and provides techniques to use to guard against mental glitches.
CHANGE YOUR BRAIN, CHANGE YOUR BODY: USE YOUR BRAIN TO GET AND KEEP THE BODY YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED
AMEN, DANIEL G Original Date: 2010
Clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist describes how boosting his patients' brain function also improved their health and appearance. His suggestions include exercising, taking supplements, treating mental disorders, getting enough sleep and sex, eating right, balancing hormones, relaxing, and meditating. Includes a brain-systems questionnaire to determine problem areas. Bestseller.
ONE HUNDRED SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT ALZHEIMER'S AND AGE RELATE MEMORY LOSS
CARPER, JEAN Original Date: 2010
Medical journalist Carper, who is genetically susceptible to Alzheimer's disease, surveys the scientific research on dementia and details specific actions that can help to delay or prevent the condition. Recommends nutritional and lifestyle changes, including Taking vitamins, surfing the Internet, exercising, socializing, and meditating.
DB 74187 LB 06599
SHALLOWS: WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO OUR BRAINS
CARR, NICHOLAS G., 1959- Original Date: 2010
Journalist Carr expands upon his 2008 article in The Atlantic Monthly entitled "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" Citing neurology research, he argues that humans are losing our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection as advancing technology changes our neural pathways. Pultizer Prize finalist.
BEST KIND OF DIFFERENT: OUR FAMILY'S JOURNEY WITH ASPERGER'S SYNDROME
SCHILLING, SHONDA Original Date: 2010
Wife of professional baseball player Curt Schilling details her odyssey in managing their son Grant's disruptive behavior, both before and after his 2007 diagnosis of Asperger syndrome at age seven. Discusses Grant's outbursts and moments of tenderness and Shonda's frustration at dealing alone with the family while Curt traveled.
SECRET LIFE OF THE GROWN-UP BRAIN: THE SURPRISING TALENTS OF THE MIDDLE-AGED MIND
STRAUCH, BARBARA Original Date: 2010
Health and medical science editor examines the workings of the middle-aged brain. Uses studies conducted by neuroscientists to demonstrate that, even though certain capacities--such as remembering names--diminish, the aging mind gains more flexibility, organization, and efficiency from developing its ability to use both sides of the brain.
DB 71825 LB 06873
HOW WE DECIDE
LEHRER, JONAH Original Date: 2009
Journalist describes the neurobiology of decision making. Uses situational anecdotes, such as what happens when a quarterback decides to throw a pass, to demonstrate the neurological differences between reason and emotion. Contrasts going with your gut instinct and relying on too much information. Bestseller.
CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT I FORGOT: THE GOOD NEWS FROM THE FRONT LINES OF MEMORY RESEARCH
HALPERN, SUE Original Date: 2008
Science writer Halpern recounts her three-year investigation into medical research on Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders. Describes studies involving food, herbal supplements, and game
playing. Reports her findings that age-related memory loss is normal and that regular physical exercise boosts memory recall.
BR 17912 RC 67214 DB 67214
MY STROKE OF INSIGHT: A BRAIN SCIENTIST'S PERSONAL JOURNEY
TAYLOR, JILL BOLTE Original Date: 2008
Neuroanatomist chronicles a severe brain hemorrhage she had when she was in her mid-thirties and the following eight-year recovery period. She describes the joy of the present moment she felt when she was operating solely with her brain's right hemisphere and explains ways the experience changed her. Bestseller.
BR 17902 RC 67075 DB 67075
BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF: STORIES OF PERSONAL TRIUMPH FROM THE FRONTIERS OF BRAIN SCIENCE
DOIDGE, NORMAN Original Date: 2007
Research psychiatrist explains the medical case studies that illustrate neuroplasticity--the brain's ability to change its own structure and function. Relates the examples of a gifted woman who compensated for her multiple learning disabilities and of congenitally blind people who learned to perceive objects. Bestseller.
RC 66329 DB 66329 DX 66329
CARVED IN SAND: WHEN ATTENTION FAILS AND MEMORY FADES IN MIDLIFE
RAMIN, CATHRYN JAKOBSON Original Date: 2007
A journalist in her forties, dismayed by her unreliable memory, chronicles her journey in pursuit of an agile brain. She interviews experts in the fields of physiology, psychology, and sociology to explore such factors as sleep, stress, diet, exercise, medication, and genetics.
BR 17514 RC 65246 DB 65246
PROUST AND THE SQUID: THE STORY AND SCIENCE OF THE READING BRAIN
WOLF, MARYANNE Original Date: 2007
Discusses the evolution of our human brain's capacity to learn to read. Begins with the origins of writing, proceeds to the development of the reading brain and its pathways to acquisition, and ends with questions about potential transformations due to digital technology. Examines reading difficulties of children with dyslexia.
RC 67928 DB 67928
MATURE MIND: THE POSITIVE POWER OF THE AGING BRAIN
COHEN, GENE D. Original Date: 2005
Gerontologist and author of The Creative Age (RC 51737) examines psychological growth in mature adults, refuting the notion that aging brings an inevitable decline. Introduces developmental intelligence as the "synergy of cognition, emotional intelligence, judgment, social skills, life experience, and consciousness." Explores ways to cultivate creativity. Includes resources.
RC 62467 DB 62467 DLD
IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD: A GUIDE TO YOUR BRILLIANT BRAIN
FUNSTON, SYLVIA Original Date: 2005
Explains the workings of the brain and how it controls the senses, emotions, memory, and thinking. Includes practical experiments and brain teasers. For grades 3-6. 2005.
RC 62528 DB 62528 DLD
MEMORY, HISTORY, FORGETTING
RICOEUR, PAUL Original Date: 2004
Philosophical examination of the reciprocal relationship between remembering and forgetting and the consequences for individuals as they perceive historical experience and compose historical narratives.
Discusses ethical ramifications of modern events while taking into account relevant texts from such philosophers as Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, and Kant. Kluge Prize.
RC 63149 DB 63149 DX 63149
IN THE SHADOW OF MEMORY
SKLOOT, FLOYD Original Date: 2003
Poet and novelist pens a first-person account of living with brain damage caused by a virus attack at age forty-one. Describes the process of reassembling his memories, relearning tasks of daily living, and coping with his ravaged mind. Also depicts experiences dealing with the Social Security Administration and dying family members
RC 57334 DB 57334 DX 57334
MOZART'S BRAIN AND THE FIGHTER PILOT: UNLEASHING YOUR BRAIN'S POTENTIAL
RESTAK, RICHARD M. Original Date: 2001
Neuropsychiatrist and author of Older and Wiser (RC 47348) advocates exercising the brain to improve its performance. Explains how the brain works and offers specific steps to improve cognitive skills,
memory, and concentration. Among his recommendations are listening to music, reducing stress, and taking regular physical exercise.
RC 54735 DB 54735 DLD
SEVEN SINS OF MEMORY: HOW THE MIND FORGETS AND REMEMBERS
SCHACTER, DANIEL L Original Date: 2001
Harvard psychologist explores the nature of memory's imperfections and considers how to reduce their harmful effects. Categorizes memory's malfunctions into seven "sins": transience, absentmindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence. Discusses these divisions and their consequences.
RC 58067 DB 58067 DX 58067
NUMBER SENSE: HOW THE MIND CREATES MATHEMATICS
DEHAENE, STANISLAS Original Date: 1997
The author explains how the structure of the human brain shapes mathematical abilities. Describes psychological studies of the way people understand and manipulate numbers. Reports on experiments
involving animals and babies, as well as those who have suffered brain injuries.
BR 11610 RC 45759 DB 45759 DLD
TOTAL RECALL: HOW TO BOOST YOUR MEMORY POWER
MINNINGER, JOAN Original Date: 1984
A good memory can open the door to achievement and success. It translates into good grades for the student, promotions for the businessperson, votes for the politician, and admiration and respect for anyone else who can call up useful information at will. In this book, Dr. Minninger shows how to turn a fuzzy memory into a dependable tool.
Books mentioned in Moonwalking with Einstein:
CONFESSIONS: BOOKS 1-13
AUGUSTINE, SAINT, BISHOP OF HIPPO Original Date: 1993
The first nine books take Augustine from his birth in fourth-century Roman North Africa through his conversion to Christianity and baptism in Milan at the age of thirty-three. In the final four books, Augustine, who is by now a Catholic bishop, examines the nature of God and prayer, ponders such mysteries as creation, and interprets the Holy Scriptures.
BORGES, JORGE LUIS, 1899-1986 Original Date: 1962
English translation of seventeen brief, carefully wrought fantasies in which the Argentine Nobel Prize winner creates a terrifying and bizarre world. The collection's first part, called "The Garden of Forking Paths," contains eight short stories published in Spanish in 1941. Part two, entitled "Artifices," has nine stories published in 1944. [BR 11366, 1993]: The introduction by John Sturrock provides background information on Borges and on the stories.
BR 11366 RC 14683 DB 14683 DLD
SELECTED WORKS: AGAINST VERRES, TWENTY-THREE LETTERS, THE SECOND PHILIPPIC AGAINST ANTONY, ON DUTIES, ON OLD AGE
CICERO, MARCUS TULLIUS Original Date: 1971
Major works by Roman orator and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.). Topics range from tyranny and misgovernment to ideals of behavior and principles. Introduction and translation by Michael Grant.
DISCOVER: THE WORLD OF SCIENCE (Magazine)
Articles on ecology, natural history, science and technology; news on breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine; book reviews, brain bogglers (puzzles), and awards for technological innovations.
HELLER, JOSEPH Original Date: 1961
A grotesquely comic novel about the mad adventures of Captain Yossarian, a bombardier based in Italy during World War II, who tries to stay alive. Military rules make it impossible for anyone to achieve the combat quota necessary to quit flying. Yossarian and his buddies concoct ways to avoid the ridiculous orders of their officers. Strong language and descriptions of sex. Bestseller.
BR 11980 RC 48063 DB 48063 DLD DX 48063 LB 01027
HOMER Original Date: 1990
Robert Fagles's 1990 translation of the Greek epic poem written during the eighth century B.C.E. and attributed to Homer. Relates the events of a few days of battle near the end of the Trojan War. Focuses
on Achilles's withdrawal from the fight and its disastrous effects on the Greek campaign.
RC 66356 DB 66356 DX 66356
HOMER Original Date: 1996
Robert Fagles's 1996 translation of the Greek epic poem attributed to Homer. After the Trojan War, Odysseus begins a ten-year voyage back to Ithaca during which he relies on his wit and wiliness to survive encounters with Poseidon, god of oceans, and other divine and natural forces.
BR 12113 DB 72052
MILTON, JOHN Original Date: 1969
An epic poem uvased on the theme of mankind's fall from grace, loss of innocence, and the struggle to return to paradise. Richly elaborate symbolism is employed to portray Satan's battle with God, descent into Hell, and his seduction of Adam and Eve.
RC 31889 7 DB 31889 DLD
WORKS OF PLATO
PLATO Original Date: 1956
Selected writings of Plato portraying the philosophy, themes, and ethics of Socrates. Through the device of Socratic dialogs, Plato explores essential moral and metaphysical questions of life and reality. He limns the vision of a perfect society in his capstone work, "The Republic" (RC 14875).
RC 41107 DB 41107 DLD
BORN ON A BLUE DAY: INSIDE THE EXTRAORDINARY MIND OF AN AUTISTIC SAVANT; A MEMOIR TAMMET, DANIEL Original Date: 2007
Autobiography of Daniel Tammet, a twenty-six-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger's syndrome and synesthesia, who can perform rapid memorization and mathematical calculations and learn an unfamiliar language in days. Describes his impoverished childhood with eight siblings, mainstream education, and adult life as a gay Christian. Bestseller. 2006.
RC 63862 DB 63862 DLD
Fiction title about Simonides:
RENAULT, MARY Original Date: 1978
Historical novel set in sixth century B.C. Greece centers on the life of the poet Simonides and the court of the Pisistratide. When the court eventually falls from power, Simonides survives the upheaval and retires to Sicily, where he looks back over his long and eventful life.
RC 63313 DB 63313 DX 63313
Fiction title about synthesia:
MASS, WENDY Original Date: 2003
Eighth-grader Mia has been keeping a secret--even from her best friend, Jenna--ever since third grade, when she realized that not everyone sees a color for each name, number, and sound. Problems at school and her cat's death lead Mia to discoveries about herself and synesthesia. For grades 5-8.
RC 56666 DB 56666 DLD
Books by Joshua Foer’s family members:
HOW SOCCER EXPLAINS THE WORLD: AN UNLIKELY THEORY OF GLOBALIZATION
FOER, FRANKLIN Original Date: 2005
Journalist's analysis of soccer and global interdependence asserts that study of the game leads to an understanding of international politics. Topics include hooliganism, ethnic sectarianism, anti-Semitism, fan recruitment by Serbian militants, and cultural movements in South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Strong language.
RC 63439 DB 63439 BARD
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
FOER, JONATHAN SAFRAN Original Date: 2005
Precocious nine-year-old Oskar Schell discovers a mysterious key labeled "Black" belonging to his father, who was killed in the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks. Oskar roams New York City on a quest to find the matching lock. Some strong language. Bestseller.
RC 60319 DB 60319 DX 60319 BARD
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED
FOER, JONATHAN SAFRAN Original Date: 2002
A young Jewish American--with the same name as the author and a faded photograph in hand--travels to the Ukraine searching for the woman who may have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. His adventures are enhanced by local guides. Some descriptions of sex and some strong language. Bestseller.
FOER, JONATHAN SAFRAN Original Date: 2009
Author of the novel Everything Is Illuminated (RC 54448) investigates the meat production industry and his own family's food choices. Examines factory farming and aquaculture and exposes their connections to global warming and environmental degradation. Explores the philosophical and ethical issues of carnivorism while advocating a vegetarian diet. Bestseller.
DB 70373 BARD
TODO ESTA ILUMINADO
FOER, JONATHAN SAFRAN Original Date: 2002
Esta historia cuenta el viaje de un joven norteamericano a Ucrania en busca de los origenes de su familia, una inquietante y divertida odisea a traves de los claroscuros de la memoria en la que poco a poco se iran iluminando los desertados escenarios de un pasado turbador: la Segunda Guerra Mundial, el holocausto o la fundacion, en el siglo XVIII, de Trachimbrod, el pueblo del que es originaria la familia del protagonista. ("Everything is Illuminated" RC 54448)
KRAUSS, NICOLE Original Date: 2010
Tale of a grand desk of nineteen drawers and its symbolism to owners present and past: a New York writer, a Chilean poet, an Israeli reacquiring family furniture that was stolen by the Nazis, and a woman who escaped the Holocaust. Some strong language. Nat'l Book Award Finalist. Bestseller.
DB 71935 BARD
HISTORY OF LOVE
KRAUSS, NICOLE Original Date: 2005
New York. Jewish octogenarian Leo Gursky learns that the novel he wrote to his true love when he was a young man in Poland was plagiarized and published by a Chilean. Meanwhile teenaged Alma Singer researches the book's main character--her namesake--discovering Gursky and the truth. Some strong language. Bestseller.
RC 60776 DB 60776 BARD