TBP Book Club - Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein Book Cover

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.




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!

CONUNDRUM (Magazine)                                                                                          

Crossword and logic puzzles, anagrams, word searches, and general- knowledge quizzes. (British)                                      

BB

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.

DB   74406                                                             

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. 

DB   73699   

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.

DB   74244         

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.

DB   73958                                                                                                                

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.                         

DB   71340                                                              

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.                        

DB   74072                                                               

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.

DB   71367                                                              

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.

DB   69978 

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.

CI   00918 

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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.       

RC   39444          

FICCIONES                                                             

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.

DB   69108                                                              

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.                                       

CATCH-22                                                              

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   

ILIAD                                                                

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                       

ODYSSEY                                                              

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                                          

PARADISE LOST                                                         

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

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Fiction title about Simonides:

PRAISE SINGER                                                        

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 

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Fiction title about synthesia:

MANGO-SHAPED SPACE                                                   

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                                       

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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.

RC   54448                                                             

EATING ANIMALS                                                       

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)     

CT   06834                                                               

GREAT HOUSE                                                           

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

                                     

 

Page last modified: January 16, 2013