Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Rough Guide Book of Brain Training by Gareth Moore & Tom Stafford

The Rough Guide Book of Brain Training is a 100-day workout book for your brain. It contains hundreds of puzzles and is designed to exercise the different parts of your brain.

At first glance, I thought this was just another puzzle book with different kinds of puzzles that can be done randomly. However, it's not. The informative introduction explains the book, the workouts, and the tracking system; everything one would need to get started. In a nutshell, the workouts contain 5 different puzzles grouped together for each day. They get progressively harder and are meant to be done consecutively. There's a test every ten days so that the participant can measure their progress.

I love this book. I thought this book was going to be too much like work and probably too hard for me. Not so. After I did the first day, I realized how fun it was. The weird thing was that I really felt like my brain had been working. Much like my body feels after a physical workout.

I was really surprised at how I did. I usually do ok at word and Sudoku type puzzles, but have trouble when it comes to math (especially if I have to do it in my head) and spatial relations type puzzles (I get left and right mixed up). Overall, I was really happy with my initial attempt at the puzzles for day one. It didn't take me too long and it felt really good when I'd figured them out. I've since gone on to subsequent days and am slowly working my way through the book. I continue to surprise myself on how well I'm doing.

I loved that there was a variety of puzzles in the book (not just one kind) and that even familiar puzzles, like Sudoku, have a slight twist to them. This makes them seem new and a little more challenging,

The solutions to the puzzles can be found at the back of the book. The introduction encourages participants to look at the solutions if and when a particular puzzle gives them trouble. Sort of like authorized cheating. How cool is that? The puzzles are meant to be challenging, but it wouldn't be much fun if you got stuck and couldn't go any further.

In addition to the puzzles, there are some interesting 2-page articles on brain related subjects as well as facts and tips scattered throughout the book. There's even a resources list for keeners who want further "study". All of these are well worth the read.

Highly recommended for those looking for a good mental workout and for those who love puzzles.

For more information about this book, please visit DK Canada'swebsite.

I'd like to thank those nice people at DK Canada for this review copy.

The Rough Guide Book of Brain Training Gareth Moore & Tom Stafford, Rough Guide, ©2010. ISBN 9781848365186(paperback), 288p.

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