Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Max Your Memory by Dr. Pascale Michelon

Max Your Memory contains exercises, tools and tips on how to improve your ability to remember things. It's a visual guide that's filled with simple exercises designed to be fun, while increasing your memory.

This is a fantastic book! It's packed with interesting, informative and easy-to-understand explanations about all aspects of memory. The pages are nicely laid out with colourful, appealing and plentiful illustrations. The exercises are simple, yet effective, and feature easy to understand instructions. Many of the exercises require you to write things down and there's not always room in the book to do so. I'd suggest keeping a pencil and paper nearby. This is also important if you don't want to write in the book or if you'd like to do the exercises more than once.

Each of the chapters (or sections) focus on a different aspect of memory: short-term, long-term, imagination, organization, remembering names, and remembering numbers. Each one has check-in exercises, which measure your current abilities and check-out exercises, which measure your (hopefully-improved) aptitude. I love that the exercises relate to everyday situations and not to some abstract idea. While not every example pertained to me, I could imagine how it could in the right or different circumstances.

The super techniques are designed to improve the different aspects of memory. There's at least one of these in each chapter. First, it explains the technique, then it offers instructions and exercises on how to practice that technique. One technique called "The Linking System" connects new facts to remember to old ones by creating associations (real or artificial) between them for storage and retrieval. I won't go into any more specifics. You'll have to get the book for that.

The last chapter connects health and memory by focusing on how to optimize your body and mind by reducing or managing stress, getting proper sleep and eating foods good for you. It explains how each of these affects your memory and gives lots of tips on how to keep yourself functioning at your peak.

I love that the book is designed so that the reader can focus on one aspect of memory by working on one chapter or work on all aspects by going through the whole book. If you're having trouble in one particular area, you can start with that chapter after reading the introductory chapter. If you just want to improve your memory generally, you can work through the whole book. It's going to take some time, though. I want to improve my overall memory, so I started at the beginning. After just a few simple exercises, I was exhausted. Almost more tired than if I had worked out (physically) for an hour. My brain definitely needed some down time. Thinking is hard work. ;)

I thought my memory was pretty good (in some areas), but this book proved me wrong. While some stuff was easier than others, I had lots of trouble with some of the exercises. It was still fun, though, and I saw improvements in many areas. I also learned that I need to practice more and keep working at it.

The table of contents is terrific. It not only lists the major sections, but it also lists all of the exercises and topics with page numbers. At the back of the book, there's a list of useful websites as well as a list of books for further reading. The index is extensive and should help the reader find what they are looking for.

Highly recommended for those wanting to improve their memories and learn more about how it works.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

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

Max Your Memory by Dr. Pascale Michelon, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2012. ISBN 9780756689650(Soft cover), 192p.

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