Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 12, 2013
You wake up in the morning and start to get dressed. You try to remember where you put those pair of earrings that would go perfectly with your outfit. You look everywhere but you just can't remember where you put them. Before leaving for school, you try to remember where you put the worksheet you did for history class. This time you find it in the textbook. Finally, as you sit down in the bus you realize that you forgot your lunch at home.
Forgetfulness is part of human nature, but these lapses of our brain can get quite frustrating. Joshua Foer's book, Moonwalking with Einstein, discusses how memory could be improved through training and age-old techniques.
Joshua Foer is a journalist and while covering the USA Memory Championships, he became curious about the art of memory after a contestant told him that memorizing was not a talent, but a skill developed over time through hard work. The contestant told for that even he could be in the USA Memory Championships by next year under his tutoring.
Foer cracks open the books and studies the ancient memorization techniques of the Greeks and Romans. All these texts advise him to come up with a memory palace, such as home or office building, and make up ludicrous images for each item you have to remember and place it somewhere in the memory palace.
Then all you have to do is walk through the memory palace and you will remember everything because the brain remembers images better than words (especially funny ones). With this information as well as the advice and encouragement of his tutor, Foer trains and goes on to win the memory championship a year later.
The book goes on to discuss how even in our world of easy access to externally stored information (books, computers, Internet), memory could be a beneficial trait. Ancient Greeks believed that true understanding came only through memorization because you could only memorize when you truly understood what you read. Memorizing also allows you to apply and connect past, present, and future.
This poses the question of whether memorization should be taught in schools today. Because of our world of easily accessible externally stored memories, students today are not asked to memorize often, but maybe if they were it would improve their minds, and therefore society as a whole.
Moonwalking with Einstein is Joshua Foer’s debut book. It is intriguing and thought provoking as well as highly entertaining.
“Foer’s book is relevant and entertaining as he shows us ways we can unlock our own talent to remember more,” stated USA Today. This book questions modern notions of the utility of memorization and whether the modern world has really “lost their memory” in a sea of books, websites, and electronic planners.
Moonwalking with Einstein is interesting, fascinating, and a must-read for anyone looking to improve their memory or understand a bit more about the workings of their mind.

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