Books · Read in 2021 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Moonwalking With Einstein (Joshua Foer)

Fascinating in places


Title: Moonwalking With Einstein – The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Author: Joshua Foer – Narrator: Mike Chamberlain
Genre: Non-Fiction
First published: 2011
Edition: Audio (& Paperback, published by Penguin in 2012)

Joshua Foer used to be like most of us, forgetting phone numbers and mislaying keys. Then he learnt the art of memory training, and a year later found himself in the finals of the US Memory Championship. He also discovered a truth we often forget: that, even in an age of technology, memory is the key to everything we are. He takes us on an astonishing journey through the mind, from ancient ‘memory palace’ techniques to neuroscience, from the man who can recall nine thousand books to another who constantly forgets who he is. In doing so, Foer shows how we can all improve our memories.


This is one of those books I picked up randomly in a charity shop ages ago and it sat on my shelf for a few years.

In the end I listened to this on audio and I think that was the best way for me to ‘consume’ this book. On the page, I am not sure I would have been as invested as by having someone tell it.

The subject matter is interesting and there were bits I found really interesting. The idea of memory palaces is definitely intriguing and I found the memory training ideas in general quite fascinating.

However, I did feel that I did not care that much about the idea of memory competitions and competitive memorising at all. My interest did wane a bit during those bits.

I am glad I read this book and I think I will have my husband read it as well, as I think he would be interested. Maybe more interested than I was. It is that kind of book. It has some fascinating content and if you are interested in the brain and the way we remember things, this may well be for you. I just wished it had expanded on different bits.

5 out of 7 stars

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