Moonwalking with Einstein: the art and science of remembering everything.

Moonwalking with Einstein: the art and science of remembering everything.

In an attempt to find “the world’s smartest person”, Foer ends up as a visitor at the USA Memory Championship whose contestants easily memorize 250 random digits in under five minutes and are able to learn the order of a shuffled card deck in less than two. However, when Foer asks some of the contestants about their “savant skills”, all of them point out that their memory is in fact “quite average” and that their superior performance is the product of “simple” memory training techniques – which can be learned by anyone. Fuelled by this, Foer starts his own Ebbinghausian self-experiment when he decides to become a “mental athlete” himself. Coached by one of the contestants, Foer begins to train his memory to take part in the oncoming USA Memory Championship. / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
3 of 5
readability
5 of 5

What makes Olga run?: The mystery of the 90-something track star and what she can teach us about living longer, happier lives.

What makes Olga run?: The mystery of the 90-something track star and what she can teach us about living longer, happier lives.

What Makes Olga Run is an engaging, informative and inspiring read about the international track star Olga Kotelko. At the time of the writing of the book, Olga was holding 26 world records, and had over 600 medals won at throwing, sprint, and jump events. This is quite impressive, but here is where things get really interesting: Olga is 95 years old currently, and she has taken up track-and-field at the age of 77! When award-winning Canadian writer Bruce Grierson met the astonishingly young-looking Olga a couple years ago, he had the same question that Olga awakens in many: “Seriously: When you’re breaking records, rather than hips, at an age most people will never live to see … what gives?” At his physical and mental nadir at that point in his life, Grierson decided to follow Olga and learn from her as much as possible about living healthier and happier, longer and better. The result is this book, which perfectly blends Olga’s life story with the latest on the science of optimal aging. / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
4 of 5
readability
5 of 5

Social: why our brains are wired to connect.

Social: why our brains are wired to connect.

Humans have large brains. According to the social brain hypothesis, proposed by Robin Dunbar, the social environment played a large role in the evolution of the human brain’s structure and function. Today, typing “the social brain” in google scholar results in more than 10.000 hits. More than half of those hits refer to papers or books published since 2010. Conclusion: the social brain is a “hot” term in psychology. In his book “Social: Why our brains are wired to connect” Matthew Lieberman outlines his view on why we have a social brain, and how our social brain processes the world around us. Applying his view more broadly, he also explains what having a social brain may mean in dealing with social issues such as education, work and building social connections. / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
5 of 5
readability
5 of 5

The curse of lovely: How to break free from the demands of others and learn to say no

The curse of lovely: How to break free from the demands of others and learn to say no

Reading a self-help book is like talking to a stranger in a bar – you either identify with the person’s story immediately and feel like you can talk the whole night or you don’t, which is when you try to move to another table. Regarding Jacqui Marson’s book “The Curse of Lovely” I felt similar. After reading the first chapter I couldn’t fully identify myself with the author’s personal story so I was tempted to classify the book as “not for me”. And as can happen in a bar, when a person you didn’t like at first becomes a friend, my first impression of “The Curse of Lovely” turned out to be wrong after I continued reading it for a while. I found myself identifying with the problems and nodding approvingly more and more often. / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
3 of 5
readability
5 of 5

The reason I jump: The inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism by Naoki Higashida

The reason I jump: The inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism by Naoki Higashida

The concept of this book The Reason I Jump: The inner voice of a thirteen-year-old boy with autism by Naoki Higashida is based on a fascinating idea. A 13-year-old boy with autism answers questions about his inner life that the outer world wants to know to understand autism better. The book was first published in Japanese in 2007, and translated into English in 2013. / more

overall
3 of 5
novelty
4 of 5
readability
4 of 5

Publish and prosper: a strategy guide for students and researchers

Publish and prosper: a strategy guide for students and researchers

If you are a graduate student just starting your academic career or a relatively new assistant professor, I highly recommend Nathaniel Lambert’s Publish and prosper: A strategy guide for students and researchers. This is a highly readable – I read it in a single day, and I am a slow reader – accessible, and engaging book in which Lambert offers valuable strategies for enhancing your research productivity. / more

overall
5 of 5
novelty
4 of 5
readability
5 of 5

Searching for meaning

Searching for meaning

If I just had space to write about one criticism pertaining to the presented book, it would be that the title "Searching for Meaning - Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope" gives only a vague notion about the information that is actually contained within. / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
4 of 5
readability
5 of 5

The soul of all living creatures: what animals can teach us about being human

The soul of all living creatures: what animals can teach us about being human

Do animals have souls? What is the connection between animals and people? Is there a spiritual bond between human and beast? How do animals impact our lives?
Dr. Vint Virga, a distinguished practitioner and leader in veterinary behavioral medicine has written a book that answers many of these questions. / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
4 of 5
readability
4 of 5

The antidote: happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking

The antidote: happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking

“It's recently occurred to me I might not even have a problem.” (Andrew Largeman, Garden State) I’m home for Christmas, and starting to get nervous. Soon I will meet my relatives, and with that a bunch of nagging questions will be waiting for me. Questions like “How’s your thesis going?” and “What will you be doing after graduating next summer?” and “What, you still don’t have a plan for the future? Doesn’t that make you feel uncomfortable?” – Well, what... / more

overall
5 of 5
novelty
5 of 5
readability
5 of 5

The passions of the mind: a biographic novel of Sigmund Freud

The passions of the mind: a biographic novel of Sigmund Freud

There are probably more misconceptions about Sigmund Freud than any other psychologist, or to be precise, medical doctor. My knowledge about Freud was limited to what I learned in my bachelor program and I felt that it was time to find out more about the founder of psychoanalysis. Therefore, when my PhD endeavor took me to a conference in Vienna, I decided to mix business with pleasure and grabbed Freud’s narrative biography written by Irving Stone. Irving Stone is a... / more

overall
4 of 5
novelty
3 of 5
readability
5 of 5

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