Thursday, 8 March 2012

Joshua Foer - Moonwalking with Einstein

In lieu of a post about the fantastically engaging and beautiful book, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (which I'm currently very much enjoying), I have decided to review Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein. My local bookshop, University Bookseller, runs a fantastic popular science reading group (Think Tank Book Club) and this was our book for the month. I don't usually post about books that I haven't been asked to review (mainly because I don't have enough time to do so because I have a pile of books waiting to be reviewed) but with this book, I decided I had to.

The book is Foer's journalistic self-experiment of interring himself in the world of mnemonists. Though it might sound like some kind of religious cult (it is a little bit like that...), it actually refers to the art of memory. He uses scientific and anecdotal sources to explore his experience, and makes it informative, thought-provoking and entertaining. As the quote on the cover suggests it really is "A great yarn grounded in real science". In fact, it's so good that it's the first popular science book I've managed to read all the way through. The personal narrative of a human endeavour makes it more like a story than a book about science which makes it eminently more readable than many other pop-sci books I've read.

This is what popular science should be! Engaging, entertaining and informative.

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