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Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting

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A fascinating exploration of the intricacies of how we remember, why we forget, and what we can do to protect our memories, from the Harvard-trained neuroscientist and bestselling author of Still Alice. Have you ever felt a crushing wave of panic when you can't for the life of you remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw last week, or you walk into a room only t A fascinating exploration of the intricacies of how we remember, why we forget, and what we can do to protect our memories, from the Harvard-trained neuroscientist and bestselling author of Still Alice. Have you ever felt a crushing wave of panic when you can't for the life of you remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw last week, or you walk into a room only to forget why you went there in the first place? If you're over forty, you're probably not laughing. You might even be worried that these lapses in memory could be an early sign of Alzheimer's or dementia. In reality, for the vast majority of us, these examples of forgetting are completely normal. Why? Because while memory is amazing, it is far from perfect. Our brains aren't designed to remember every name we hear, plan we make, or day we experience. Just because your memory sometimes fails doesn't mean it's broken or succumbing to disease. Forgetting is actually part of being human. In Remember, neuroscientist and acclaimed novelist Lisa Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You'll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You'll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer's (that you own a car). And you'll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, its natural vulnerabilities and potential superpowers, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget. You can set educated expectations for your memory, and in doing so, create a better relationship with it. You don't have to fear it anymore. And that can be life-changing.


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A fascinating exploration of the intricacies of how we remember, why we forget, and what we can do to protect our memories, from the Harvard-trained neuroscientist and bestselling author of Still Alice. Have you ever felt a crushing wave of panic when you can't for the life of you remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw last week, or you walk into a room only t A fascinating exploration of the intricacies of how we remember, why we forget, and what we can do to protect our memories, from the Harvard-trained neuroscientist and bestselling author of Still Alice. Have you ever felt a crushing wave of panic when you can't for the life of you remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw last week, or you walk into a room only to forget why you went there in the first place? If you're over forty, you're probably not laughing. You might even be worried that these lapses in memory could be an early sign of Alzheimer's or dementia. In reality, for the vast majority of us, these examples of forgetting are completely normal. Why? Because while memory is amazing, it is far from perfect. Our brains aren't designed to remember every name we hear, plan we make, or day we experience. Just because your memory sometimes fails doesn't mean it's broken or succumbing to disease. Forgetting is actually part of being human. In Remember, neuroscientist and acclaimed novelist Lisa Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You'll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You'll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer's (that you own a car). And you'll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, its natural vulnerabilities and potential superpowers, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget. You can set educated expectations for your memory, and in doing so, create a better relationship with it. You don't have to fear it anymore. And that can be life-changing.

30 review for Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra is pretending crumbs are the whole loaf

    This is kind of a mash-up book, science and self-help. I usually dislike self-help books but this one was interesting because it wasn't going on about mnemonic training but how to make a memory in the first place (rather than forgetting) and how to optimise studying to fit in with how the brain works. I hope I remember the advice :-) Short-term memory is stored in the hippocampus, should you treat this organ badly - too much stress bathes it in cortisol and not enough sleep are both very bad - t This is kind of a mash-up book, science and self-help. I usually dislike self-help books but this one was interesting because it wasn't going on about mnemonic training but how to make a memory in the first place (rather than forgetting) and how to optimise studying to fit in with how the brain works. I hope I remember the advice :-) Short-term memory is stored in the hippocampus, should you treat this organ badly - too much stress bathes it in cortisol and not enough sleep are both very bad - then your short term memory is shot. But if you treat it well and still forget where your keys are it's because you didn't form the memory to begin with. To form a memory you need to pay attention or else do something habitually. Attention and repetition are key. If you always put your keys in the same place, habituation will have formed a long-term memory, if you put them in different places all the time and have to hunt for them (my son does this) then you need to put your keys down and commit to memory (or your phone) exactly where they are rather than dumping them and moving on. The best way of studying is to study, self test, have a nap. Repeat, endlessly. Self-testing is another form of repetition and sleep is when the hippocampus clears out and its short term memories moved out to the neurons that buzz around remembering things. The author's husband worked out a very effective way of studying, it might be worth trying. Study, self-test, have a cup of coffee, have a 20 minute nap. The self-testing and napping both help with making the material a (more permanent) memory, and the caffeine which takes 25 minutes to process will have you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed eager and able to start studying again. It's a good book, in part because the author is very relateable and hints at a possibly misspent youth (always a plus, one tends to think of scientists as having been nerdy), and also writes very well. It's not a 5 star book, there's not enough either depth or anecdotes, but it is good and I think that just as the author has written some 5 star books - Still Alice in the genre she invented - neurological novels, she will write some top-notch non-fiction in the future. ____________________ Notes on Reading or the art of the freebie as promotion (view spoiler)[When I wrote this, the book has been out 5 days, and looks like a major hit, but is it? The 4.49 stars, from 194 ratings and 155 reviews are ALL with the possible exception of up to 10 ratings/couple of reviews are freebies. They might all be 'honest' and they might all be not, I don't know yet, but I always find such an overt marketing scheme to persuade you the book is FABULOUS and WORTH SPENDING $$$ on kind of offputting. However, I liked a couple of Lisa Genova's novels and since she is a scientist first, I am interested to read a science book from her not framed as a story, so we will see how this is. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    Memory is such a fascinating thing. How do the mechanics of it work? How do we choose what we remember? What about all the things we forget? And what happens as we grow older and our memory starts to decline? Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting tackles all of these questions and more. It's divided into three parts: How We Remember, What We Forget, and Improve or Impair. Part one goes through each of the different types of memory and how they are formed. Because I came into t Memory is such a fascinating thing. How do the mechanics of it work? How do we choose what we remember? What about all the things we forget? And what happens as we grow older and our memory starts to decline? Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting tackles all of these questions and more. It's divided into three parts: How We Remember, What We Forget, and Improve or Impair. Part one goes through each of the different types of memory and how they are formed. Because I came into this book knowing a bit about memory creation, that part wasn't as new to me, but it was still useful to have all the information summed up in one place. Parts two and three were the most interesting because they contain a lot of new information for me. There were so many thought-provoking tidbits in there. One is that every time you recall a memory, you are editing and rewriting over the original, such that once you've done this a few times, your current version of it may deviate quite a bit from what really happened. Another is that sleeping aids memory storage and clears out the plaque that eventually leads to dementia, so sleeping is essential for good memory health. The book also spends some time talking about the differences between normal memory-retrieval glitches versus what happens with Alzheimer's. It is both straightforward in its presentation of what causes dementia and Alzheimer's, as well as comforting in its assessment of what patients with those diseases are still able to retain. And it offers many useful and practical suggestions on what you can do starting now to give you the best chance to stave off these ravaging diseases later in life. Genova both holds a degree in neuroscience and is a fiction author (she wrote Still Alice), so she's the perfect person to present this information in a way that is accessible to the layman. She expertly weaves the technical scientific information with personal anecdotes to illustrate her points, adding enough heart and humor so that it doesn't become too dry. If you're curious at all about how memory works, or you want information on how best to take care of yourself now to avoid memory diseases later in life, this is a worthwhile book to check out. My heartfelt thanks for the advance copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    How do we remember? How do our brains store memories and recall them? What impacts memory? How can we improve our memory? Divided into 3 parts: How We Remember, Why We Forget, and Improve or Repair, this book answers all these questions and more. Sound boring? Let me assure you it is anything but. The author has a PhD from Harvard in neuroscience but just as she does with her fiction books, she writes in a conversational way, using personal experiences from her own life to make the information m How do we remember? How do our brains store memories and recall them? What impacts memory? How can we improve our memory? Divided into 3 parts: How We Remember, Why We Forget, and Improve or Repair, this book answers all these questions and more. Sound boring? Let me assure you it is anything but. The author has a PhD from Harvard in neuroscience but just as she does with her fiction books, she writes in a conversational way, using personal experiences from her own life to make the information more accessible. A few teasers: - Forgetting is good! We are supposed to forget things. Remembering everything would be a curse (whew…) - Will using Google make my memory skills lazy? (nope! Yay!) - Red wine, chocolate, and working crossword puzzles helps memory. Nope, sorry, just kidding! Sadly, these are myths that have no research or scientific basis to back them up. But Lisa does have a chapter in what WILL help memory. - Multitasking is prized in our culture but is a death knell to memory - Episodic memory is like a wide-eyed preschooler at Walt Disney World who believes everything they see and think (spoiler alert: your memories of past events are probably wrong) and prospective memory for future events is your flaky friend who likes to make plans but is most often a no-show (so….I’m a flaky preschooler 😂) The above is just a fraction of what is covered, all of it fascinating. Marialyce and I have both enjoyed the author’s fiction books over the years and were quick to snap this one up. We are so glad we did. This book helped ease our fears and gave us new tools in our memory tool belts. Lisa deals with the subject of memory with incredible compassion for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Memory loss is heartbreaking and frustrating but it isn’t everything. Their lives still matter. Memory isn’t needed for feeling the full range of emotions, especially to love and be loved. The person may not know who you are but they know love. My mother lost her memory before she died last year. She didn’t know who I was but she knew I was someone who loved her. Her face would light up when I walked in her room and each visit ended with an “I love you.” It doesn’t take memory to love and be loved. As Lisa says: “Take it seriously. Hold it lightly.” Now I’m off to do some yoga and go to bed early, both of which help memory. Who am I kidding? I'll probably have a glass of red wine and go to bed late, but at least now I'm thinking about changing my bad habits 😊 · I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley. All opinions are my own

  4. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    …your memories for what happened…are wrong ——————————————————— Your memory isn’t a video camera, recording a constant stream of every sight and sound you’re exposed to. You can only capture and retain what you pay attention to. ——————————————————— Just because memory sometimes fails doesn’t mean it’s in any way broken. While admittedly frustrating, forgetting is a normal part of being human. I will start off with what this book is not. Sticking - Before I began reading Remember I wanted to get m …your memories for what happened…are wrong ——————————————————— Your memory isn’t a video camera, recording a constant stream of every sight and sound you’re exposed to. You can only capture and retain what you pay attention to. ——————————————————— Just because memory sometimes fails doesn’t mean it’s in any way broken. While admittedly frustrating, forgetting is a normal part of being human. I will start off with what this book is not. Sticking - Before I began reading Remember I wanted to get my predisposition down in words. I think that a lot of how memory functions has to do with Darwinian selection. Brains that remember crucial elements of life, like where the cave lion lives, are much likelier to survive long enough to pass on their genes than the recently departed person who could not make that particular memory come to the fore. In a less lethal way, events that have dangerous impact seem likelier to pop to mind than more benign ones. I remember many social faux pas I made in my life, and still cringe at the recollection, probably because I felt that those errors caused me harm, by lowering me in the eyes of the other parties involved, impairing my career advancement, costing me the friendship of someone I admired. If your teacher, for example, someone who has power over you (albeit not the life and death sort) is loud, or cruel, or unkind to you, that image is likely to burn deeper than a casual insult from someone you care nothing about, someone who has no impact on your life. The boss hassling you as an employee is likely to stick a bit more than a co-worker doing the same. The wonderful aspects of life might stick as well, but it seems that there are fewer of them that have the bite that the negative ones offer. Do that again and you will feel GREAT! seems less likely to stick and stick hard than don’t do that again or you could die, whether literally, professionally, or in terms of social dealings! Genova does not really get into this, memory capacity as a means of natural selection, to my great disappointment. But how memory sticks is covered. We will come back to this. Lisa Genova - image from Ringling College Library Association - 2021 This is not a book about being. It does not address the large questions surrounding how much of our identity is tied up in what we can remember. (Well, not much, anyway) Are we more than the sum of our remembered experiences? If we can no longer recall those events, do we stop being who we were? Genova took this on more directly in her novel, Still Alice. There is some of that in here, but it is not a focal point. This book is more an on-the-ground explanation for some elements of memory, with suggestions for how we might improve. You want to remember the name of someone you just met? Genova has advice on how to get better at that. You want to remember material for a test? Genova has advice on how to get better at remembering your material. To support the advice, she offers some fascinating, and very accessible material on the science of how both short and long-term memories are formed. She also offers considerable solace to those of us who might wonder if we are losing it, when we frequently forget why we got up to come into this room, or where we parked the car, or where we left the keys…ad nauseum. It’s all good. Don’t sweat it. If you forget who your children are, that would be something else entirely. There is a lot to be said for the word recollect when it comes to summoning memories. In fact we do not dip into a cranial vault and drag out specific events from our past on command. The process is much more one of reassembling the sundry bits that make up a memory, or collecting them again, re-collecting them from diverse bins, sound here, scent there, tactile bits someplace else, sight another location entirely, feelings from some other room in another wing. Unlike perception and movement, which reside in specific addresses in our brains, we don’t have specialized memory-storage neurons or a memory cortex. Vision, hearing, smell, touch, and movement can all be mapped to discrete geographic regions in the brain…When we remember something, we’re not withdrawing from a “memory bank.” There is no memory bank. Long-term memories don’t reside in one particular neighborhood in your brain. And in so-doing, there is, almost inevitably, alteration. ….every time we retrieve a stored memory for what happened, it’s highly likely that we change the memory…Memory isn’t a courtroom stenographer, reading back exactly what was said. When we recall what happened, we typically fetch only some of the details we stored. We omit some bits, reinterpret parts, and distort others in light of new information, context, and perspective that are available now but weren’t back then. We frequently invent new information, often inaccurate, to fill in the gaps in our memories so that the narrative feels more complete or pleasing. What we remember about the past is often influenced by how we feel in the present. Our opinions and emotional state now color what we remember from what happened last year. And so, in revisiting episodic memories, we often reshape them. She goes over different kinds of memory, the steps involved in storing (or not) each. She looks at the impact of writing down your take on something that just happened. There is a surprise there. Sleep comes in for a look. It plays a significant role in how memories are retained. Stress can also have a major impact on memory, both in the moment of our fight-flight-freeze experience, and in the aftermath of it. Strong emotion of a more usual sort also has an impact on memory retention. Genova looks at why we forget and how it is that different people can have such diverse takes, even after having seen exactly the same thing. Most of the advice seems sound. Sometimes, though, the offered suggestions is off-base. One way to help retain memories, she writes, is to get in touch with your inner feelings. Oh, OK, sure, forget about that whole taking years in talk therapy thing, just do it, right? Genova is, after all, a neuroscientist, not a shrink. Maybe this worked for her personally, but seems a reach for most people. In a more personal vein, that she found A Star is Born (which is a wonderful film) more memorable than LaLa Land (one of the all-time great films) is just sad. Maybe she just wasn’t paying attention, or maybe had not had enough sleep the night before taking it in. Genova comes to her interest in the brain not only from a professional place of interest, but from her personal experience. When her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Genova dug into the available science about the disease. Her undergrad degree in Biopsychology from Bates and her PhD in Neuroscience from Harvard gave her the necessary tools to learn. But what science could not offer was a sense of what it feels like to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s. That provided the motivation to write her first novel. Dozens of publishers turned it down, so she self-published in 2007, and got some notice. Still Alice, was picked up by Simon & Schuster in 2008 and published by that house in 2009, becoming an international best-seller. Julianne Moore earned a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of linguistics professor Alice Howland, coping with Early-onset Alzheimers's in the 2014 film of the book. Genova continued writing fiction, publishing four more novels. Each built on her expertise in neuroscience and skill as a writer to show what people face, and how they cope, or don’t, when neurological challenges present. Her 2011 book, Left Neglected looks at recovery after a major brain injury; 2012’s Love Anthony considers autism; Inside the O’Briens, out in 2015, tells about life for a man in his forties diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease; and Every Note Played shows us a musician suffering through ALS. In addition to her writing, Genova is a professional speaker about Alzheimer’s, and has appeared on many TV programs and in several documentary films. She says that the acting classes she took while writing Still Alice were a huge help in building her ability to put her emotions on the page. I expect that that training also helped her a lot with her public speaking. Remember is Genova’s first non-fiction book. She applies her deep knowledge of how the brain works, adds the insight she has gained from her fiction writing, and offers a well-grounded look at memory, filling us in on what to worry about, what not to sweat, and how to improve what we want to improve. Remember is a very readable explanation of how one of our most important human capabilities works. You will learn some new things and be comforted about some shortcomings that are really no big deal. It is definitely worth your time, if you can remember to pick up a copy and read it. It is through the erosion of memory that time heals all wounds. Review posted – March 26, 2021 Publication date – March 23, 2021 Harmony Books sent me an ARE, in return for…what?...something. It’s right there on the tip of my tongue. No worries, though. I am sure it will come back to me right before I go to sleep. And a special thanks to MC for remembering to notify me about this book. I won’t forget that. =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, FB, and Twitter pages Interviews -----Lisa Genova – Conversation from Penn State - by Patty Satalia – from 2011 – mostly about Alice -----Women to Watch - Lisa Genova, Neuroscientist & Novelist by Sue Rocco – audio - 44:44 – from 2020 Items of Interest about the author -----Cape Cod Magazine - Total Transformation - by Laurie Balliett - not really an interview of Genova, but about her. Definitely worth checking out -----Writer’s Digest - Living for All It’s Worth: The Novels of Neuroscientist Lisa Genova Explore Love and Empathy by Emily Esfahani Smith Items of Interest from the author -----TED talk - What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s ----- A Conversation Between Good Friends Lisa Genova and Greg O’Brien - On Alzheimer’s – video - 1:39:08 -----From iUniverse to Simon & Schuster - on how she went from self-publishing to international acclaim – video – 2:28 Items of Interest -----The Penny Test - Encoding and Storage: How Our Perceptions Become Memories -----Robert Altman on Kurosawa’s Rashomon -----Wiki on the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Related books of interest -----The amazing novel, Thomas Murphy -----My review of Patient H.M. by Luke Dittrich - Genova refers to H.M. in Chapter 1 -----Carved in Sand by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin Songs/Music -----The Fantasticks - Try to Remember -----The Earls - Remember Then -----The Shangri-Las - Remember (Walking in the Sand) -----The Platters - Remember When -----Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You -----Adele - Don’t You Remember -----Nat King Cole - Unforgettable

  5. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    When you read hundreds of books a year like I do, people often ask how you can possibly remember details about them all. The honest answer is I don’t. What I do remember is how each and every one made me feel. Novelist and neuroscientist Lisa Genova’s first nonfiction book, Remember, made me feel better, relieved, and normal. Alzheimer’s runs in my family (as it does for far too many people), so anytime a word fails me or a memory escapes me I worry all is lost. Here Genova explains in a very app When you read hundreds of books a year like I do, people often ask how you can possibly remember details about them all. The honest answer is I don’t. What I do remember is how each and every one made me feel. Novelist and neuroscientist Lisa Genova’s first nonfiction book, Remember, made me feel better, relieved, and normal. Alzheimer’s runs in my family (as it does for far too many people), so anytime a word fails me or a memory escapes me I worry all is lost. Here Genova explains in a very approachable way that the brain just ages like any other part of the body. It’s OK to get glasses for decreasing eyesight when you get to that point, and it’s OK to google things for decreasing memory recall. Hooray! I loved how she even acknowledges in an Appendix that you’ve probably forgotten much of what you just read and helpfully recaps the major points. Talk about knowing your audience! I do hope it’s an audience that continues to grow, because I believe everyone could benefit from reading Remember. It’s a 5-star book marred only by Genova’s incessant name dropping. I certainly won’t be forgetting that she runs in circles with Jessica Chastain and George Clooney anytime soon. 4.5 stars rounded up. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/ IG: @confettibookshelf

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa Genova’s fiction. And I have family members that have had or are suffering from dementia. So, it was an easy decision to read her nonfiction book on memory and how we remember. I immediately appreciated her putting my fears to rest. All those “forgotten” memories? They weren’t forgotten. They were never formed in the first place because I wasn’t paying attention! The book truly is fascinating. Genova consistently assures us we are not losing our minds. Tip of tongue I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa Genova’s fiction. And I have family members that have had or are suffering from dementia. So, it was an easy decision to read her nonfiction book on memory and how we remember. I immediately appreciated her putting my fears to rest. All those “forgotten” memories? They weren’t forgotten. They were never formed in the first place because I wasn’t paying attention! The book truly is fascinating. Genova consistently assures us we are not losing our minds. Tip of tongue forgetfulness is not a sign of Alzheimer’s. Progressive memory is the worst, just use a damn to do list. She employs many personal stories to keep the book from being dry. I highly recommend this book to anyone worried about their aging brains. And she even gives you some tips to help. I especially appreciated being told relying on Google wouldn’t cause my poor aging memory to suffer. My thanks to netgalley and Rodale for an advance copy of this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    “Could you draw both sides of a penny with total accuracy from memory right now? How can you both remember a penny and yet remember so little about it? Is your memory failing? It’s not. It’s doing exactly what it supposed to do”. ‘whew’!!!!.... I could relax before reading the rest of the book 🤸‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️.... My brain is “doing exactly what it’s suppose to do”!!! Yippy!!! 🥳 Lisa Genova goes on to say... “Your brain is amazing. Every day, it performs a myriad of miracles—it sees, hears, tastes, smell “Could you draw both sides of a penny with total accuracy from memory right now? How can you both remember a penny and yet remember so little about it? Is your memory failing? It’s not. It’s doing exactly what it supposed to do”. ‘whew’!!!!.... I could relax before reading the rest of the book 🤸‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️.... My brain is “doing exactly what it’s suppose to do”!!! Yippy!!! 🥳 Lisa Genova goes on to say... “Your brain is amazing. Every day, it performs a myriad of miracles—it sees, hears, tastes, smells, and senses touch. It also feels pain, pleasure, temperature, stress, and a wide range of emotions. It plans things and solves problems. It knows where you are in space so you don’t bump into walls or fall down when you step off a curb to cross the street. It comprehends and produce language. If meditates your desire for chocolate and sex, your ability to emphasize with the joy and suffering of others, an awareness of your own existence. And it can remember. Of all the complex and wondrous miracles that your brain executes, memory is king”. Lisa also goes on to say.... “In this book, you’ll learn how memories are made and how we retrieve them. Not all memories are created equal. ‘whew’... I was getting worried!.... “Some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (a temporary passcode), whereas others can last a lifetime ( your wedding day)”. “You’ll learn that attention is essential for creating memory for anything”. ‘goody’.... I was all ears! 👂👂 Oh my gosh...Lisa was sooo right....” you can’t remember a single word to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ until someone else sings the first lyrics, and then you can belt the entire song” 🎶🎤 “You remember nothing about the Peloponnesian War, no matter how many details are shared”. 🔫 As you can see, I decided to have a little fun reading Lisa’s new book, “Remember”... but never think for a moment that I don’t have the most respect for Lisa Genova, neuroscientist. I’m a big fan....having read every book she’s written. I always come away learning something new. This new - nonfiction - book is a fascinating, intriguing look at how we remember, how we forget forget, and how we can we can improve the health of our aging brain. Lisa’s a natural storyteller. While tackling the latest findings neurological, biochemical, and psychological, she puts the reader at ease with a light anecdotal style, and sense of humor. There are many personal stories, (ever stung by a jellyfish?)...... pointing out ways the brain captures sights, sounds, information, emotion, and meaning of what was perceived —— mixed with scientific information....(encoding, consolidation, storage, retrieval), making this book relatable, and very enjoyable!! With dozens of personal stories, humor, and practical accessibility — Lisa Genova is a very compassionate author! 🍫Chocolate anyone?.... As rule of thumb, anything that is good for your heart is good for your brain— But.... “There is no compelling evidence that shows that chocolate reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s. Sorry, folks”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Lisa Genova's new book on memory offers some fascinating insights into how our brain not only forms and stores memories, but also lets us forget the mundane and unimportant and also what we can do to improve our ability to remember. Her lively writing style and way of delivering information simply with anecdotes to illustrate makes it very readable and easy to understand. Divided into three sections, the book deals firstly with how we make and retrieve memories and the different types of memory, Lisa Genova's new book on memory offers some fascinating insights into how our brain not only forms and stores memories, but also lets us forget the mundane and unimportant and also what we can do to improve our ability to remember. Her lively writing style and way of delivering information simply with anecdotes to illustrate makes it very readable and easy to understand. Divided into three sections, the book deals firstly with how we make and retrieve memories and the different types of memory, then with why we forget and why poor retrieval of memory (such as forgetting names at a party) can happen to anyone and finally how to improve our memories and do what we can to fend off Alzheimer's with exercise, diet and sleep (unfortunately not with red wine but coffee is beneficial as long as it doesn't affect sleep). Reducing stress, meditation, learning to pay attention and be in the moment and mental stimulation are also discussed as important ways to improve brain function and memory. It was also a relief for my ageing brain to be told that making lists and using Google are both perfectly valid memory aides. This is a book most people would enjoy reading, especially if you're interested in memory and how it works. With many thanks to Rodale Inc and Netgalley for a copy to read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3. 5 A neuroscientist as well as author, Genova takes us on a journey through the human brain, and how it processes our memories. The chapters cover various topics and there was quite a bit of reinforcement from one chapter to the next. Constant repetition though is one way we ensure our memories are stored. She show us how memories are made and what part of the brain. She dispels several misconceptions which I found reassuring. Many of our worries about our memories or I should say losing them, 3. 5 A neuroscientist as well as author, Genova takes us on a journey through the human brain, and how it processes our memories. The chapters cover various topics and there was quite a bit of reinforcement from one chapter to the next. Constant repetition though is one way we ensure our memories are stored. She show us how memories are made and what part of the brain. She dispels several misconceptions which I found reassuring. Many of our worries about our memories or I should say losing them, are common after all. Again comforting to know. I knew much of this before from previous readings, so the last chapter is the one I found most informative. What does and doesn't work to aid in preventing Alzheimers and of course excercise and diet is of utmost importance. I won't list all the things that help or don't, one should read the book themselves, but I will say that red wine drinkers will be disappointed. ARC from Edelweiss.

  10. 4 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    5★ “Putting any sensory experience into words distorts and narrows the original memory of the experience. As a writer, I find this phenomenon more than a little disheartening.” Whoa! So writing it down, making notes, distorts your memory? Yes, it does. Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist who is fascinated by how the brain works and how dementia affects us (most of us eventually!) and has done the research necessary to explain it to us everyday readers. Personally, I find this an endlessly fascinating 5★ “Putting any sensory experience into words distorts and narrows the original memory of the experience. As a writer, I find this phenomenon more than a little disheartening.” Whoa! So writing it down, making notes, distorts your memory? Yes, it does. Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist who is fascinated by how the brain works and how dementia affects us (most of us eventually!) and has done the research necessary to explain it to us everyday readers. Personally, I find this an endlessly fascinating subject. I didn’t learn a lot that was new to me in this book, but I think that’s more from my reading many articles from New Scientist and similar publications over the years. I don’t mean I KNOW it all – I just mean that a lot sounds familiar. It was still a good read, and I’ve given her the full five stars for her research and the accessibility of her writing. There are anecdotes throughout about her grandmother (severe dementia at the end), and how age is the biggest risk factor for dementia. “Memory loss due to Alzheimer’s is rare under the age of sixty-five, but after that, the numbers change quickly. In the United States, one in ten people at age sixty-five has Alzheimer’s. At eighty-five, it’s one in three, fast approaching one in two. Half of us.” YIKES! However, Greg, now her best friend, was diagnosed with dementia when he was only 59. He has maintained his sense of humour, and I enjoyed this anecdote. “Back when he was still driving and I was lovingly pestering him to give up driving, he unexpectedly saw a deer in the middle of the road, swerved, and flipped his Jeep. As he was upside down, moments before what could have been his death, he said he thought, “Lisa Genova is going to kill me.’” I got such a chuckle out of it because it’s exactly the sort of thing a youngster would think if they’d disobeyed their parents and gone for a wander in the woods and narrowly escaped being kidnapped! It’s not the kidnapping they are as afraid of as the wrath of their mother and father. But seriously, there are so many tips and tricks to help us stave off dementia as much as we can but also accept that our memories are not what we think they are, so don’t argue with each other about them. We are highly suggestible. “In the process of consolidating an episodic memory, your brain is like a sticky-fingered, madcap chef. While it stirs together the ingredients of what you noticed for any particular memory, the recipe can change, often dramatically, with additions and subtractions supplied by imagination, opinion, or assumptions. The recipe can also be warped by a dream, something you read or heard, a movie, a photograph, an association, your emotional state, someone else’s memory, or even mere suggestion.” She doesn’t mention it, but I have often had the experience, as have other people I know, of remembering something interesting from my own life and thinking “Did I really do that, or is that from some movie I saw?” I mean, I know it was me and my life, but sometimes it feels almost unreal. There is plenty of medical discussion about the physiology of the brain, the neural circuits, the connections and the amyloid plaques of dementia. I never get tired of this stuff. She talks about the man who can’t remember anything for more than a few seconds and people who can’t forget anything, which can be a terrible burden. But her focus is dementia. Famous for her novel Still Alice and the Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, Genova is often asked for advice and opinions about people’s mental worries. She reminds us that if you want to remember where you put something, you have to PAY ATTENTION. I have learned to do that – to an extent – with a few things I don’t want to misplace. (A lot of things don’t matter that much.) Many drivers have experienced the disturbing realisation that they have driven a long distance without being aware of how they got there. I often say my auto-pilot needs recalibrating. Here’s an illustration of how easily our memories are distorted. “In another study, researchers asked subjects to share any memories they had of the video of the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. People were interviewed and then given a questionnaire to test what they remembered. Thirteen percent offered detailed memories of the video during the interview, and 33 percent reported specific memories in the questionnaire. But 100 percent of these memories were false. We have footage of the planes that crashed in New York City and Washington, D.C., on 9/11, but there is no video of the crash in the field in Pennsylvania. These folks believed they remembered details from a video that doesn’t exist.” But fear not. “Our memories can hold information that is deeply meaningful or nonsensical, simple or complex, and its capacity appears to be limitless. We can ask it to remember anything. And under the right conditions, it will.” Yes, it’s those right conditions that are critical. Read the book and learn what some of them are. She includes a bibliography you can use to learn more yourself. This is written for a ‘mainstream’ American family audience with references to dropping kids off at school, having teens in college, Trump’s election, how to calculate a 20% tip in your head, etc., but anyone will understand it. Don’t trust your memory. It can play tricks on you. “Memory, especially for what happened last year or what you intend to do later today, is notoriously incomplete, inaccurate, confabulated, and fallible, its performance often better if externalized, outsourced to Google or your calendar.” Meanwhile, be kind to each other. “Your spouse insists that you left your family vacation at the cottage in Maine three days early two years ago because it rained every day. You remember it being sunny all week, and you left only one day early because your son sprained his ankle and you wanted his doctor to look at it before soccer started. Who’s right? Who knows? Who cares? You’re probably both wrong. Let it go.” Lots to enjoy and absorb and read aloud to others. It’s hard to sit on this kind of information and not want to share it. Thanks to NetGalley and Rodale/Harmony for the review copy from which I’ve quoted.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I’m okay…but am I? I couldn’t stop raving about this book. I kept obnoxiously reading sentences from this book to my friends--lookie lookie lookie! Like a little kid at show and tell. But when I got to scary stuff (Alzheimer’s), I shut my mouth. It wasn’t such a fun read anymore. Turns out I am doing very bad things: sleeping too little, exercising too little, stressing too much—could I be leading myself to Alzheimer’s? So it’s funny that I gave this book 5 stars, given that it wasn’t a nice read I’m okay…but am I? I couldn’t stop raving about this book. I kept obnoxiously reading sentences from this book to my friends--lookie lookie lookie! Like a little kid at show and tell. But when I got to scary stuff (Alzheimer’s), I shut my mouth. It wasn’t such a fun read anymore. Turns out I am doing very bad things: sleeping too little, exercising too little, stressing too much—could I be leading myself to Alzheimer’s? So it’s funny that I gave this book 5 stars, given that it wasn’t a nice read by the end. Understatement--it freaked me out! I ended up deciding that just because the book scared the bejesus out of me, I shouldn’t dole out fewer points. It’s a great book, whether it made me squirm or not. Genova is a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. from Harvard, but she’s not stuffy or abstract or distant. She has an amazing ability to simplify hard concepts without talking down to us mortals, and she makes the information so accessible. The tone is conversational, and she gives lots of personal examples, which drew me in. Going in, I didn’t realize it was a self-help book. I thought it was a book about memory. Well, it’s both. Genova tells us a lot about what’s happening in your brain, but she also gives us tips on how to remember stuff and how to help prevent dementia. I learned so much about how we remember things, about all the sections of the brain that chime in. Fascinating stuff: - You have to pay attention if you want your brain to be able to create memories. Think of parking. If you don’t pay attention when you park your car—by noting which level you’re on, e.g.—you could forget where you parked and go crazy trying to find your car later. -You can train yourself to remember to-do or grocery lists. Genova tells you how to do this. (I tried, and it worked!) -Forgetting stuff isn’t always bad. Seriously. The author gives great examples. (Oh, she was making me feel like I was so okay!) -It’s natural that your memory gets worse with age. (Oh, such good news!) -Sorry, doing crossword puzzles does not help your memory. (Not fair!) -Every time you tell a story, you edit it. Then that edited version becomes the right one, the real one—until you tell the story again and accidentally edit it more. The story morphs every time you tell it. It’s like the game of telephone. I thought of stories I have told—quite sure I was telling the absolute truth, and then realizing when I told it again, I remembered something differently. Fascinating! -Marilu Henner from the (old) TV show Taxi has a condition called hyperthymesia, or Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, where she remembers every single thing that happened to her on every single day of her life. You could ask her what she was doing on June 17, 2002, and she’ll be able to tell you. Total recall. The condition is extremely rare; only 60 people in the world are known to have it. -People with Alzheimer’s are still able to feel love, so don’t think they’re a complete blank. Genova shows so much compassion for people afflicted with the disease, it’s touching. Scary stuff (as in, “I’m screwed”): -1 in 3 people over age 75 will get Alzheimer’s. OMG OMG OMG! -Think you’re cool because you can multi-task? The more things you can juggle the better? Take that smile right off your face: multi-tasking is not good for your brain. -You must get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Period. This helps with memory and helps prevent Alzheimer’s. Genova spends a LOT of time talking about sleep—stop it already! I’ve always bragged about needing less sleep than others (Genova talks about this stupid bragging), but come to find out, I’m fooling myself. Less than 7 hours of sleep is a very bad thing. (Tell that to my cat who screams and wakes me up too early. Will I be the first person in the world to blame a cat for Alzheimer’s?) -You’ve gotta exercise! Now who knew exercise was good for memory? Tell me it’s not so! Though I must admit, reading this book DID get me exercising more! (5 stars for me.) -Don’t stress! Because stress is really bad for your memory. Oh, great, telling me that only stresses me out more! -Every time you recall a bad memory, it becomes stronger—because reliving any memory reinforces it. So try to think of the good times, not the bad. Ha, easier said than done! Final thoughts: I’ve read most of Genova’s fiction and with the exception of one book, I liked it all. Still Alice is one of my favorite books, in fact. Nice to know I like her other books, too—it’s my kind of non-fiction; mainly, easy to understand. I’m a fiction reader through and through, so it’s a big deal for me to like a book of nonfiction. Some might say this book is on the light side, as many self-help books are. I disagree; I’m in awe of how well Genova can distill complex ideas and make them understandable. And although I read Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting a while ago, I still remember a lot. (In fact, I wish I could forget the parts that traumatized me!) Despite my freakout, I highly recommend this book. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Remember by neuroscientist and popular novelist Lisa Genova is a fascinating look at our memories and how our brain is designed. About the things we forget; why we forget and how we can learn to concentrate on those things that are important enough to remember. I’m sure I’m like many who are worried about Alzheimers/dementia as soon as we realise we can’t remember something we think we should. I know with it in my family history, I’m worried for myself and the future. But Ms Genova explains how Remember by neuroscientist and popular novelist Lisa Genova is a fascinating look at our memories and how our brain is designed. About the things we forget; why we forget and how we can learn to concentrate on those things that are important enough to remember. I’m sure I’m like many who are worried about Alzheimers/dementia as soon as we realise we can’t remember something we think we should. I know with it in my family history, I’m worried for myself and the future. But Ms Genova explains how we can help ourselves with memory. I’ve enjoyed the way the author gives the reader comparisons and little anecdotes to explain her points – it’s very interesting and readable. Not bogged down in facts. The tips on how to keep our brain and memories sharp, learning to pay more attention than we probably do, and helping ourselves with note-taking – I’ve always done that and I’m glad to have it confirmed that it’s beneficial. I’ve read a digital ARC of this book and I will be buying myself a copy so I can browse and flick back and forth when I need to remind myself of something 😊 Remember is another impressive book to add to Lisa Genova’s collection and although this one is nonfiction, its benefits are huge. I love the way the author shares her vast knowledge with us! Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    After finishing Lisa Genova’s new book Remember, I breathed a sigh of relief. I know many of us worry about forgetting, about the loss of memory, of having the start of Alzheimer's that if we misplace our keys, we are in a panic state. However, Dr Genova assures us that this is natural and gives us some solid ideas about how to help our memory and ultimately the functionality of our brain. Dr Genova delves into the various parts of our amazing brain and How each section functions as not only a thi After finishing Lisa Genova’s new book Remember, I breathed a sigh of relief. I know many of us worry about forgetting, about the loss of memory, of having the start of Alzheimer's that if we misplace our keys, we are in a panic state. However, Dr Genova assures us that this is natural and gives us some solid ideas about how to help our memory and ultimately the functionality of our brain. Dr Genova delves into the various parts of our amazing brain and How each section functions as not only a thinking processor but also the way we retain information. She cautions us that some of the information presented to us is not yet proven. I will say I was disappointed to find that red wine is not the panacea it is reported to be! 😢 All of us age and for many we do not have the brain we had in our twenties. But take heart, anything we learn does increase our brain’s capacity, so keep reading all! I have always enjoyed Dr Genova’s books and this one was no exception. I recommend it to those who want that assurance that forgetting something is natural and a part of the maturing process. Don’t panic if your phone goes missing, but do perhaps raise an eyebrow if you find it in the refrigerator! Thank you to Lisa Genova, Penguin Random House, and Netgalley for a copy of this informative book, due out on March 23,2021.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    Why can you remember almost every detail of your wedding and almost nothing about yesterday? Why can't you remember where your car is parked? Lisa Genova, neuroscientist, answers these questions and takes us on a journey of how memories are created and maintained. On a personal-level, I picked this book up for two reasons. One: In my late 20's, I was experiencing memory blocks. Certain sections of important memories would be temporarily blocked with no notice as to which memories would be inacces Why can you remember almost every detail of your wedding and almost nothing about yesterday? Why can't you remember where your car is parked? Lisa Genova, neuroscientist, answers these questions and takes us on a journey of how memories are created and maintained. On a personal-level, I picked this book up for two reasons. One: In my late 20's, I was experiencing memory blocks. Certain sections of important memories would be temporarily blocked with no notice as to which memories would be inaccessible - gone was my recollection of my address, the name of the co-worker I sat next to and talked to daily for over a year, the name of the woman who I thought was the most beautiful in the world, how to get home, where my files were stored, who the President was (and I had a degree in Political Science). Second: Many people in my family have ADHD. ADHD has been shown to negatively impact working memory (extremely prone to forgetting name badges, homework, books, To-Go boxes, that Monday is hat day). This book was enjoyable, and it was not overly scientific. What I mean by that it didn't have words like hyrdocortaneutroproconturtfulacil like a certain Sleep book that I had to return that Bill Gates recommended (thanks again, Bill!). Instead Lisa broke down a very complicated topic into TED talk language with actionable steps on what you can do to improve your memory. The book was fairly short and to the point. Unfortunately, this book really oversimplified memory and oversimplified memory issues. You can have a memory problem and not have Alzheimer's but this book seemed to have a short decision-tree: Alzheimer's or you're fine. This dissuades people with legitimate memory issues from seeking help, and I wish that it was written in a more collaborative form. Let's return for a moment to my personal example of memory blocks in my late 20's. Was this normal forgetting that Lisa would have us believe? No, it wasn't. After seeing many doctors, I was finally diagnosed with gluten intolerance. This was also why the memory block would be removed when I stopped eating gluten. When I permanently stopped eating gluten, all of the abnormal forgetting stopped. This deeply concerns me that neurologists and neuroscientists continue to tell people that they are just A- OK if they don't have Alzheimer's and that simply may not be true. Additionally, more and more people have ADHD which impacts working memory. One of the things that the author did not emphasize enough is some of the frequently used coping strategies. Do you forget where you put your car? Simple. Always park in the same spot. Even if there is a magical spot in the front by the door. Park in your usual spot. Leave your name badge in the cup holder of your car. If you accidently walk in the house with it on, go back immediately (do nothing else) and put it into the cup holder. Technology is also improving where you can locate your lost phone, backpack, or watch all with the click of a button. It would have been really helpful to have a chapter dedicated to the future of remembering and also some additional memory disorders/problems. Overall, this book was a worthy read. I enjoyed sharing tidbits with my family, tested them on their ability to spot the real penny among the fake, and learned a few tips to try. Looking forward to future books by this author.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Metcalf

    4,5 stars Lisa Genova has a degree in biopsychology and a Harvard Uni PhD in neuroscience.   She's also written award winning novels, most notably Still Alice which was made into an Oscar winning movie.     Knowing all of these facts didn't guarantee I'd enjoy her latest non-fiction title Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting but it certainly increased my enthusiasm for reading it.    For the record, I was spellbound from the very first word until the last and am sure it will 4,5 stars Lisa Genova has a degree in biopsychology and a Harvard Uni PhD in neuroscience.   She's also written award winning novels, most notably Still Alice which was made into an Oscar winning movie.     Knowing all of these facts didn't guarantee I'd enjoy her latest non-fiction title Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting but it certainly increased my enthusiasm for reading it.    For the record, I was spellbound from the very first word until the last and am sure it will be a book I will long remember (pun intended) and will return to time and again. I made copious notes as I read, so great was my interest and my level of engagement with the book.  It was both informative and incredibly easy to read as she used accessible language and included examples that I'm sure would resonate with readers of all ages.     Not only did she explain how the memory works but she set out to assure readers that forgetting can be equally important (yes, you read that right...I was surprised too).     A couple of her chapters were dedicated to Alzheimer's, differentiating between normal lapses of memory and those memory changes and losses that are more likely to be of concern.     Importantly she wrote about everyday things we can each do to protect our memories and to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Sure, I'll admit I have a strong interest in brain function so perhaps I'm biased but I honestly believe this book will be a huge success.    There is something of value to be found for all readers whether like me you're simply interested in learning, if you're a student looking to enhance your study skills, or if you or other family members are aging and showing signs of memory loss.   Highly recommended reading.  My thanks to the author, Harmony Books, (an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC) and NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review which it was my pleasure to provide.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    This is the third or fourth book that I’ve read by Lisa Genova, and the first that is a non-fictional portrait of a disease. Genova already covered the fallibility of memory in Still Alice, but this covers the topic of memory for those who worry about their own memory slipping, or their loved ones, and more. From Marilu Henner’s remarkable memory to those she counts among her friends who suffer from some level of memory loss, those who are struggling, this covers a vast amount of territory. Stil This is the third or fourth book that I’ve read by Lisa Genova, and the first that is a non-fictional portrait of a disease. Genova already covered the fallibility of memory in Still Alice, but this covers the topic of memory for those who worry about their own memory slipping, or their loved ones, and more. From Marilu Henner’s remarkable memory to those she counts among her friends who suffer from some level of memory loss, those who are struggling, this covers a vast amount of territory. Still, Genova always manages to keep it from becoming anything close to a textbook presentation of a scientific topic, even though she includes lots of facts, at the same time she also manages to keep this readable, even entertaining at times. Memory is based on many things, but also influenced by our emotions of that moment. If we associate a place, for instance, with a moment that brought us great happiness, falling in love, a moment in time or place, or achieving a lifelong dream, these memories of a place are then influenced by those feelings - which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but let’s say if that love story has a less-than-happy ending, your desire to return to that once special place may diminish because of the association. ’Memory is the sum of what we remember and what we forget.’ For those worried about dementia, or those worried about loved ones who are struggling with their memory, or anyone interested in this topic - this is a must read. Genova’s style of sharing makes this a captivating read, offering advice on how to improve your ability to retain information, along with advice on how your lifestyle affects your memory. Reading this felt more like a personal conversation with Genova, or sitting inside a classroom with a loved and trusted teacher who always held your attention, whose every word was welcome, reassuring advice from a friend. Genova offers anecdotes that offer some comfort for those everyday lapses in memory - forgetting the name of a person who met once at a party, forgetting where you parked your car, or left your car keys, or returning from the store only to realize you forgot to pick up one of the items that you went there to buy. Pub Date: 23 Mar 2021 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Rodale Inc. / Harmony Books #Remember #NetGalley

  17. 5 out of 5

    Numidica

    For anyone past fifty, memory begins to become a concern, especially if you have witnessed family members experiencing Alzheimers, but even without that extreme example in the forefront of your mind, things start to slow down for everybody after forty or fifty, and one notices. Lisa Genova does a great job of explaining how memory works, and describing the different types of memory. from "muscle memory" to declarative memory ("the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second") to working memory, a For anyone past fifty, memory begins to become a concern, especially if you have witnessed family members experiencing Alzheimers, but even without that extreme example in the forefront of your mind, things start to slow down for everybody after forty or fifty, and one notices. Lisa Genova does a great job of explaining how memory works, and describing the different types of memory. from "muscle memory" to declarative memory ("the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second") to working memory, as when you need to go upstairs to retrieve four items (and you get to the top of the stairs and can only remember three). She describes the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, and how to conquer it, but more importantly, why it should not freak you out, assuming it does not happen too frequently. She offers practical tips on how to remember things you want to remember, and why those techniques work. She explains in sufficient, but not boring detail the anatomy of the brain, and what the different structures do. The advice she offers to maintain your memory and your mind are not surprising, but she backs up her recommendations with research citations, and she also tells the reader what does not work, like red wine and chocolate. Coffee is perhaps helpful, but the research results are still tentative. In many ways, I found this book comforting. My mother is progressing further and further into Alzheimers, and understanding the physical cause of her failing memory somehow helps. I can also see from Genova's recommendations on retaining memory, the things Mom did not do, or did do that caused Alzheimers to tip from background noise to a real impediment in her late 80's. The good news is that until a person begins to exhibit real Alzheimers symptoms, most things are fixable. I used to worry that I went years as a hard-working 20- and 30-something not getting enough sleep, and that I would eventually pay for that profligacy, but Lisa says, no, if you are getting enough sleep now, and continue to do so, your brain will recover. At the end of the book are recommendations on improving brain health and memory, and they are not surprising (exercise, a good diet, adequate sleep), but it is surprising that the amount of these needed for brain health (except sleep) is somewhat flexible, and you'll still get real benefits from doing a bit of what's recommended. You don't have to run five miles a day, but you do need to take a brisk walk for twenty minutes at least once a day. Being a runner decreases one's chances of Alzheimers by >50%, but the brisk walk option still gets you about a 35% decrease. Similar results on diet improvement - the MIND diet is best, but cutting down on red meat and increasing leafy green vegetables buys you a decent improvement in your chances. I'm glad I read this, and I will return to it to harvest suggestions and locate resources. By the way, my dad had a photographic memory, or close to it, and I've always wondered what that was like. The rest of us can benefit from Lisa Genova's book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tamar...playing hooky for a few hours today

    I have written and re-written this review about a dozen times and still don’t know what I want to write, other than I loved this book. It is so “user friendly” and the author’s style is almost haimish, it’s so accessible and cozy. But if you’re looking for the scientific terminology, it’s all there too. There’s an explanation for almost every type of memory or loss of memory, how we remember, how we alter our memories, even how we remember things that we never even experienced, merely by hearing I have written and re-written this review about a dozen times and still don’t know what I want to write, other than I loved this book. It is so “user friendly” and the author’s style is almost haimish, it’s so accessible and cozy. But if you’re looking for the scientific terminology, it’s all there too. There’s an explanation for almost every type of memory or loss of memory, how we remember, how we alter our memories, even how we remember things that we never even experienced, merely by hearing someone else’s description of a memory. How it is possible that our most vivid memories can be completely wrong. Do I want to remember everything? No! keeping a diary or other exercises will work, I know, but why would I want to remember the banal or unimportant. There are things that you do want to remember forever – or at least fondly and for a very long time. But not every happy moment in your life can be remembered (alas). Dramatic episodic memories may last a lifetime – whether happy or sad. So, now I understand a little better, what makes my brain tick and how different parts of the brain are responsible for different types of memory - for short-term memories of just a few numbers or words, how and where longer memories are stored, in what way I remember how to walk and talk, ski, drive or ride a bike, memorize telephone numbers or methods for remembering long lists of things (anyone who has ever studied for a Bar Exam, probably learned to employ similar techniques for memorizing procedure, jurisdiction, elements of a section of law, etc.). I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t (on numerous occasions) parked their car and then walked back a block to two to make sure they remembered to lock it, or later on remember where they parked it, or fell into a hypnotic trance while driving only to suddenly become disoriented and not remember passing familiar landmarks. This book answers many questions this layman has often pondered – and many more I never knew to ask. And, I read it like a layman – for pleasure and not for study – so fun! Thank you NetGalley and Rodale Inc./Harmony for and ARC of this amazing book. I LOVED IT!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I absolutely love Lisa Genova, she is an author whose stories always teach and have a unique perspective. I've read all of her books and I knew even though this one was non fiction I was still interested. Specifically because my husband suffers from PTSD and has memory issues. This book looks into the science of how we remember, how our brains store memories and recall information The book is divided into how we remember and why we forget. What I love is that Lisa uses personal experiences to ma I absolutely love Lisa Genova, she is an author whose stories always teach and have a unique perspective. I've read all of her books and I knew even though this one was non fiction I was still interested. Specifically because my husband suffers from PTSD and has memory issues. This book looks into the science of how we remember, how our brains store memories and recall information The book is divided into how we remember and why we forget. What I love is that Lisa uses personal experiences to make the material more relatable and easier to understand. I learned so much while reading and was able to share it with my husband who was so happy to hear that even though he sometimes can not remember, it doesn't mean he is actually losing his memory. That memory is often impacted by our emotions, our sleeping habits, stress, and what's going on around us. I would definitely recommend this book, even if you are not a non fiction reader. Lisa always writes in a way that is easy to read and educational. If you've enjoyed her fiction works read this one. Due out March 2021, thanks to the publisher, Rodale and Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Memory is the sum of what we remember and what we forget, and there is an art and science to both. Will you forget what you experience and learn today by tomorrow, or will you remember the details and lessons of today decades from now? Either way, your memory is miraculously powerful, highly fallible, and doing its job. -- from the Introduction by Lisa Genova Neuroscientist Lisa Genova pulls back the curtain and gives us the straight scoop on remembering. Is that time we forgot where we parked a Memory is the sum of what we remember and what we forget, and there is an art and science to both. Will you forget what you experience and learn today by tomorrow, or will you remember the details and lessons of today decades from now? Either way, your memory is miraculously powerful, highly fallible, and doing its job. -- from the Introduction by Lisa Genova Neuroscientist Lisa Genova pulls back the curtain and gives us the straight scoop on remembering. Is that time we forgot where we parked a sign of Alzheimer's? How many processes can my brain really remember using 'muscle memory?' Why do certain smells trigger a photographic memory? This book is very readable while also being an efficient font of information. One of my biggest takeaways: things that are good for my heart like aerobic exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep are also very good for my brain. If you are hesitant to pick this up thinking it might be too technical, it isn't. Dr. Genova does such a great job of distilling the information at a level that is easy to understand. She also introduces plenty of anecdotes making it a quick and edifying read. The style is much like Malcolm Gladwell's books which I have also very much enjoyed learning from. Thank you to Harmony and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    Remember is a non-fiction book by best-selling American author, Lisa Genova. As a renowned neuroscientist and acclaimed author, Genova is eminently qualified to write on a subject of universal interest: memory. And while her expertise is apparent on every page, this is no dense tome filled with impenetrable professional language; Genova makes it accessible to all, using simple terms, examples and humour. Because “most of us aren’t familiar with our memory’s owner’s manual” she explains: • The dif Remember is a non-fiction book by best-selling American author, Lisa Genova. As a renowned neuroscientist and acclaimed author, Genova is eminently qualified to write on a subject of universal interest: memory. And while her expertise is apparent on every page, this is no dense tome filled with impenetrable professional language; Genova makes it accessible to all, using simple terms, examples and humour. Because “most of us aren’t familiar with our memory’s owner’s manual” she explains: • The different types of memory we all have • How memories are formed; where they are stored; how they are retrieved. • What conditions are necessary for fleeting memories to become permanent • The difference between forgetting and not remembering • The importance of context and cues • What improves retention and retrieval of memories • Why we forget, and when that is desirable • That there is a clear difference between forgetting due to normal aging and forgetting due to Alzheimer’s. • The effect of stress, and of insufficient sleep, on memory Genova describes experiments and tests that prove (or disprove) techniques and long-held beliefs; we now know that “with every recall, our memories for what happened can shrink, expand, and morph in all kinds of interesting and often inaccurate ways, deviating significantly from the original unspoken memory first created in our brains” She illustrates just how unreliable eye-witness accounts can be, and asks, tongue firmly in cheek “Since it’s quite easy to manipulate episodic memory with language and misleading questions, we wouldn’t want to rely on it to determine important matters such as courtroom verdicts and prison sentencing, right?” Most useful of all, though, she gives practical tips, strategies and insights on how to remember better, tips for study and for everyday life. She also gives us the best things we can do to avoid Alzheimer’s. She reassures us that “Most of what we forget is not a failure of character, a symptom of disease, or even a reasonable cause for fear” and “Effective remembering often requires forgetting. And just because memory sometimes fails doesn’t mean it’s in any way broken” because “An intelligent memory system not only remembers information but also actively forgets whatever is no longer useful.” She tells us: “Writing down what you need to remember later is not a sign of weakness or cause for shame at any age. It’s just good sense” and urges us “You don’t have to be a memory martyr. You are not more likely to experience fewer TOTs (tip of the tongue), resolve future TOTs faster, better remember where you put your keys, remember to take your heart medication tonight, or prevent Alzheimer’s if you can retrieve Tony Soprano’s name without Google.” “Memory, especially for what happened last year or what you intend to do later today, is notoriously incomplete, inaccurate, confabulated, and fallible, its performance often better if externalized, outsourced to Google or your calendar.” This is an absolutely fascinating read! This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Australia.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    I've read and enjoyed all of Genova's books. This being nonfiction it was a bit repetitive but probably so we'll remember her advice. I am concerned about not getting enough sleep, because she emphasized that a lack of it and exercise can lead to Alzheimer's. I was hoping the book would put my mind at ease but I'm actually more worried than ever now! And worry isn't good either! I've read and enjoyed all of Genova's books. This being nonfiction it was a bit repetitive but probably so we'll remember her advice. I am concerned about not getting enough sleep, because she emphasized that a lack of it and exercise can lead to Alzheimer's. I was hoping the book would put my mind at ease but I'm actually more worried than ever now! And worry isn't good either!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Lisa Genova, a neuroscientist and author of Still Alice, discusses facets of memory, the impact of stress, and how not all forgetting (even those things that are just on the tip of your tongue) means the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Her example was clear: everyone misplaces their keys, but if you find your keys in the refrigerator, it might be time to worry. She describes semantic (things we just know, like state capitals) and episodic (remembrance of a vacation). Creating a long lasting semant Lisa Genova, a neuroscientist and author of Still Alice, discusses facets of memory, the impact of stress, and how not all forgetting (even those things that are just on the tip of your tongue) means the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Her example was clear: everyone misplaces their keys, but if you find your keys in the refrigerator, it might be time to worry. She describes semantic (things we just know, like state capitals) and episodic (remembrance of a vacation). Creating a long lasting semantic memory requires practice. We also learn about people with HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory) who can remember what happened on most any date in the past. Three and a half stars. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    Lisa Genova is one of the five people I would love to invite to a dinner party. I have read every one of her books and the latest, Remember, is a book about the workings of memory. What great conversation we could have! Lisa knows a lot about this subject as she is a neuroscientist. She breaks down complicated information in an easy to read and understandable way. I had no idea that we have a number of memory centers in the brain and how they differ related to what memories are being stored. Her Lisa Genova is one of the five people I would love to invite to a dinner party. I have read every one of her books and the latest, Remember, is a book about the workings of memory. What great conversation we could have! Lisa knows a lot about this subject as she is a neuroscientist. She breaks down complicated information in an easy to read and understandable way. I had no idea that we have a number of memory centers in the brain and how they differ related to what memories are being stored. Her chapters are broken down by various memory-related information. Pay Attention, In the Moment and Muscle Memory are just a few. Lisa also includes brain exercise examples the reader can try. I didn’t do very well (sad face). An excellent book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    As une femme d'un certain âge, my poor memory is cobwebbed. So to get an ARC of Lisa Genova’s newest book, REMEMBER, made me cheer. I’ve devoured all her medical novels, enjoying her fine writing and in-depth knowledge as a real-life neuroscientist. These strengths inform REMEMBER, too — a powerful non-fiction guide to memories: Why we remember, why we don’t, and helpful tips to protect and improve this precious gift. Lisa explains complex concepts succinctly, as she helps readers understand the As une femme d'un certain âge, my poor memory is cobwebbed. So to get an ARC of Lisa Genova’s newest book, REMEMBER, made me cheer. I’ve devoured all her medical novels, enjoying her fine writing and in-depth knowledge as a real-life neuroscientist. These strengths inform REMEMBER, too — a powerful non-fiction guide to memories: Why we remember, why we don’t, and helpful tips to protect and improve this precious gift. Lisa explains complex concepts succinctly, as she helps readers understand the mysteries of the neurosystem. In STILL ALICE, it was early on-set dementia. In LEFT NEGLECTED, traumatic brain injury. LOVE ANTHONY, autism. REMEMBER is as memorable as her elegant fiction and especially valuable for vulnerable minds. Highly recommended! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 23 Mar 2021 #Remember #NetGalley Thanks to Lisa, Rodale Inc., and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "DJ"

    Genova is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve never forgotten her book “Still Alice”. This book helps me understand why I REMEMBER! A big thank you to Lisa Genova! She took away my secret fear that I must be heading towards dementia. Just last week I was in the middle of talking and completely forgot my point! It’s okay! Genova explains why this happens. One cool thing I learned was how to remember a grocery list (of course any list will do). Six items were listed and I’ll be darned, when I used Genova is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve never forgotten her book “Still Alice”. This book helps me understand why I REMEMBER! A big thank you to Lisa Genova! She took away my secret fear that I must be heading towards dementia. Just last week I was in the middle of talking and completely forgot my point! It’s okay! Genova explains why this happens. One cool thing I learned was how to remember a grocery list (of course any list will do). Six items were listed and I’ll be darned, when I used her method I could remember every item, if fact, still can! Genova has packed a lot into this book, but sometimes I felt things were repeated too often. Well duh, that was probably the point! Loved it! Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    Memory allows you to have a sense of who you are and who you’ve been. If you’ve ever worried that losing your keys is a sign that something more sinister is at play than normal forgetfulness, this is the book for you. Tackling how we remember, why we forget and the impact on both by such factors as stress, sleep and emotion, I found this book interesting and accessible. I didn’t feel left behind when the author started talking about parts of the brain as everything was explained in easy to under Memory allows you to have a sense of who you are and who you’ve been. If you’ve ever worried that losing your keys is a sign that something more sinister is at play than normal forgetfulness, this is the book for you. Tackling how we remember, why we forget and the impact on both by such factors as stress, sleep and emotion, I found this book interesting and accessible. I didn’t feel left behind when the author started talking about parts of the brain as everything was explained in easy to understand language and backed up with examples I could relate to my own life. I learned about different types of memory: prospective (what you plan to do), episodic (what happened), semantic (information you know) and muscle (how to do things). I was comforted by being told that most of the time, “forgetting isn’t actually a problem to solve” and that you only make it worse by stressing out about it. If we want to remember something, above all else, we need to notice what is going on. Noticing requires two things: perception (seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling) and attention. Some of the content felt too simple to produce an aha! moment but it proves how much we can complicate things unnecessarily. Of course you’re not going to remember where you parked your car if you didn’t pay attention to where you parked it. You’re not forgetting where you parked it; you never formed a memory of where it was in the first place! While I found the information about how Alzheimer’s gradually impacts different parts of your brain distressing, I was also encouraged by the lifestyle changes we can make to help prevent or at least delay this. Although I’m sure it’s more complicated than this, having something as a touchstone is helpful. If you forget where you parked the car, that’s normal. If you forget you own a car, that’s not. We tend to pay attention to - and therefore remember - what we find interesting, meaningful, new, surprising, significant, emotional, and consequential. You can even improve your memory in various ways: paying attention, minimising distractions, rehearsing and self-testing, creating meaning, and using visual and spatial imagery. This book has the potential to put a lot of minds at ease. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist who has written several well known novels invested with her subject, bringing to life characters suffering from neurological conditions she knows so well. Here she breaks from that path in writing a very accessible book about memory, how it works, can be improved, and what to look for during the aging process. She always gives a great deal of information, clearly and relatable, and this is no exception.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Grigsby

    This was an outstanding book about memory, well suited to the average reader and anyone interested in whether their memory slips are concerning, or normal. Lisa Genova (author of Still Alice and several other novels about neurological issues) has done a masterful job of clearly showing us what normal memory and normal forgetting is. She also discusses things like “it is on the tip of my tongue” moments as well as trying to remember things that will happen in the future. Her biggest takeaway is t This was an outstanding book about memory, well suited to the average reader and anyone interested in whether their memory slips are concerning, or normal. Lisa Genova (author of Still Alice and several other novels about neurological issues) has done a masterful job of clearly showing us what normal memory and normal forgetting is. She also discusses things like “it is on the tip of my tongue” moments as well as trying to remember things that will happen in the future. Her biggest takeaway is that if you don’t pay attention, memories don’t stick. She recommends making lists to remember things, much like we wear glasses to help us see. The book was extremely readable. I would also like to mention that I received a pre-publication copy of this book from Goodreads. I was eager to read this book because I have been a big fan of her fiction. Once more, she doesn’t disappoint!

  30. 4 out of 5

    R

    I love this author’s writing style and have enjoyed her novels dealing with neurological conditions. But I did struggle to get through her first novel, Still Alice, only because the subject matter of Alzheimer’s hit close to home. My once vibrant and dynamic grandmother suffered from that heartbreaking disease. Still Alice was a very emotional read. But now, after reading this author’s nonfiction book about memory, it actually eased my ever growing fears and concerns about Alzheimer’s. This was I love this author’s writing style and have enjoyed her novels dealing with neurological conditions. But I did struggle to get through her first novel, Still Alice, only because the subject matter of Alzheimer’s hit close to home. My once vibrant and dynamic grandmother suffered from that heartbreaking disease. Still Alice was a very emotional read. But now, after reading this author’s nonfiction book about memory, it actually eased my ever growing fears and concerns about Alzheimer’s. This was not your typical nonfiction book about memory. It was extremely well written with details that were supported by many relatable examples and anecdotes. The tone was quite conversational not clinical. This was what made this nonfiction read so engaging and interesting- and yet very educational. An ARC was given in exchange for an honest review.

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