Moonwalking With Einstein

Joshua Foer

“We are what we remember,” writes Josh Foer in his first book, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. The book chronicles his journey from being a young journalist curious about the international subculture of “mental athletes” and wondering if his own memory might be improvable, to winning the United States Memory Championship. Foer was taken under the wing of Ed Cooke, a British “Grand Master of Memory,” who teaches him the tricks of the memory trade, including the “memory palace,” the origins of which are traced back to ancient Greek poet Simonides. “The principal of the memory palace is to use one’s exquisite spatial memory to structure and store information whose order comes less naturally,” writes Foer. “The general idea with most memory techniques is to change whatever boring thing is being inputted into your memory into something that is so colorful, so exciting, and so different from anything you’ve seen before that you can’t possibly forget it.” Foer is a good writer and the subject matter is fascinating. Anyone interested in improving their memory skills should check it out.