Jan and I both agree that Lisa Genova writes outstanding books, so when we received the opportunity to read the newest of Lisa’s books we jumped at the chance. It was such a rewarding experience, one that made us so aware of the abilities of our amazing brain, and happy that the process of aging is a natural one with numerous ways to help it remain healthy.
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.
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 wonderfully informative book.
and here’s the author:
Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University.
Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa has captured a special place in contemporary fiction, writing stories that are equally inspired by neuroscience and the human spirit. She is the New York Times bestselling author of STILL ALICE, LEFT NEGLECTED, LOVE ANTHONY, INSIDE THE O’BRIENS, and EVERY NOTE PLAYED.
Her first nonfiction book, REMEMBER: The Science of Memory & the Art of Forgetting, will be released March 23, 2021.
STILL ALICE was adapted into a film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish. Julianne Moore won the 2015 Best Actress Oscar for her role as Alice Howland.
EVERY NOTE PLAYED is being adapted into a film starring Angelina Jolie and Christoph Waltz, directed by Michael Sucsy.
The film adaption for INSIDE THE O’BRIENS is in production.
In 2015, Lisa was named one of the U.S. Top 50 Influencers in Aging. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, the TODAY show, CNN, PBS Newshour, NPR, and several documentary films.
Her TED Talk, “What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s” has been viewed over five million times.
She received The Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square, for “distinguished storytelling that has enriched the public dialogue,” The Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award, The Global Genes RARE Champions of Hope Award, and The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Media Award for “informing the public about Treatment and ongoing research in medical illness.”
In 2016, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bates College, The Alzheimer’s Association’s Rita Hayworth Award, and The Huntington’s Disease Society of America Community Awareness Award.