It’s time for us to review another book here on Wise Book Reviews. However, this one is a bit different from what you’d expect on a finance website. The book we’re going to be reviewing today is called Moonwalking With Einstein. As you can probably imagine, this book is not about finance. However, it is about a skill that can be used in a lot of aspects of your life. Developing this skill can increase your efficiency and capability to learn. The skill we’re talking about is memorizing. Therefore, if you’re looking for a book about memory or are interested in the subject, you will want to read through this review.
Before we start, I will need to give a brief synopsis about this book.
Moonwalking With Einstein follows author Joshua Foer as he goes from being a journalist to a memory champion. The reader is walking side by side with Joshua as he meets his future mentor, experiences his first memory tournament and meets many other people. From the beginning to the end, Joshua is being molded into what he is today. The goal of this book is to help anyone who has an interest in the field of memory to learn something new while going on a journey.
Now that we have the synopsis covered, we can dive into the review.
First, we will discuss the length of the book. Having a book that is too long can be a deterring factor for many books. The way authors counter this problem is by making sure that the content within the book adds value to the overall reading experience. For example, Stephen King’s It has a page count of 1,138. Truly a monumental book. However, the book is highly revered.
Luckily, Moonwalking With Einstein is not a 1,000-page book, it is actually significantly shorter at 320 pages. This is much less than Stephen Kings It but more than Vishal Reddy’s 1 Hour Investor (which we also reviewed). That means that this book isn’t one that you’ll typically be able to read quickly. Unless you read at an extraordinary speed. However, this book is interesting enough to get you hooked into it. Before you know it, you’ll have ready threw 2 chapters. That’s the benefit of this book.
It’s more than just a guide on how to increase your memory. The book teaches you how to increase your memory by following someone else trails and tribulations. If you ask me, 320 pages is a small price to pay.
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For the most part, the book is easy to understand. The book follows the author through his experiences which makes readability easier. Some of what the author is talking about are relatable. However, there are some parts where it becomes a little harder to understand. Although, I realize that this is relative. What may be difficult for me to understand is probably easier for someone else. However, I can say that I’ve learned a lot of new words from reading this book due to Joshua’s extensive vocabulary.
Putting aside the extensive vocabulary and unfamiliar terms, the book is generally easy to understand. The concept of a memory palace is thoroughly explained and shown through multiple stories. Joshua dives deeper into the concept of memory techniques by revisiting instances where he met fellow memory athletes who share their experiences and how they increase their memory. Joshua Foer makes it a point to always paint a picture in your head to help you remember and absorb more information.
As they explain in the book, humans are very visual creatures. Therefore, if we have a story or image to associate with a concept, we’re most likely to remember. I still remember many of the example laced within the book due to his use of imagery and specific wording. This increases the readability of the book tenfold.
Next, we will discuss the content of the book. I believe that this book has something for everyone. Even if you’re not interested in becoming a memory athlete, this book has a lot of content that the reader can take away. Joshua goes through how the brain works and what may or may not work for you in terms of learning. However, I don’t want to embellish and say that this book will teach you how to get a photographic memory.
You’re merely following an ex-memory champion on his road to success. The book serves as an inspiration for many. Will you be able to learn Joshua’s memory techniques? Yes. Will it be easy? No. However, I can definitely say that I’ve learned quite a bit about memory and how to identify the way in which my brain learns. This, in my opinion, is worth the price tag of the book. Information and takeaways are what I look for in books. If I can dive into a book and learn something that’ll add value to my life, then the book is worth it.
That being said, the content is interesting. Trailing Josh as he goes through life and faces relatable experiences can be quite enjoyable. This is due to the fact that you can observe how someone else may react in certain situations. Similar to music, you will often enjoy music that you can easily relate to.
There is a lot of humor within the book which is a huge benefit when it comes to a book that is a bit on the longer side. The information can be enough to keep you captivated. However, I love an amalgamation of relatability, humor, lessons, and critical information when I read a book. To me, these things are a few of the things that separate a cheaper book from an expensive one
The usefulness of this book and its teachings is another conversation entirely. Without divulging too much of the information within these pages, these memory techniques help you remember things in a very linear (for a lack of a better word) way.
For example, at its core, the techniques will help you memorize a deck of cards in order or maybe specific terms for an exam. However, the techniques are not necessarily designed to help you remember a full page of a book verbatim upon reading it. Although, there are modifications and ways that make these achievements possible.
That being said, if you’re able to take the knowledge given to you in this book to the next level, you can definitely memories a deck of cards or even a whole book. Take Yanjaa Wintersoul for example. Yanjaa is a memory athlete just like Joshua Foer. However, she managed to do something that most people haven’t. Yanjaa memorized an entire Ikea catalog.
These are the types of levels that most people can get to with effort. Imagine you’re a law student and you have to memorize legal jargon or even specific cases. Having a memory like this where you’re able to recall certain pictures or words in a book at the drop of a hat can be very useful. Therefore, the information in this book can be very useful if you make use of it.
For Moonwalking With Einstein, I feel like 7/10 is justifiable. Although this book had many things going for it and it was a best-seller, I feel like it wasn’t useful to me. However, this may be my fault because I began reading it and expected to acquire information that would help me memorize passages in a book with ease. However, that does not take away from the fact that the book was a good read. It was full of useful lessons, stories, and a journey that made me feel like I was experiencing these things with Joshua Foer.
It’s important to note that this book encouraged many people to pursue increasing their memory. Yanjaa is one of these people. Of course, this is not the only book you’ll ever need to become a world-class memory athlete. However, I believe it’s a good place to start.
Christopher is just a man on a mission to help those around him gain financial success. Obsessed with writing about all things finance, this GTA native is constantly learning and sharing his experiences with others.