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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (19,667 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Foer Narrator: Mike Chamberlain Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781101432464
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The blockbuster phenomenon that charts an amazing journey of the mind—and revolutionizes our concept of memory.

On average, people squander forty days a year compensating for things they’ve forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the US Memory Championship.

Moonwalking with Einstein
 draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of memory, and venerable tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human remembering. Under the tutelage of top “mental athletes,” he learns ancient techniques once employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches. Using methods that have been largely forgotten, Foer discovers that we can all dramatically improve our memories. 

At a time when electronic devices have all but rendered our individual memories obsolete, Foer’s bid to resurrect the forgotten art of remembering becomes an urgent quest. From the United States Memory Championship to deep within the author’s own mind, this is an electrifying work of journalism that reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Foer’s] assemblage of personal mnemonic images is riotous. He makes suspenseful an event animated mostly by the participants’ ‘dramatic temple massaging.’”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In his captivating new book, Moonwalking With Einstein, the young journalist Joshua Foer tackles the subject of memory the way George Plimpton tackled pro football and boxing…Mr. Foer writes in these pages with fresh enthusiasm. His narrative is smart and funny and, like the work of Dr. Oliver Sacks, it’s informed by a humanism that enables its author to place the mysteries of the brain within a larger philosophical and cultural context.”

    New York Times

  • “Memory...makes us who we are. Our memories, Foer tells us, are the seat of civilization, the bedrock of wisdom, the wellspring of creativity. His passionate and deeply engrossing book means to persuade us that we shouldn’t surrender them to integrated circuits so easily. It is a resounding tribute to the muscularity of the mind.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] crisply entertaining book.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “[An] endearingly geeky world...witty and revelatory...[The] journey certainly demonstrates how much memory matters.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Foer’s book is great fun and hugely readable...Always fascinating and frequently mind-boggling, Moonwalking with Einstein is a book worth remembering.”

    Independent (London)

  • “[A] wise, witty, and...memorable book.”

    Barnes & Noble editorial review

  • “Narrator Mike Chamberlain’s enthusiastic and engaging tone, with its occasional gee-whiz note, is a perfect match for Foer...An entertaining experience.”

    AudioFile

  • “An engaging, informative, and for the forgetful, encouraging book.”

    Booklist

  • “An original, entertaining exploration about how and why we remember.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2011
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A New York Times Best Book of the Year, 2011
  • A Washington Post Best Book of the Year, 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gerrit | 2/19/2014

    " I already knew about the techniques described in this book, but the storytelling was pretty good. Don't turn to this as a resource if you want to learn mnemonic tricks; it doesn't explain how to learn them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua | 2/10/2014

    " A well written easy read that weaves together the author's investigation into the idea of memory and his own story of attempting to better his memory. I expected it to have a bit more practical tips and techniques on memory improvement but it was still a fun read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thom | 1/31/2014

    " This was a fascinating book, delving into memory from many angles - I especially enjoyed the history and the science. All the work to compete successfully at the national level is documented, although this is a case study, not a self-help book. The interviews and profiles of other memory case studies and savants added immensely to the material. The nearly 9 page bibliography neatly wraps the bow. Well done! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jobiwan07 | 1/30/2014

    " A fun read. Investigative journalist Joshua Foer becomes the U.S. Memory Olympics champion after only one year of training! Memory tricks are useful in tons of different ways. It's fun to work them into your everyday life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vamshidhar Dantu | 1/28/2014

    " The book is NOT a self-help book, but does give a couple of "mnemonics-secrets" away. Its a interesting read and delves into the world of mnemonics and memory championships. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Krasovich | 1/19/2014

    " This is a wonderful book from first-time author, Joshua Foer. It provides an intriguing glimpse into the fascinating subject of the mind and memory. Joshua delves into the world of memory and the elusiveness of memory, with insightful writing and a touch of humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maija | 1/17/2014

    " I liked this book because Josh really does give you some good techniques and it's written with humor and humility. My favorite quote from the book was, "One book printed in the heart's own wax/ is worth a thousand in the stacks" by Jan Luyken. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 1/15/2014

    " Very interesting how our memories work and how with the advancement of technology, we are losing our ability to remember. The old saying 'practice makes perfect' is appropriate for memory training. The author says "We must train the mind to be more mindful and pay attention to the world around us". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krysta | 1/10/2014

    " Really interesting concept of developing your memory, the role memory played in the evolution of society and the role it no longer plays especially in the context of paper, books, computer, and the internet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evan Beese | 1/4/2014

    " Not really what I was expecting from the book. It's a great book for showing how much can be accomplished in just one year if you commit to memory training, but I was expecting a bit more in the way of learning the techniques in detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon Yunginger | 11/15/2013

    " Good book on a topic that I was completely unaware of "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 11/3/2013

    " I found this book to be both entertaining and interesting! Would definitely recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 9/6/2013

    " A little slow, but I enjoyed learning the importance of visual side to learning. I think it takes just as much work to be that creative, but concept is cool "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana Perkins | 8/28/2013

    " A great read - easy to pick up and little hard to put down, but easy to read. I loved the blend of history and his personal story to be a memory contestant. Helped me to understand why some things I just don't remember and why other things I never seem to forget. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Breki | 2/10/2013

    " A surprisingly good book about a journalist's journey into the world of memory training. Lots of good tips for those of us who enjoy mental training. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ronak | 12/3/2012

    " May be a 3.5, but not 4. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Weston | 11/11/2012

    " If you wanted to know the secrets to an amazing memory, it is all here. It is wrapped in a good story about the author's journey from a zero to hero in the US Memory Championship. Good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vivek Saurabh | 7/25/2012

    " 25% applicable in day to day life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Stay | 7/12/2012

    " Nice job twisting the story of his memory competition experience with memory techniques and brain science. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stanislas Rusinsky | 1/23/2012

    " One of the best books I've read in 2012 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam Johnson | 12/13/2011

    " Unfortunately my e-loan ended before I finished this one. The author made interesting links between memory and many other subjects. I'm left wondering how he fared at the memory championship? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Turner | 9/6/2011

    " Journalist that trains for the memory championship. Pretty impressive what he accomplishes but find it funny that he still forgets where he left his keys. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 8/8/2011

    " bumped up to four stars because I couldn't stop laughing during the epilogue. the book definitely could have used a little more of a memoir bent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Scavuzzo | 7/21/2011

    " Read in tandem with "I Was Born on A Blue Day" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Risto | 5/24/2011

    " I loved the idea, but have to say that I got a little bored 2/3 into the book. It felt like it was more of the same. Food for thought, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 RF | 5/23/2011

    " I learned a lot about how memory works. Really interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 5/22/2011

    " Really well done. As one might guess, the book is about a lot more than "memory athletics." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Walrus | 5/20/2011

    " An approachable and entertaining look into the world of memory sport. Foer details his experiences in training for the US memory competition, along the way explaining various memory feats and how they're accomplished as well as the history and science behind human memory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eli | 5/18/2011

    " I really enjoyed reading this book and found it very helpful with tests at school. I applyed some of the skills they talk about on my test at school and made good grades. It made it alot easier to memorize the information so i hope to keep using what they talked about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mathew | 5/17/2011

    " More memoir than how-to, but there are some techniques here I want to try. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 5/17/2011

    " Joshua Foer is a good writer. He held my interest throughout the book in which he covers the history of memory, tips on improving ones memory and memory competitons.

    I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving their memory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 5/15/2011

    " Really enjoyed this story of a guy challenging himself to enter a memory competition. Interesting to think about with our reliance on devices to store memory for us.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christie | 5/13/2011

    " So far really good! Hoping to learn some tricks to improve my memory :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce | 5/12/2011

    " Excellent write-up on memory techniques, and also why even memory experts come up short on everyday memory requirements. "

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About the Author
Author Joshua FoerJoshua Foer was born in Washington, DC in 1982 and lives in New Haven, CT with his wife Dinah. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Esquire, Slate, Outside, the New York Times, and other publications. He is the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura, an online guide to the world’s wonders and curiosities. He is also the co-founder of the architectural design competition, Sukkah City. Moonwalking with Einstein is his first book.
About the Narrator

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy. His audiobook narration has won four AudioFile Earphones Awards.