Readers know Lisa Genova from her award-winning novels (Still Alice, Every Note Played, Left Neglected – all of which are available at WPL), but did you know that she has a degree in Biopsychology and holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Harvard? In her latest book, Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting, Genova turns her focus from fiction to memory and all its complex, awesome powers and limitations.
Genova is clearly knowledgeable about the topic and her down-to-earth style includes personal anecdotes which helps put ‘not-so-sciencey’ readers at ease as she explains the science of memory – how our brains store information, recall it and sometimes forget it – and relates it to our daily lives.
I loved learning about how memory works, why it doesn’t always work and why our memory declines as we age. Genova highlights the differences between normal memory issues (“What’s that actor’s name from Titanic?” and my personal favourite “Why did I come into this room?”) as well as serious issues of dementia and Alzheimer’s – an issue near and dear to the author’s heart. I could relate to many issues discussed, often muttering to myself as I read “Oh thank goodness that’s common, I do that all the time!” and I appreciated how Genova gives her readers tips and tricks and suggests lifestyle changes to help improve their memory, understand it and help to prevent its deterioration as best we can. This book will alleviate a lot of fears about memory decline and Alzheimer’s, and gives readers actionable ways of how to strengthen their memory.
Told with a conversational tone and a touch of humour, Genova breaks down the science of memory and forgetting for the average reader. This is a great read for everyone, particularly those of us who have concerns about memory loss or dementia. I highly recommend reading the Appendix at the end which goes over the key points of the book and makes for a great quick reference. This book publishes today, March 23, 2021, and you can put holds on WPL’s copies now.
— Laurie P.