Sunday, March 30, 2008

Review: Welcome to Your Brain

Welcome to Your Brain is a strange beast: it's basically a neurology coffee table book. Physically, it's large (both wide and tall), filled with illustrations and sidebars.

The authors write in a breezy, easily readable style (for an example, see their article about Exercise and the Brain for the New York Times. Each chapter covers a specific topic (e.g., adolescence, aging, or happiness). Furthermore, there are sidebars either dispelling myths, giving useful tips, or providing some relevant information as an aside.

As I was reading the book, I found lots of useful tips, some more so than others (for instance, how to improve your ability to multi-task by playing video games). As I read along, I found that in many cases, a lot of the information provided by the book I already had read, in some other places, but the book does package them all very nicely in one place. The biggest problem I found was that on a linear read through of the book, the sidebars are very distracting and I find my reading flow interrupted in more than one chapter because the sidebar seemed so interesting.

The book was enjoyable, though I would check it out from a library or wait for the paperback rather than paying full price for it. In any case, you should take a gander at their New York Times article linked to in the second paragraph to see if their writing style suits you.
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