Joshua Foer writes an interesting book about memory competitions, the men who compete in them and the techniques they use to memorize the order of decks of cards, long strings of random numbers and lists of faces and names among other things. I tried the basic technique prescribed in the book and it works very well, but the book is more about the people using the method and Foer’s experience competing in the U.S. Memory Championships than learning how to have a super-charged memory. It’s essentially a long magazine article and it’s a worthwhile, interesting read.
Having watched Peter Jackson’s take on The Hobbit this past December I wanted to revisit the book I hadn’t read since childhood. Remembering that originally Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a fairytale for his children, it’s not surprising that the book reads very much just like that; a childish lighthearted story, which lacks the depth of writing his later Rings trilogy shows. In fact, if I’m being honest, I can’t say that this is a good book. It’s a great story, but it’s not a well executed one. But, that doesn’t mean that every child shouldn’t read this book; they should because it’s sure to stoke their imaginations, which is always a good thing.
Clever and funny. A collection of random short stories, illustrations and other things good for filling 5 minutes here and there if you feel like having a chuckle. To give you an example of what Martin is capable of, he creates a full size crossword in which all the answers are a series of a‘s. When I first saw it I thought, shit, anybody could do that, but then I saw that he had actually written out clues for all of them. Crazy.