Easy Actions to Increase Brainpower and Stave Off Dementia A.K.A. Neurobiological Advice For Laymen

Easy Actions to Increase Brainpower and Stave Off Dementia A.K.A. Neurobiological Advice For Laymen
Click on cover for the book’s description.

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This book was a quick, surprisingly easy and engaging read. I had mistakenly identified it as a book to guide my goal-making for the upcoming new year, and I suppose it was, though not in the way I first thought. For a non-fiction book, it is remarkably well-paced and structured; first setting the scene with genuinely interesting (and honestly relatable) anecdotes; then aptly revealing that, yes, your brain power is, in fact, deteriorating; explaining why that is; and giving clear actionable steps as to how you fix it. I was sincerely hooked, and at 100-pages it was easily digestible too.

I picked this up with myself in mind, but read it thinking of my grandmother who’s very worst fear in life is forgetting herself and those she loves. The things outlined in this book weren’t miracles, they were actions she could take! She was thrilled.

Smarter Next Year is obviously not a fix-all, and never claims to be, but the content is well-explained in non-specialist language whilst still giving scientific evidence and context.

I intend to buy my Nanna her own copy, which is high praise since I only pass her books I know won’t waste her time.

I received a copy of this book from Simple Truths via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Easy Actions to Increase Brainpower and Stave Off Dementia A.K.A. Neurobiological Advice For Laymen. Check out my review of Smarter Next Year by David Bardsley.Easy Actions to Increase Brainpower and Stave Off Dementia A.K.A. Neurobiological Advice For Laymen. Check out my review of Smarter Next Year by David Bardsley.

 

Bookworm by Lucy Mangan – Book Review

Mangan, L - Bookworm🌟🌟🌟🌟

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This took slightly longer to finish than I thought it would but it was totally worth it. I’m not much of a non-fiction reader as I often find it does not interest me as much as fiction but the title – and gorgeous cover – drew me in immediately.

Though my childhood and upbringing was primarily during the noughties, and Lucy’s (I feel as though referring to her by her surname is too formal – I feel like I almost know her after this book, and I related to her in so many ways; being raised in the Northern fashion, being told off her hiding behind a book and causing no trouble at, etc) was in the seventies, this book still recalled on many of my childhood favourites – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Spot the Dog, Elmer, Miffy, Meg and Mog – even if I can’t pinpoint where I remember them from as clearly as she can.

The whole book was not only a nostalgic, scenic train journey (not a roller coaster – far too disruptive) but a trove of interesting publication facts and witty commentary that had me laughing out loud on my commute – some favourites were:

“The Brontes owned a copy of A History of British Birds and by all accounts cherished it. Then again, so would you if it was the only thing available to take your mind off the TB-ridden siblings dropping all around you like flies.” 

“Even now, after 40 years in the same place, you would not be able to guess a single thing about the people who live there. Apart, possibly, from the fact that one at least must be a monomaniac who has forgotten more about decluttering than Marie Kondo will ever know.” 

“In love with a hundred-year-old vampire Bella may be, but Buffy, she ain’t.” 

It also helped me remember books I had forgotten I had ever read, Flat Stanley for example. I had completely forgotten about Flat Stanley Lambchop until I read this book! Stanley meet my Read shelf.

I think what resonated with me the most about this book, however, was just how much I related to some of the stories Lucy told. Like pretending to try and fit in with the other kids at school.

At one point she says ‘At five I was largely studying the difference between upper- and lower-case letters, but in my spare moments, I was already having to contemplate tearing down my entire personality and starting from scratch.’.

At 19 years old, this is a thought I can’t remember not having and do still and this is the first time I’ve read the feeling so aptly put into words. Whilst I don’t relish the fact that others share this insecurity, it’s almost comforting enough to begin to potentially overcome it. You know, maybe.

The feelings Lucy relates about her wishes for Alexander – her son’s – reading experiences also made me smile as they paralleled my own for my two-year-old baby brother, whom I recently bought The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Spot the Dog and The Tiger Who Came to Tea in addition to We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and The Gruffalo.

Admittedly there were parts I skipped over either because they gave away plot points in a book I intend to read or it was a large amount publication history or facts that didn’t interest me as much as I had not read/heard of the book itself but I still found it hugely enjoyable. I was slightly surprised that in all the little tidbits of obscure information regarding various authors personal lives that in the section on Alice in Wonderland none of Carroll’s more … unsavoury tastes were mentioned. This could, of course, be because they are essentially impossible to be reliably proven as fact and may well just be a poisonous rumour invented by English Literature teachers to ruin childhoods forever but it was surprising nonetheless.

I could probably write a review consisting of 90% awesome and witty quotes from this book but I’d much rather you just read it for yourself and take a quick stroll down your bookish memory lane and, like me, lament that your memories are not as distinct and detailed as Lucy’s or that you were not blessed with a bookish parent to help guide you.

Alas. But thank you, Lucy Mangan for sharing these stories, I enjoyed them immensely.