Summer reading recommendations

It’s almost time for summer, and so if you’re anything like me, you’re looking for new books to read. Here are some of my recommendations of recent books I’ve read and loved.

Moonwalking with Einstein
by Joshua Foer
Journalist Joshua Foer — who claims he often forgets things like his wife’s phone number and why he opened the refrigerator — takes a stab at memory competitions. He uses techniques like a memory palace, which is helpful when remembering random words. Let’s say you have to remember your grocery list: eggs, Chex cereal, Gala apples, tomato sauce, and almond milk. Imagine your childhood house. On the driveway, you see that some local teenagers have smashed eggs all over your car. You walk into your doorway and you see a box of Chex cereal that has become a person and is dancing the “Macarena.” In your living room, there are 10 apples dressed in fancy clothes, seemingly attending a gala, dancing in pairs. In the kitchen, you turn on your sink, and instead of water, out comes tomato sauce. And in the backyard, you see there’s a person taking milk directly from an almond tree. The more ridiculous the images, the more memorable they will be. I bet you won’t forget your shopping list now, right? Using techniques like this one, Foer is able to train his memory to become one of the top memorizers in the world. It’s a great read on memory techniques and the history of memory.

 

The Paris Architect
by Charles Belfoure
I’ve read a lot of Holocaust books, but I am always pleasantly surprised when I read a Holocaust book that is different from all of the rest. “The Paris Architect” tells the story of a non-Jewish man who never really knew Jews, but finds himself designing secret hiding places for Jews in Paris houses. I enjoyed hearing another side of the story and learning about righteous Gentiles in France — and I even learned a thing or two about architecture as well.

 

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
I rarely actually cry when reading a book, but I’ll admit that it happened with this book. This is the story of an English woman who is desperate for work and ends up taking a job as an aide for a paraplegic. She tries everything she can to make his life better, and an unlikely friendship emerges.

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