Top 12 Memory Improvement Books
If you want books that can improve your memory, start with these 12 as they are some of the best in the market.
- Unlimited Memory
- Memory Improvement
- The Memory Book
- Power Foods for the brain
- How We Learn
- Make It Stick
- How To Develop A Brilliant Memory
- Moonwalking with Einstein
- A Mind for Numbers
- Stolen Focus
- The Memory Illusion
- The Power of Discipline
It is a fact that reading strengthens the brain. Even better is reading books that teach how to improve brain functions (like memory).
The act of reading will perform its brain-strengthening action, while from the reading, you’ll learn things that you can apply to further boost brain functions.
However, with so many books claiming to be “memory improvement books,” it can be challenging to navigate the waters.
Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you, and from the multitude of books, we’ve picked out a dozen.
Read on to find out why these 12 are some of the best memory improvement books. Specifically, we’ll examine what you will learn in each book, and how the book improves memory based on studies.
1. Unlimited Memory: How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More, and Be More Productive.
This memory improvement book is written by Kevin Horsley, a two-time World Record holder of the “Everest of memory tests” (The Matrix Memorization of Pi World Record). Kevin is also one of the few people with the International Grand Master of Memory title.
So, this is a book with memory improvement strategies that have yielded record-breaking successes.
In this book, you’ll learn how to master your attention so that you can focus and concentrate at any time and for longer, even amid distressing situations.
Know that attention is the first ingredient for good memory. So, by teaching you to master your attention, you’ll be better at receiving information, processing it, and storing it in your memory.
Some of the other things you’ll learn from the book are:
- The pattern of thinking that can stand in the way of remembering key things and how to break this pattern
- How to use things that you already know and easily recall (from long-term memory) to remember new things more
- How to use mental maps to imprint information in your memory and connect them for easy recall
Memory Improvement is authored by Ron White, a two-time US memory champion. In it, he shares 2,000 years old methods that not only improve your memory but improve your memory quickly.
This book will help improve your memory by improving the “filing system” your brain uses to store and retrieve information.
Yes, your memory could be fine even when suffering forgetfulness. So, by learning to change your filing system, you can transition from being forgetful to being great at remembering.
You’ll find the book very easy to implement. You’ll learn a system to remember names and numbers.
Interestingly, Ron shared his journey to improve his memory, including the fact that he had a memory coach.
Knowing the struggles, a memory expert will guide and motivate you to face your struggles in your journey to improve your memory.
On that note, Iris Reading has successfully coached thousands (students and professionals) to improve their memory through online and in-person classes.
The Memory Book is written by memory training specialists Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas.
The book advances an ageless fail-safe memory system that can make you an expert at recalling things at work, school, and play.
The Memory Book traces the history of memory techniques back to antiquity when there were no handy note-taking devices.
It identifies a simple system that helped the ancient orators deliver long speeches with great accuracy; the method of Loci.
The “the method of Loci” system simply associates each part of a speech to a part of your home. It has been found to be better for recalling things than straightforward memorization.
The Memory Book will show you how this simple system can be employed today to help file information (names, phone numbers, data, stats, etc.) in your brain for easy recall.
You’ll also learn how to read fast and shorten study hours in the book.
If you feel like you have a lot to read and not enough time, learn speed reading to comprehend and recall all you read quickly.
4. Power Foods For The Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan To Protect Your Mind And Strengthen Your Memory
Power Foods is a potent memory improvement book authored by Dr. Neal D Barnard, one of the most authoritative voices in American Medicine.
Dr. Neal has a background in Psychiatry and has built an enviable career in advancing diet and preventive medicine (he’s famous for his works on the vegan diet and reversing diabetes).
So, no one could be better qualified to write a book about using nutrition to improve the mind.
The brain-boosting food is what this book calls “power food for the brain,” and you’ll learn about them in this book.
Some of the things you’ll learn include:
- The dangers that popular food like dairy products and meat pose to your memory
- How alcohol and caffeine affect memory
- Best foods to improve cognitive function
- The latest findings on toxic metals like aluminum found in cookware and soda cans
- Detailed menu plan and recipes
This book will do more than boost your memory. It will help you sort out minor issues like poor sleep patterns, lack of focus, and low energy. It can even help you reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
How We Learn is a memory improvement book by Benedict Carey. Being an award-winning science reporter, Benedict looks into the science of learning, so that we can use this information to better retain and recall information.
Benedict explains that how we think learning happens influences our actions when learning. He adds that science does not support how we think learning happens.
That is, how learning actually happens is different from how we think it happens. So, our actions during learning are sometimes not the best for absorbing and retaining information.
The book mentions many such study routines that we think are best but can actually work against us.
One example mentioned is the popular thinking that having a dedicated desk in a quiet room is the best way to study.
The book explains that science finds that we remember more if we are in the same state of mind as we study.
So, since we cannot predict the scenario when we’ll need to remember, a strict study routine may not be the best. Rather, we can help our memory by varying the conditions under which we study.
In this “How We Learn” book, you’ll find other traditional advice about learning that science does not support.
- reading up material in one stretch
- rising early for a last cram,
- the idea that forgetting what you read is bad, etc.
For each one, you’ll learn what the science says and useful points to become a better learner.
Make It Stick is another work into how the science of learning can help us be better learners and to remember things well and quickly.
It’s the work of a former management consultant Peter C. Brown, and two distinguished psychologists, Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel.
Like the “How We Learn” book, Make It Stick offers insight into how memory is encoded and how retrieval works.
Its aim is that these insights will help you master learning for better retention and recall.
The book also lists many common study habits that could be counterproductive when learning, such as underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and repetition.
It advances study practices that give more-lasting effects.
Specifically, you’ll learn:
- How effortful retrieval helps memory, and how to do that via self-testing
- How the mixing up practice helps memory, and how to adopt this by varying study conditions
- How embracing difficulties helps memory, and how to adopt this by allowing a little forgetting to set in before re-studying.
- How going beyond your learning style helps memory and how to do this
Another important thing about this book is the use of stories from different categories of learners – pilots, surgeons, teachers, gardeners, students, and more.
In these stories, you’ll vividly see the errors in traditional practices and how successful learning takes place.
This “Brilliant Memory” book is arguably the best work of acclaimed memory expert Dominic O’Brien, named Grandmaster of Memory by the Brain Trust of Great Britain.
Dominic used the principles presented in this book to win the World Memory Championship eight times and outwit Vegas casinos at the blackjack tables.
So, this is not a book of abstracts, but tested and trusted techniques.
This book is like an expert course on improving memory.
Dominic outlines 52 key steps to improve memory. And he doesn’t just dump the techniques on you. Rather, he takes you through them step-by-step.
The book also explains in detail how to use the “Dominic System” to remember long sequences of numbers better. This system converts numbers to letters and then associates the letters with people or actions that are easily remembered.
Moonwalking with Einstein is a book by Joshua Foer. It chronicles his journey from being someone with an average memory to winning the USA Memory Championship.
Being a journalist, Joshua had set out to investigate the underpinnings of enhanced memory. In so doing, he uncovered practical steps to improve memory.
In this book, you’ll learn about different mnemonic tools for improving memory, such as chucking information, using simple acronyms, and more.
Mnemonics have been proven to improve memory because they give meaning to something ordinary, making it easier to recall.
You’ll also learn the PAO (Person-Action-Object) system from this book. The Dominic System and the Major System draw from the PAO system. It is useful in remembering long random numbers by simply assigning images to the numbers.
Moonwalking with Einstein also explores Mind Mapping to improve memory.
You’ll learn how to use a combination of imagery, color, and visual-spatial arrangement to make information stick on your brain.
One outstanding thing about the book is that it includes a good dose of humor. It’s not all business. Rather, it has funny and witty sentences that’ll relax you as you learn.
Barbara Oakley authored A Mind for Numbers. She flunked in high school maths and science courses but later rose to become an engineering professor after retooling her brain to master those very subjects that had troubled her.
In this book, Barbara shares the tools that helped her. And they can help you too.
While you may not become an engineering professor, you definitely can retool your brain and master learning things that you ordinarily struggle with.
A Mind For Numbers reveals that contrary to popular belief, learning quantitative subjects (like maths) needs analytical and creative thinking.
You’ll learn how to bring out your creativity by shifting from a “laser-focused” way of learning.
The book explains that shifting from the “focused” mode to “diffuse” mode for better learning is not difficult.
It simply involves distracting yourself and allowing a little time to pass before going back to the study material. This draws from the fact that taking breaks is key to learning.
In this book, you’ll learn simple tricks that can distract you to allow in your diffuse mode.
Stolen Focus is a book by writer and journalist Johann Hari. As the topic implies, this is the book you need to win the war on distractions.
Distraction is common in this information age, especially in the waters of social media that surround us.
But you need to improve your concentration to improve your memory; that’s exactly what this book will help you do.
In Stolen Focus, Johann explains that contrary to popular belief, it is not a personal failure when technological distractions prevent people from focusing.
The book identifies 12 deep causes of the problem of stolen focus, ranging from a decline of mind-wandering to pollution.
To bolster his arguments, Johann gave examples of Silicon Valley dissidents who learned how to steal attention, dogs diagnosed with ADHD, and a Rio de Janeiro favela where everyone lost their attention in a surreal way.
Importantly, the book also gives practical steps to win back your focus.
For example, the very first chapter identifies “pre-commitment” as a way to fight things that can steal your focus.
Another interesting thing about this book is how he used witty and engaging stories to drive the lessons home.
For example, the power of “pre-commitment” is vividly illustrated in the book’s first chapter using Homer’s Odyssey.
The Memory Illusion is authored by Dr. Julia Shaw, a forensic psychologist who regularly contributes to Scientific American.
This book touches on different memory errors, from the less serious ones like occasional memory lapses to serious ones like false memory.
There is no worse deception than false deception. Unfortunately, self-deception via false memory is more common than we may realize. Using extensive research, Dr. Shaw shows various ways in which our brain can be led astray.
For example, she shows we can misappropriate other people’s memory and believe them to be our own.
She shows how memories can be deliberately implanted in someone, such as making someone believe they committed a crime.
But the book is not just about how one’s memory fails. Dr. Shaw also shows how we can use the awareness of our memory’s fallibility to improve it.
In this book, you’ll learn:
- That no one remembers things precisely as they happen, and the reasons for this
- How your perception affects your memory
- What causes false memory
- How to deal with false memory
If you need a well-researched book on memory, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one better than The Memory Illusion.
The Power of Disciple is a book by Daniel Walter, who has a background in Cognitive Neuroscience.
The book assures that anyone can achieve set goals, but one thing is needed – to build a solid foundation of self-discipline.
It explains that with talent, intelligence, and skill alone, one will fall short of achieving goals. The same applies to having positive thinking and affirmations alone. This is because self-discipline is what will keep you focused.
Importantly, “The Power of Discipline” explores different ways to master discipline.
- Different areas of the brain that helps in self-discipline
- The self-discipline secrets of the Navy SEAL’s
- The self-discipline secrets of Zen Buddhist
- How you can make hard work exciting
- How to stay motivated
However, you’ll find that many of the identified steps for mastering self-discipline are quite simple. For example, there’s the part about identifying with who you want to be, not who you currently are.
To apply this when trying to curtail your social media activity, simply continuously tell yourself that you don’t tweet before a particular time. You’ll find that it’ll help you hold off tweeting until it’s that time.
Ordinarily, reading is a good way to strengthen the brain. But reading memory improvement books is even better because reading strengthens the brain, and in the process, you’ll learn how to optimize your memory.
There are many memory improvement books, but the dozen we’ve examined above are some of the best.
- Learn timeless memory techniques from “Unlimited Memory,” “Memory Improvement,” “The Memory Book,” “Moonwalking with Einstein,” “A Mind For Numbers,” and “How to Develop a Brilliant Memory.”
- Learn how to use the science of learning to improve memory from “How We Learn” and “Make It Stick.”
- Learn how to overcome brain errors from “The Memory Illusion.”
- Learn how diet improves memory from “Power Foods.”
- And learn how to concentrate from “Stolen Focus” and “The Power of Discipline.”
While memory improvement books are good, memory champions also acknowledge the importance of having a coach in a memory improvement journey.
Iris Reading is a tested and trusted speed-reading and memory coach that has provided expert guidance to thousands of students, professionals, and lifelong learners.
Iris Reading programs include the Maximizing Memory course, which provides practical techniques to help you remember what you read and memorize vital information effectively.
So, register for the Maximizing Memory course today to master your memory.