Book Review: Total Memory Makeover

Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your FutureTotal Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future by Marilu Henner
Narrated by: Marilu Henner
Length: 7.5 hours
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: April 24, 2012

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been fascinated with Marilu Henner and her extraordinary memory ever since I saw her discussing it on a talk show several years ago. She can remember exactly what happened to her on any given date going all the way back to her early childhood. Since then, her special ability has been studied and given a name – Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory or HSAM. Only a handful of people have been found who have this ability.

I was expecting that the self-help aspect of this book would focus on how to improve one’s memory going forward. My memory is terrible and getting worse so I was hoping for some tips to fix that. However, this book focuses more on retrieving past memories and building a personal timeline. There were quite a few exercises that involved starting with an initial memory and unlocking more from there. This technique did not work for me because sometimes I didn’t even have the initial memory required – maybe I’m just too far gone. I know there are people who have had success using Marilu’s techniques but I am not one of them.

Marilu’s book is not just a self-help book on memory. She includes quite a bit of biographical information and personal examples, which I appreciated. I liked learning how HSAM has affected her life and her relationships through the years.

I listened to the audio version of this book which is narrated by Marilu herself. She does a fantastic job, of course. I think she’s one of the most cheerful people in show business and that definitely comes across in her narration of this book. Included with this audio book is a 45 page PDF file that has all the exercises and quizzes, which is good because there are a lot of them. It would be a real pain to have to stop the audio book and take notes but with the PDF that’s unnecessary.

Even though this book didn’t improve my memory, I still enjoyed listening to it. I think that her program could benefit others, it just wasn’t right for me.

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(I received this book courtesy of the Solid Gold Reviewers program on Audio Jukebox.)