THE MEMORY PRESCRIPTION: Dr. Gary Small's 14-Day Plan to Keep Your Brain and Body Young
Director of the UCLA Center on Aging, Small (The Memory Bible ) presents his "boot camp for the brain" program, which pulls together the four most well-proven strategies for brain and body health: mental activity, physical conditioning, stress reduction and a "healthy brain diet." Small admits no one has found "the fountain of youth," but claims to be "among the billions awaiting a first sighting." In the meantime, he suggests using this book's memory assessment tests, basic low-fat meal plans and brain-teasing exercises to achieve "quality longevity." He peppers his chapters with a "subjective memory questionnaire," "right brain" and "left brain" exercises and advanced memory drills that suggest assigning visual images to words and names (e.g., "Weinberger: a bottle of wine falling on a burger "). Employing a chatty writing style that occasionally lapses into infomercial-speak ("But wait, there's more!"), Small manages to intersperse authoritative scientific evidence from leading research universities throughout the text. But much of the information here can be found in a variety of other fitness and lifestyle books, such as relaxation and stress reduction techniques, healthy diet and exercise plans, and examples of the power of positive thinking and keeping mentally active. Small pays scant attention to popular (if unproven) memory-boosting rejuvenators like hormone replacement therapy and ginkgo biloba. Small's reporting on memory research may be up to the minute, but overall his book feels padded and unoriginal. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (June 9)
Forecast: The Memory Bible was a 2002 bestseller, and Small is now a recognizable name. He'll promote his book on the Today show, and will do a radio interview campaign.
Release date: 06/01/2004