The Secret Life of the Grown-up  Brain

The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain

by Barbara Strauch

Judy Stanton: After reading about early onset Alzheimers, I heard the author of this book interviewed on NPR and decided I could use a dose of positive information about the middle-aged or old brain! This non-fiction book is researched based, but much more interesting than a text book, with some heartwarming stories and advice about keeping your brain working. It was interesting to read that the empty nest syndrome and mid-life crisis are not scientifically proven health issues. And, although not too suprising, to learn that education, exercise and a positive attitude support continued brain function. So, although we might forget names or words and get frustrated, it's nice to know that, at the same time, our brains are in great shape for handling complex issues, sometimes with great ease based on years of experience.

I just had to share this short piece from The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain with fellow readers. I'm afraid we can all relate, and hopefully, laugh at ourselves.

"My own recent worse case was when I tried-- really tried---to get a book for a book club I'm in. I went online and carefully ordered The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Then, a week later, I had a free moment at work, and htought, Oh, I should order that book club book. I went online and carefully typed in an order for The Alchemist -- again. Then a few days later, jogging in the park, a faint bell went off in my head, and I thought, I think I ordered the wrong book. At home, I checked my email and, sure enough, we were supposed to read The Archivist by Martha Cooley. I'd orderd the wrong book - twice.  

And that wasn't the end of it. Later that week, I was talking with a fellow book club member, a neurologist, who, after hearing my embarassing story, started to laugh. It turned out that she'd gone to the library to get the book club book and had just as carefully come home with a copy of The Alienist by Caleb Carr.

So, there you go. Two-middle aged brains, three wrong books."

Rating: ****

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