Where Did I Leave My Glasses? is the guide to memory for anyone who is middle-aged, or who will be, and wants to know what's normal. Told with humor and in plain language, Martha Weinman Lear's book is informative, helpful, and downright fun.
So what is the brain is doing when it remembers? Why is it that some things are just plain hard to remember for everyone, like names of acquaintances, and other things, like how to walk, stick with us through thick and thin? Martha Weinman Lear decided to find out when she became worried about her own memory.
Like the rest of the Baby Boom generation, she has reached an age where words come less readily, keys disappear, and glasses wander off. Jokingly, and a little worriedly, she found herself saying, "It must be Alzheimer's."
She also found that she's not alone. Alzheimer's is the big fear of the Baby Boomers, the Big A, as Lear says. In the '70s it was cancer, in the '80s and '90s, AIDS. Now, with the Boomers aging (and wishing they weren't), the fear has become losing one's mind to Alzheimer's disease. It is just this fear that Lear seeks to address and alleviate with this book.
And soothe fears she does, exceedingly well. Distilling the latest science on memory and aging, Lear takes on attention issues, gender, exercise, and diet, as well as explaining how human memory works, how it doesn't, and how it differs from computers. From the get-go she talks about her own memory issues and strategies she has learned about for compensating with the normal effects of aging on the brain.
No text book, Where Did I Leave My Glasses does not include a bibliography, so if you want to look into the issue further, you will have to do research. Lear does have a nice list of luminaries in the field in the acknowledgments, however, so at least you know whose work to look for.
In Where Did I Leave My Glasses, Martha Weinman Lear has created one educational and thoroughly enjoyable read. If you count yourself among the "worried well" — those who are healthy but still can't remember where you met what's-his-name — this book is for you. If you don't, well, you might some day. This book is really a must-read for all brain owners.