- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
An elderly Russian-American woman prepares to attend her granddaughter’s wedding; suffering from dementia, her mind shuffles between past and present. In 1941 the German army surrounds Leningrad; Marina and other staff at the Hermitage Museum prepare art work for safekeeping. As they walk through the rooms with empty frames and display cases, an attendant helps Marina construct a “memory palace” so these treasures will remain with her. Now, at the wedding, each new event recalls a picture and memories of romance, deprivation and survival. For a slide show of the artwork mentioned in the book click here.
When finalists at the 2005 US Memory Championship claimed to be people of average abilities, science writer Joshua Foer was skeptical. Taking up the challenge, he devoted the following year to the study of memory and mnemonics, (the techniques and methods of memory training) interviewing to scientists, savants, physicians and people with amnesia. Coached by a European memory champion, he learned techniques developed before the invention of writing, entered the 2006 US Memory championship and won! Moonwalking with Einstein chronicles Foer’s experience training to be a memory champion, and his research into the science and history of memorization.
If you’re interested in improving your memory, check out these library books on mnemonics.
This is the ninth year of Silicon Valley Reads, Santa Clara County's one book-one community program. The Santa Clara County Library, the County Office of Education, and the San Jose Public Library Foundation present the program each year, with the sponsorship of a number of local foundations, organizations and Friends of the Library groups throughout the county.
The Year of Fog, a novel by Michelle Richmond, is the selection this year. You will have a number of opportunities to hear her talk about the book and her work as a writer, as well as to have her sign your copy of the book. She will be at the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Saturday, February 12 at 1 PM, at the West Valley Branch on Wednesday, March 9 at 6:30 PM, the Cambrian Branch on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 PM, the Berryessa Branch on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 PM, the Almaden Branch on Saturday, March 26, at 3 PM, and the Santa Teresa Branch on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 PM. The Silicon Valley Reads website lists all author visits and numerous other events.
The library has copies of the book in paperback and also in audiobook and eBook formats.
My book club, like many others, read the book this month. We had a lively discussion about memory and loss, among other themes explored in the book. I'm curious -- what did you think of the book? Did you read the end at some point to break the tension or did you read straight through?