Pieces of Light by Charles Fernyhough

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...an episodically enlightening meditation on the complex business of remembering, forgetting, and re-remembering all over again.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Shortlisted for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books

Leading psychologist Charles Fernyhough blends the most current science with literature and personal stories in Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell About Our Pasts.

A new consensus is emerging among cognitive scientists: rather than possessing fixed, unchanging memories, they have found that we create recollections anew each time we are called upon to remember. According to psychologist Charles Fernyhough, remembering is an act of narrative imagination as much as it is the product of a neurological process.

An NPR and Psychology Today contributor, Dr. Fernyhough guides readers through the fascinating new science of autobiographical memory, covering topics such as: navigation, imagination, and the power of sense associations to cue remembering. Exquisitely written and meticulously researched, Pieces of Light brings together science and literature, the ordinary and the extraordinary, to help us better understand our powers of recall and our relationship with the past.

 

About Charles Fernyhough

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Charles Fernyhough is an award-winning writer and psychologist. His most recent book, A Thousand Days of Wonder: A Scientist's Chronicle of His Daughter's Developing Mind, was a Parade magazine pick of the week and has been translated into seven languages. The author of two novels, The Auctioneer and A Box of Birds, Fernyhough has written for the Guardian, Financial Times, and Sunday Telegraph, contributes to NPR's Radiolab, blogs for Psychology Today, and is a Reader in Psychology at Durham University, UK. Visit his website at www.charlesfernyhough.com.
 
Published March 19, 2013 by Harper. 322 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Self Help, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Pieces of Light
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Ian Sample on Nov 22 2013

Pieces of Light is utterly fascinating and superbly written. I learned more about memory from this book than any other. There are few science books around of this class.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Kathryn Hughes on Aug 31 2012

...an episodically enlightening meditation on the complex business of remembering, forgetting, and re-remembering all over again.

Read Full Review of Pieces of Light | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Sophie Scott on Aug 04 2012

Fernyhough's skills as a writer are evident both in the beautiful prose and in the way he uses literature to illustrate his argument.

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Financial Times

Below average
Reviewed by Clive Cookson on Jul 13 2012

People are becoming increasingly aware that memory is unstable. The stories in Pieces of Light may convince a few more – and will entertain anyone who reads them. But in disabusing us of our misconceptions, Fernyhough leaves us with little sense of a scientific narrative to put in their place.

Read Full Review of Pieces of Light | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for Pieces of Light
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 57 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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