Book Review: The Ultimate Memory Activity Book by Alexis Olson & Phil Fraas

Memory loss can be a scary experience, whether it’s age-related, recovery from brain injury, or memory loss due to a neurologic disorder like Alzheimer’s or a vascular condition like a stroke.

Mental engagement is a key aspect of brain health that is richly represented throughout this book. It includes varying levels of difficulty of word and number games that can be challenging and entertaining.

This book also provides information on how to support brain health by facilitating good nutrition, effective physical and mental exercise, quality sleep, and other healthy practices, with the goal of maintaining memory and overall brain health.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

As I get older, I can tell my memory isn’t what it used to be, so when I saw this book, I thought it would be good for my brain. These puzzles are too easy for me, but they would be good for someone who is having memory problems due to more than just aging. I like the suggested activities at the end that are meant to help people break up their routine and help their brain think a little more than usual.

The puzzles and the activities are separated into three levels with the first level the easiest. There is also information on maintaining and increasing brain health. A lot of that information is the same as keeping the rest of your body healthy, like eating right, sleeping well, and getting exercise.

I definitely recommend The Ultimate Memory Activity Book for those suffering from more than normal memory loss due to aging, or those who aren’t used to doing word or number puzzles.

About the Author

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

I’m a licensed clinical neuropsychologist. My professional background is with people rehabilitating from illness or injury, and with those facing declining health (as themselves or their caregivers) due to brain disease. Such conditions can affect individuals, as well as couples and families. Common goals include assessing or improving thinking skills and emotional resilience, while adapting to unexpected changes in physical/mental abilities. I work with you to clarify values and develop new cognitive and emotional skills that allow you to be resilient to injury, illness, stress, and discomfort.

My approach is grounded in the science of cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive-behavioral therapies. I largely utilize acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, to approach emotional and psychological goals. I address goals for thinking skills (e.g., memory, attention) using an evidenced-based cognitive rehabilitation program called CogSMART.

About the Puzzle Author

Back in 1980, I got interested in constructing crossword puzzles. I managed to get half dozen daily puzzles published in the New York Times. Then, I turned to generating crosswords for weekly newspapers, and built up a list of about 75 or so subscribers in the mid 1980s.

I had to give up constructing at that time because of other professional commitments, but several years ago got back into it.

I enjoy constructing because it is a great challenge: It tests my vocabulary, requires tenacity in finding fits for all the squares in the grid, and it leads to occasional bursts of inspiration in finding my way out a of corner I’ve figuratively painted myself into. I feel a real sense of accomplishment (and relief) when finally the grid is completed.