David's Reviews > Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley
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's review
Jul 23, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: 2011, audiobooks

This is a jumbled mess of a book. There are plenty of positives: Sharon Begley, science journalist for Newsweek, is an impeccable researcher, as the 13 pages worth of works cited notes will affirm. The overall message of the book is clear: while adult minds are not as flexible as children's minds, neuroplasticity is valid. You can change your brain by focused and repeated attention on changing your thoughts. Unfortunately, this jewel of material is good for a three or four-part newspaper column, but not for a 250+ page book. Begley's starting point for the book was a 2004 Mind and Life conference with neurologists, hosted by the Dalai Lama promoting harmony of Buddhist meditation practices and the health of the brain. At times, the book reads like a roving camera covering the meeting. So much of the info is in quotes as explained to the Dalai Lama. Sometimes the book speaks to the layman; other times the technical terms used would be best understood by those with a medical degree. The target audience is unclear, the narrative muddled, the facts and experiments cited much more than even frequently relates to the point of the book. In the end, there is not a lot of practical advice. I am sure there must be better books that cover this subject.
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