Former SNL writer and The New Yorker staffer Patty Marx employs the weapon she wields best--not that weapon; Patty believes in gun control. Instead, she uses her sharp-edged humor to tackle the most difficult facet of aging: the mind's decline. From forgetting her brother-in-law's name while he was wearing a nametag to hanging up the phone to look for her phone, Marx confesses to her failures, and not only to make you feel better about yourself.
In Let's Be Less Stupid Patty addresses troubling conundrums, such as: If there are more neural connections in your brain than stars in the Milky Way, why did you put the butter dish in your nightstand drawer? Patty's quest to get smarter includes just about everything: learning Cherokee, popping pills (not the good kind), and listening to--who's the guy who didn't write dum de de dum but the other one?
New Yorker staff writer Marx (Starting from Happy) chronicles her four-month-long quest to improve her memory and re-up her IQ to where it was in the glory days of her 20s. Employing candor and wit, she tackles the science and sociology of the brain fitness rage and delivers suggestions and solutions for stemming widespread neurological downslide. Marx test-drives brain exercises, electric zapping, and learning a new language (Cherokee in her case), and throws in some blueberries and fish oil pills for good measure. She also debunks faulty findings. For example, alcohol doesn't kill brain cells, she writes. In fact, according to a study from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 29% of people who never drank suffered mental impairment, while only 19% of the imbibers did. She blames the information age for overstuffing people's brains with information. Marx includes quizzes, tests, and teasers to improve readers' memories, aiming them at her fellow baby boomers who fear dementia more than death. She also provides lists of things to forget, including inconsequential presidents, wars, and Shakespeare plays. Reflecting on her overall experience, she writes, "I spent so much trying to improve my brain that I had no time to use it," but her work belies that statement. Marx has written a hilarious and comforting book on maintaining mental acumen at any age.
Let's Be Less Stupid
I'm gave this book one star because, unfortunately, neither zero nor negative ratings are an option. Poorly written. Not funny. The closest thing to "funny" about this book is that I paid for it and wasted two hours of my life reading it so... I guess... the joke is on me.