Can’t Remember What I Forgot

Can’t Remember What I Forgot

Behind the Scenes of Cutting-Edge Memory Research

When Sue Halpern decided to emulate the first modern scientist of memory, Hermann Ebbinghaus, who experimented on himself, she had no idea that after a day of radioactive testing, her brain would become so “hot” that leaving through the front door of the lab would trigger the alarm. This was not the first time while researching Can’t Remember What I Forgot that Halpern had her head examined, nor would it be the last.

Like many of us who have had a relative or friend succumb to memory loss, who are getting older, and who are hearing statistics about our own chances of falling victim to dementia, Halpern wanted to find out what the experts really knew, how close science is to a cure, to treatment, to accurate early diagnosis, and, of course, whether the crossword puzzles, sudokus, and ballroom dancing we’ve been told to take up can really keep us lucid or if they’re just something to do before the inevitable overtakes us.

Sharply observed and deeply informed, Can’t Remember What I Forgot is a book full of vital information and a solid dose of hope.

Praise & Reviews

“Fascinating….[Halpern’s] accomplishment is to have drawn out the myriad threads of these stories, connecting them when possible, to produce a panoramic portrait of an intricate and largely unknown world.”
New York Review of Books

“Evincing a gift for perfect analogies and supple metaphors, mischievous humor, and righteous skepticism, Halpern is an exceptionally companionable and enlightening guide through the maze of memory maladies and the promising search for remedies.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

“A vivid, often amusing introduction to a science that touches us all.”
Publishers Weekly

“Engrossing….High-quality science writing: an illuminating picture of investigators at work and a lucid explication of their findings.”
Kirkus

“Educational, fabulously well written, and on a hot topic. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.”
— Nancy Fontaine, Library Journal (starred review)