Review: Brain Candy

Published on Sunday, August 29, 2010 in , , , , , , , ,

Garth Sundem's Brain Candy bookAfter my review of Geek Logik and mention of The Geeks' Guide to World Domination, author Garth Sundem has very generously given me a copy of his latest book, Brain Candy: Science, Paradoxes, Puzzles, Logic, and Illogic to Nourish Your Neurons, for review.

The title Brain Candy perfectly sums up the approach to its content. Like The Geeks' Guide to World Domination (GGTWD), it's filled with brief articles, most of which can be read in 1-2 minutes. However, while GGTWD was more of a general guide to things of geeky interests, such as chess openings with cool names, or information about obscure holidays, Brain Candy's focus is topics that tend to be more challenging.

Here, you're more likely to be confronted with the counter-intuitive, and the challenging, including the odd brain maze each time that a, well, “Piece of Mind” is discussed, such as the frontal or occipital lobes. Brain Candy also feels more organized and coherent than GGTWD, where the jumps in subject matter from one article to the next feel far larger.

To get a better idea of what I'm talking about, the author has posted selected segments over on his Science 2.0 blog. The Brain Candy-specific entries are easy to spot, due to their hand-drawn icons (which also appear in the book).

Extending the candy metaphor, what usually happens when you eat it? Usually, one of two things. Either you taste the candy, enjoy it, and then move on. Other times, you try it, enjoy it, and find you want more. When you find a surprising or illogical tid-bit that grabs you, you can find out more usually with a quick internet search. Basically, Brain Candy is a quick way to pass some enjoyable time, while also serving as an inspirational springboard for exploring new concepts.

Many of the ideas in Brain Candy will be familiar to regular Grey Matters readers, such as the Monty Hall Dilemma, discussed here and here (as well as many other areas of game theory), memory, and math. There is plenty in this book that I haven't covered, but will still be likely to grab readers of this blog.

As with Garth Sundem's other books, this will definitely find a place in my geeky library, so I highly recommend that Grey Matters readers give it a look for theirs, as well.

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1 Response to Review: Brain Candy

7:04 PM

Cheers! Thanks for the fair and well-written review!