"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (audiobook) by Maryanne Wolf

Brilliant. One of the best books I've encountered this year.

Published by Highbridge Audio
Read by Kirsten Potter
8 hours, 21 minutes

Filled with everyday examples but also full of technical explanations about how the brain actually works when it reads, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain is a bit of history, a bit of science, a bit of philosophy, a bit of educational theory and a whole lot of learning bundled into an entertaining package.

Maryanne Wolf
I may be an ideal reader for Maryanne Wolf since I am a foreign language teacher, a history teacher, I love reading and I am very much interested in how boys, in particular, suffer from reading difficulties (Wolf cites biological research that is butressed by others who say we start too early to try to teach our students and we label students too early as having reading difficulties).

Wolfe explores the early history of writing and reading, the different types of writing and how the brain reacts to them, the dangers and positives of written text, how the brain actually physically reads, reading difficulties such as dyslexia and postulates on the future of reading in our new digital age. Wonderful stuff - all of it.

Audiobook notes: Well-read by actress Kirsten Potter, the audiobook version comes on 7 CDs and lasts about 8 hours 15 minutes. Oh, and yes I do appreciate the irony in listening to the audiobook version of a book about reading.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5 and it can be found on Amazon.com here: Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.

Reviewed on December 23, 2008.

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