Books, Reviews

Learning to be Smarter

As I had mentioned in my posts earlier this year, my goal is to work towards a better me. And I am glad to say that I am building habits slowly but surely towards that goal. Books are definitely one important aspect of this goal, and when they help you learn how to be smarter, then all the better, right?

Today’s post also includes my short story review for ‘The Open Boat’ along with reviews of the book that I mention above.

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The Short: The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge – 3 of 52.  I drew the 4 of Clubs much earlier and that corresponds to ‘The Open Boat‘ by Stephen Crane. My complete list is here.

About the Story and My Thoughts:

This story is inspired by Crane’s personal experience of surviving a shipwreck while traveling to Cuba to work as a newspaper correspondent. Crane and three others were stranded at sea in a small boat for thirty hours after the SS Commodore sank after hitting a sandbar.

Crane’s report of this experience was first published as ‘Stephen Crane’s Own Story’, and later he fictionalized it as ‘The Open Boat’. This story is heralded as his greatest work, and incorporates so many themes in a story of just a few pages. Once again, the power of short stories astounds.

In a matter of a few pages, Crane conveys despair, hope, anger, frustration, kinship, survival, humor, sorrow and more. He so easily portrays the puniness of man against the expanse that is nature. The writing is simple, yet simply powerful.

In Summary:

A testament to the human instinct to survive in the face of all odds, to the strength that is in all of us to help face those insurmountable situations, and to the kinship that forms based on reliance between one another.

In the end, it is heartening to know that we are not alone, and we can rely on humankind.

I now need to read ‘The Blue Hotel‘ and reread ‘The Red Badge of Courage’ by Crane.

Smarter Next Year

Smarter Next Year
The Revolutionary Science for a Smarter, Happier You
by David Bardsley
SOURCEBOOKS (non-fiction)
Simple Truths
Health, Mind & Body


Contrary to accepted belief, developing and enhancing cognitive ability can be achieved at any stage in life. Smarter Next Year presents the latest scientific information and best practices for increasing intelligence at any age, whether you’re 5, 55, or 105. This self-help book provides the tools to take your mind into your own hands and stave off the effects of time.

For the past three years, retired dental surgeon Dr. David Bardsley has been a full-time professional speaker, helping individuals increase their cognitive ability and perform at their highest intellectual level. His primary audiences have been groups of CEOs who belong to several organizations including Vistage.

My Thoughts:

This book uses established science and methods that have been reviewed by scientists instead of yet to be proven newer theories. While the author is a retired dental surgeon, his own experiences with learning difficulties and a specific ‘senior moment’ led him to research the area of MCI (or Mild Cognitive Impairment).

In simple, straight-forward language, Dr. David Bardsley shows the readers various causes of MCI and teaches methods to maintain and improve and cognitive abilities. His examples and even chosen quotes, like the one from Einstein below, help drive the central concept of the book – the hows and the whys we can learn to be smarter (next year) no matter how old we are.

‘Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.’ – Albert Einstein

In Summary:

A quick read that will surely ‘move us’ towards a better us – having a sound mind in a sound body.

Rating: B+

Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley for a digital review copy of this book. All opinions are my own

You can check out my previous posts for the month and for Ultimate Blog Challenge below.  This is my post for Day 26.

Day 25 Day 24 Day 23Day 22Day 21Day 20Day 19Day 18Day 17Day 16Day 15Day 14Day 8Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 9
Day 10Day 11Day 12 Day 13

2 thoughts on “Learning to be Smarter

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