Joshua Foer

The one-time U.S. Memory Champ indulges in remembrance of books past.



Joshua Foer's new book, Moonwalking with Einstein, is a study of the history and science of memory as well as a quasi-memoir of his own quest to win the U.S. Memory Championship. So it's no surprise that when we asked him to pick three of his favorite books, Foer was quick to recall a trio that you won't soon forget.


Books by Joshua Foer




The Selfish Gene

By Richard Dawkins


"Plenty has changed in the field since this book was written three decades ago, but for me it will always be the best science book ever written. When I first read it in high school, it made me want to become an evolutionary biologist. That didn't work out. Instead I ended up becoming a science journalist."




Invisible Cities

By Italo Calvino


"This is just a perfectly executed little gem that I return to often. Having spent so much time in imaginary palaces while researching Moonwalking with Einstein, I find myself discovering new things in Calvino's magical cities every time I revisit them."





Banvard's Folly: Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World

By Paul Collins


"I love stories about people and their misguided passions. Collins is a terrific writer who assembled an extraordinary collection of stories about eccentric individuals with big, beautiful ideas that happened also to be foolhardy."


April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.