This review was written 29/06/09
Synopsis (from Shelfari)
“Human beings were never born to read,” writes Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and child development expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child’s life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.
Lively, erudite, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians was a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today’s technology-driven literacy. The potential transformations in this changed reading brain, Wolf argues, have profound implications for every child and for the intellectual development of our species.
I don’t tend to write non-fiction reviews so I apologise if it’s awful!
As a psychology graduate I did find that there was a fair bit in this book that I already knew (more than I thought I would). However there was still enough new information to keep me interested. Especially when it came to talking about the evolution of written language and the disadvantages of reading.
It was a pretty easy read for a science book, and generally I think people without a background in psychology would cope with it (as is intended), although I felt some of the more neurological sections were not explained enough.
I did really enjoy it, but I’m ready for some fiction now!