A workbook that provides a wealth of cognitive drills for readers already committed to the author’s methods.


A psychologist offers mental exercises designed to revitalize a lagging brain.

In several books, Litvin (Sailor’s Psychology, 2012, etc.) has articulated a new theory about the root causes of cognitive impairment. Damaged complex cells improperly process new information and errantly distribute that data throughout the brain. The result is a disconnect between the nature of a perceptual experience and the manner in which humans interpret it, resulting in a kind of neural misfiring. But this neural breakdown can be rectified without either surgical or pharmacological treatment—exercises can activate dormant parts of the brain by forcing one to translate various types of perceptual stimuli (say, visual) into the symbolism of others (auditory or olfactory, for example). This volume is almost entirely comprised of those exercises, which are explained in Litvin’s Code (2011) at some length but not here. In fact, the only account of the method in this volume is a brief synopsis on the back cover. Since this is the second installment in a series of three workbooks, Litvin can justifiably presume readers are familiar with the nature of the exercises as well as the psychological theory that undergirds it. As presented in preceding volumes, that theory is unspecific, lacking a systematic explication in adequately rigorous scientific terms as well as any empirical evidence. As in Litvin’s Introduction to Brain Stimulation by Psychoconduction (2011), the exercises here are relatively easy to follow and helpfully illustrated by Martirosyan. The mathematical equations in this workbook are certainly more complex than the ones presented in its predecessor and bifurcate into problems of addition and subtraction. What the author exactly means by “intermediate” is never addressed—in Litvin’s Code, he claims some form of these exercises can be profitably completed by children as young as 5 years old. One can reasonably assume this particular title is geared toward middle school students. Litvin also claims that the exercises will be fun, but that doesn’t ring true, especially given the remarkably sophisticated options available today that include vividly created characters and compelling storybook narratives. The author’s exercises, whatever their ultimate cognitive value, look like regimented opportunities for mental discipline that will be especially daunting for children experiencing difficulty learning at school. 

A workbook that provides a wealth of cognitive drills for readers already committed to the author’s methods.

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4669-0096-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Trafford

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2019

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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