Book review: Building BrainPower

Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 | Posted by Debajyoti Datta | Labels:

I have got a copy of Dilip Mukerjea’s Building BrainPower: Turning Grey Matter into Gold as part of the BlogAdda book reviews program.

Lets start with the basics first – the book has been published by Westland, paperback, 314 pages and the marked price is Rs. 750. The paper and print quality is pretty good and I’m quite satisfied with the binding of the book, a necessity as the book is designed as a tool to be used and practiced. The author Dilip Mukerjea is the owner and Managing Director of Buzan Centre, Singapore.

The book is divided into five sections – the first section is about our brain – it’s a very good non-technical description covering evolution, neuroscience and a touch of neuroanatomy. The second part is devoted about the technique of Mind Mapping where the author shows you how to create and use an interconnected map of imagery and words to form a broad understanding and lasting impression about any topic. Here is the Wikipedia description of Mind Maps
“A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea…Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.”

The best part about this is the hands on approach taken by the author. He lays out the principles at the beginning and then guides the reader through numerous examples. There are many examples of Mind Maps scattered throughout the book to help the beginner get an idea. The author advocates the use of plain paper while making Mind Maps but you can use software like FreeMind to prepare your mind maps.

The third part of the book deals with communication. There are numerous tables on different methods of communication – for example the sign language. This is followed by a section containing puzzles and their solutions, quite a few to keep the reader occupied.  The last section is titled “Additional thoughts” that contains a few more interesting facts and Mind Maps thrown in.

The Impression: The approach of the book – learning by doing, is quite good. The reader wouldn’t have any problem in following the author’s instructions. There are adequate problems to practice on. The first part describing the brain is a very good read. The use of colour in the Mind Maps and the level of detail the author delves into is commendable. For example, the author devotes 16 pages to guide the reader in constructing their first Mind Map. You can’t get any more guidance than that. The difference form other self help books (from my limited exposure to self help books) is that the author is very clear on one thing – you need to practice to get it right and I quite agree with that. There is one thing I would crib about – I didn’t fully grasp the point of making a separate section on Communication, sure the facts are interesting but it doesn’t add anything to the technique of Mind Mapping.

The verdict: The book quite serves its purpose. If you are planning to learn Mind Mapping, this book is quite a good resource with all its exercises and detailed guidance.

CoI – I received this book free of cost as part of BlogAdda book review program.

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