Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bend Your Brain by Marbles Brain Store

book cover
Bend Your Brain
by Marbles Brain Store

ISBN-13: 9780804140096
Trade Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Released: August 19, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Blogging for Books.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
This first book from the team behind Marbles: The Brain Store offers puzzles and brain teasers to help enhance memory, build problem-solving skills, and reduce stress. They've designed these puzzles to keep your mind flexible and fit.

Arranged in five key brain categories—visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination, and memory—Bend Your Brain offers a variety of puzzles ranging from mind-warming (easy) to mind-blowing (hard!):

· Connecting the dots? More like working your spatial-orientation skills.
· Identifying famous smiles? Flexing your visual memory.
· Taking a closer look at your keyboard? Coding, storing, and retrieving.
· Word-doku? Summoning cognitive abilities like appraisal, inference, impulse control, and evaluation.
· Word scrambles? Tapping your brain’s association areas.

My Review:
Bend Your Brain is a puzzle book containing 151 puzzles to give your brain a workout. The puzzles were divided into 5 sections, and each section was focused on exercising a certain part of the brain. The first page briefly described what was going to be exercised in that section, and there was some brain trivia mixed throughout the book. One part had you physically doing things, like standing in front of a mirror and using your body to make letters. Some puzzles were intended to be cut out of the book and folded. There were word finds, mazes, crosswords, connect the dots, and variations on many other puzzle types.

It's intended for people familiar with puzzle books. The instructions were often too vague if you'd never encountered the puzzle type before. For example, the instructions said that you should do their Word-doku puzzle like a Sudoku puzzle. I've never done a Sudoku puzzle so had no idea of what to do.

The book seemed aimed at the older set. Some logos that they assume you're familiar with were not recognized by four people about 40 years old but were recognized by a couple that was in their late 60s. You'll do best at these puzzles if you watch a lot of television and know a lot of trivia. Incidentally, they also use a lot of "common phrases" that someone who didn't grow up in America wouldn't know.

I don't normally do puzzle books, but a book I recently read was pushing "exercising your brain" so I gave this puzzle book a try. It didn't make me a fan of puzzle books, but I don't think I was the intended target audience. I found some of the puzzle very easy--even ones that were supposed to be hard. I found some easy puzzles difficult simply because I didn't know the required trivia or because I found the instructions too vague. Some puzzle were "just right" and very fun. People who love puzzle books might enjoy the variety of different puzzles found in this one.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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