Proust and the Squid

The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

Wolf, Maryanne

Book - 2007
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Proust and the Squid
A developmental psychologist evaluates the ways in which reading and writing have transformed the human brain, in an anecdotal study that reveals the significant changes in evolutionary brain physiology throughout history.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060186395
Branch Call Number: 612.82 W
Characteristics: xi, 308 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Stoodley, Catherine J.


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Feb 24, 2013
  • DanglingConversations rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is an excellent book for anyone interested in both the historical development of reading ability in the Human species, as well as how children read and some excellent theories about dyslexia and other reading challenges in children ( from deafness to socio-economic status). Every elementary school teacher should read this book. The author gave me some insight int why my 35 year old son, who has a masters degree in Math, is the slowest reader in the family when it comes to novels and leisure reading. The author also warns us not to push our children to be early readers before the right stage in brain development or we could be developing neuro-pathways which eventually hinder reading in adulthood. This is a fantastic book.


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Aug 05, 2013
  • mpfickes rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A cognitive neuroscientist explains the amazing path by which humans, 6000 years ago in Sumer, began to make marks on clay to keep accounts & share information, leading eventually to the acquisition of reading as a human trait. While language is embedded in human genetics, reading is not, and thus each new human must undergo the roughly 2000 days of training that it typically takes to turn out a beginning reader at around age 5. Wolf explains the complex and varied activities that occur in multiple neighborhoods of the brain (letter recognition, phonemic awareness, sensitivity to syntax, short term memory, automaticity) that unite to result in the act of reading. Her research into dyslexia has led to new approaches to reading instruction and awareness of different aptitudes that so called "learning disabled" individuals (including da Vinci, Einstein, Edison, Gaudi, Charles Schwab) have possessed. A heady, erudite and inspiring book that's not an easy read but which richly repays the effort.


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Proust and the Squid
Wolf, Maryanne
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