BLOG > Book Recommendations > ,

Best Books on Memory: 35 TOP Books For Memory Improvement

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
9 MINUTE READ

Looking for the best books on memory improvement?

You’re in the right place.

Here’s what you’ll find on this page…

Why These Best Books on Memory and Not Others?

I spent a lot of time knee-deep in books on memory while studying Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology at Oxford. And I spent even more time recently writing a series of book summaries and articles on the topic.

The outcome? A mega-list of over 100 books on memory and memory improvement, spanning thousands of years of collective human knowledge.

I’ve shortlisted the best of those titles across 8 different categories below ranked by what’s most loved, what’s most widely read and what’s stood the long tests of time.

Where should you start? Think of this list like a menu. No one expects you to have everything. Instead, jump to a section that excites you, choose a book that stands out and don’t over think it. (You can always come back for more later.)

In the coming years, I’ll be reading every book below to pass on the best ideas in articles and summaries. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, sign up to the free newsletter to get my best articles, book summaries and reading lists directly to your inbox.

Or grab a copy of my FREE memory improvement templates below…

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

For now, though, here they are.

The very best books on memory and memory improvement of all time…

Practical Books on Memory Improvement

The best books on memory below are focussed on practical tips for improving your memory…

The 6 Best Books on Memory Techniques

These books on memory techniques are full of instant tips, tricks and techniques for improving memory. If mnemonics, memory palaces and mindmaps are what you’re after, this is the right place to start.

The 6 best books on memory techniques of all time are…

Best Memory Books: How to Develop a Perfect Memory
1. How to Develop a Perfect Memory – Dominic O’Brien (FREE Summary)
The perfect manual for anyone wanting to effortlessly retain names, faces, facts, figures, speeches and languages. All the tools you need to develop a perfect memory – by 8-time World Memory Champion, Dominic O’Brien.
Published 1993 // 288 pages // Rated 4.2 over 300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Memory Books: The Memory Book
2. The Memory Book – Harry Lorayne (FREE Summary)
The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
A practical guide to remembering anything, faster, with simple, millennia-old mnemonics and proven memory boosting techniques – by memory masters, Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas.
Published 1974 // 224 pages // Rated 4.0 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads
Best Memory Books: Unlimited Memory
3. Unlimited Memory – Kevin Horsley (FREE Summary)
How to Use Advanced Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive
A short and accessible introduction to mnemonic memory techniques for anyone looking to quickly improve their memory and increase their productivity – by Grand Master of Memory, Kevin Horsley.
Published 2014 // 136 pages // Rated 4.0 over 15,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Memory Books: The Mind Map Book
4. The Mind Map Book – Tony Buzan
How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential
THE handbook for structuring knowledge with Mind Mapping rather than mnemonic systems and memory palaces – by founder of the World Memory Championships, Tony Buzan.
Published 1993 // 320 pages // Rated 3.8 over 2,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Memory Books: Remember, Remember
5. Remember, Remember – Ed Cooke
A wacky, eccentric and decidedly British take on the usual mnemonic techniques found above – by Grand Master of Memory and Memrise co-founder Ed Cooke.
Published 2008 // 224 pages // Rated 4.0 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Memory Books: Memory Improvement
6. Memory Improvement – Ron White
How To Improve Your Memory In Just 30 Days
A 30-day plan to improve your memory using the usual assortment of mnemonic tricks and tools for encoding and remembering anything – by two-time USA Memory Champion, Ron White.
Published 2011 // 156 pages // Rated 4.1 over 200 reviews on Goodreads

The 4 Best Books on Memory Improvement

These books on memory improvement go beyond mnemonic techniques for a more holistic view of brain health and function. Read these for some great ways to improve memory through diet, exercise, focus and energy management.

The 4 best books on memory improvement of all time are…

Best Books on Memory Improvement: Power Foods for the Brain
1. Power Foods for the Brain – Neal D. Barnard
An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory
Published 2013 // 320 pages // Rated 4.1 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
Best Books on Memory Improvement: Boost Your Brain
2. Boost Your Brain – Majid Fotuhi
The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance
Published 2013 // 383 pages // Rated 4.1 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Books on Memory Improvement: How We Learn
3. How We Learn – Benedict Carey (Summary)
The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
Published 2014 // 272 pages // Rated 3.9 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Books on Memory Improvement: Memory Rescue
4. Memory Rescue – Daniel G. Amen
Supercharge Your Brain, Reverse Memory Loss, and Remember What Matters Most
Published 2017 // 448 pages // Rated 4.2 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
The eagle-eyed may notice that Josh Foer’s popular Moonwalking With Einstein hasn’t appeared in these sections. It’s tricky, because though it’s about memory, it’s neither very practical nor a novel, so it doesn’t really have a place on these lists. That said, it’s a great read on Josh’s journey from memory novice to 2006 U.S.A. memory champion. Check out the link at the start of this paragraph or read my summary here.

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

The 4 Best Memory Books for Students

Though you’ll find a lot of great tips in the books above, these memory books were written especially with students in mind. They focus on structuring knowledge, learning effectively from books and lectures and passing exams.

The 4 best books memory books for students are…

  1. Make It Stick, Brown, Roediger, McDaniel (Summary)
    The Science of Successful Learning
    Tools, strategies and stories to help students, teachers and trainers learn more effectively based on 10 years of collaboration between 11 cognitive psychologists – collected and synthesised by author Peter Brown and psychology researchers Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel.
    Rated 4.2 over 5,100 reviews on Goodreads
  2. A Mind for Numbers, Oakley (Summary)
    How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
    A practical, research-based guide to unlocking the power of your brain to learn math, or anything else you put your mind to, even if you think you’re hopeless – by professor Barbara Oakley.
    Rated 4.2 over 6,100 reviews on Goodreads
  3. How to Pass Exams, O’Brien
    Accelerate Your Learning, Memorise Key Facts, Revise Effectively
    Rated 4.1 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
  4. Super Memory – Super Student, Lorayne
    How to Raise Your Grades in 30 Days
    Rated 4.1 over 200 reviews on Goodreads

The 3 Best Memory Training and Brain-Game Books

The best way to improve your memory is to use it. And, with a little thought, you’ll find more interesting and practical uses for memory and learning than you could get through in a thousand lifetimes. But whether you simply love puzzles, or just really can’t think of a better way to use your time, these memory training and brain-game books will do more for your memory than sitting in front of the television.

The 3 best memory training and brain-game books of all time are…

  1. 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges to Keep Your Brain Young, Linde
    Rated 4.1 over 100 reviews on Goodreads
  2. Brain Games, Publications International
    Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day
    Rated 4.0 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  3. Train Your Brain, Kawashima
    60 Days to a Better Brain
    Rated 3.9 over <100 reviews on Goodreads

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Theoretical Books on Memory

The best books on memory below are focussed on helping you understand what memory is and how it works. Which will help you understand and improve on the practical tips found above.

The 6 Best Science Books About Memory

The psychology and physiology of memory are my favourite parts of the topic. If neurons, synapses and aphasias are what float your boat, get stuck in below to learn all that we currently know about how memory works.

The 6 best science books about memory of all time are…

  1. Neuroscience, Bear, Connors, Paradiso
    An Illustrated Exploration of the Brain (N.b., only partly on Memory)
    Rated 4.3 over 900 reviews on Goodreads
  2. In Search of Memory, Kandel
    The Emergence of a New Science of Mind
    Rated 4.1 over 3,700 reviews on Goodreads
  3. The Mind of a Mnemonist, Luria
    A Little Book about a Vast Memory
    Rated 4.0 over 1,300 reviews on Goodreads
  4. Searching For Memory, Shachter
    The Brain, the Mind, and the Past
    Rated 4.0 over 300 reviews on Goodreads
  5. Essentials of Human Memory, Baddeley
    Rated 4.2 over <100 reviews on Goodreads
  6. Memory, Squire, Kandel
    From Mind to Molecules
    Rated 4.0 over <100 reviews on Goodreads

The 3 Best Historical Books About Memory

Before paper, wide-spread literacy and computers our memories were far better than they are today. The books below explore the fascinating history of memory and mnemonic techniques in a time when our collective, living memories were out most vital source of activity, knowledge and progress.

The 3 best historical books about memory of all time are…

  1. The Art of Memory, Yates
    Rated 4.2 over 1,100 reviews on Goodreads
  2. The Memory Code, Kelly
    The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments
    Rated 4.1 over 200 reviews on Goodreads
  3. The Craft of Thought, Carruthers
    Meditation, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images, 400-1200
    Rated 4.5 over <100 reviews on Goodreads

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

The 3 Best Philosophical Books About Memory

What am I if not just a collection of experiences and memories? And if my memory of an event is different from yours, what really happened? In the books below you’ll find these and many more brain twisting questions asked, debated and answered.

The 3 best philosophical books about memory of all time are…

  1. Memory, History, Forgetting, Ricœur
    Rated 4.1 over 300 reviews on Goodreads
  2. Memory, Foster
    A Very Short Introduction
    Rated 3.5 over 400 reviews on Goodreads
  3. Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older, Draaisma
    How Memory Shapes Our Past
    Rated 3.7 over 200 reviews on Goodreads

BONUS: 4 Memory Themed Novels

What happens when your memories get lost? What would life be like if you could never form a new memory again? Sometimes the best way to explore the questions philosophers can’t answer is by imagining those questions play out.

The 4 best memory themed novels of all time are…

  1. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Fox
    A Children’s Storybook
    Rated 4.4 over 7,800 reviews on Goodreads
  2. In Search of Lost Time, Proust
    Rated 4.3 over 8,400 reviews on Goodreads
  3. Austerlitz, Sebald
    Rated 4.0 over 11,000 reviews on Goodreads
  4. Before I Go To Sleep, Watson
    Rated 3.9 over 236,700 reviews on Goodreads

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Best Memory Books FAQs

What Is the Best Book for Improving Memory?

The best books for improving memory is How to Develop a Brilliant Memory by Dominic O'Brien. DON'T start with Josh Foer's Walking With Einstein. It's a great book ABOUT memory but it's NOT a practical guide. Want more suggestions? Check out my full list of best books on memory.

More Book Recommendations

Enjoyed this list of the best books on memory of all time?

Don’t miss this reading list of 70 Books on Learning How to Learn. It’s full of summaries and was created with the help of leading writers in the space – including Coursera’s “Learning How to Learn” super-coach Barabara Oakley.

Or check out TAoL’s other book recommendations below…

More Best Books of All Time (by Type)

These are some lists of overall best books to read...

More Best Nonfiction Books (by Topic)

These are some lists of best nonfiction books to read...

More Best Fiction Books (by Genre)

These are some lists of best fiction books to read...

Wish There Was a Faster/Easier Way?

Whenever you’re ready, here are four ways I can help you be more productive, find more balance and live life more on purpose…

  1. Curious? Discover how productive you really are… Take this free, 2-minute assessment to unlock your PQ and discover the top 25 habits you need to get big things done. Take the 2-minute quiz →
  2. Overwhelmed? Get a free chapter of my book… Let me show you how to beat procrastination, permanently, with this free sneak peek inside TAoL’s ultimate productivity primer. Download your free chapter →
  3. Stuck? Grab a 90-Day TRACKTION Planner… Get the tool thousands trust to help them take control of their time, master their habits and hit goals in every part of their lives. Order your 90-day planner →
  4. Burned out? Join the TRACKTION Community… Take the 6-week masterclass, get weekly group coaching, find accountability partners and connect with like-minded self-starters. Get started FREE →

Best Books on Memory

Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE Character Traits Cheatsheet?

Character Traits List

Send Yourself A FREE Printable Cheatsheet Of 800 Positive, Neutral & Negative Character Traits...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE Printable Weekly Planner Template?

Weekly Planner Template Preview

Send yourself a FREE printable weekly planner template you can use to set every week up for success...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE 10-Step Speed Reading Cheatsheet?

How to Read a Book, Mortimer J Adler

Get a FREE 10-step cheatsheet to help you read faster and remember more of what you read based on the classic guide, How to Read a Book.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want 5 FREE Printable Productivity Templates?

Productivity Templates

Includes: Wheel of Life, Habit & Value Trackers, Goal Setting Worksheet, Daily Planner and Guided Reflection...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE Language Learning Toolkit?

Save thousands of dollars and hours with this FREE 8,000-word language learning guide and toolkit...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.