Dr. Richard Restak is a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, and clinical professor of neurology at George Washington University Medical Center. He is the author of the best-selling book The Brain, a companion to the PBS series of the same name, and twelve other volumes. At the outset of this practical work he notes: "It's important to remember that our brain holds the key to everything we will ever accomplish. Indeed, the brain is the gateway for all our sensations and the weaver of all our experiences. And while most of us are convinced that exercise increases our physical well-being, it's less commonly appreciated that the brain must be exercised; it's a dynamic structure that improves with use and challenge."

Restak offers a brief Cook's Tour of the brain, the three-pound wonder, and then proceeds to present a fascinating series of suggestions and exercises for raising your brain's performance.

Lifelong learners are the marathon athletes of cognitive improvement. For as Restak writes: "Whenever you learn something new, that knowledge enhances the number and complexity of the brain's neuronal networks. The result is an increase in brainpower." The author presents good advice on how to improve your memory, practice good hygiene, work in concert with your personal and body rhythms, and use technology to augment your brain's functioning.

We were especially impressed with Restak's celebration of the brain as a vast network that sponsors connections. Like the World Wide Web, it engenders new meanings through links. So if you want to practice connections, use your brain power.