mephelan's review against another edition

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5.0

Really enjoyed this and learned a lot! I was expecting a shallow pop science history, but Bond goes in depth into the neuroscience of path finding and sense of direction. Great chapters on how kids navigate their world and links between Alzheimer's/dementia and sense of place.

christycorr's review against another edition

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informative reflective fast-paced

4.0

pedantic_reader's review against another edition

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informative reflective slow-paced

5.0

tonstantweader's review

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5.0

From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way is a fascinating exploration of how we learn to find our way as children and how we may risk unlearning it from lack of use thanks to GPS or from the damage of Alzheimer’s Disease. Through that arc of life, Bond explores the different ways we think about finding our way and what parts of the brain are likely to be involved.

I recently read “The Address Book” by Deirdre Mask. In it, Mask wrote about legible cities and the idea fascinated me, so when I learned of From Here to There, I just had to read it. It did not disappoint one little bit. It began by looking at how we wander and how the exploratory freedom has been whittled away over recent generations. This is a bit of a personal hobbyhorse and I feel sad for kids who don’t have the freedom to run about all over as I used to do.

Bond also explains how this all plays out in our heads. He is scrupulous in separating what is known from what is surmised and explains how scientists know what they know and why they think what they think.

He also writes about getting lost and how so much of being lost is the panic of realizing you don’t know where you are. It was illuminating for me. I have never felt lost. I have occasionally not know where I was but knew how to know without difficulty. He also writes about some of the extraordinary navigators and how they are so good at what they do. It boils down to two words, pay attention. He also talks about city design and how it can make a city legible (Paris) or not (London) and even how that applies to architecture and buildings such as the beautiful Seattle Library that is lovely to look at and notoriously difficult to navigate.

The final chapters focus on the losses of Alzheimer’s and how we might be undergoing our hippocampus now we have GPS. What are the implications there – and what might exercising our hippocampus do for us.

I really loved From Here to There a lot. It’s a fascinating subject and while I felt a bit in the weeds learning about the different cells and where they were hiding, even when it was the most technical, it was easy enough to understand. It would have been nice to have the illustrations right in place rather than having to flip back to look, but that’s just picking nits in an excellent book.

I love the way Bond writes about the wayfinding. You can tell he loves the topic and is passionate about it. I also love how he finds illustrations from real life to explain the concepts. He makes even the more abstracted information understandable and interesting. He has a way of bringing science back to the people and how it interacts with their lives.

I received a copy of From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way from the publisher for review.

From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way at Harvard University Press
Michael Bond author site

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/9780674244573/
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