How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction by Daniel Smith

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How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction by Daniel Smith

Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An thoughtful and unusual present for a fan of the great detective. It's a fun and thought provoking read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: October 2012
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
ISBN: 978-1843179535

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Whether you're a fan of the original Conan Doyle novels, have enjoyed the recent film and television representations of Sherlock Holmes or if, like me, the name always conjures up the image of Basil Rathbone you'll be impressed by the way that Holmes can reason and deduce. You've probably wished that you were capable of some of the mental acrobatics which he performs. Much of his prowess is down to being a fictional character (of course) but it is possible to improve your powers of observation, memory and deduction by exercising your brain. Daniel Smith has some suggestions to get us started.

You will get more out of this book if you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes as there are copious references back to the original works to illustrate points - and it's not just the better known works which are quoted. Smith is obviously a man who knows his Holmes and he uses Holmes' strengths to tutor his readers. The first point he makes is about the importance of listening and this includes how to encourage people to talk to you.

I was quite surprised to find a section on speed reading but I found this most informative. It's not a technique I've ever used but I'm sure a lot of people will find it most useful, along with the information on lateral thinking, although in my experience I've found that this is something people either can or can't do, but if they can they might be able to improve with practice. On the other hand, concentrating properly is something everyone would do well to work on! The section which most impressed me was the information about interpreting body language and this has nudged me into doing some further reading on the subject.

There are exercises to test how well you're doing throughout the book. Some are fairly simple, which builds the confidence nicely and others more complex. Answers are given at the back of the book. There was one - Quiz no 16 - which left me completely confused and even when I looked at the explanation (yes - I know...) I felt that there was some information which had been kept from us and that even then there was more than one correct answer. It was a small, but annoying point in an otherwise enjoyable book.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

We've been impressed by Close to Holmes: A Look at the Connections Between Historical London, Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Alistair Duncan and from the master himself a lesser known work which we enjoyed - The Complete Brigadier Gerard Stories.

Buy How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction by Daniel Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction by Daniel Smith at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction by Daniel Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy How to Think Like Sherlock: Improve Your Powers of Observation, Memory and Deduction by Daniel Smith at Amazon.com.


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