Book Reviews Reviews

Book review: Brain — Inner Workings of the Grey Matter

Omair Alavi | Published March 14, 2020

What weighs 1.3kg, controls our body movements and makes humans superior to all other kinds of animals in the world?

The human brain, and in Mega Bites: Brain — Inner Workings of the Grey Matter, author Richard Walker makes you understand the functions of the brain in the best possible manner. He dissects the brain literally and helps the readers understand its function through diagrams, illustrations, comparisons and references. He also makes us realise that the brain is not be taken for granted, for it controls everything we do, from breathing to retaining memory.

A good book usually helps the readers get to know new stuff, things they previously had no clue about. A better book takes one step further and takes the reader in a new direction, and Mega Bites’ book on the brain does exactly that. Crammed with facts and names of websites where you can find more details on, this book takes you through the inner workings of the most important part of the human body. Thanks to the countless close-up images, weird world boxes, and a reference section, the readers in no time find out that there is more to the brain than meets the eye.

This book also takes a step back in time and brings out the history of the brain, something neither Wikipedia nor science textbooks do.

Their history is older than humans (yes, that’s true) and predates many mammals that exist today. Through this book, you get to learn that the first creatures with brains had to develop it, and the reason why humans are superior to others is that they use their brains to full capacity. How much data can it store and how it is better than any computer in the world, are just a few questions this book answers.

As you go along you will find out how important a nerve is, what neurons do and how they were ‘accidentally’ discovered in the first place. The author also talks about the scientists who discovered that the brain is the ‘processor’ of the human body instead of the heart, and that it is the brain instead of the eye and the ear that lets a person see and hear.

Its importance can be judged by the fact that it uses 20 percent of the body’s energy, whether we are sleeping, working or running a marathon. So if you are interested in the brain’s story, and want to understand its mechanism, then there is no better alternative than this book. It feeds you brainy stuff and rewards you with brain teasers and nerdy references that will help you in the long run.

Published in Dawn, Young World, March 14th, 2020

About the author

Omair Alavi