Memory Craft – I have the advance copy!

I am so excited that the advance copy of Memory Craft has arrived. Details of the contents can be found here!

Only a few weeks now until the June 3 publication by Allen & Unwin.

The launch will be help at Castlemaine Library at 5:30 pm on June 13. To be launched by Dr Duane Hamacher, with talk on memory methods. Booking will be available through their website very soon. If you are coming to the launch and want to join us for dinner afterwards, please contact me through the contact form and I’ll let you know what’s happening.

Memory Craft is available for pre-order through Book Depository (world wide) and Booktopia (Australia only) among others.

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Author: lynne

I am an Honorary Researcher at LaTrobe University. I am the author of 19 books, the most recent being 'Spiders: learning to love them' (Allen & Unwin), 'Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies' (Cambridge University Press, 'The Memory Code' (Allen & Unwin, AUS; Pegasus Books, US and Atlantic Books, UK), 'Memory Craft' (Allen & Unwin, AUS; Pegasus Books, US) [and foreign translations, audio versions and so on]. My latest book is co-authored by Margo Neale. 'Songlines: the power and promise' and published by Thames & Hudson with the National Museum of Australia.

30 thoughts on “Memory Craft – I have the advance copy!”

  1. Hi Lynne, I have finished Memory Craft and I think it will change my life. I’m experimenting with a few of your techniques and they seem to be working well. I’m using my hands to remind me of the meanings of new words I come across in reading. And the Lukasa is brilliant. Memory Palaces are the best, of course, but gee trying to think of new palaces may be a challenge. I find encoding memory to very familiar physical things works best. I think memorising dates and numbers will be a lost cause for me. Thank you again.

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks you so much for writing. I hope you will update me on your progress! You are trying a lot of different things at once – far more than I would have attempted. I added each new method gradually!

      I suggest that you consolidate what you have done before trying the numbers and dates. Once you are getting used to making up images and stories, it just gets easier and easier. You’ll then find that a set of characters for your numbers is nowhere near as daunting as it seems.

      New memory palaces are everywhere. Are there shops you go to regularly? A supermarket? Sports ground? Friend’s homes that you know well? They will all work. I just add them by walking the streets around home adding a few locations each time I need them.

      I’d love to hear how you go. Thank you again for writing!


      1. I’ll definitely keep you posted! I am just sticking with a memory palace, my hands and a lukasa for now, for three areas — countries, words, and work-related information respectively. I’m going quite slowly with each of them.

        1. I only try one new thing at once! You really are challenging yourself. I am fine with multiple experiments now, but I only added one at a time. I look forward to the updates.

  2. Hi Lynne!
    Is there an update for when I can but the memory craft kindle book in the US? Thanks!

    1. Hi Christopher,

      I am afraid that the Kindle version won’t be available in the US until the North American publication by Pegasus Books is released in January 2020. I wis it was earlier!


  3. Another brilliant and inspiring book. I had it on pre-order or Kindle on Amazon.

    I didn’t seem to pick up the reason for the Beastiary having a set with two letters like Ab for Abyssinian cat and then a set with one letter as in A Arachne.

    Could you explain the reason for that please.

    1. Hi Antony,

      I am so pleased that you like the book. Thank you.

      The Visual Alphabet (Arachne, Bird, Cat …) gives a sequence and is used like any peg list, allowing things to be recalled in sequence. The action between each player makes it easy to recall without having to revert to the actual alphabet unless you stumble. It is extremely effective when giving a speech, for example, or remembering any list.

      I found that remembering names by association with the visual alphabet gave too many for J (the Jester) and M (the Marmoset) for example. There are so many names starting with those letters. Remembering two letters gave me much more likelihood of recalling the name – Jenny, James, Mary … Remembering the 264 combinations which are used is a challenge (it is not 26 x 26 because many combinations don’t happen, such as Dt and Pp). So I slowly built up remembering the 264 beasts, using the Visual Alphabet letter if I couldn’t recall the Bestiary. For example, when I first met an Ethel, I hadn’t used Et as it isn’t a common starting pair. So I just used the Eagle from the Visual Alphabet in that instant. I didn’t want to stop the conversation to look up the Bestiary! As it happens, there isn’t an animal or plant or object starting with Et that was useful and I had to resort to Ethereal in the Bestiary. That was desperation!

      Slowly, having drawn the beasts roughly, I learnt the whole 264 and can now use them on the fly – and for the Names and Faces event in memory competitions. I have now painted the whole Bestiary and written some light hearted stuff to name the beasts, and will very soon have that on my website for purchase at a low cost.

      Please let me know if that still doesn’t make sense.


  4. Hi Lynne, I’m very excited that I’ll be buying a copy of Memory Craft tomorrow! I want to improve my memory in order to improve/deepen my knowledge and understanding of a variety of topics. Do you think memorisation of facts leads to better understanding of the subject area that those facts are from?
    Congratulations on getting Memory Craft into the world!

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thank you for writing. The answer to your question is a huge ABSOLUTELY. I would love to hear from you when you have tried the methods. The reason that you get a better understanding is that you are laying down a foundation of facts which enables you to see a big picture and then play with them, analyse and generally perform the higher levels of thinking founded on a firm knowledge based. You will see patterns in the knowledge that you could not have seen otherwise. You can mull over it when you are standing in queues, having a shower, bored through a meeting … That mulling offers so much more insight. I could not have fully appreciated that had I not tried it.

      Have fun!


      1. Thanks Lynne – that sounds exactly what I’m hoping for. Since hearing you the other on Richard Fidler, and then searching for and watching the several YouTube videos you’re in, I’ve started with learning all the countries in order of population. Just to see if I could. While I’m only up to Mexico, and I started yesterday, already I’m experiencing quite an interesting thing. Other facts I hear and read are attaching themselves to those countries! Thanks so much!!

        1. That’s exactly what happens. Once you have the firm foundation and hooks, facts are so easily attached. I am so pleased that you are discovering that!

          Have fun!


  5. Hi Lynne,

    I’ve just started reading Memory Craft and I am loving it! After The Memory Code my partner and I created a songline around our property to memorise botanical family and genus names (we have nymphs and turtles and mermen and brass robots and all sorts of wonderful things). They’ve become stories that we cherish. It’s also super fun having permission to think like a child.

    I’ve been learning French for a year but never thought to apply these memory techniques until the last few days! So I’m super excited about trying out a bunch of these new techniques. I’ve got my male and female companions sorted and am looking forward to plotting out verbs on a songline through the neighbourhood.

    What I don’t understand as well is how you memorised all the nouns outside the house. You said that you put each group in an appropriate place (ie fruit in the grocers) and male and female in separate locations. Does this mean you are being more literal here? ie if you see une pomme in the female grocery where you stored it, then you recall it? Or are you still using these places abstractly, eg seeing a light fitting that looks like a pom pom and using that as association?

    Any light you could shed on this would be great:)

    Thanks for your wonderful books

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment, David. It is great fun for people of any age, isn’t it?

      I am totally literal for the nouns, so put each one in the appropriate memory palace. Apples are apples, but only in the feminine fruit shop. Clothes are in the bedroom – or thinking about why we don’t have those items and then imagine them on the Bears. Walls and street lights and post office and … are all in the memory palaces around the town. Some have to be adapted a bit to fit – but that process just makes it more memorable. We don’t have a skyscraper in town, so I laughingly refer to the two storey building on the corner in that way.

      Does that make sense? Please ask if it doesn’t.

      Thank you again,


      1. Thanks for replying so promptly Lynne, I’m sure you’re very busy with a book just launched, so I really appreciate it! So when you are creating your memory place at the feminine fruit shop, do you walk around and mentally place in it only the feminine fruits, and just ignore the masculine ones? then vice versa? Then just go over it to reinforce it in your mind? And for objects around town, do you split the town into two gender zones as Dominic O’Brien suggests, and just take mental note of a nice ‘mur’ in the masculine part, and that’s enough to implant it? (and then walk through it in your mind to revise?) No need for lavish stories or memorable emotionally charged triggers? Thanks, and as I’m sure you’re busy please just reply whenever you’re able.

        Oh and yesterday I created my pegging alphabet and have started using it which is also lots of fun!

        1. In the feminine fruit shop, I pick up the feminine fruit with flair and talk to Fleur (in my imagination, in french) about them. If I need to buy a masculine fruit there, I just put it in the basket and make no fuss. So I am making a connection with an action and thought at that time (a temporal snapshot in neuroscience terms). I don’t tend to buy fruit in the supermarket, but I have been there to engage with the masculine fruit.

          I don’t follow Dominic exactly, although I credit him in the book with the gender zone idea (and many others). I put everything in a memory palace somewhere around the town and still use Fleur and Petit Prof. We only have one post office and one newsagency … so I couldn’t force them into the male or female sections. So Petit Prof is sitting on the wall (le mur) and Fleur peers through the fence (la clôture). I imagine them, of course. I don’t take them everywhere with me. So my characters are key to everything I do. They have very active lives. That adds the emotion.

          Pegging alphabets are fun, aren’t they? The characters in my visual alphabet have developed quite strong personalities over the years.


          1. You will probably adapt to suit you, just as I adapted Dominic’s ideas to suit me. I’d love to hear what you do.


          2. Merci lynne! Yeah I imagine it will adapt to suit me, I’ll let you know in a few months how it is going! Thanks for your interest

  6. Hi Lynne, I’ve just ordered four copies on Book Depository of Memory Craft, and am already reading it as an iBook. I listened, entranced, to you in conversation with Ringtail Fidler. Thanks so much. I’m excited to begin creating my own memory devices and put all of this into practical use. I think this, in my late fifties and determined to improve my memory, is a life-changing moment!

    1. Hi Kate,

      Thank you for such a lovely comment. I love ‘Ringtail Fidler’! Enjoy playing with memory methods and let me know how you go. It has certainly changed my life. Have fun!


      1. Thank you Lynne,
        My imagination is now running wild, as I am a musician and craftsperson (ceramics, painting, calligraphy, puppets, any handmade stuff) and now I’m looking at the possibility of actually making a memory palace in miniature. And wondering how I can use your techniques for memorising music (classical piano for example). I used to effortlessly commit pages and pages of sheet music to memory as a child but really struggle to play form memory now, and I wonder if I actually had the music properly memorised then or whether it was more like a kind of muscle memory. If you have come across any research that links music memorising and mnemonics, I would be so grateful to be pointed towards this. Cheers!

        1. Hi Kate,

          Isn’t it fun when your imagination is running wild? In “Memory Craft”, I have interviewed musicians on this topic. I actually think the relationship between memory and music deserves an entire book, but that would need to be written by a musician, not by me. I would love to see what an artist would do crafting a miniature memory palace. What a lovely idea.

          I am interested that you included puppets in the list. I talk a lot in the book about the rile of characters for bringing mundane information to life and making it memorable. I hadn’t thought about using puppets. I’d love to hear if you use these.

          Thank you so much for writing!


          1. My four copies arrived from Book Depository today and I can’t wait to share them with my family and friends. All I talk about is you and your techniques!

          2. Thank you so much! I’d love to hear stories about what you and your family do with the techniques.


  7. i just ordered a copy delivered to Canada. I was that guy in the memory website asking you to give updates a long time ago.
    -is there any way to have a PDF or epub version?

    1. Hi Steven,

      The ebook version is available on Booktopia, so it already exists. I suspect that BookDepository will have it too, but maybe not until publication on Monday. have it in Kindle as well as paperback, but I don’t know if you can get that in Canada. Amazon is really weird. We can’t get things from the US site. I would be in breach of contract if I sent out a pdf. The North American publisher will release an ebook in that region, but not for a few months. Sorry!

      If you can’t find it after Monday, then please let me know and I’ll ask my publisher.

      I must get an ebook copy myself! I don’t have it yet.

      Thank you for your interest!


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