Total Memory Makeover by Marilu Henner


Marilu Henner has a gift that is known to only six other people in the world.  She can recall every detail of her life, now just the big events like the day Kennedy was shot, 9-11, or a surprise birthday party…  but also a random Thursday in August of 1980, or a Sunday morning any year since she has been five. 

In Total Memory Makeover, Marilu shares the benefits to having such a memory, and shares exercises we can all do to strengthen our own memories.


Why did I want to listen to this audio?  I am a little fascinated with someone who can remember every day down to what they had for breakfast when I can barely remember what I did two days ago.  🙂  I also like that this is read by Marilu herself.


Total Memory Makeover is exactly what is says it is.  An audio book (or book) about Marilu’s gift of total recall, and what we can do to strengthen our own skills.  7 hours and 58 minutes long, Marilu takes us through her growing up with this skill, and how it can be used to help us makes better choices in our present day.  I found it interesting that Marilu explains that by remembering moments of great pain in our life (say, like a break up) it can help us see the red flags as we go into new relationships.  And that works for good things too… by remembering how great it felt to fit into a smaller size of jeans 4 years ago can help us say no to bad food choices today.

While the audio was interesting, there are a lot of times throughout the reading that Marilu had tasks for the reader.  We are asked to write down dates like our 21st birthday and remember everything we can about that event (which honestly, I have no recollection of, other than I was married and we had Brad then…) or to do short memory tests.  For me personally, I am an active audio listener, meaning I cook or clean while listening to audio and I did not do the little tests that required hitting pause.

Overall this is an interesting read, Marilu did a wonderful job of narrating, and I think if you are really looking to work on your memory skills she has some wonderful tips for doing so and advice to get you started.  There are times in the audio where Marilu tells personal stories that are both interesting, and at times… dare I say felt like she was bragging?  It was not the best fit for me, but I can see where someone willing to work at this could find it useful.

Because this seems to be almost like a work book in places, I think this is one of those instances where this would have been better for me in book format than audio.


Leave a comment here if you would like a chance to win my copy of Total Memory Makeover.  I will choose a winner using on Friday July 6.


Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review (listen to an audio sample here)


Thank you to Audio Jukebox for sending me this audio to listen to and review!

26 thoughts on “Total Memory Makeover by Marilu Henner

  1. I’m not sure I’d want that kind of memory. Sure, I’d like to have a better one than I have but to remember every little detail? That sounds like too much.

  2. Confession: I love forgetting some stuff. I think it makes life more bearable. I saw an interview with her and while it sounds fascinating I remember feeling bad for her. Too much info. That being said, I wouldn’t mind learning her tricks to remember some of the details of early motherhood.

  3. I saw a story on CBS’ 60 Minutes or other news show that interviewed all six of the people with this total memory recall. It was definitely interesting. I think that some things are meant to be forgotten. I mean, do you really want to remember labor and delivery? 😉

    Thanks for your honest opinion on this one. I agree that it sounds like it is better in print than in audio.

  4. I’ve wanted to read this book since I hear her interview with Diane Rehm. I think I would like the book version better as well, so no need to enter me. 🙂

  5. I can’t imagine have all those details running around in my head. I saw a 60 Minutes interview with her and a few others with total memory recall. Fascinating stuff. I’d love to know how it works.

  6. There is a TV show with a character that remembers everything; it’s called Unforgettable. Marilu guest starred on the show once, and in an interview, Marilu was mentioned by the star of the show. Intriguing phenomenon, but I think it might feel like an overloaded computer after awhile…too much info!

  7. Thanks, for the review – I just put a reserve on the book! The subject of memory has always held great interest for me.

  8. Please add me, my memory is bad shape and Henner’s ability has always amazed me even though I don’t know if I’d want to recall every moment from my life. Some things are better left forgotten, if you ask me.

  9. I lost so much memory after I had the kids! Some things I’d like to remember again and others I don’t. But truly, I’m fascinated by those who can recall every detail because I love neuroscience. How is her part of the brain responsible for memory different from the average person? I’m so curious!

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