399 Games…To Keep Your Brain Young

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Have Fun and Exercise Your Brain at the Same Time

What a great book to review! It’s fun, entertaining, and might even make you feel very smart. Even better, it will help keep your brain sharp (and sharper) at the same time. That’s what I was looking for when I got this book, 399 Games….

As a retiring baby boomer, I am edging up in age. And as some of you know, my sweet mom has had Alzheimer’s for over fifteen years now. Seeing how debilitating it is, I seek ways to prevent it happening. Doing puzzles, from crosswords to jigsaws, learning a new language, and brain games are all recommended to stimulate your brain.

It’s an easy-to-take prescription, don’t you think? I remember Mom’s doctor actually wrote it on a prescription pad for her once. Wouldn’t it be more entertaining and rewarding to work a puzzle than to take a pill? It actually can strengthen your brain. That’s what we want: Strong, stimulated brains, that are improving rather than degenerating.

I am loving this book. As with any exercise, the author recommends starting with the level you can manage, then increasing the difficulty. I never realized that just as they suggest a similar method of walking to a healthier body, it will work on the brain as well. Build up strength as we go. Isn’t that encouraging?

What’s Inside the Book, 399 Games

This particular book breaks it into levels of difficulty, but in addition each page has a little box showing for what purpose the puzzle is effective. It’s broken down into six functions that often change during aging:

  • Long-term memory
  • Working memory (part of which is short term memory)
  • executive functioning
  • attention to detail
  • multitasking
  • processing (needing information repeated, for example)

Most of these are self explanatory. Executing functioning is using the information you have to work out a problem. An example might be getting organized to run errands where you once could just walk out the door.

399 Games offers exercises for each of these functions, so if you feel a need to work on one more than another you can choose puzzles that associate.

The games are fun. Some you will find easy, some you will have to stretch for. One example asks for you to name one word answers for “Over the______” such as over the hill. They came up with 13 of them. Can you? Another asks to complete the geographical location in lines of songs, such as “There is a rose in Spanish_______.”

There is all sorts of variety that you will find entertaining and engaging. When you need a break from the busy-ness, this book offers a fun escape that will keep your thinking clearly. So far it’s working!

More Brain Training Books

Each of these books contain games that are especially designed to train and strengthen your brain! Just like the body, the brain needs various forms of stimulation and exercise to improve or maintain its function.  Some feature puzzles, some math, some science.  All designed to give your brain the work out it needs to function at optimum.

We can all use the help as we age. More and more it is believed that the younger you start the better condition your brain will maintain. Any age can–and should–train.



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

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