Selected by Jeanne Goodrich, executive director for the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.
I’ve had Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” stuck in my head all weekend … and now I know why. Daniel Levitin explains earworms (the stuck-in-your-head tunes) and much, much more in his fascinating book, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (Dutton Adult, 2006). His credentials are uniquely stellar: He’s been a rock musician, sound engineer and record producer, and he ultimately became a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience. Music, he points out, is omnipresent in all human history and cultures. Moving from inside our ears to inside our brains, Levitin explains it all in an engaging, understandable way.