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Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Mathby Daniel Tammet
Synopses & Reviews
Thinking in Numbers is the book that Daniel Tammet, bestselling author and mathematical savant, was born to write. In Tammet's world, numbers are beautiful and mathematics illuminates our lives and minds. Using anecdotes, everyday examples, and ruminations on history, literature, and more, Tammet allows us to share his unique insights and delight in the way numbers, fractions, and equations underpin all our lives.
Inspired by the complexity of snowflakes, Anne Boleyn's eleven fingers, or his many siblings, Tammet explores questions such as why time seems to speed up as we age, whether there is such a thing as an average person, and how we can make sense of those we love. Thinking in Numbers will change the way you think about math and fire your imagination to see the world with fresh eyes.
"An autistic savant shares his insights on mathematics and life in this far-ranging collection of entertaining and thoughtful essays. Tammet's (Born on a Blue Day) interests are intriguing and stunning in their diversity — one moment he's considering the existence of extraterrestrial life and breaking down astronomer Frank Drake's famous equation for calculating the number of intelligent civilizations in the universe; the next, he's exploring Shakespeare's fascination with 'the presence of absence' and the ways in which nothing can reveal far more than something. The essay 'Snowman,' one of the book's best, is a poetic meditation on snowflakes and what they reveal about complexity. Tammet is a master of gleaning profound insights from seemingly mundane trivia, whether he's considering the polydactylism of Anne Boleyn, the numberless Kpelle tribe of Liberia, Plato's insistence that the ideal city be limited to exactly 5040 landholding families, or the mathematics of mortality rates. This is a delightful book, well-suited to random sampling, and capable of bringing even the most numerophobic readers into agreement with Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdos: 'I know numbers are beautiful. If they are not beautiful, nothing is.' Tammet's paean to numbers is proof that Erdos was right. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency (U.K.). (July 30)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Daniel Tammet is a writer, linguist and educator. He is the author of Embracing the Wide Sky and the New York Times bestseller Born on a Blue Day. He has appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman, 60 Minutes, and Good Morning America, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph, and many other publications. He lives in Paris.
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