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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life

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The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life Cover

ISBN13: 9781451640090
ISBN10: 1451640099
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the bestselling author of Here's Looking at Euclid, a dazzling new book that turns even the most complex math into a brilliantly entertaining narrative.

From triangles, rotations and power laws, to cones, curves and the dreaded calculus, Alex takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit and limitless enthusiasm. He sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to uncover the world's favourite number, and meets a mathematician who looks for universes in his garage. He attends the World Mathematical Congress in India, and visits the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop.

Get hooked on math as Alex delves deep into humankind's turbulent relationship with numbers, and reveals how they have shaped the world we live in.

Review:

"Channeling the spirit of Martin Gardner, the Guardian's math blogger Bellos (Here's Looking at Euclid) reveals — and revels in — the pleasures of mathematics, which he has dubbed 'the most playful of all intellectual disciplines.' Numbers are so basic to our lives that we've even given them personalities, Bellos says. Even numbers seem female, odd numbers male, and across cultures we're fascinated by numbers that end in 1 — just think of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Levi's 501 jeans, or Kentucky Fried Chicken's 11 herbs and spices. Bello, a natural storyteller, moves smoothly from simple topics to those more complex. The tale of the ill-fated elliptical pool table leads to the shared secret of theater spotlights and the shape of planetary orbits. From there, we explore exponential growth and compound interest, the magic of imaginary numbers, and self-reproducing fractals. Along the way, Bello introduces fascinating characters, from the retired cabdriver in Tucson whose hobby is factoring prime numbers, to swashbuckling astronomer Tycho Brahe, who lost his nose in a duel over a math formula. Through intriguing characters, lively prose, and thoroughly accessible mathematics, Bellos deftly shows readers why math is so important, and why it can be so much fun. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Another sparkling romp through the world of numbers, with the inimitable Alex Bellos as your friendly, informed, and crystal-clear guide. A brilliant successor to Here's Looking at Euclid." Ian Stewart, Professor of Mathematics, University of Warwick, and author of Visions of Infinity

Review:

"Love the book! Fresh, fascinating and endlessly charming. A splendiferous book altogether." Tim Harford, Financial Times, author of The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

Review:

"Think of the best storyteller you know and the coolest teacher you ever had, and now you've got some idea of what Alex Bellos is like. His Grapes of Math taught me something new on every page. Better yet, it made me laugh and want to tell someone what I'd just read. Math has never been so much fun." Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics, Cornell University, and author, The Joy of x

Review:

"Alex Bellos' The Grapes of Math is a delicious grab bag of mathematical miscellany that includes Benford's law, fractals, exponentials and imaginary numbers, the Game of Life, among many other goodies, all presented in a most entertaining style. Both fun and instructive." John Allen Paulos is the author of several books including Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

Review:

"[A] first-rate survey of the world of mathematics by a British practitioner of the art....Great reading for the intellectually curious." Kirkus

About the Author

Alex Bellos has a degree in mathematics from Oxford University and is a freelance writer and regular contributor to the BBC's Newsnight program. He lives in London, UK.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

writermala, October 20, 2014 (view all comments by writermala)
As we all well know, we have a Love hate relationship with Math. We either love Math or Love to hate it. Well, here is a book that you will love regardless of which group you fall under!

I enjoyed every chapter and was just astounded by some of the things I read. More importantly, I found Alex Bellos explaining really tough concepts in a fashion that one could understand even with a very basic knowledge of Math. If you've always been somewhat scared of Math but wanted to learn more this book is the perfect answer; and if you're a MAth lover/Geek you will love this book too.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Lisa Combs, July 15, 2014 (view all comments by Lisa Combs)
I have read Alex Bellos' column in the Guardian paper online now for some time. His quirky perspecitive of numbers in the world and our lives entertains and enlightens. He has traveled in his search for the connections of numbers and their mysticism across the cultures. Here in Grapes of Math, you will have those "Oh, I've heard that" all the way to "No way" moments. It is a fun romp. You'll snare bits you can't wait to work into conversation. Math geeks, ( we know who we are) and mathaphobes alike will find Bellos easy to understand. GO on, I dare you, to read something different. You will be glad you did and then you'll be looking for other titles by Bellos. Have fun and share the wonder of numbers, how we think about them and refer to them all the time, even those who abhor math... you to are guilty. Let Bellos explain and be entertained.
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781451640090
Author:
Bellos, Alex
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
General Mathematics
Subject:
Mathematics - General
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20140631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
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The Grapes of Math: How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$25.99 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781451640090 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Channeling the spirit of Martin Gardner, the Guardian's math blogger Bellos (Here's Looking at Euclid) reveals — and revels in — the pleasures of mathematics, which he has dubbed 'the most playful of all intellectual disciplines.' Numbers are so basic to our lives that we've even given them personalities, Bellos says. Even numbers seem female, odd numbers male, and across cultures we're fascinated by numbers that end in 1 — just think of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Levi's 501 jeans, or Kentucky Fried Chicken's 11 herbs and spices. Bello, a natural storyteller, moves smoothly from simple topics to those more complex. The tale of the ill-fated elliptical pool table leads to the shared secret of theater spotlights and the shape of planetary orbits. From there, we explore exponential growth and compound interest, the magic of imaginary numbers, and self-reproducing fractals. Along the way, Bello introduces fascinating characters, from the retired cabdriver in Tucson whose hobby is factoring prime numbers, to swashbuckling astronomer Tycho Brahe, who lost his nose in a duel over a math formula. Through intriguing characters, lively prose, and thoroughly accessible mathematics, Bellos deftly shows readers why math is so important, and why it can be so much fun. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Another sparkling romp through the world of numbers, with the inimitable Alex Bellos as your friendly, informed, and crystal-clear guide. A brilliant successor to Here's Looking at Euclid."
"Review" by , "Love the book! Fresh, fascinating and endlessly charming. A splendiferous book altogether."
"Review" by , "Think of the best storyteller you know and the coolest teacher you ever had, and now you've got some idea of what Alex Bellos is like. His Grapes of Math taught me something new on every page. Better yet, it made me laugh and want to tell someone what I'd just read. Math has never been so much fun."
"Review" by , "Alex Bellos' The Grapes of Math is a delicious grab bag of mathematical miscellany that includes Benford's law, fractals, exponentials and imaginary numbers, the Game of Life, among many other goodies, all presented in a most entertaining style. Both fun and instructive." John Allen Paulos is the author of several books including Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper
"Review" by , "[A] first-rate survey of the world of mathematics by a British practitioner of the art....Great reading for the intellectually curious."
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