A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours
Biographies –and autobiographies – can be tricky things, to read or write. Biases and prejudices color what is included (and what is left out); the benefit of hindsight or of a longer historical perspective assigns a more dramatic arc to a person’s life than the person may have felt while living it.
In this book, John Allen Paulos muses on this from the viewpoint of a mathematician as he touches on certain events and periods of his own life. Although biography and mathematics seem to have little in common, Paulos brings his training and proclivities to bear on such problems as the number of baseball cards he would have needed to buy to complete his set (before his mother sold them all); why everyone is completely bizarre in some way or another (very true!); and whether the toilet seat should, to maximize efficiency, be left up or down. The writing is wry, sometimes funny, often insufferably arrogant, but always intriguing. You don’t learn a lot about Paulos’ life (although you learn a little, like his love for his grandmother), but you do learn a lot about the mathematics that – maybe – underpin his life, and perhaps yours as well.
|Author||John Allen Paulos|
|Page Count||200 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|