As Easy As Pi: Stuff about numbers that isn't (just) maths Hardcover – 11 Jun 2009
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Fascinating... as much for those who hated maths at school as it is for those who love numbers (The Lady)
A fab gift for anyone who loves facts and figures about numbers. It'll keep anoraks like me amused for hours. I loved it! (Now)
A hotchpotch of facts about numbers.. interesting in the Stephen Fry style (Irish Examiner)
An entertaining and accessible introduction to the world of numbers... offers a selection of offbeat information to delight any enthusiast of the subject (Waterstones Books Quarterly)
Buchan explores [numbers'] inescapable influence in everything... Astonishingly comprehensive for its size, this little book is wonderfully addictive (The Good Book Guide)
About the Author
Jamie Buchan, formerly a Queen's Scholar of Westminster School and now an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh, has always been interested by the mathematical and cultural significance of numbers. He is a great-grandson of the writer and statesman John Buchan (first Lord Tweedsmuir), whose definitive thrillers, among them The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle, have been bestsellers for many years; The Thirty-Nine Steps has been filmed three times - memorably by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935, with Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. A nephew of the highly regarded novelist James Buchan and the gardening writer and journalist Ursula Buchan, he is also related to the bestselling novelist Elizabeth Buchan. In short, books are in his blood, although he makes no claim for his own writing as against the works of his distinguished relations. This, his first book, shows that numbers are also in his blood; not only did John Buchan write The Thirty-Nine Steps, but among his other novels are The Three Hostages and The House of the Four Winds.
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Top Customer Reviews
I hated maths at school, I wasn't good at it and I never thought it would interest me. I got this book because I have others in the series and found them readable and informative, and with pleased surprise can report that this one is just as good.
Sure I learned a couple of new things here but there are websites that cover a lot of this stuff a lot better and obviously a lot cheaper.
But this book really is interesting........not boring sums and stuff this really does make numbers fun!
As an example - 7 - why is the number 7 everywhere........7 Deadly Sins, 7 Heavenly Virtues, 7 Wonders of The World - this book will tell you!
Also 666 the number of the beast - can you believe there was a highway in the USA numbered 666 - its now the 491!
Well worth a look.
This isn't a text book of any kind; it's a fantastic collection of facts about numbers written in a style that is really engrossing. This is, definitely, a book to read fully (it's short so it doesn't take long) and then to dip into over and over again. So the next time you can't remember what Roman numerals mean, dip into this. Or why is the number four unlucky in China?. Dip in. How many zeros are there in a million? Dip in. By the way, I have my own fact about 'millions and billions' that's not included in the book that, I think, gives maths numpties like me an idea of what a billion is. If you were locked in your room for a million minutes then you would be there for about 11 1/2 days. If you were locked in for a billion minutes, how long would you be there? (answer below).
There's some good stuff about statistics as well as something on the American 'numbers' racket but I'm surprised that there is nothing about the British lottery as there's lots of material there (the odds of winning £10 are about the same as drawing the ace of spades from a deck of cards first time). Or about those fairground games where you throw darts at cards or roll a coin down a chute.
None of this was too difficult for me to understand or find fascinating so, trust me, it won't be for you either. This is a great bit of entertainment and, hey, you learn something too!Read more ›
Unfortunately, a lot of the book (which all seems a bit of a mix) is just about particular numbers in a way that is nothing to do with 'popular science', but is just trivia. For example, it explains that telecoms companies in the USA have agreed not to issue some batches of phone numbers so that they can be reserved for use in TV shows or films etc. What has that got to do with maths or numbers?!
It does touch on the 'popular science' of maths, but only briefly. It's more a book of numbers trivia.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thanks very much. Just what I expected and a good price too, David.Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
Nice book which I am sure my friend in The Netherlands will enjoy.Published 23 months ago by Muriel Ellis
Easy access for the not quite but budding academic . Helpful if you did not pay enough attention in class. If you now want to know and want to catch upPublished on 21 Dec. 2013 by Happy shopper
Extremely interesting collection of facts and presented in a readable style. I keep referring back to parts that i did not know!Published on 12 April 2013 by Allan H Boyce
Never having mastered maths whilst at school, I still harbour a desire to learn more in the subject. Read morePublished on 9 April 2013 by Devere Wolfe