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Mathematics Minus Fear Paperback – 20 Mar 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 20 Mar 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (20 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714531154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714531151
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 852,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

If you follow this eloquently written book you will be equipped to cope with all manner of challenges, such as splitting a restaurant bill, filling in a tax return, or understanding the compound interest on your bank statement. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lawrence Potter is an adventurous maths teacher who taught in Romania and Rwanda before coming to live and teach in London. He is also the author of This May Help You Understand the World --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book! I have been hopeless at maths since secondary school and when I came across it in a local bookstore read a few pages and thought it had to be worth a try - couquering my maths demons and all that!

It's written really well and he explains the history behind how and why we are taught maths the way we are in schools and, if you like, the evolution of the maths we use everyday!

I decided it was worth every penny when I could answer a question about binary in a local pub quiz! The question was how is the number 19 represented in binary? - the answer is in the book - needless to say my friends were very impressed!!
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I'm an adult literacy and numeracy tutor and always looking for interesting ways of making information accessible to my students. This is an absolutely marvellous book, but I won't be recommending it to too many of them. The reason is that whilst being very well written, it does require a higher level of literacy skills than many books that are written for adult learners. I loved reading all the interesting facts and the way that Lawrence made mathematics come alive for me, but I know that many of my students don't want that. They have dyslexia and they want a book that is easy to read and tells them what they need to know.

For all that, I can't give this book any less than five. How, oh how, I wish I had read this as a student thirty-five years ago. So, if you are highly literate and highly innumerate, GET THIS - it's fantastic.

If you want to understand mathematics in a plain, no frills format get Chambers' Adult Learners Guide To Numeracy which does the job nicely.
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Format: Paperback
If you are in your 40s about to challenge your fear of Maths and claim back the night with an Open University Maths Degree this book is a great primer.

Essential therapy, like easing yourself into a cool pool on a baking hot day.
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I got this book to help myself to improve my maths skills. Unfortunately the book I think is geared towards people who were probably good at maths at one point and may have just forgotten how to do the various calculations and formulae.

I have always struggled with maths and despite reading the book twice and evening getting my maths lecturer to go over some of the points with me I found the book more frustrating than helpful. I now know a lot more of the history of maths thanks to this book but still struggle with applying the actual maths formulae discussed within.

If they're other readers like me I would highly recommend Understanding Maths: Basic Mathematics Explained by Graham Lawler. it has helped me to progress my maths skills immensely in a short period of time.
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Forget Harry Potter. Lawrence Potter is going to be the next publishing phenomenon. His book is a sort of 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' for maths. Somehow he manages to make his subject entertaining. Look out for the story about the nuns! Excellent!
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Format: Paperback
Lawrence Potter has never had maths anxiety (or has at least forgotten what it was like). The information presented was interesting and helpful, but the puzzles were enough for my brain to freeze and keep repeating "I can't do math! I can't do math!". The answers to the puzzles were mostly unhelpful because few of them explained how he arrived at the answer.
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Format: Paperback
After reading the introduction and seeing my younger self sitting in class asking "But why does it work? I don't understand" I was filled with high hopes that this book would explain maths in laymans terms and help lay those ghosts to rest. Unfortunately, I agree with the other review who pointed out that the people who like this probably share the author's love of numbers already and just want to add a bit of colour to their school memories.

For those who find maths a puzzling subject with no practical application save for advanced engineers or local shop keepers at each end of the mathematical complexity spectrum this book will not explain things so that you will be able to understand. The basic reasons why are omitted and it does the same as many other books - confirm that maths is a puzzle that some people ultimately don't get as it is not explained to make sense.

Historical anecdotes are all very amusing but they don't help explain the unexplained and my fear is unfortunately still very much intact. My belief is that those who do not understand maths have brains that work in different ways to the maths-philes. How about a book that looks at maths from a creative point of view?
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