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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 June 2009
I bought this primarily for my grand daughter aged 13 who shows an interest in maths but found it very interesting reading myself.
I have not been through the whole book yet as it is the sort of book that you can put down and return to time and time again. It is very readable and Rob Eastway comes up with many facts that you could bore people with for hours, many of which are quite counter-intuitive. In fact you would not even know that you are learning about maths.
It is not at all dull and this is the point that the author makes very well.
I am looking forward to going through the book with my grand daughter on her next visit.
If you want a non-technical and interesting book about maths and probability I can thoroughly recommend this.
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on 2 January 2009
There are a few everyday maths books out there nowadays, but not many are the equal of Eastaway's clever, curious, witty tour of the way it crops up just about everywhere. If you've read his others, there'll be nothing surprising about how interesting this one is (so, wrong subtitle, but you know what he means), or how accessible (it's beautifully clear), but you might be amused by the examples - I'll try to resist the temptation to give any away. And he smuggles in some serious ideas along the way, though you don't really feel the strain. Brilliant too, for those kids who either are, or aren't disposed to see much fun in maths. Those who do will consume it. Those who don't might be tempted to give it another chance after reading this. I'd been meaning to buy it since I heard him on the Today programme months ago. Should have done sooner.
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VINE VOICEon 4 October 2008
Two trains are approaching each other on the same track, both traveling at 50 mph. When they are exactly 100 miles apart, a fly, traveling at 60 mph, leaves the front window of one train and heads directly towards the 2nd train. When it reaches the front window of the 2nd train it turns (instantaneously) and heads back towards the 1st train, always maintaining its speed of 60mph. When it reaches the front window of the 1st train it turns again and heads back to the 2nd train. It keeps flying between the trains in this manner until the trains meet and the fly is killed. The question is: what total distance does the fly travel before the trains meet?

A mother is 21 years older than her son. In 6 years time she will be 5 times the age of her son. The question is: Where is the father?

Such are the some of the delightful problems or puzzles that the author sets us and then proceeds to show us how to answer in surprisingly easy ways, using everyday maths. So don't be put off by the idea that maths is dull, boring or not something that we can all use and enjoy. After all, everyone does use maths in some form every day in lots of ways.

By the time you are finished this highly engaging book you will be able to square (in your head!) any number between 1 and 100. For instance, 37 x 37 = 1369 and so on. I have already impressed my long suffering family with that one.

He also shows us some card tricks and how to win at Penney Ante 88% of the time - definitely worth a congratulatory round of drinks down at the pub. And there are some chapters on some of the more striking properties of triangles, rectangles etc, and some thoughts on the inherent consistency and beauty of numbers. A wonderful book which can be read in one sitting, or dipped into or revisited from time to time. A treat to read for oneself and a wonderful gift for family or friends.
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on 4 May 2009
This great little book does just what it says - makes maths fun for anyone who never 'got' maths at school and hoped never to see anything on the subject ever again. But it is also a great read (er, make that activity - you should actually try all the great 'exercises' that Mr Eastaway includes) for anyone who did enjoy school maths.
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on 3 November 2013
A brilliant little book. Mr Eastaway really does succeed in making maths interesting and, although I had read some of this stuff before, this book is still fascinating. I withheld a fifth star only because some of the later sections were a bit harder going but the first 70% of the book is interesting, surprising and sometimes amusing. Quite often a bit of graphic display helps and this book has lots of illustrations to make crystal clear how things work; a feature I found invaluable.

I liked the 'folding' card trick so much that I learned it for future use and my wicked sense of fun just loved the 'where is the father?' section.

Most of what I've read here has already slipped past my memory banks but, if I've retained even just a couple of things, then I'm happy and, even if not, this little book has been thoroughly entertaining and a joy to read. It's one of those books that I'll go back and dip into again in the future. You don't have to be a maths geek to enjoy this bok and I recommend it whole heartedly.
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on 21 January 2014
This is a well written and very entertaining book, full of interesting facts and observations, and with some challenging puzzles thrown in. It's a great book to dip into and it contains some tricks that you could try out on family or friends. It won't turn you into a mathematician but it might make you think.
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on 21 September 2013
I found the facts and figures interesting and even amusing. I didn't engage in the activities suggested in each chapter (to illustrate the maths) as this was a holiday read. Some of the maths I found difficult to follow but the book held me sufficiently that I completed reading it. Having a science or maths bent will help!
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on 31 August 2013
I like Rob Eastaway. I've seen him once at a conference and like the way that he has the ability to make difficult concepts easier. This is a book about expectations and is full of surprises. Suitable for mathematicians ans non mathematicians alike. Worth reading.
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on 5 September 2013
I always had problems with maths at school, down to not a very good maths teacher. But this book explains things in very simple terms, and the logic behind it all, so it does begin to make sense. Perhaps more maths teachers should read this book!
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on 5 June 2014
The author's preface is very honest in saying that there is very little actual maths to follow in the book. He says this might be frustrating... and it is! Having said that, it does do what the author sets out to do, which is to show some of the fascinating facts and 'tricks' which are sadly left out of maths education. If it gets read by 'mathsphobes', which I doubt, it should help a little. I'm giving a generous 4 stars because the book does just what the author set out to do.
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