I like maths. I like quotations. Obviously this book appealed to me.
I was expecting a standard book of quotations, but was pleased to discover that this wasn't quite what I had anticipated.
There are, as the title suggests, around 100 mathematical quotations from people as diverse as the hoopy frood Douglas Adams, Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, the statistically inclined Florence Nightingale and the 11-rated visionary that is Nigel Tufnell. The book opens - as perhaps all maths books should - with definitions, before taking us on a tour of geek pride, perseverance, failure, the universe and even a spot of careers advice.
The quotations themselves are an interesting mix: some are serious, some humorous, some flippant, others profound. Each quote comes with a brief (and often tongue-in-cheek) biographical description and commentary. By the end of the book you will have met David Hilbert, infinite hotelier and nodded sagely at Alfréd Rényi's assertion that "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems".
This is not a reference book that you would cite in a scholarly manner. It is a very entertaining read. If you like maths and quotations - and you can cope with a few rude w*rds - then I think you'll enjoy it.
The only disappointment is that 100 quotations makes for a fairly short book. Hopefully there will be a sequel. 2n Mathematical Quotations perhaps?
A simple, quickfire collection of mathematical quotes. That's quotes about maths as well as just quotes by mathematicians, and many of them help to link up mathematics with what many of us like to call "real life" by showing us that so many mathematical ideas are applicable to real life, and that so much of real life is applicable to mathematics.
There aren't many coffee-table maths books out there, but however many there are (let the number of coffee-table maths books prior to the release of this one be n) their number just increased to n+1.
This short collection is a great read. It is both funny and profound. Good to see Hofstadter alongside Leonardo da Vinci. The quotations included range way beyond the obviously mathematical and apply to life in general. There's only one fault - it's several hundred quotes too short. Looking forward to the sequel!
Very short collection of good-to-mediocre quotes. Each was followed by a comment from the author, which were irritating in the same way that making polite conversation with a boring person is irritating. Disappointing as the subject matter has the promise of excellence.