The Grapes of Math: Book summary and reviews of The Grapes of Math by Alex Bellos

The Grapes of Math

How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life

by Alex Bellos

The Grapes of Math by Alex Bellos

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Book Summary

From the bestselling author of Here's Looking at Euclid, a dazzling new book that turns even the most complex math into a brilliantly entertaining narrative.

From triangles, rotations and power laws, to cones, curves and the dreaded calculus, Alex takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit and limitless enthusiasm. He sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to uncover the world's favourite number, and meets a mathematician who looks for universes in his garage. He attends the World Mathematical Congress in India, and visits the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop.

Get hooked on math as Alex delves deep into humankind's turbulent relationship with numbers, and reveals how they have shaped the world we live in.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Through intriguing characters, lively prose, and thoroughly accessible mathematics, Bellos deftly shows readers why math is so important, and why it can be so much fun." - Publishers Weekly

"Forget the bad pun of the title; this is a first-rate survey of the world of mathematics by a British practitioner of the art." - Kirkus

"Another sparkling romp through the world of numbers, with the inimitable Alex Bellos as your friendly, informed, and crystal-clear guide. A brilliant successor to Here's Looking at Euclid." - Ian Stewart, Professor of Mathematics, University of Warwick, and author of Visions of Infinity

"Love the book! Fresh, fascinating and endlessly charming. A splendiferous book altogether." - Tim Harford, Financial Times, author of The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

"See, numbers don't have to be scary!" - Evan Davis

"Alex Bellos' The Grapes of Math is a delicious grab bag of mathematical miscellany that includes Benford's law, fractals, exponentials and imaginary numbers, the Game of Life, among many other goodies, all presented in a most entertaining style. Both fun and instructive." - John Allen Paulos is the author of several books including Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

"Think of the best storyteller you know and the coolest teacher you ever had, and now you've got some idea of what Alex Bellos is like." - Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics, Cornell University, and author, The Joy of x

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More Information

Alex Bellos has a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Oxford University. Curator-in-residence at the Science Museum and the Guardian's math blogger, he has worked in London and Rio de Janeiro, where he was the paper's unusually numerate foreign correspondent. In 2002 he wrote Futebol, a critically acclaimed book about Brazilian football, and in 2006 he ghostwrote Pelé's autobiography, which was a number one bestseller. Here's Looking at Euclid was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize and was a Sunday Times bestseller for more than four months.

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