Category: PBKS

The Remarkable Lives of Numbers

Did you know there are 17 possible types of symmetric wallpaper pattern? Do you know what ‘casting out the nines’ is? Or why 88 is the fourth ‘untouchable’ number? Or how 7 is used to test for the onset of dementia.

Number fanatic Derrick Niederman has a mission to bring numbers to life. He explores the unique properties of the most exciting numbers from 1 to 200, wherever they may crop up: from mathematics to sport, from history to the natural world, from language to pop culture.

Packed with illustrations, amusing facts, puzzles, brainteasers and anecdotes, this is an enthralling and thought-provoking numerical voyage through the history of mathematics, investigating problems of logic, geometry and arithmetic along the way.


‘A hugely entertaining pick-and-mix of history, culture and mathematical puzzles.’ BBC Focus

‘This book is a complete joy. It made me smile. A lot.’ Carol Vorderman

‘Entertaining and engaging… Once you start reading it’s just like the number system itself – impossible to stop.’ Ian Stewart

‘A fun book… definitely challenging.’ Vanity Fair

‘All sorts of fascinating mathematical minutiae.’ Time Out