Reviews

A review of a book as good as this must either repeat the positive adjectives other reviewers have used, or require a very large thesaurus.
The basis of this wonderful book came in a series of questions about modern maths sent to Philip Davis by a friend of his, Christina.
Sylvia Nasar told the story of John Nash's troubled life in her book A Beautiful Mind, although probably better known as the film with Russel Crow.
I suspect maths in primary school would be greeted with far more enthusiasm if students had Ian Stewart as a teacher. Any man who can explain electromagnetism, gravity and atomic nuclear forces in terms of a piggy fridge magnet and a smashed kitchen plate is, surely, a communicator to be reckoned with.
Longitude was first published in 1996, occupying a substantial portion of many a Waterstones table around Christmas-time. The book has endorsements from Patrick O'Brien and Neil Armstrong, and a blurb that cheerfully describes the search for longitude as a "true-life thriller".
Have you got a favourite number? I have two — 3 and 8 — but I'm afraid my reasons aren't particularly interesting: I am born on the 3rd and 8 is two 3's joined together.
How to cut a cake is the latest volume holding reprinted articles from Stewart's regular maths column in Scientific American between 1987 and 2001.
'This book starts with the story of Larry Walters, who decided to try flying a garden chair with some fifty helium weather balloons attached. Larry didn't do the maths, and ended up at 16,000 feet! Michael de Smith has written a book for all the Larrys who need or ought to do some mathematical analysis of a problem before setting out.