Get this audio book:

Learn More About
Find More Titles by
This Author: John Allen Paulos
This Narrator: John Allen Paulos
This Publisher: Gildan Media

A Numerate Life by John Allen Paulos

A Numerate Life

A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours

by John Allen Paulos

Video About This Audio Book

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
6 Hrs. 46 Min.


Employing intuitive ideas from mathematics, this quirky "meta-memoir" raises questions about our lives that most of us don't think to ask but arguably should: What part of memory is reliable fact, what part creative embellishment? Which favorite presuppositions are unfounded, which statistically biased? By conjoining two opposing mind-sets - the suspension of disbelief required in storytelling and the skepticism inherent in the scientific method - best-selling mathematician John Allen Paulos has created an unusual hybrid, a composite of personal memories and mathematical approaches to reevaluating them.

Entertaining vignettes from Paulos's biography abound - ranging from a bullying math teacher and a fabulous collection of baseball cards to romantic crushes, a grandmother's petty larceny, and his quite unintended role in getting George Bush elected president in 2000. These vignettes serve as springboards to many telling perspectives: Simple arithmetic puts lifelong habits in a dubious new light; higher-dimensional geometry helps us see that we're all rather peculiar; nonlinear dynamics explains the narcissism of small differences cascading into very different siblings; logarithms and exponentials yield insight on why we tend to become bored and jaded as we age; and there are tricks and jokes, probability and coincidences, and much more.

For fans of Paulos or newcomers to his work, this witty commentary on his life - and yours - is fascinating listening.

People Who Liked A Numerate Life Also Liked These Titles:
  The New Cool
by Neal Bascomb

  The Prince of Medicine
by Susan P. Mattern