Alex’s Adventures in Numberland By Alex Bellos (Bloomsbury, £18.99)
When I was a teenager I devoured every book the Folkestone public library had on mathematics, which wasn’t many. They did a good job, I hasten to add, with classics like George Gamow’s One Two Three… Infinity and most of Eric Temple Bell’s output. But in those days, there weren’t a lot of books about maths that could sensibly grace the shelves of a public library.
Things have changed. During the 1980s and 1990s, scientists and mathematicians came to terms with the need to communicate their ideas to a general audience.…
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