The book in one sentence: The mathematical version of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.
Who would you recommend it to: People who enjoyed The Alchemist, or those interested in the magic of mathematics. Also to boys who like mathematics but not necessarily reading.
OK bits: I enjoyed the way how some numbers are shown to be ‘magic.’
Boring bits: Towards the end, it was getting a bit boring, even though the mathematical wonders are just as amazing.
Verdict: This book, written by Júlio César de Mello e Souza – who used the fictitious Persian scholar pen name Malba Tahan – shows mathematics in a refreshing light. It is easy to follow, fun to read, and the chapters are short, making it very ‘digestible’ for people who don’t enjoy reading books.