Odd Book Out Review: Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day by Jamie Buchan

"Odd Book Out" reviews will feature books that are neither romance nor young adult fiction but instead will [most likely] be reference type non-fiction books that we think interesting nonetheless. Enjoy!

jbuchan Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Readers Digest
Language: English
Source of my copy: from FSB Media

Have you ever stopped to think how many countless ways we use numbers? From the ring of the alarm clock in the morning to the numbers triggering our cell phones, our world is designed with numbers in mind. With Easy as Pi, you'll get the 4-1-1 on the fascinating origin of many of the numbers we use or read about every day.
  • What makes "cloud nine" and "seventh heaven" so blissful?
  • Why is number 7 so lucky and 13 so unlucky?
  • Is "fourth-dimensional thinking" really out of this world?
  • What prompted Ray Bradbury to call his novel Fahrenheit 451?
  • How did 007 become James Bond's number?
For the math averse: Be not afraid. Easy as Pi is not a textbook but rather a lively look at the derivation of numerical expressions and their inescapable influence on our culture -- from book titles to bus schedules. To sum it up, Easy as Pi equals one clever and often hilarious collection.

Leslie's Review
One of my favorite subjects at school is Math so Easy As Pi was great to read. I really learned a lot of new stuff about numbers and not just in relation to math but also in fiction, culture and religion (the book dedicates a chapter for each of these and all nicely organized) that I heard in passing but don't really know the meaning of. For example, I now know the meaning behind the movie title 8 Mile (it's a road in Detroit that provides a socio-economic divide between rich and the poor of the city). But my favorite part of this book will have to be the "Numbers in Mythology and Religion" section. In particular, I really enjoyed trying out numerology thing. The author explains how numerology is used to make ideas and theorize numbers and he tells how you to assign each letter in the alphabet with the numbers 1-9. Then, you match the letters in your name to the numbers and keep adding them up until you come up with a single digit number. That number's meaning supposedly tells you your personality. I tried this out with my name and I got the number 2 which means "duality, division, cooperation." Hmm... this is true, I guess, because there are times I'm torn between two things and I act in different ways around different sets of people. Anyway, I also really like when the book talks about the different zodiacs--again, zodiacs were something I've heard about but never really understood and now I know more about it!

I thought the book was organized well with a table of contents for the different sections and with the page number for each separate topic that falls under the section. Everything was really easy to find and I didn't have to flip pages. There were these cute little illustrations too and I really like that a few were there to provide a nice visual and explain a topic clearer. To sum it up, I really liked this book. It has a lot of interesting information, all explained well (though a couple were a little confusing) and I learned a lot. And though I know this, it all the more made me realize that there are more to numbers than the math we learn in school. This is a book I'm going to come back to once in a while just to flip through and re-read a few of my favorite sections. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Review Extra:
Author Bio
: Jamie Buchan was educated at Westminster School and is completing a Master of Arts degree in Architectural Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Many of his family members are involved in books: his great-grandfather John Buchan is the prolific novelist famous for The Thirty-Nine Steps; his grandfather D.J. Enright is a well-known Movement poet; and his uncle James Buchan is an award-winning novelist and historical writer. Both of his parents work in publishing.
For more info on the book and to read an article about the book written by the author, click here.


  1. This sounds like a cool read. Happy weekend :)

  2. Wow..I like numbers!I think this will be my kind of book too.Great review =)

  3. hey check out my giveaway


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