I can’t think of anything better than cuddling up in the holidays with a good book (about Maths of course). Here are Number Loving’s top holiday reads:

1. If the world were a village by David J. Smith is a fascinating account of what the world’s population would be like if it were scaled down to a village of 100 people. You are told so many facts about their ethnic origin, education, standard of living and more, making this a brilliant book to bring out when doing statistics or proportion. It also brings in global issues, for example 17 people in the village can not read and write, what is this as a fraction? or a percentage? if there are 7 billion people in the world how many can not read and write? You can generate endless questions with a sense of importance about them.

2. Addition by Toni Jordan is a fictional comedy about a fellow Maths obsessive, it is really funny and has some nice Maths references

3. Origami Fun Kit for Beginners by Dover is a great introduction to origami, students absolutely adore to do this and it brings in so much Maths in terms of shapes, fractions, angles, estimating, … the list goes on. It is well worth learning a few simple ones to bring out as a fun starter.

4. Conned Again Watson: Cautionary Tales of Logic, Math and Probability by Colin Bruce is a brilliant account of twelve Sherlock Holmes mysteries which all bring in elements of statistics and game theory, I have taken much inspiration from the stories in this book.

5. Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart is a fabulous collection of interesting Mathematical happenings, you can dip in and out of the book and I must have got at least 20 starters and plenaries from ideas in here, there are a few in the series and all are worth a good read. There are quite a lot of books like this on the market but this is definitely one of the best.

6. Secrets and Mince Pies by Craig Barton is a very funny fictional book, written by the ever popular Mr Barton it charts the run up to Christmas of a typical family making it seasonal too, recommended to all but especially number lovers. And what is even better is that it’s available on the Kindle for less than £2!

7. Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos is a brilliant book charting the travels of Alex Bellos as he jaunts around the globe, there are some real gems in here which will inspire lots of engaging starters for your lessons

8. A brief Guide to the Great Equations by Robert Crease is a stunning book, it describes the ten most beautiful equations and the story behind their conception. Of course it includes Euler’s equation but the other nine are equally brilliant. This is an absolute must read for any A-level Maths teachers to help put some history and beauty into your lessons. Or for any Maths lovers for some self-indulgence!

Happy reading and Merry Christmas from Number Loving!

Hi there,

There is another book I have come across called The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (it’s been translated to English). A film was also made called The Professor’s beloved equation. The story is of a boy and great mathematician who become friends through mathematics. There are some wonderful insights into maths and numbers that will keep a maths enthusiast interested.

Colin