The Grapes of Math
Alex Bellos takes his readers through a wonderful survey of fascinating topics and notable achievements in mathematics. The Grapes of Math is divided into ten fruitful chapters, each featuring a different realm of mathematics. The variety of content is one of its strengths. Bellos delights readers with so much – from entertaining stories about numbers, through triangles, conic sections, natural growth, fractals, calculus, and beyond… into the realm of the cellular automaton. The content is vast and various.
A consummate storyteller, Bellos succeeds in entertaining his readers. Both fun and instructive, it served as a refresher on many topics, but also introduced me to many ideas I had not encountered in mystudies nor in my teaching of mathematics. Bellos provided a balanced narrative of some history of mathematics with clear explanations of concepts throughout. I found myself often exclaiming “Wow, I never knew that!” and I identified several juicy bits that I thought would be useful in engaging my students.