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William Meisel (Jacksonville, FL)
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The Prisoner: A Day In The Life
The Prisoner: A Day In The Life
by Hank Stine
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 6.80

4.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS NOT A NEW "PRISONER" NOVEL, Jan. 30 2004
but is a reprint of the work first published in the early 80's. In my opinion, of the three original Prisoner novels that were published, this is the best and the only one that captures the feel of the television series on paper.

Speed Mathematics Simplified
Speed Mathematics Simplified
by Edward Stoddard
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.37
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.33

3.0 out of 5 stars VERY INTERESTING HISTORICALLY, Dec 10 2003
but somewhat out of date. Stoddard attempts to apply abacus methods to mental calcualation. I found this book fun reading but a more practical book covering the same ground is Handley's SPEED MATHEMATICS.

Speed Mathematics: Secret Skills for Quick Calculation
Speed Mathematics: Secret Skills for Quick Calculation
by Bill Handley
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from CDN$ 6.54

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A LONG COMPLICATED REVIEW, Dec 10 2003
The classic book on high speed calculation was written by Lester Meyers and titled HIGH SPEED MATH SELF-TAUGHT. I have two copies of the 1961 edition on my paperback shelf since I pick up a copy anytime I see one at a library sale. I got my first copy in sixth grade (true story). There are very few tricks that appear in ANY speed math book that don't also appear in Meyers book. But most of Meyers book is information on what to do in very specific problems (multiplying by 9, multiplying by 36, etc.) Nowadays, people generally want methods that are applicable in a wide variety of situations, not just multiplying by specific numbers.
A good test for one of these books is to see how it deals with division. Division is by far the most difficult operation for kids to learn, and books on speed math are often very short on division methods. Handley's book contains two, one of which, as far as I know, only appeared A. H. Russell's RAPID CALCULATIONS (printed in London, 1956, hard to find.)
Why three stars? The book is very good in teaching what Handley calls the reference number method for multiplication. But I think the average reader would have difficulty following some of the explanations for both division methods. Handley's subtraction method (which he says he was taught in third grade) is excellent - recommended for any parent whose kids are having trouble borrowing. There are other interesting things here(meaning things I have not seen before or not seen in awhile)--an easy way to go from Fanrenheit to Celsius or vice versa, multiplying feet and inches by feet and inches, a quick method for mental square root estimates. But I am not sure the average reader will be able to follow all of Handley's explanations. So, next reviewer, whoever you are, please comment on how easy to follow you found the explanations to be. Maybe I am unnecessarily pessimistic. In any case, despite these reservations, the book is recommended.

Shite's Unoriginal Miscellany
Shite's Unoriginal Miscellany
by A. Parody
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS INTENDED AS A PARODY OF THE VERY ENTERTAINING, Nov. 30 2003
SCHOTT'S ORIGINAL MISCELLANY. What's interesting is, I found it just as dip-into-able as the original. The humor is British, so if you don't "get" British humor it might fall flat. On the other hand, it is cheaper than the original and my suspicion is that if you enjoyed browsing Schott's, you will enjoy browsing this as well.

Explorations in Awareness
Explorations in Awareness
by Joseph Samuel Bois
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 17.45

4.0 out of 5 stars I SAW A COPY OF THIS IN A USED BOOKSTORE AND, Nov. 30 2003
picked it up for the reasonable price of $3.50. I am kind of surporised that it hasn't already been reviewed by someone. Anyway, this is Bois' extension/elucidation of the ideas of General Semantics(GS) as created by Alfred Korzybski. Now, Martin Gardner makes it clear that he thinks GS is nonsense in his excellent FADS AND FALLACIES IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. On the other hand, Steve Allen considers GS worth mentioning in his excellent book DUMBTH. As someone who was once hypnotized by neuro-linguistic programming (see my review of FROGS INTO PRINCES) but who grew out of it as I learned more about it, I thought it would be interesting to look at this as I haven't in probably 7 to 10 years. My conclusion? I still think there is something to it and find the book interesting. Anyone interested in language or semantics might find this worth his/her time. It is widely available in libraries, so you can try it out for free before you try to buy.
It's worth mentioning that Ken Keyes, the quintillion selling author of HANDBOOK TO HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS wrote his first book on GS--it was called TAMING YOUR MIND and (I think) has been recently re-released under a different title. L. Ron Hubbard isn't the only person who knew how to create a religion...

Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About
Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About
by Donald E. Knuth
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 28.42
15 used & new from CDN$ 21.88

4.0 out of 5 stars I CAN TELL YOU WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL ENJOY THIS ELEGANTLY., Oct. 23 2003
If you are a mathematician or computer scientist who has an interest in the Bible or religion, this is stimulating reading from an unexpected source. If you are a mathematician or computer scientist with NO interest in the Bible or religion, skip this. For myself, after reading the other reviews, I found the discussion of Knuth's 3:16 project interesting and not a commercial. (you could work it the other way too: maybe if you buy this book, you DON'T have to buy 3:16). I admit to being a little disappointed by Lecture 6, but after the build-up, I'm not sure anything would have lived up to my expectations. Recommended (as long as you observe my caveat above.)

Geometry Demystified
Geometry Demystified
by Stan Gibilisco
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOU NEED HELP IN GEOMETRY, Aug. 12 2003
This review is from: Geometry Demystified (Paperback)
because of the topic coverage. I picked this up because, though a math teacher, I really don't like Geometry. Never have. This book covers some of what a high school student would need in just a few chapters. So, Why aren't I recommending it to students needing help? Because the author completely skips proofs, which is what most students are having trouble with. It also has no chapter dealing with circles and theorems related to them. What it does cover it covers in a highly interesting and original way (why does a stool have three legs instead of four?). It is also filled with topics not covered in a high school geometry course, but which are very interesting on their own. Given the authors other books' titles, this is perhaps "geometry for electricians and hobbyists". If you are someone with bad memories of geometry, but you would like to try revisiting it, then this is highly recommended. It would also be a good outside source for students doing well in Geometry but wanting to read about some higher level topics (including 3 - 4 - and higher dimensional geometry.) The book has loads of multiple choice test questions, so you can see how well you are understanding what you are reading, but it has no detailed solutions in the back--just the correct answers. (techinical point: readers should know that the author teaches polar coordinates "backwards" from the way we teach it in Trigonometry. The form is (r, theta), NOT (theta, r).)

Riemann Hypothesis
Riemann Hypothesis
by Karl Sabbagh
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 0.37

4.0 out of 5 stars WOW -- SOME PEOPLE REALLY HATED THIS ONE, Aug. 9 2003
This review is from: Riemann Hypothesis (Hardcover)
I have not yet read PRIME OBSESSION which at least one reviewer recommends instead of this book, but I at the very least enjoyed this one. Unless your math background includes calculus and at least an introductory level course in complex analysis, you are not really going to understand what the Riemann Hypothesis says in any deep way. That's just the way it is. (Similar problems exist in any book written about quantum theory, say.) However, I thought the author did a good job of giving a non-mathematical reader a feel for what the hypothesis is with his "addresses in New York" metaphor. The fascination of this book is its introduction to a wide variety of mathematicians who are working on proving the hypothesis and a realistic idea of a) how much time it takes to "do math" and b) the one-mindedness that a problem like this creates in the people who study it. This is a relatively low stress popular math book intended for the general reader who might otherwise never pick up a book about a math problem. I thought the author succeeded in reaching that audience quite well.

Erotic Fantasy Classics Professor
Erotic Fantasy Classics Professor
by Michael Hemmingson
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS PRETTY CLEVER, June 1 2003
Bantam books had a series for kids when I was growing up called "choose your own adventure". After a couple of pages, you would make a decision and the book would direct you to turn to a particular page. This works the same way. I should point out that I picked this up because I recognized Hemmingson's name, but the STORY is by him -- the listed author is a woman (whose name I don't have in front of me.) The book is certainly mildly erotic and a clever idea nonetheless.

Eating Naked: Stories
Eating Naked: Stories
by Stephen Dobyns
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars I PICKED THIS UP AT A LIBRARY SALE ..., Jan. 26 2003
This review is from: Eating Naked: Stories (Paperback)
and boy was it a bargain. I found these stories to be mesmerizing and I barreled through them in just a few days. One of the other reviewers mentioned that the themes of these stories are similar, but I still was riveted by the characters, their unusual situations and what they chose to do in them. Highly recommended.

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