Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic

I'm still reading, still writing book reviews, still taking that journey. And I read the most amazing book this week - a bound galley, not even published yet, from The Permanent Press. It's called a theory of all things, and I was hooked from the second page.

The first page is emails to and from a young man called Mark. The reader learns he's done something a little out of the ordinary, perhaps embarrassing, but doesn't know what. Then on the second page Mark narrates his own tale. Having been a fairly serious mathematician myself back in the day, I feel like I know him. He's that genius in college who found everything so easy and just had to explain it all, the one who related everything to mathematical theory then wondered why the rest of us seem uninvolved in his great imagining. He's real; he's cute; he's intriguing; and he drives you up the wall.

Marks misadventures had me laughing out loud, his misunderstandings had me cringing for remembered embarrassment, and his theories had me desperate to learn more.

The novel introduces a wonderfully artistic family--painter, writer, photographer, collect of strange things--and every person has their say. The father is falling prey to Alzheimers, and perhaps Mark's theories of entropy make sense of that. But entropy certainly doesn't get the last word in Peggy Leon's novel, and that which falls apart is delightfully rebuilt.

I loved it! And I reviewed it (this is just a taste). And I feel like it truly might have been written just for me.

So I'm reading, I'm writing (even some more chapters of Hemlock, besides book reviews), and I'm even enjoying a foray back into the wonders of Arithmetic (well, mathematics, to be a little more precise). That's got to be good.

6 comments:

Amy DeTrempe said...

Sounds like an intersting book. I was horrible at math though (lucky to pass the class), but I love watching Numbers.

Sun Singer said...

My math skills are not that good even though I got better grades in math than in English. I don't know what any of this means other than I think the book might send me into a relapse.

Malcolm

Cold As Heaven said...

Looks like a cool book. I have always loved math, my favorite subject in jr high school (before I discovered theoretical physics which is even more fun).

Sheila, why did you leave mathematics to become an author of children's books? Appears to be a very different subject?

Harvee said...

Read your review on the Gather website. you convinced me that a book on math can be interesting, even to the non-math inclined such as myself.

Harvee (Book Dilettante) said...

Glad you're still enjoying the 3 R's. I'm down to 2 R's :)

I have a prize for you over at my blog.

maryrussel said...

How exciting that you are back to writing on Hemlock again!

This does sound like an enjoyable book. Great review.