Rating:

Reviewed by Caleb S.

While the title 100 Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know is a bit of hyperbole, it is still a fun and interesting read. I happen to like math so I was able to follow along when it was explained. However, well over half of the chapters contain little or any actual math. There are even two or three math ‘tricks’ that non-math people can easily use to stump others. One chapter explains why spaghetti noodles break into at least three pieces when bent to the breaking point without using actual math. Another explains conditions that can happen at a race track that will guarantee winnings if the correct betting method is followed. There is also a decent explanation of the Monty Hall problem.

100 Essential Things is fairly low key on the math and most people will find the facts inside quite interesting. A few chapters are more involved but could be easily skipped for those who find math to be a chore. Overall, I found the book to be a fun little read, taking a chapter or two at a time in between other activities. I learned a bit, I was reminded of some things I had forgotten and gained new insights along the way. All in all, the read was well worth my time.

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

This book was provided free of any obligation by W. W. Norton & Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.