Thinking in Numbers

First published in 2012

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Publisher's summary (UK)

This is the book that Daniel Tammet, bestselling author and mathematical savant, was born to write. In Tammet's world, numbers are beautiful and mathematics illuminates our lives and minds. Using anecdotes and everyday examples, Tammet allows us to share his unique insights and delight in the way numbers, fractions and equations underpin all our lives.

Inspired by the complexity of snowflakes, Anne Boleyn's sixth finger or his mother's unpredictable behaviour, Tammet explores questions such as why time seems to speed up as we age, whether there is such a thing as an average person and how we can make sense of those we love.

Thinking in Numbers will change the way you think about maths and fire your imagination to see the world with fresh eyes.


UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Turkey, USA.


"Wonderful essays. Admirers of Tammet's Born on a Blue Day and Embracing the Wide Sky will find here fresh reasons to laud the author's gifts." -- Booklist (starred review)

"A delightful, diverse collection of essays. Great fun and the perfect gift for any math-phobic person, young or old." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Tammet is a master of gleaning profound insights from seemingly mundane trivia... This is a delightful book." -- Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)

"Born on a Blue Day introduced us to the extraordinary phenomenon of Daniel Tammet, and Thinking in Numbers enlarges one's wonder at Tammet's mind and his all-embracing vision of the world as grounded in numbers." -- Oliver Sacks, MD

"Always informative, always entertaining, Daniel Tammet never loses his respect for the mystery of the universe of number." -- J. M. Coetzee

"How many mathematicians are dazzling storytellers as well? As it turns out, numbers lend themselves powerfully to the realm of narrative, and no explorer of this region is more innovative than Daniel Tammet. What a joy to read an author whose dexterity with digits is matched by his wisdom with words." -- David Eagleman, PhD, neuroscientist, author of Incognito and Sum

"As a child in the pre-digital, pre-calculator 1960s, I saved up my allowance money to buy a giant, used, office adding machine. So I approached Daniel Tammet's memoir of hyper-numeracy with a certain sense of kinship. But I was unprepared for the sublime beauty and thoroughgoing charm of his stories. Thinking in Numbers is a magnificently, movingly peculiar and wise book." --Kurt Andersen, author of True Believers and host of Studio 360