The Book of Numbers by William Harston
John Blake Publishing (Metro Books)
Recommended Read this week is 'The Book of Numbers' by William Harston, a mathematician and industrial psychologist, published by John Blake Publishing. Personally, as an avid collector of information and data, I enjoyed his fun reference book about the meaning of specific numbers, in literature, art and music, statistical information, coincidences, oddities, and numerical historical facts. Was Douglas Adams was right about 42 being the answer to life, the Universe and Everything?
The author, William R Harston, is a journalist who writes the Beachcomber column in the British newspaper the Daily Express and is an accomplished chess player. He played chess competitively from 1962 to 1987, with a highest Elo rating of 2485. Randomly, during his time as a PhD student at Cambridge, Hartston became the first person to stack the pieces from an entire chess set on top of a single white rook.