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Math for Real Life for Dummies

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ISBN-10: 111845331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118453315
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really wanted this book because, truth be told, I feel like a real dummy when it comes to math. The fact is, in my head, I just freeze. I go blank. And when you are married to somebody who does this stuff in his head like an acrobat, well that is not altogether a comfort either.
My girl friend gave me a recipe from Germany, with measurements different of course than what we here in the states use, so, having my book sitting close by...there was a conversion chart right there, whew!
Later in the evening I was flipping through the pages only to learn these cute little tricks for what I would call head math. There is another section that actually explained Vegas style gambling, especially craps, which I have never understood at all, in a way I could grasp.
There is humor and fun in this book which I really only wanted, because I suspect I have forgotten more since high school algebra and geometry than I ever knew to begin with. This book let me know, I may not be alone in that, and guess what? there is an easy to reference place to go for all things common in math.
Color me happy. Thank you to the Dummies people for coming up with a book I really will use.
Comment 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
It took me a week to start reading this book after I received it. That's because before I could even open it my wife saw it on the coffee table, picked it up, and started leafing through it. A few minutes later I heard her laughing out loud. When I asked what was going on, she said, "Some of these headings are hilarious--I'm going to read this, then you can read it."

Well, I finally got my book back, and she was right. Some of the headings are funny, but the fact is they help ease you into understanding math problems that have confounded the ages--or at least people like me who have always had fear and difficulty with math and how to use it. Geometry and algebra brought fear and loathing into my brain. My expertise in school was in the humanities, and I make my living as a writer working with words, so throughout high school, college, and graduate school I fought losing battles with any type of numbers problems. The multiple statistics courses I had to take almost drove me drooling into a rubber room. I could have really used this book then, but the good thing is anyone can use it right now. Most people have a cookbook or two in their kitchens to help them prepare new and delicious meals. This book might be considered a math cookbook with recipes for solving everyday living, school, and business problems, and there are not even any calories to contend with.

The first part of the book is an everyman's (or everywoman's) explanation of math, geometry, algebra, and simple statistics. The next sections contain descriptions of how to:

* Use your newly-remembered or newly-found skills to solve a myriad of needs in your home, school, or business.
* Figure out really good deals when shopping.
Read more ›
Comment 9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
When I was in sixth-grade math class, blue-haired and grumpy Mrs. Lane snapped at any student who dared ask an arithmetic question.

So I stopped asking.

Up until then, I'd always been one of the best math students in class. But in that sixth-grade class, I fell behind and never caught up, simply avoiding math whenever possible in the next several decades of my life because I knew I was terrible at it.

Needless to say, I was skeptical that any of that would change when I first opened Barry Schoenborn's "Math for Real Life for Dummies," but Schoenborn, a longtime math and science teacher as well as technical writer, has a way of making math seem not so scary, palatable, and sometimes even fun in this 268-page, paperback volume. Rather than read the book from cover to cover, I peeked at most of the section over a two-week period -- Schoenborn says you can do that -- and found some of the most helpful math formulas, techniques and hints I've learned since college.

How do you quickly figure out a restaurant tip amount in your head? The simple method is there. How much money will you spend on gas during your summer vacation? Schoenborn covers that. He even tackles subjects like algebra, geometry and probability without making them sound like hopelessly dense physics formulas penned by Einstein.

I'm not saying all of this made me a born-again math lover. That will never happen thanks to Mrs. Lane.

But having this book around for reference has made me just a little bit less afraid of doing things like calculating simple interest.

And that alone makes it a worthwhile investment.
1 Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Math For Real Life for Dummies is the Swiss Army knife of reference books. It's useful, packed with the necessary and easy to find tools, and compact enough (at about 6" x 9") to fit where needed. You can take the book on an airline and no questions will be asked.
The author, Barry Schoenborn, has a remarkable gift for explaining, in a funny and light-hearted way, how to solve the quantitative problems of everyday life.
Before the book came along, I tried to explain how to calculate miles/per gallon to an intelligent person with limited math skills. I thought it was obvious--didn't everyone's father drill that as a requirement for driving? Well, no, it turns out. It was frustrating to discover my false assumptions and to fail in my task. That's when the hours spent so long ago by my teachers and parents requiring me to memorize the multiplication tables finally made sense. Mr. Schoenborn kindly starts with the basics and calmly shows how to solve problems for everyone--even those not blessed with a strong math foundation.
Although the title says for Dummies, don't let that turn you off. Even if you think you know how to calculate gambling odds, for example, it's enlightening and entertaining to see what the author reveals. There are so many things you may have known once (like how to calculate how much paint to buy), but Mr. Schoenborn takes you through it.
For generations who've grown up with calculators everywhere it must seem unnecessary to learn basic math skills (including memorizing those multiplication tables), but as the author points out, it allows for mental math and quick estimates, and it's the basis for many kinds of calculations. The book also shows how to analyze and simplify everyday problems. In our market based economy real life math skill are survival skills.
This book is a must-have for any home and every car's glove compartment.
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