
Shape
 The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else
 Narrated by: Jordan Ellenberg
 Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
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Publisher's Summary
From the New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong  himself a worldclass geometer  a farranging exploration of the power of geometry, which turns out to help us think better about practically everything
How should a democracy choose its representatives? How can you stop a pandemic from sweeping the world? How do computers learn to play Go, and why is learning Go so much easier for them than learning to read a sentence? Can ancient Greek proportions predict the stock market? (Sorry, no.) What should your kids learn in school if they really want to learn to think? All these are questions about geometry. For real.
If you're like most people, geometry is a sterile and dimly remembered exercise you gladly left behind in the dust of ninth grade, along with your braces and active romantic interest in pop singers. If you recall any of it, it's plodding through a series of miniscule steps only to prove some fact about triangles that was obvious to you in the first place. That's not geometry. Okay, it is geometry, but only a tiny part, which has as much to do with geometry in all its flush modern richness as conjugating a verb has to do with a great novel.
Shape reveals the geometry underneath some of the most important scientific, political, and philosophical problems we face. Geometry asks: Where are things? Which things are near each other? How can you get from one thing to another thing? Those are important questions. The word "geometry", from the Greek for "measuring the world". If anything, that's an undersell. Geometry doesn't just measure the world  it explains it. Shape shows us how.
* This audiobook includes a downloadable PDF of images and shapes.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
Critic Reviews
"Unreasonably entertaining new book.... Shape makes geometry entertaining. Really, it does.... For all Ellenberg’s wit and play (and his rightful admiration of some excellent 19thcentury beards), the real work of Shape is in codifying that geometry on the page.... To Ellenberg, geometry is not a reprieve from life but a force in it  and one that can be used for good, ill and for pleasures of its own. It binds and expands our notions of the world, the web of the real and the abstract. ‘I prove a theorem,’ the poet Rita Dove wrote, ‘and the house expands.’” (Parul Sehgal, The New York Times)
“Ellenberg’s commitment to explanation, his exploration of the humanity of mathematics, and the tour de force of the final chapter in defense of a democracy girded by fairness and science are enough to remind you why he is America’s favorite math professor.” (Daily Beast)
"Containing multitudes as he must, Ellenberg's eyes grow wider and wider, his prose more and more energetic, as he moves from what geometry means to what geometry does in the modern world.” (The Telegraph)
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What listeners say about Shape
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Overall

Performance

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 Fred271
 062121
Excellent, but not suited for an audiobook
Jordan Ellenberg is an excellent mathematician, and very open and enthusiastic. If he writes a popular book you should read it.
In this case, the operative word is "read." You don't have to use lab equipment or go out into the field to do mathematics, and to get any feeling at all for it, the reader is going to have to work through some concrete examples. That's natural enough in a printed book, where you can embed figures in the text, but what's the point of an audiobook version if you're going to end up walking through PDF diagrams anyway?
I've given this a low rating, but what that's meant to convey is only that I don't think it works as an audiobook, simply by the nature of the material. It's not a criticism of the book itself, and I do think the audio version of it was about as well done as it might have been.
5 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 sajeev varki
 090621
waste of money
author has nothing new to say except for a hash of history of some major math players
content has nothing to do with shape, the title of the book
2 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Keith Klein
 061421
Shape's about reason, logic, mathematics & more...
I love the scope of this book; from explaining the rigor of Abraham Lincoln immersing himself "till I could give any propositions in the six books of Euclid at sight" to applying the inherent reasoning and logic of demonstrating proof to farflung human undertakings.
Ellenberg is a math professor who can write. His speaking style, while forthright, cannot fully contain his enthusiasm for his subject matter. His narration is conversational and reminds me of the best of the Great Lectures books I've enjoyed.
Rational thought and reasoning can be applied to everything from geometry to maps to politics, artificial intelligence to genealogy and biology. The best arguments are "selfevident," and Ellenberg weaves mathematical, cultural and political history into Shape, elucidating great advances in math and other endeavors, from Ancient Greece to the American Revolution; from the thinking of Abraham Lincoln, to gerrymandering today.
Shape will make you think...without making your head hurt too much in the process. What a treat! I'll be up for a second, and perhaps a third listen. And based on Shape, I'm up for trying Ellenberg's other work as well.
2 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Kirsten Wickelgren
 081121
Wonder and laughter
Shape is absolutely hilarious and breathtakingly impressive. And it makes a great audiobook too. I never got out pencil and paper, and had a great time listening to it. (I might have learned more if I had, but I don’t have free hands while I listen.)
1 person found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Armand Jarri
 060621
What is it all about?
Read the intro and the first chapter but couldn’t get what it is all about. This usually portents a bad book, especially if it is supposed to be a science book. And the narration is awful.
1 person found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 James
 032322
Skip to chapter 14
I strongly dislike the structure of this book. The author considers himself a "fun professor" and meanders from topic to topic. This panders to those with short attention spans. And bothers me.
A meaningful potential thesis of the book is the mathematics of gerrymandering. It seems to me the author was afraid this is too boring a topic. Which it's not. There are onion layers to the problem of determining if a district map has been gerrymandered. It's really interesting!
I recommend you skip to chapter 14 titled "How Math Broke Democracy (and Might Still Save It)".
It's the only chapter worth reading.

Overall

Performance

Story
 MP
 011422
Plodding
As an example, he talks about Nim, a mathematics game that's easily understood, but he takes seemingly forever to discuss every nuance of it. Several of those experiences in a row is a set of hurdles you are required to clear. By that time you could have played enough games of Nim to understand it experiencially.

Overall

Performance

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 paul
 010222
math is as fun as this book
top favorite for 2021, clever, up to date and funny.
Jordan is well versed with both words and numbers!

Overall

Performance

Story
 Steve
 110321
Not Appropriate for audio format
The book appeared to be interesting for the first half hour or so, but then the author started to read mathematical proofs. I'm a mathematician and still could not follow. There is a supporting pdf but then you need to read that along with the book, which defeats the purpose of the audio book.

Overall

Performance

Story
 Jim
 061621
I’m a curious person...
But I’m not a mathematician. There were topics providing insight, but overall this book didn’t fit my interests. I wish he’d included a mentioned chapter on the geography of maritime navigation. If you’re not mathematically inclined, I’d suggest you review an audio sample before committing to the book.
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Performance

Story
How did we get here? All cultures have a creation story, but a little over 150 years ago, Charles Darwin introduced a revolutionary new one. We, and all living things, exist because of the action of evolution on the first simple life form and its descendants. In How Evolution Explains Everything About Life, leading biologists and New Scientist take you on a journey of a lifetime, exploring the questions of whether life is inevitable or a oneoff fluke and how it got kickstarted.
By: New Scientist

Beyond Infinity
 An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics
 By: Eugenia Cheng
 Narrated by: Moira Quirk
 Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
 Unabridged

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Story
How big is the universe? How many numbers are there? And is infinity + 1 is the same as 1 + infinity? Such questions occur to young children and our greatest minds. And they are all the same question: What is infinity? In Beyond Infinity, Eugenia Cheng takes us on a staggering journey from elemental math to its loftiest abstractions. Along the way, she considers how to use a chessboard to plan a worldwide dinner party, how to make a chickensandwich sandwich, and how to create infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough.


Maybe for children, but not for me
 By Scott on 041317
By: Eugenia Cheng

Genius at Play
 The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway
 By: Siobhan Roberts
 Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
 Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
 Unabridged

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An unabashed original, John Horton Conway is Archimedes, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and Richard Feynman all rolled into one  a singular mathematician with a rock star's charisma, a sly sense of humor, a polymath's promiscuous curiosity, and a burning desire to explain everything about the world to everyone in it. Born in Liverpool in 1937, Conway found fame as a barefoot Cambridge professor.


A Brilliant Iconoclast
 By Jean on 081615
By: Siobhan Roberts

Love and Math
 The Heart of Hidden Reality
 By: Edward Frenkel
 Narrated by: Tony Craine
 Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
 Unabridged

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Story
In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we've never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate audiobook, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space. Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young man's journey learning and living it.


Answers tough questions, but not for all listeners
 By Gary on 033114
By: Edward Frenkel

Complexity
 The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos
 By: M. Mitchel Waldrop
 Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
 Length: 17 hrs and 8 mins
 Unabridged

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Story
In a rarified world of scientific research, a revolution has been brewing. Its activists are not anarchists, but rather Nobel Laureates in physics and economics and ponytailed graduates, mathematicians, and computer scientists from all over the world. They have formed an iconoclastic thinktank and their radical idea is to create a new science: complexity. They want to know how a primordial soup of simple molecules managed to turn itself into the first living celland what the origin of life some four billion years ago can tell us about the process of technological innovation today.


You won't learn anything you didn't know
 By Dennis E. Alwine on 122620

A Most Elegant Equation
 Euler’s Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics
 By: David Stipp
 Narrated by: Sean Pratt
 Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
 Unabridged

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Performance

Story
Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry". This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity, or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections.


Good treatment of the subject
 By Kindle Customer on 040918
By: David Stipp

Infinite Powers
 How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe
 By: Steven Strogatz
 Narrated by: Bob Souer
 Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
 Unabridged

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Story
Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves. Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.


Not written to be read aloud
 By A Reader in Maine on 022120
By: Steven Strogatz