Saturday, March 28, 2009


Author: Yoko Ogawa
Genre: Fiction, Standalone
Published: 2009
Personal Rating: 4/5
Yearly Count: 38

This short novel is comprised of a 60-year-old professor of mathematics, a 30-something housekeeper and her 10-year-old son. The housekeeper is sent to the Professor's home for general cleaning and cooking, and discovers that he has a significant memory disability due to an accident. The Professor can only remember the proceeding 80 minutes and life prior to 1975.

The Professor is brilliant in his ability to interpret numbers and spends much of his life deciphering them. The book shares his thoughts - and I'm not just talking about simple addition or common mathematical occurrences. There's a lot of deep math thinking containing formulas and number puzzles. Fortunately for me, I love math, so that was a fun part of the book, but, most importantly, the math serves as a tool for communication.

Reading this book was an enjoyable experience, but it could have been so much more. I feel there was a lot of opportunity that was missed. Also, this is not a book for those that despise math. It could cause much distress, if every word is read. "Read at your own risk." should be printed on the cover.

*Recommended By: 3M from


  1. I really want to read this one. I'm glad to see it's good.

  2. I get excited when I see that there is math in a book. woo hoo.

    I <3 math

  3. I liked this book a lot. Here is the link to my review:

    Your review was great!

  4. Bermudaonion ~ It's a fast, but good read. I hope you get a chance to read it.

    Raidergirl3 ~ You are in for a treat!

    Diane ~ I'll come by to read yours.

    Booklogged ~ I think you'll like it, too. :)

  5. The story sounds interesting ... however, I'm just not a math girl. :)

  6. LOL! Read at your own risk, huh? That had me cracking up! I think I'll have to give this one a try. Nice review :)

  7. Glad you liked this one, Joy! I loved it, but afterwards I felt like I wanted more to the story as well. I wasn't ready for it to end.

    I'll be looking for the author's other books in the future.

  8. i keep seeing good things about this one. it's on my to-read list. i'll hope to get to it soon!

  9. Tristi Pinkston ~ The story beyond the math is a good one, but personally I think people without a love or even like of math would be skipping major portions of the book.

    Samantha.1020 ~ It's a short book and really does go by quickly - engaging, too. However, it is filled with numbers.

    3M ~ I really did! Thanks for reviewing it. I don't think I would have noticed it otherwise.

    Alisonwonderland ~ I haven't seen it around very much at all. Hmmm I guess I'm not looking in the right places. :) If you like math, it'll be a good read for you.

  10. I'm not a big math fan but this book intrigues me. I'm adding it to my wishlist. My husband is a math lover and an engineer so he may enjoy this. I wonder if it is an audiobook as he mainly listens to books in the car to/from work lately.

  11. Hmmm... I'm worried about this one now. I'd like to read it but I've never really been one for math. I have another book by Yoko Ogawa in my stacks so I'll read it first and go from there. I wonder if my husband would like it though. He almost never reads fiction, but he has a Masters in Physics and loves math.

  12. Bonnie ~ I'm not sure how male-approving this book may be. It's slow in nature.

    Tanabata ~ Read my response to Bonnie. I think that when the math gets too detailed it can be glossed over without losing the story.

  13. I loved this book and I HATE Math. I'm a character-driven reader and this slow moving development of a friendship was right up my alley. Thanks for your thoughts to add to my own :-)


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