The prolific author of science fiction and scientific nonfiction for the lay and young reader, biochemist Isaac Asimov goes outside his special field here. The book will not appeal to, nor be helpful to, those students who have not mastered the basic mathematical skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division although an occasional paragraph may clarify the terminology and steps involved in the various procedures. In chapters on the four basic operations, as well as a chapter each on decimals and fractions, Mr. Asimov promulgates the practice of converting hard problems and time-consuming methods into easier problems with simplified steps, claiming that such action will save time and result in fewer mistakes. His attempt to base short-cut methods on general mathematical principles, rather than to give a long list of rules, seems to bog down in the lengthy exemplification often necessary to demonstrate a particular point. While he suggests that his algebraic explanations are not essential, their use helps to clarify the discussion assuming that the reader has some grasp of algebra. This is not a self-help book for the mathematically deficient, nor a set of puzzles for the genius. The rare seventh grader, many ninth and tenth graders, and an occasional older enthusiast will find this material useful. School, Young Adult, and popular math collections should find this a reasonably readable addition to their shelves.