# LOVE TRIANGLE

### HOW TRIGONOMETRY SHAPES THE WORLD

A rare book about math sure to make you smile, despite your feelings about the subject. Once again, Parker measures up.

A thorough explanation of triangles by the popular Australian mathematician, comedian, and bestselling author of Humble Pi.

“Triangles are everything,” Parker writes in the introduction, “and everything is triangles.” The following 10 chapters bear titles like “Going the Distance,” “Getting Triggy With It,” and “Making Waves.” Within his exploratory and everyday applications of triangles, the author describes rounding corners on a racetrack (“the bike did lean just over 45° from vertical. Which means I can officially name my new motorbike gang Hell’s Angles”), playing pool (“it’s hard to find a more common or more practical use of angles and geometry”), and looking at rainbows, which, he explains, are not arches but circles. Parker delineates myriad laws and patterns, and history as well as recent news. One example of the latter is the March 2023 discovery of the first aperiodic monotile, dubbed “the Hat.” “Given this shape had been eluding the entire mathematics community for over half a century,” Parker writes, “nobody expected it to be so straightforward.” The author has a gift for making somewhat tedious topics not only comprehensible and absorbing, but also great fun. As one example, he refers to Pythagoras (“the granddaddy of triangle maths”) as “the Beyoncé of maths” because “who cares about his last name.” Parker’s tireless enthusiasm, light touch, and inviting manner make for a reading experience akin to a visit to Epcot Center, led by a guide in possession of childlike wonder in addition to adult acumen and humor. The author never gets mired in the weeds, even as he manages to cover a tremendous amount of detailed information, aided by illustrations that feature appealing captions running the gamut from simple to complex.

A rare book about math sure to make you smile, despite your feelings about the subject. Once again, Parker measures up.

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9780593418109

Page Count: 336

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2024

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# A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

### A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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# THE BACKYARD BIRD CHRONICLES

An ebullient nature lover’s paean to birds.

A charming bird journey with the bestselling author.

In his introduction to Tan’s “nature journal,” David Allen Sibley, the acclaimed ornithologist, nails the spirit of this book: a “collection of delightfully quirky, thoughtful, and personal observations of birds in sketches and words.” For years, Tan has looked out on her California backyard “paradise”—oaks, periwinkle vines, birch, Japanese maple, fuchsia shrubs—observing more than 60 species of birds, and she fashions her findings into delightful and approachable journal excerpts, accompanied by her gorgeous color sketches. As the entries—“a record of my life”—move along, the author becomes more adept at identifying and capturing them with words and pencils. Her first entry is September 16, 2017: Shortly after putting up hummingbird feeders, one of the tiny, delicate creatures landed on her hand and fed. “We have a relationship,” she writes. “I am in love.” By August 2018, her backyard “has become a menagerie of fledglings…all learning to fly.” Day by day, she has continued to learn more about the birds, their activities, and how she should relate to them; she also admits mistakes when they occur. In December 2018, she was excited to observe a Townsend’s Warbler—“Omigod! It’s looking at me. Displeased expression.” Battling pesky squirrels, Tan deployed Hot Pepper Suet to keep them away, and she deterred crows by hanging a fake one upside down. The author also declared war on outdoor cats when she learned they kill more than 1 billion birds per year. In May 2019, she notes that she spends \$250 per month on beetle larvae. In June 2019, she confesses “spending more hours a day staring at birds than writing. How can I not?” Her last entry, on December 15, 2022, celebrates when an eating bird pauses, “looks and acknowledges I am there.”

An ebullient nature lover’s paean to birds.

Pub Date: April 23, 2024

ISBN: 9780593536131

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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