Bill Krieger's Reviews > The Housekeeper and the Professor

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
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's review
Nov 01, 11

Read in November, 2011

This book is a nice, light read. It's almost a "young adult" level of reading.

"Housekeeper" tells a very positive story. It's about a housekeeper and an elderly math professor who, years ago, lost his memory in a car accident. She is (predictably) hard-working and nurturing. He is (predictably) a nutty professor type who is, however, very endearing because of his disability. The whole thing is pretty (predictably) predictable.

There is some real math stuff thrown in there that kept things a little more interesting:

+ amicable number - two numbers whose sum of the divisors equals the other; example = 220, 284

+ perfect number - a number that is equal to the sum of its divisors; example = 6

+ abundant number - a number whose sum of its divisors is greater than itself; example = 18

+ deficient number - a number whose sum of its divisors is less than itself; example = 14

+ And I guess I'd forgotten this one: "If n is a natural number, then any prime can be expressed as either 4n + 1, or 4n - 1."

+ Finally, perfect numbers can be expressed as the sum of consecutive natural numbers. Like 6 = 1+ 2 + 3. Pretty fun.

I also enjoyed the Japanese baseball items in the book. Like, the Hanshin Tigers and Japanese pitcher Yutaka Enatsu.

I'm just grateful that I wasn't unduly punished for buying this book because the guy was a math professor. It was worth the read.
yow, bill

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