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La formula del professore
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La formula del professore

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  19,994 Ratings  ·  3,411 Reviews
«Di dimostrazioni senza errori ma chiassose, confuse e capaci di irritare chi le legge ce ne sono molte. Capisce che cosa intendo dire? Così come nessuno sa spiegare perché le stelle siano belle, è altrettanto difficile esprimere in che cosa consista la bellezza della matematica.»

Il professore è anziano, gentile, è un genio della matematica, ma dopo l’incidente la sua memo
...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published 2008 by Il Saggiatore (first published August 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Brina
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, fiction, japan
The Housekeeper and the Professor was recommended to me by my Goodreads' friend Diane because she knows that I love baseball. This March, Japan is participating in the World Baseball Classic so I found this slim novel to be a timely read. Yoko Ogawa has been a leading Japanese novelist for twenty years. In this touching story, she creates a family out of a housekeeper, her ten year old son, and the math professor whose cottage they were asked to tend to.

The Professor is a math genius, but seven
...more
Sue
On originally reading a description of this novel I wondered if it was really for me. Did I want to read about a Professor with a memory span of 80 minutes and the Housekeeper who assists him? I'm so glad I decided to read it and I'm happy to have my own copy. This story of memory, math, building a pseudo-family where no relationship has existed before is full of love and compassion. The emotions are mostly expressed in mathematical theorems, cooking and random touch, but it is palpable througho ...more
Marita
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marita by: Ray
“The Professor loved prime numbers more than anything in the world.”


"To me, they were just numbers.” says the new housekeeper.

“”What’s your shoe size?” This was the Professor’s first question, once I had announced myself as the new housekeeper. No bow, no greeting.”


The professor had been involved in a motor vehicle accident, and now his memory is only of the last eighty minutes. Every morning the housekeeper introduces herself. Every morning
”He would ask my shoe size or telephone number, o
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BlackOxford
Life by the Numbers

Numbers are everywhere - Real, Natural, Imaginary, Perfect, Amicable, Abundant, Deficient, Triangular, Prime (including both Mersenne and Pernicious as well as Twins) to name a few. And they're all here in The Housekeeper and the Professor, which Ms. Ogawa wrote in 2007. The Professor is of mathematics and has amnesia; the housekeeper is devoted and has a son. This melange constitutes the cast of a charming story of mathematics and love, subjects with a connection that is less
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Agnieszka
The Housekeeper and the Professor is a charming and enjoyable novella about eponymous Professor of mathematics who due to accident years earlier suffers from peculiar form of amnesia and while he remembers everything from the past his current memory lasts only eighty minutes, and as a reminder of this fact he has fitting note pinned to his suit. In fact Professor has plenty notes on him that rustle when he walks. It is a story about his housekeeper, young single mother and her son named by Pro ...more
Margitte
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With only 192 pages, it is a breeze. A delightful pause. A little gem of fantasmagoric proportions. An ode to maths. And a Dennis The Menace- moment in nostalgia.

The Dennis The Menace-moment.(view spoiler)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Everyone and their mother read this last year for Women in Translation month (August 2016), and I remember finding my own copy at the annual literacy book sale. I set it aside for WIT month this year and was happy to pull it back out.

The housekeeper is a single parent, trying to make enough to live on, and the professor is a mathematician with a failing memory. The story is about connection and care but also MATH and anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for math. The professor can't remember p
...more
Cecily
An enjoyable Japanese novel that scatters numbers, and facts about the brain, though it's primarily about friendship. It feels light, but prompts profound questions.

The sit

The eponymous housekeeper is a young single mother (herself the only child of a single mother) with a ten-year-old son. She becomes daily housekeeper to a former maths professor whose head injury in 1975 means he only remembers the most recent 80 minutes, plus things before 1975, nearly 20 years before the story is set (~1992)
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Petra Eggs
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
This is a beautifully-written, elegant little book about an old man, a maths professor, his housekeeper and her young son. The professor's memory post-1975 is only 80 minutes long, so everything is fresh and new to him all the time, including the news his memory is only 80 minutes long. The housekeeper has her own problems but finds fulfillment in the relationship, ever renewed, between her son and the professor and her growing love for mathematics. It is a mark of the author's writing that the ...more
Kelly
A highly polished, smooth, shining surface of a novel that was exquisitely crafted from start to finish. The voice was so understated and matter-of-fact that I would have had little trouble believing that this was an actual account of a real housekeeper remembering her experiences. There were very few authorial flourishes and all of them were appropriately put into the mouth of the strange, afflicted Professor, a math genius whose short-term memory only lasts 80 minutes.

A premise like that can b
...more
Dem
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Star

The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yoko Ogawa is a heart-warming story about a housekeeper, a professor and the housekeeper’s ten year old son but also and most importantly a story about what it means to live in the present, and about friendships, family and respect and a little Math thrown in for good measure.

"He is a brilliant maths professor who lives with only eighty minutes of short-term memory. She is a sensitive and astute young housekeeper who is entrusted to take care of him"

T
...more
Trish
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a quietly wonderful book. When I was reading it I really liked it. Now that some time has passed I still think of it, and any book that I still remember months after reading is a book that deserves 5 stars. Although there is some advanced math in the story the author doesn't expect the reader to understand all of it. The numbers and math are used more to show the magic of numbers and how math brings an unlikely group of people together to form meaningful relationships.
This is a characte
...more
Ashley
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ashley by: Yulia
I’m not sure on which page I fell in love with the wrinkled, snowy-haired Professor in his rumpled suit with the scrap-paper reminders pinned all over it (the most important one being the note that reads “My memory lasts only eighty minutes”). I just know that about 50 pages from the end of the story, I found myself digging in my heels, wanting to linger over every last word. The Housekeeper and the Professor is a gently written, beautiful musing on the nature of friendship and familial love. An ...more
Ghazaleh
کتابی که نشر آموت منتشر کنه و کیهان بهمنی ترجمه کنه حتما باید خونده بشه!!
کتاب موضوع متفاوتی داره. فصل های اول خیلی کشش داره ولی از جایی به بعد روند داستان دیگه یکسان میشه.
نه از اون دسته کتاب هاییه که بشه گفت جالب نبودن نه از اون دسته ای که بگی فوق العاده بودن، به نظرم حداقل برای یه بار خوندن کتاب خوبیه. البته که بسته به سلیقه آدم ها نظرات متفاوته شاید برای کسی که به ریاضی علاقه مندتر از من باشه کتاب جالب تری باشه.
Tsung Wei
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It gets depressing when all you read is about tragedy, conflict, injustice, loss or regret. Then a feel good book comes along like a breath of fresh air. This is a charming, bittersweet story, and unexpectedly so. I was initially drawn in by the plot, the Professor, who after a traffic accident is unable to retain any new memories longer than 80 minutes. While this quirky device supports the entire story, it is not the star. There were numerous explanations of mathematical puzzles and facts and ...more
Suzy
This slim book hit all the right notes for me. I love stories about "found family", in this case a brilliant mathematician with an 80-minute memory from a decades-ago accident, a housekeeper hired to clean and cook for him and her 10-year-old son. I love stories about baseball and it was so fun getting a glimpse of what baseball in Japan is like, especially right at the start of our baseball season and right after we had played Japan in the World Baseball Classic. And baseball helped bring these ...more
Teresa
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

After our first full day visiting Japan in 2011, I saw a baseball game on TV (had to be a replay because it was December): the Yakult Swallows versus the Hanshin Tigers. I recognized Matt Murton of the Tigers who'd briefly played for the Chicago Cubs and the name of the 40-year-old Miyamoto. Two evenings later, in Nara, we got caught up in a small parade on the main street and as it ended, a young man straddling a bicycle caught up with us to ask if we were Americans and, next, if we knew Ame
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Fiona
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fiona by: Laura
How can I possibly put this book into my own words? I can’t begin to imagine I could capture or convey to any of you, how this book made me feel. It took me two days to read and I wish I could have taken more time to read it – but I simply couldn’t put it down. The pages seemed to turn themselves and I didn’t really feel like I was reading at all.

This book moved me. It is a small ripple that travels a long way across calm waters. It is nothing ground shaking, nothing that makes you tumble and di
...more
Laysee
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laysee by: Tsung Wei
Imagine going to work and having to introduce yourself afresh to your employer every day. Will it drive you crazy if the first question you had to answer at the door each day is “What’s your shoe size?” ?

A housekeeper, a single mother with a 10-year-old son, finds herself at the cottage of a 64-year-old Math professor who has had nine housekeepers before her. She expects a difficult client, but what she least expects is an affection that develops into a strong friendship.

The Professor suffered a
...more
Chrissie
This book is truly original, not your normal run of the mill. I highly recommend it. What is it about? It is about friendship and the beauty of numbers and baseball. And more..... Where should I start? I will start with the numbers. This is sort of the easiest to expalin. This book made me see and feel the beauty of math, of the laws that govern numbers. The world is so complicated. We understand nothing. Everything is always changing, but then you learn of a mathematical formula that is constan ...more
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by Cassandra Campbell.
5***** and a ❤

A housekeeper is sent by her agency to the home of a problematic client. A blue star is stamped on the client’s card each time a housekeeper has to be replaced, and the Professor’s card already has nine stars. But she prides herself on her professionalism. The Professor lives in a small cottage next to a larger mansion occupied by his brother’s widow. A few years before he suffered a brain injury in an automobile accident and as a result hi
...more
Mohy_p
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب دوست داشتنی بود = ))))
ی حس قشنگی موقع خوندنش داشتم
نمیدونم برا اون ی خرده علاقم ب ریاضیه یا کلن حس خوبی میداد؟؟!؟
بسی پیشنهاد میشه : )
Diane Barnes
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The poetry of mathematics and the beauty of baseball are two phrases I would never have uttered before reading this book. A math equation makes my eyes glaze over, and I think baseball is the second most boring sport to watch. (Golf is #1). But like all great literature, this novel caused something inside me to shift and change.
The four characters in this tale are nameless, known only by their titles of Professor, Housekeeper, Sister-in-law, and Root, the housekeeper's 10 year old son, so nickna
...more
Iris
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own, reviewed
This was such a charming and heart-warming read: there was so much beauty in the writing, on the surface simple yet at the same time filled with hidden meanings and complexities, just like the intricate lace the housekeeper imagines, with awe, that the mathematician professor is able to glimpse. I liked how, in keeping with the professor having to be reintroduced to the housekeeper and her son throughout her special time with him, the reader too was kept in the dark about the names of the charac ...more
Jane
Nov 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books stay with you. They make you pause, think and smile whenever they come into your mind. For me, this is definitely one of those books.

It is simple, gentle and character-driven, and it is also moving because it has so much insight into the human condition.

The Housekeeper is a single mother with a ten-year old son. She has a great deal of experience and she knows that she is good at her job, but when she is sent to work for The Professor, a virtuoso mathematician, she is worried.

Why? Wel
...more
Diane S ☔
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful and touching story, loved the realness of the characters, and how they found a common ground in the love for a young boy. Baseball and mathematics play a large part but it also explores what friendship really means and the acceptance of people that are different. Wonderfully poignant story.
Shima Mahmoudi
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
لازم نیست آدمها کامل و بی عیب باشند که از حضورشون لذت برد. عیبهاشون باعث شیرینی و خاص بودنشون میشه و صبر آدمها نسبت به هم به رابطه، عمق و صمیمیت میده. همه ما تو زندگیمون یه پروفسور داریم که با تمام وجود دوستش داریم و مراقبشیم و میخوایم شاد باشه حتی اگر بعد از 80 دقیقه ما رو به یاد نیاره.
مروان البلوشي

جوهرة يابانية صافية ..درس عظيم في 180 صفحة عن الحب، والرحمة، والقدرة على الإحساس بالآخرين.
تستحق القراءة، والتأمل، والتعلم منها ..أخلاقياً وجمالياً.
Syl
A very poignant tale involving:
An old mathematics professor who pins a paper to his suit which states 'my memory lasts only 80 min'
His widowed Sister in law,
who is in the constant search for an empathetic Housekeeper
The 28 year old Housekeeper with a 10 year old son without father, both of whom are interested in maths as well
The son, 'Square root' who is a good child

And the innocent, refreshing friendship that pops up between the Housekeeper and the Professor

I highly doubt a person can retain h
...more
Aparna
Nice short tale of a professor who was passionate of maths and has developed a memory problem in the later years of his life...
The tale is effortlessly narrated by the housekeeper who observes the nuances of the everyday life with the professor. And Maths takes a whole new poetic form in this book...Well one take away from this book is that it has taught me what it means to truly live in the present...Nice read !
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Yōko Ogawa (小川 洋子) was born in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, graduated from Waseda University, and lives in Ashiya. Since 1988, she has published more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel The Professor and his Beloved Equation has been made into a movie. In 2006 she co-authored „An Introduction to the World's Most Elegant Mathematics“ with Masahiko Fujiwara, a mathematician, as a ...more
More about Yōko Ogawa...

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“Solving a problem for which you know there’s an answer is like climbing a mountain with a guide, along a trail someone else has laid. In mathematics, the truth is somewhere out there in a place no one knows, beyond all the beaten paths. And it’s not always at the top of the mountain. It might be in a crack on the smoothest cliff or somewhere deep in the valley.” 75 likes
“He treated Root exactly as he treated prime numbers. For him, primes were the base on which all other natural numbers relied; and children were the foundation of everything worthwhile in the adult world” 35 likes
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