December 2, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

The Functions Book Tag

The Functions Book Tag

Book Tag


HATE math, having been in the literacy side of education for fifteen years. However, I saw the Functions Book Tag on Stephen Writes website (please check out his post and give him a follow) and thought, why not give it a shot?

The constant zero function x  0 maps every number to zero. And although finding its intersections with other functions is a great obsession for mathematicians, one can’t deny that the zero function itself just isn’t all that exciting…

For this prompt, pick a book so monotonously boring you almost fell asleep reading it!

Functions Book Tag

People keep comparing this to Knives Out, and I’m just like…

Functions Book Tag

Also known as the identity map, the function x  x is central to mathematics. Not only is it the most basic linear function in existence, but it also gives certain collections of functions a group structure by functioning as the group’s neutral element: When you compose a function with the identity map, you obtain the same function as before.

For this prompt, choose a book with a generic plot that you can’t help but love!

Cult Books

Look. I get it. I’m a sucker for cult books, but this one is superb, despite being your normal cult book plot.

The graphs of degree-two polynomial functions such as x  x2 are called parabolas. When the corresponding polynomial’s leading coefficient is positive, as is the case here, the parabola is symmetrical to a vertical line going through its lowest point, the vertex.

For this prompt, choose a book or series with an epic beginning and ending, but a lacklustre middle!

Murder at Haven's Rock by Kelley Armstrong

Not sure what else to say other than it grabbed me at the get-go, and I loved the ending. But the middle left me wanting. I am really in love with Kelley Armstrong’s RIP Through Time Series (See review of The Poisoner’s Ring and my interview with Kelley Armstrong.)

The inverse of x  x2 on the non-negative reals, the function x  √x assigns the square root of a given number to that number – provided the number in question is greater than or equal to zero.

For this prompt, explore your literary roots and pick a book that got you into reading!

Functions Book TagHow about books that got me back into reading? Because the Six of Crows Duology and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black did the trick!

Like parabolas, hyperbolas are conic sections – graphs obtained by intersecting the surface of a cone with a plane. The standard hyperbola is given by the map x  1/xthe most basic rational function out there.

For this prompt, choose a book with a scenario so unrealistic you can’t help thinking it’s full of hyperbole and over the top!


I couldn’t stand this book… plus it seemed completely unrealistic. See review.


Inarguably one of the most famous functions out there, the sine function x  sin(x), is particularly well known for its characteristically wavy graph.

For this prompt, pick a book that was an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs!

YES! A psychological thriller with a heart that doesn’t lose the thriller part. See the review to read how I drooled over this book.

Although often treated as an afterthought to sine, the cosine function x  cos(x) is meritable in its own right. For example, π, one of the most beautiful constants in the universe, is defined in higher mathematics as twice the first positive zero of the cosine functionUsing this power series, one can show that π is precisely the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. If that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is!

For this prompt, pick a book featuring pie!

Ok! I don’t have a book that features pie, but what about a show that features cheesecake? The Golden Girls!

The quotient of sine and cosine, the tangent function x  tan(x) completes our main trigonometric trio.

For this prompt, pick a book that loves to go on tangents so much that it needs footnotes to do them justice!

Becky and I LOVE this series, so don’t get me wrong. But there is so much book in this book!

As a function that is its own derivative, the natural exponential function x  ex is a symbol of absolute mathematical perfection.

For this prompt, pick your favorite book of all time!


Oh, Hell No! I won’t even put Six Of Crows here because it just isn’t fair. How about my favorite book so far this year?

No surprise here. See the mini-review of Champion of Fate and my interview with Kendare Blake!

The inverse of the natural exponential function, the natural logarithm function x  ln(x), sometimes also written as x  log(x), is extremely relevant to anyone studying in a scientific field. We’d have run out of paper long ago without the introduction of logarithmic scales!

For this prompt, choose a book that features logs or journal entries!

Does this count? It definitely has emails and other forms of communication and I loved it!


An example of a fractal curve, the Weierstrass function x  Wα(x) is continuous everywhere but differentiable nowhere. By discovering it, German mathematician Karl Weierstraß was able to disprove the previously popular claim that such functions did not exist, earning the function the moniker “monster”.

For this prompt, choose a book you find truly intimidating!

I’m keeping with Steve’s answer because this book is a blunt object that could be used as a deadly weapon. Even the audiobook is intimidating.

To say that the Riemann zeta function is interesting is almost an understatement. The Riemann Hypothesis, which claims that ζ has zeros only at the negative even integers and complex numbers with real part 1/2, is one of the biggest open conjectures in pure mathematics. Proving it would earn you both eternal glory and a million dollars’ worth of prize money and be just about the most satisfying thing ever!

For this final prompt, pick an intriguing book you hope to tackle in the future and are eyeing as your next possible read!

Is anyone that loves this genre not biting their nails to get their hands on this book???

Let’s Chat

And that is everything! Thank you again to Steve for writing such thoughtful questions and putting so much work into this tag.

If you would like to have a go at this, please consider yourself tagged!

Do you like maths? Do you agree with any of my answers? Let me know in the comments!

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