The Functions Book Tag | a childhood favourite & a very intimidating book

Hey everyone!

Welcome to another book tag but a very special one, dedicated to maths and books. Thank you so much to Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner for creating and tagging me in such a fun tag. Please make sure you are following her for more excellent bookish content and maths appreciation!


  1. Thank the person who nominated you!
  2. Ping-back to the original creator, Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner, so that she can sneakily read your answers and be thrilled at how much attention math is getting within the bookish community!
  3. Answer all the prompts while appreciating the mathematical beauty contained in them! (You’re more than welcome to use the original graphics so that all the canva and GeoGebra work the creator put into them will be worth it…)
  4. Tag some people! Five would be best since five is obviously the coolest natural number out there, but any other quantity works, too

The constant zero function x  0 maps every number to zero. And although finding its intersections with other functions is one of mathematicians’ greatest obsessions, 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!

I read The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry whilst doing my GCSEs and it was a little too easy to put down during the week of my exams. Following a woman who moves to a town which turns out to be plagued by a mysterious creature (or is it?). Obviously, this was a good couple of years ago now so I can’t remember all the details. From what I can recall, it discusses themes of science vs superstitious which I felt should have slotted in with the theme of a monster really well. Yet, I feel like the story bounced around secondary characters too much leaving the discussion to surface-level conversations.

Additionally, the characters were bland. Their archetypes relied on plot purpose, which sometimes works at fleshing out characters, but it felt like filling a job more than any distinction of personality.

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!

The plot mould for Legendborn by Tracy Deonn is classic YA fantasy. Bree discovers magic. There is the heir and she immediately bonds with him, but the one loyal to the heir hates her. She has to fight for her place *death threat*, twist, twist, twist.

I’m sure you will predict a few elements of this book, but I would hate for you to only think of it as generic. It had a surprising depth to the book as the magic’s foundation was unbelievably solid allowing the sequel to have some more unique twists. Plus, YA fantasies have about as many mothers as Disney does, but this was the first time I had seen grief explored so well. It was a stand-out part of the book. Legendborn deserves all the hype.

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!

This was a hard prompt to fill and it made me realise that I often love the second book most when looking at a series. Authors no longer suffer from second-book syndrome? But then I remember Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri, a standalone fantasy. The start has a lot of anticipation as Mehr meets with the Amrithi and even betroths one. You can sink into the world and explore Mehr’s position. Then the ending had a big finish, but the middle felt slightly monotonous at one point. I remember the daily routine had a very similar set-out day in, day out. The main attraction so to say was the gradual development of the romance, the rest of the plot dropped off. But, the final segment as mentioned stuck the landing.

Overall, It was still an entertaining book, the middle just could have been stronger.

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!

I would love to be able to suggest an iconic children’s classic that got me into reading to earn your respect, or at least a book that is part of my favourite genre, fantasy. Alas, that is not how my love of reading began. Instead, it was with Puppy Love by Anna Wilson. A story about a young girl who has just got a puppy following a fun everyday adventure. It was as fluffy and sweet as it sounded with the bonus of getting scribbles of the puppy’s inner thoughts too. I completely fell in love with it at age 7. I love animals and the character voice of this book was so distinctive and fun. There it is, my first book love.

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!

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary is a British rom-com so I think the level of unrealistic is tame to the miracles of some action stories, but I remembered thinking I can’t believe this is the turn of events. The book is about a road trip as the title suggests. The main character, Addie is travelling to a wedding in Scotland with her sister, her ex, the ex’s annoying friend and a random guy. I mean, it is a relatively vanilla plot so the author had spiced it up with more than just relationship drama. Some of the main events for me were abandoning your sister on the side of the motorway (conveniently solved) and the random guy in the car. None of it was illogical, but I just kept thinking “really?”.

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!

I selected The Dragon Republic by R F Kuang as the book for this prompt before actually reading the last 100 pages of it. I, then, read the final pages and it fit this prompt even better than I could have dreamed. I mean, the foundation for what came at the end was present, but it did nothing to make it hurt less.

Rin throughout this book has an emotional time because she is dealing with the aftermath of the first book. The devastation and lack of purpose Rin feels were really well explored and I love how her state of mind informed the decisions she made. The attentiveness to this detail really blew me away. That was the first emotional rollercoaster. The second was how she was always the underdog and the least likely to win in battles, this got my heart pumping, and the third (of course) was the final blow at the end. Painful, especially given the highs of 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 function. Using 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!

This prompt was hard. I couldn’t remember any scenes in any books featuring pie. I was scrolling through my read list waiting for a pie flashback to happen to me. It didn’t come. However, I was saved by The Field Guide To The Noth American Teenager by Ben Philippe because the cover has a little illustration of a pie. (#geniusdetective).

In this book, we follow Norris who has moved from Canada to Texas and he comments on all the “American-isms” he witnesses. Including, if my memory serves, key lime pie. The iconic American dish? I hope I haven’t made up this scene but it is my answer. I have never had key lime pie either. I’m not sure I would like it. I like lime but it may be too much lime. These are the important questions to be asking; how much lime is too much lime?

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!

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth loved tangents and footnotes. I want to say it was 1 in 4 pages (look at me, one maths tag and I suddenly feel the need to bring fractions in). Usually, I associate footnotes with academic books or those with so much information for our tiny brains that it needs more page space. But, I was pleasantly surprised by Plan Bad Heroines whose footnotes always told you more information but sometimes it was for the colloquial voice rather than just an overload of text. The writing voice of the novel was genius, sometimes funny and always addictive. One of my favourite aspects of the book and the footnotes often added to this charm.

🍄 Reading Hyped Dark Academia Books | I’M SORRY FOR WHAT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN 💀

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 favourite book of all time!

I am hoping some of you could predict the book I am going to place in the category of “favourite book of all time”. If not, I clearly need to talk about it more. It is no other than Jade City by Fonda Lee. The epic first book in a trilogy about the Kaul family. To quote, well, myself; “This book is perfect. The meticulous detail that was taken in orchestrating political movements and downfalls. How characters were crafted with faults so intricately designed for their mistakes and successes. It was tragic, it was clever, it was emotional, it was savage. It was unforgettable and excelled in so many areas.”**

The Green Bone Saga is a really clever, well-crafted series. I was amazed by the content on every page. Please read it if you haven’t.

** REASONS TO READ THE GREEN BONE SAGA BY FONDA LEE | flipping through fantasy

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!

Reprieve by James Han Mattson is about a deadly incident in an escape room, told in a non-linear format. Whilst the majority of the novel is following the lead-up to the event or the event itself, the first part of each section has a document from after the event. For instance, the police report, a police interview with one of the contestants etc. It was a really unique way to build up suspense and we, as readers, are given information about the murder then we see the characters in a normal situation. It was strange to be taken away from the main storyline but added a certain thrill.

I really liked the file format as well. It felt different and formal whilst allowing you to see specific facts on their own without any context. It made your mind wander in different directions.

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!

How fitting that I pick a book by a German author for a prompt featuring a German mathematician. Dreams Of The Dying by Nicolas Lietzau is truly an intimidating book. At over 700 pages in a psychological horror fantasy world that apparently can read like a textbook. It also has a lot of social commentary meaning the brain power will be needed to dig into this book and understand what it is trying to say. I haven’t read any more of the reviews for fear I am too dumb to even understand them.

It is a highly complimented book and I am very curious to see what this book is about, but I am apprehensive at the same time. Hopefully, one day.

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!

I read Sorcerer to the Crown two years ago now and The True Queen by Zen Cho is the companion novel to it. Following different characters in the same world. What really stood out to me in Sorceror to the Crown was the world. Set in regency Victoria but imbued with magic in every crevice possible with a thorough order system encasing it. It was an occasionally long-winded story, but I enjoyed revelling in the luxurious landscape.

The True Queen sounds even better as we have a Malaysian setting to start with and a young girl travelling to Britain to trick high society into believing she is a magical prodigy. The plot sounds exactly like my cup of tea and I’m eager to explore the world some more.

image of red single line divider.

I TAG (no pressure obviously)… Dini @ DiniPandaReads | Stephen @ Stephen Writes | Caro @ BookCheshireCat | Morgan @ Morgan Is Reading Again

Do you like maths? What book intimidates you? What book is next on your TBR (and should I be reading it)?


22 thoughts on “The Functions Book Tag | a childhood favourite & a very intimidating book

  1. Thank you so much for doing my tag! 🤗💙🤗 I had such a great time reading this and obviously applaud your genius detective skills for spotting that pie on the cover of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager! 🤣 And Puppy Loves looks like something seven-year-old me would have devoured, too, so I don’t think you have any reason to be ashamed! Which elementary schooler wouldn’t be drawn to sparkly books featuring dogs on the cover? 🤷🏼‍♀️

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of that German book, though! However, what you wrote about it doesn’t sound that enticing, either, so maybe I’ll be intimidated right along with you and avoid it… 😅

    Also, everyone has been recommending The Green Bone Saga to me for years now, so maybe I should finally take the hint!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, thank you so much for creating and tagging me. I really loved the questions 💙
      Thank you, thank you~~ finding the pie was a moment 😂
      Puppy Love was a lot of fun when I was younger, I shouldn’t be ashamed, you’re right! I’m glad you could see yourself loving it too– puppies have way too much power over our emotions!

      I can’t remember how I came across Dreams of the Dying now. It does have a lot of intimidating factors 😅 but I would like to read a horror fantasy at one point in my life!

      I definitely support you reading The Green Bone Saga (it’s a sign), I’ve never respected a book series so much. It’s not for everyone, but I think it is very well crafted!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The green bone saga is one of my favourite series of all time now, it just got better and better with each book for me. Everything from the worldbuilding to the characters to the plot and all the emotional moments was just perfect. I’ve been wanting to read legendborn for a LONG time but somehow I never got to it?? I really should read it soon.
    Great post, I loved reading your answers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah… The Green Bone Saga was so well crafted. You loving this and Black Sails, we must have similar taste 🤩
      I agree the worldbuilding and characters journey was phenomenal, the stakes felt so real as well! The skills of Fonda Lee!!
      Legendborn was another well crafted story, I couldn’t put it down! I hope you enjoy it (and soon 😏)
      Thank you sooo much Jan 🥰


  3. SOPHIE THIS POST IS GOLD AND YOUR NARRATION IS JUST?? THE BEST EVER?? i love all of it. OH AND THANK YOU FOR ADDING OVERLY TOO MANY BOOKS TO MY TBR AGAIN, because they sound phenomenal EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM?? but especially plain bad heroines because 1) THE TITLE IN ITSELF IS RIDICULOUSLY INTRIGUING OKAY and 2) FOOTNOTES. i love footnotes. plus you like it?? SO IT HAS TO BE GOOD RIGHT?? oh and WE MUST TALK ABOUT THE PUPPY LOVES BOOK YOU MENTIONED?? im actually slightly sad that seven-year-old me never got to read it because id basically just have followed your example AND FALLEN IN LOVE WITH IT TOO. who doesnt love dogs right?? DOGS ARE THE BEST. you lucky seven year old.

    best of luck with the german psychological horror book though IT DOES SOUND INTIMIDATING but i definitely hope its worth it!! ALSO MUST HEAR ALL YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU GET TO IT!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you sooo very much 🥺❤️ you are just the kindest, most supportive person ever. Seriously thank you 🥰❤️
      Well, you know how much we all love to add books to our TBRs, there are some great stories here!
      Plain Bad Heroines did have an amazing title, and the writing voice of the entire book is sooo good! Footnotes, yesss, the best! I hope you love it!
      Puppy Love was as adorable and fun as it sounded, perfect read for that time in my life and I’m sad you didn’t have it in your life too. Dogs are the best, they’re genuinely the happiest creatures, who wouldn’t want to be around them?!?

      Thank you, I think I will need all the luck I can get for Dreams of the Dying! Hopefully it will be worth it. If I read, I will definitely be shouting it from the rooftops! 😂


  4. Thanks for the tag! Dreams of the Dying looks like an epic book, I will be interested in your thoughts!
    I’m sorry you didn’t really like The Essex Serpent, but it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. I remember enjoying it, but I need to reread it because I don’t remember anything. 😅
    A book that intimidates me… hmm, I have two in mind: Les Misérables and War and Peace. I am afraid of lengthy books apparently. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome 💙 Dreams of the Dying sounds intense to say the least *gulp* but it should be an interesting experience!
      I’m glad you enjoyed The Essex Serpent, it was my local bookshop’s monthly book pick and to be honest I think it not being my thing was the main problem. Beautiful cover though and I hope you enjoy your reread!
      Les Mis & War and Peace… Yes, I’m intimidated by them too. I mean I struggled with the film for les mis 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoy reading people’s answers to this tag and the highlight is always seeing how people get around the pie question. Adored your answer for that 😂 I’ve also never had key lime pie but I think you’re onto something about those important questions: can there be too much lime? 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a really fun tag 🥰 the pie question does get the brain gears moving 😅 I know I have read about more pies, I just don’t know where!! 😂
      One day we will both have to try key lime pie and think of this tag! It is an important question… I do love a strong lime drink though 🍹

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg the way this gave me flashbacks to my Math lessons in high school 😂 Thank you for tagging me, this is such a creative Tag! I really need to continue the Legendborn series, but the hold for Bloodmarked is soo long at my library 😅 Empire of Sand has been on my Kindle for some time, I should pick it up some time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got the flashbacks to maths lessons too, especially from the Cos, Sin and Tan graphs 😂
      You’re welcome ❤️ it was such a fun tag to do!
      Oh no, library lines can be too long for new releases at times! I hope you are able to read Bloodmarked soon 🤞🏻
      I hope you enjoy Empire of Sands, it had a sweet romance 💞

      Liked by 1 person

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