*L. A. Math* is set in the City of Angels, Los Angeles. The name does not simply derive from that fact, however. This relatively light mathematical book is written for a Liberal Arts (L.A.) reader. Over half of the book tells quirky short stories with mathematically oriented lessons, from percentages and averages to statistics and game theory. The latter part of the book includes mathematical lessons, with numerous examples. I appreciated this layout. If you get caught up in the story, then you won’t get bogged down with the math. The author instead leaves it to the reader to turn to the appendices to see additional, technical explanations.

This book is well-designed for a wide audience. The writing style is amusing. As a somewhat macabre example, a dead body is described as having “a pool of blood large enough to satisfy a school of piranhas and an indentation in her head that had ‘blunt instrument’ written all over it” (p. 53). The author also does not assume much in the way of mathematical background, so even basic topics are explained in the appendices. The material covered in this book is the mathematics that many people wish they had learned. I especially valued the appendix on compounded interest, which was written clearly and treats a subject germane to all.

Although I overall have positive things to say about *L. A. Math*, there are a few minor negatives. In the first chapter, the mathematics example in the story is not explicitly connected to the appendix explanation. I wished that this chapter, which must set the stage for the rest of the book, followed the later trend of including a magnifying glass and note directing the reader to a follow-up lesson in the appendix. Chapter 9, “The Winning Streak,” leads the reader through the world of odds, probability, and gambling. Unfortunately, the math solution given in the story is said to be incorrect once one turns to the corresponding section in Appendix 9. Since the author gives the reader permission to avoid the appendices and simply read the short stories, it would be better if an appropriate solution were given in both places.

Even if you already know a lot about math and statistics, you can still enjoy the fun applications of what are often very dry subjects. Many of these topics are covered in the Finite Mathematics course that I teach, which is usually populated by students who are not huge fans of math. *L. A. Math* gave me fresh ideas for motivating that material. I think that students who are new to these mathematical ideas, as well as old veteran college professors, could gain something from reading the book.

Mindy Capaldi (mindy.capaldi@valpo.edu) is an assistant professor at Valparaiso University. Her current research area is mathematics education, but she studied History and English as a undergraduate and Topology as a graduate student. She is a fan of reading fiction and doing math, and spends much of her time on these two activities.