The Functions Book Tag || ORIGINAL

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m here!! A few hours later than usual, sure, but better late than never, right?

(Of course, I would love to tell you there was a grand reason for my tardiness, but what it really boils down to is that I was too freaking lazy to get started on this post and decided to use any and all free time I had this week to continue my Star Trek: Voyager re-binge. In my defense, though, I needed to recover from all the tests I had to grade this week and the truly horrifying mistakes I saw in some of them! And all of the parents who wanted to meet with me to discuss their children’s horrifying mistakes!)

To make up for my lateness, though, you’re getting a tag today – a tag created by me!!! I’ve wanted to come up with my own tag ever since I started this blog, but then I always felt oddly guilty about focusing on that when there were already about fifty other tags in my drafts folder, itching to finally be paid the attention they deserved. But, well, if my tardiness doesn’t clue you in – we’re way past the guilt stage now, anyway… πŸ˜‚

Which means I decided to just go for it and create a tag about two things I absolutely love! Two things that tons of people inexplicably place in opposition to one another: Literature and mathematics! Today’s tag will be all about functions – i.e. relations from a set X to a set Y that assign exactly one element of Y to each element of X – and, of course, plenty of books. So have fun reading!

  • Thank the person who nominated you!
  • 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!
  • 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…)
  • Tag some people! Five would be best, since five is obviously the coolest natural number out there, but any other quantity works, too.

And with that out of the way, let’s get into the questions!

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 had no difficulties at all finding a candidate for this question – I’m going with Paul Harding’s Tinkers! πŸ˜… Even though it has beautifully lyrical writing, this novel about a dying man’s life story was an absolute slog to get through and definitely one of my most traumatizing reading experiences ever. “Monotonous boringness” describes Tinkers to a T!

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!

Like the identity map, Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners is fairly predictable. Following a standard hate-to-love romance plotline, it features pretty much every clichΓ© possible – a vacation with the enemy, being forced to share a room with only one bed, accidentally catching glimpses of the other’s body… You don’t even have to start reading to be able to guess how the story develops!

Still, the book is incredibly addictive πŸ€— You’re drawn into these fictional characters’ lives and can’t help but get invested, so I would highly recommend this one to anyone looking for steamy relaxation!

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 lackluster middle!

A Tale of Two Cities it is! Dickens’ atmospheric writing immediately drew me into this story, but as it progressed, I just grew more and more bored – until I was about 100 pages from the end and suddenly fell in love! That’s when A Tale of Two Cities became truly powerful and moving, when it displayed controversy and nuance that made me understand why it is known as one of the greatest classics of all time. The middle though? It wasn’t my thing.

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’m afraid I can’t tell you too much about my own reading roots because I don’t think there was a specific book that sparked it all πŸ€” As far as I can recall, I’ve always loved reading!

However, one book I have particularly fond memories of is Eric Carle’s A House for Hermit Crab, which is about a hermit crab finding a new shell to live in and decorating it. My parents probably read the German translation to me about 50 million times before I even had my first birthday because, let me tell you, I was obsessed with this!!

(Yeah, I guess my fondness for watching home revamping and cleaning videos on YouTube probably isn’t a coincidence…)

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/x, the 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!

Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary – or any Andy Weir book for that matter – definitely qualifies for this one! The amount of luck these characters have is already insane enough without throwing their impeccable memory skills into the mix, and I still have trouble believing that a middle-school teacher would be first in line for a science project essential to Earth’s survival…

But do I care that Project Hail Mary is hyperbolically unrealistic? Not in the least 😁 I absolutely adore every single thing about it and would willingly endure even more unrealisticness if it meant I could have more Ryland and Rocky!

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!

If you’ve been around for a while, you’re probably getting sick of me recommending The Penderwicks, but I can’t help it! Not when the fictional family we follow in this series is simply utter perfection and its fourth book holds the honor of having made me tear up multiple times, both with laughter and with sadness. You’re going to experience the full spectrum of emotions reading this one, so I can only highly recommend you check it out!

Although often treated as an afterthought to sine, the cosine function x ↦ cos(x) is meritable in its own right. For example, Ο€, 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 Ο€ 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!

It’s next to impossible to forget that William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus features pie. The Titus Andronicus’ pie scene is one of the most gruesome things I’ve ever encountered in fiction and has been permanently scarred into my brain! To avoid spoilers, I’m not going to go into details, but suffice it to say that my brain is still permanently scarred! In general, I’d say Titus Andronicus isn’t necessarily for the faint-hearted… The play takes the meaning of “bloodbath” to a whole other level!

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

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

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of footnotes πŸ™ˆ Since you need to lower your gaze to the bottom of the page – or, even worse, flip to the back of the book – to read them, they interrupt the flow of a story like nobody’s business!

That being said, though, I can (sometimes) appreciate authors’ logic behind including them. And in Hanya Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees, I’d even argue that the footnotes are way more interesting than the main storyline, which is about a thoroughly unlikeable scientist looking for turtles on an island somewhere in the Southern Pacific.

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!

To be fair, most of you guys probably already knew that my favorite book is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Either that or you’re new here. Or you’ve been living under a rock.

Still, I obviously couldn’t do a tag about functions without including the natural exponential function, and I couldn’t possibly pair that with anything but perfection! I mean, how can you not love Order of the Phoenix? It’s so political! It has angsty, misunderstood Harry and evilly twisted Umbridge! And D.A. meetings! And Dobby taking all of Hermione’s elf hats! And many of Professor McGonagall’s finest moments! Like I said, it’s perfection! πŸ₯°

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!

Since I’m currently in the middle of reading Dracula as a pitiful attempt to get into the seasonal spirit, I am obviously exploiting that for this question! πŸ§›

Judging by how far along I am now and by what I dimly remember from years of literature classes, Dracula is told entirely in letters and journal entries – and so far, they’ve certainly caught my attention! I love how dark and creepily mysterious Bram Stoker’s story is and how the different characters’ writings weave together to form a compelling whole. If the second half of Dracula is anything like the first, I definitely recommend picking this one up!

An example of a fractal curve, the Weierstrass function x ↦ WΞ±(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 going with James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake for this one. Not only did I not understand the excerpts we covered in my university’s literature lectures, but I also have yet to find a single person who said they genuinely liked this. Almost everyone I know who attempted to read it gave up before they even reached the halfway point, and those who soldiered on only did so out of a sense of moral obligation.

So yeah, I’m not even sure whether I want to read this πŸ˜… Even though its notoriousness does make the book kind of intriguing…

You’re not getting a graph for this one because looking at the Riemann zeta function s ↦ ΞΆ(s) only really gets interesting over the complex numbers… And I’m afraid I haven’t figured out how to plot four dimensionally yet!

However, to say that the Riemann zeta function is interesting is almost an understatement. The Riemann Hypothesis, which claims that ΞΆ 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!

(And trust me, I’ve tried. I took an entire course on the zeta function at university in hopes of becoming knowledgeable enough to prove the Riemann Hypothesis, but, if anything, I felt way dumber afterwards than I did before…)

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

I’m going with An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon for this one! All I know about it is that it’s set in space, that it’s supposedly very lyrical, that it has an autistic protagonist, and that it features alternate history elements. But all of that sounds so up my alley that I’m desperate to give it a try even without knowing any further details!

(If I ever manage to finish my current reads with the enormous workload I still have to get through, that is πŸ˜…)

Now that we’ve reached the end of my questions, I suppose it’s time to tag some people and help this thing take off! Alas, alas, the responsibilities that come with being a tag creator…

So yeah, I’m going to force this upon those of you whom I know to be fellow math enthusiasts and those of you who I think might do this out of solidarity in spite of your inexplicable lack of math appreciation! 😜 I nominate:

As always, I (probably πŸ˜›) won’t be offended if you don’t get around to it, but it would mean the world to me if you did! Have fun with the questions!

Which brings us to the end of today’s post! Let me know down below what you thought of the tag, how you would have answered some of my questions, and which function you think is the coolest! Did I miss any major map that you would’ve liked to see? I would love to know!

47 thoughts on “The Functions Book Tag || ORIGINAL

  1. Meena Green says:

    Yes on the Dracula!! Will be my pick also because I am in love with that book, not that I think anyone could tell! πŸ˜‚

    These questions were so good and hard will have to think for this one! Can’t wait to do it 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I had a feeling you might approve of me reading Dracula πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ But you definitely have good taste because I’m also really enjoying it! (Despite having been spoiled for basically the entire plot beforehand because I’d already seen a theater adaptation πŸ˜…) I love how creepily dark it is!
      Anyway, I’m thrilled you like the questions and hope you have fun coming up with answers. I can’t wait to read them! πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Line @First Line Reader says:

    That owl in the beginning was actually also a pretty good representation of me reading this post πŸ˜‚ So much math! I’m sorry to say that I understood very little but I want to use the excuse that I learned math in Danish so math in English is a completely different thing πŸ˜„ But it’s still such a good idea for a tag!!! And so very you of course πŸ˜‰

    As for your answers, I’ve been meaning to read some more Christina Lauren but the number of books they’ve written and mixed reviews has overwhelmed me. Maybe I just need to choose Unhoneymooners despite its clichΓ©s πŸ˜„ I was actually in the mood to read romance this month which is why I picked up Today Tonight Tomorrow but that is totally not giving me what I want πŸ™„

    I would totally have picked Project Hail Mary for the hyperbole prompt if you hadn’t chosen it, but I think you already knew that πŸ™ˆ

    But you’re going to have such a hard time guessing which book I choose for the footnotes prompt πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ I love that prompt! I’m less excited with the idea that I’m going to have to pick my favorite book of all time 😬 I’m going to be agonizing over that for weeks now!

    But great tag! I can’t wait to do it and pretend I love math in solidarity (I assume I belong in that group) πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      If it makes you feel better, I also had to google some of the math terminology for this post πŸ˜‚ It wasn’t like I’d never heard it before, but the German math words were so much more present in my brain that they seemingly blocked out all of the English ones… Especially for the simpler, non-university level math that I never really read or wrote papers on! But at least the mathematical symbols should be universal, so you probably can’t blame your confusion entirely on Danish 😜

      Regarding Christina Lauren, though, they’re some of my favorite authors to turn to when I’m craving something relaxing and fluffy that is not entirely devoid of depth. Except for In a Holidaze, which I hated, I really enjoyed all of their books that I’ve read! Although I’m not sure you’d necessarily be a fan of their cheesily happy endings πŸ˜…

      Sorry for stealing your hyperbole pick! Although I suppose you can always choose The Martian if you need a different one 😁 Or Elantris. Considering the amount of plot conviences in that, I’d say it certainly qualifies!

      I’m glad you have a footnotes choice waiting, though 🀣 Honestly, us talking about those was probably part of the inspiration behind the question, so it’s only fair you should have an easy time with that one!

      And I’m sorry for making you pick favorites! Although I’d say tag rules are meant to be bent, so if you want to name multiple favorites, I’m not complaining πŸ€—

      Finally, thanks for the solidarity! Although what do you mean by “PRETEND to love math”, huh? 🀨🧐

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line @First Line Reader says:

        I’m glad you partially accept my excuse although it’s probably not very valid when you consider how I was confused about what functions are. The Danish word for them is “funktion” πŸ˜‚ Then I saw the pictures and understood!

        I’ve only read Autoboyography by them and did really enjoy that so I definitely trust you on their books having more depth. And don’t worry, I do accept cheesily happy endings when I’m reading such books πŸ˜„ I know it comes with the genre, although I obviously wouldn’t complain about some sadness.

        And sorry, of course, I meant that I was going to become a math genius overnight and dazzle everyone with my knowledge so that they can’t help but be inspired and start learning math themselves πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‚ I simply mistyped.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Well, as long as the pictures cleared everything up… πŸ˜‚ At least that means you have an understanding of what a function is, which is more than I can say for some of my students! πŸ˜…

          If you ask me, Autoboyography is by far the best Christina Lauren book, though – their adult works are far more romance and smut focused, so the other character issues are pushed further into the background πŸ˜… I mean, I don’t want to deter you or anything, because I personally still really like them, but don’t set your expectations too high, I guess…

          And that sounds much better πŸ˜‡ I’m glad to hear that previous comment was only a typo! 🀣

          Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear the math is being appreciated! πŸ€— Although yes, I noticed that the questions required quite a bit of thought myself – I thought I was being clever when I created them, but when I had to answer them afterwards, I was no longer quite so sure… 🀣 But good luck! I’m sure whatever you come up with will be really interesting!


  3. Abby @ Beyond the Read says:

    oh gosh you geeked out so hard with this tag naemi and i absolutely love it!! 😍😍 (so much so that i broke my self-imposed ban on checking wordpress notifications for the time being πŸ˜†) math has never been my favorite subject but i’ve started to gain a newfound appreciation for it in the last few years, so i’m really excited to do this tag!! these prompts are so creativeβ€”i hadn’t heard of the weierstrass function before and now i’m super intrigued πŸ˜…

    hopefully i’ll be able to answer these questions sooner rather than later!! great post 🀩

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Haha, I’m glad my unapologetic nerdiness is being appreciated 🀣😁 And that math is growing on you, of course! It gets so much unjustified hatred πŸ˜₯ But I’m happy you learned something and that you thought the Weierstrass function was interesting – it actually caused a huge controversy in mathematics at the time it was discovered!

      Thanks for reading, Abby, and I’m looking forward to your answers! πŸ€—


  4. Sophie @ Me & Ink says:

    Oohh I love this tag. You don’t often get a maths and literature combination but I love it. Maths was my favourite subject!
    Thank you sooo much for tagging us ❀️
    I have never read The Unhoneymooners but from my experience with romance movies, I don’t mind the odd predictable trope because they are fun and sweet. Plus as I want the clichΓ© ending, I have to forgive the clichΓ©s inbetweens. Not to say these tropes can’t be done badly but when they’re good, they’re good!
    I haven’t read many of the other books featured, but I am curious of Project Hail Mary. I don’t mind ridiculous plots to be honest, entertainment value can take precedence for me πŸ˜‚
    I have read and adored an unkindness of ghosts though. One of my favourite Sci-fis, it is dark and doesn’t have classic plot structure. But the concept and the characters wowed me. I really hope you like this one.
    Thank you again for this tag! πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Yay, I’m so glad there are at least a few fellow math lovers in these comments! It is definitely the best subject out there! πŸ˜‡

      And yeah, when I reach for romance, I’m usually looking for something relaxing and fluffily enjoyable, so I’m all for the clichΓ©s. Not just the clichΓ© endings, but also the clichΓ© inbetweens 🀣 There’s just something so soothing about seeing those tropes, particularly if they’re done well!

      Project Hail Mary is excellent though! Inspite of it not being entirely realistic, it was one of my favorite books of last year – if you’re a math and sci-fi fan looking for a nerdy and wholesome story, you have to pick it up!! πŸ€—

      And I actually just started An Unkindness of Ghosts and am already super intrigued… I can’t wait to see where it goes!

      Also, you’re very welcome for the tag; I can’t wait to see your answers! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nehal Jain says:

    Guess whose not surprised that the first tag you came up with has everything to do with maths and maths and maths πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.
    I mean…it’s actually pretty clever and refreshing as there isn’t any math tag around. Also it kinda showed me the extent of how much you love math. I knew you did but that’s a lot of knowledge and to take those extra classes for that Roman hypothesis or whatever…wow, I’m impressed πŸ’€.
    Also harry potter made an entrance 😭πŸ₯Ί
    I’m surprised that i actually know a few of these functions. Like the log one, sin cos tan (my keyboard changed all those to sun cob tab πŸ™‚).
    I hope to get around to this tag someday, when I’m better at keeping up with my blog. It’s really amazing, and I’m looking forward to it!
    πŸ™ˆ But don’t hate me if it happens late.


    “those of you who I think might do this out of solidarity in spite of your inexplicable lack of math appreciation!😜 ”

    I feel called out 😭.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      *who’s 😜 But of course I had to do a math tag! The lack of math tags out there is a travesty that must be remedied! 😱 Especially since your phone obviously has some catching up to do and desperately needs to come into contact with more functions – it not having learned that sin, cos, tan must not be autocorrected shows its contact with the best subject of all time has been severely lacking thus far! 🧐 Hence, all calling out is deserved!

      My evil soul does like hearing that thou thinkest the tag is clever and refreshing, though πŸ˜‡ Even if it happens late, I am very much anticipating thy answers!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amaya says:

    Ty for the tag!! There was a moment (aka the beginning of this tag) in which I thought I’d understand all the math, and that made me a genius. But then we got to the end, and I got confused… so apparently I’m not a genius and I know basic math… but it still counts I think!! That aside!! This looks super fun, and I can’t wait to do it! I love doing tags because they’re super fun, but I’m also so behind on them so hopefully I can complete them soon!

    ALSO I REMEMBER READING A HOUSE FOR A HERMIT CRAB WHEN I WAS YOUNGER!! I’m completely obsessed with the cover for An Unkindness of Ghosts, so it’s definitely going on my TBR. Love this!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      You’re welcome! I hope you have fun with it! πŸ’™

      And I’d definitely say you shouldn’t dismiss the geniusness suspicions just yet – after all, the questions at the end require university-level mathematics to fully comprehend, so if you understood everything else, that’s already a great sign! πŸ˜‰

      AND AHHH, YAY, ANOTHER A HOUSE FOR HERMIT CRAB FAN! Seriously, I have severe childhood nostalgia for that book 🀩 And I just started An Unkindness of Ghosts and am really liking it so far – so hopefully, you will, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Suhani says:

    NAEMI!!! A BOOK TAG BASED ON MATH???? THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE DREAM COME TRUE OMG. Seriously, thank you for attending to the needs of all the book obsessed math nerds out there. 😎

    I’ve read only one book from all of these NOOO but I must check the rest out right away!

    Order of the Phoenix is definitely a good book but I can’t say it’s my favourite from all of them 😭(SORRY) I think its because I’ve never actually reread that one because of the intimidating length but from what i remember (which is virtually nothing) the DA meetings were the best part for sure.

    LOVE THIS AHH AND THANK YOU FOR THE TAG!! I absolutely can’t wait to do it soon!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:


      As for Order of the Phoenix, though, I can’t even wrap my head around you never having reread it 🀯 Seriously, it is the ultimate comfort book! It’s so good that you don’t even notice the length; in fact, I am always bummed how quickly tue reading experience is over… That book could have infinitely many pages and I’d still be glued to them! πŸ₯°πŸ˜‚


  8. Lila @ Hardcover Haven says:

    Girl, I screeched when I saw the power series (my nemesis lmao)! I took Calculus II last semester for the SECOND time and yet again fell flat on my face when it came to power series and Taylor and MacLaurin series—looks like I’ll be taking the class for a THIRD time around this fall (when will this torment end???) πŸ˜‚πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜­ But power series aside, I freaking love this tag!! And I even learned about some cool new functions from this tag (*runs to Wolfram Mathworld to research them*), which I think is pretty darn cool! Thank you so much for tagging me too—I’m excited to get to this one ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Oh no, fingers crossed that Calculus II is going to be a blazing success next time around! Third time’s the charm, right? πŸ€“

      But I’m so thrilled you loved the tag apart from the power series! πŸ€— I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

      Liked by 1 person

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