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Bookworm In Your Ear: Life’s Equation and Serendipity

An equation with powers of prediction, and the notion of coincidence as not being all that random, lie as the premise behind these two novels. 

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs



Part literary mystery couched in Mathematics and numbers, part portrait of an eccentric family of over-achievers, and always entertaining; this novel of Jacobs also manages to be a page-turner. When Math professor and genius Isaac Severy seems to have taken his own life, it is left to Hazel, the adopted granddaughter, to unravel the mystery of where his ‘last equation’ can be found. A champion of the Chaos Theory, it seems Isaac may have uncovered an equation for predicting particular aspects of the Future—including the deaths of other members of his family. It’s how revelations come forth, chapter by chapter, as Hazel goes on her quest, that makes this such a compelling read—a succession of ‘I didn’t see that coming!’

The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum



This novel by Blum posits a world where coincidences are not random occurrences; but events carefully orchestrated and executed by entities known as Coincidence Makers—not unlike imaginary friends, or angels. The twist is that the storyline concerns Guy, Emily, and Eric; and what sort of lives would they lead as Coincidence Makers. Some chapters are even devoted to Manuals and Papers that are used by these Makers as guides to how to conduct their activities. The story carries emotional weight as we’re asked to consider that these Makers could also have feelings of their own, yearn for some of the things they arrange and ‘manipulate’—and what would that be like. This is contemporary magical realism, while saying something about fate and destiny