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Calendrical Calculations (Third Edition)

Nachum Dershowitz and Edward M. Reingold
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 2008, 512 PAGES PRICE £23.99, ISBN 978-0-521-70238-6

Reingold and Dershowitz present a comprehensive review of calendars, and it is suitable for all people who have an appreciation for mathematics and/or history.

Throughout, the authors’ knowledge of, and passion for, calendars is clearly evident. This third edition has been expanded to include the following new types of calendars: generic cyclical and astronomical lunar calendars as well as the Korean, Vietnamese, Aztec, and Tibetan calendars. Significant additions indeed, which from what I hear are not found so comprehensibly in most books on calendars. Attention to detail in the text is excellent, with a comprehensive index of (very minor) errors provided.

Comprehensive Lisp code for the calendars is provided, which I suspect many lay people (including myself) are not proficient in. Perhaps generic mathematical logic-based routines or a language more widely used such as JAVA would help? However, I found the non-programming oriented mathematics and history of the text excellent, and thus overall a detailed and interesting read that is a considerable advancement on its previous renowned editions.

Scope for future editions?

It may be nice to see each calendar dealt with on its own, such that one does not necessarily have to convert between them.

Robin Ravi Gajaria AMIMA
Mathematics Today April 2012

Calendrical Calculations (Third Edition) can be purchased at Amazon.co.uk