If you’re a fan of maths (which we assume you are, if you’re reading a maths blog), you might be familiar with Alex Bellos from his excellent popular maths books, including Alex’s Adventures in Numberland and the follow-up Alex Through The Looking Glass; you might also enjoy his more recent forays into puzzle books, including Can You Solve My Problems, and Japanese logic puzzle collection Puzzle Ninja, as well as his regular Monday puzzle column in The Guardian.

For his latest book, The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book, Alex has focused on language puzzles, largely drawn from the linguistic equivalent of Maths Olympiads (which he’s gotten really into lately). It’s a hefty volume split into cleverly collected sections on different aspects of language – including how languages are constructed, how words are pronounced, and as you might expect, the origins of how language is used to communicate numbers.