Books

Here is a list of books recommended by Lee Kraftchick for the “mathematical tourist.” For more details on these books, see the book descriptions.

A FEW CLASSICS
 A Mathematician’s Apology, G. H. Hardy (1940)

How to Solve It, G. Polya (1945)

Men of Mathematics, E. T. Bell (1937, copyright renewed 1986)

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences, John Allen Paulos (1988)

Also by Paulos: A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper, Beyond Innumeracy, and Once Upon a Number

The Mathematical Experience, Philip Davis and Reuben Hirsh (1981, updated 1995)

Journey Through Genius, William Dunham (1990)
Also by Dunham: The Mathematical Universe: An Alphabetical Journey Through the Great Proofs, Problems, and Personalities (1994)

MORE RECENT MATHEMATICS  BOOKS

Wonders of Numbers: Adventures in Mathematics, Mind, and Meaning Clifford A. Pickover (2002)

Group Theory in the Bedroom, Brian Hayes (2008)

How Math Explains the World, James Stein (2008)

Is God a Mathematician?, Mario Livio (2009)

Proofiness, The Dark Arts Of Mathematical Deception, Charles Seiffe (2010)

Here’s Looking at Euclid: From Counting Ants to Games of Chance – An Awe-Inspiring Journey Through the World of Numbers, Alex Bellos  (2011)

The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity, Steven Strogatz (2013)

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, Jordan Ellenberg (2015)

A Divine Language, Learning Algebra, Geometry, And Calculus At The Edge Of Old Age, Alec Wilkinson (2022)

 Books by Ian Stewart (a previous guest), a professional mathematician and prolific, engaging writer of mathematics books. He has written some fifty books, including:
Concepts of Modern Mathematics, Ian Stewart (1995).
Do Dice Play God? (2019)
What’s the Use? How Mathematics Shapes Everyday Life (2021)

ESSAY COLLECTIONS

The World Of Mathematics: A Small Library Of The Literature Of Mathematics From A’h-Mose The Scribe To Albert Einstein (4 volumes), James Newman ed. (1956), as reprinted in 1988)

What Is Mathematics?, Richard Courant & Herbert Robbins, as revised by Ian Stewart (2d Ed. 1996)

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics (2008)

The Colossal Book of Mathematics, Martin Gardner (2001)

The Math Book: From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics,Clifford Pickover (2011)

New York Times Book of Mathematics (2013)

A GOOD SELF- TEACHING TEXT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN EXPLORING MATHEMATICS IN MORE DETAIL

Mathematics for the Nonmathematician, Morris Kline (1985)

SPECIFIC TOPICS

Geometry

Euclid’s Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace, Leonard Mlodinow (2002)

Calculus

A Tour of the Calculus, David Berlinski (1995)

Statistics

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t, Nate Silver (2012)

The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Leonard Mlodinow (2009)

Godel’s Incompleteness theorems

Incompleteness, The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel, Rebecca Goldstein (2006)

Gödel: A Life of LogicJohn L. Casti and Werner DePauli (2001)

Mathematics: The Loss Of Certainty, Morris Kline (1980)

When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought, Jim Holt (2018)

Gödel’s Proof, Ernest Nagel, James R. Newman (1931), edited, with a new foreword by Douglas R. Hofstadter (2001)

Other Topics

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea,  Charles Seife (2000)

e: The Story of a Number, Eli Maor (2011)

An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin (2010) 

A History of Pi, Petr Beckmann (2015)

A Most Elegant Equation, David Stipp (2017)

NOVELS WITH MATHEMATICAL THEMES

Flatland, A. Square / Edwin A. Abbot (1888)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2004)

A Certain Ambiguity, A Mathematical Novel, Guarav Suri & Hartosh Singh Bal (2007)

Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture, A Novel of Mathematical Obsesion, Apostolos Doxiadis (2010)

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel, Robin Sloan (2013)

AND A DIFFICULT TO CATEGORIZE, BUT BRILLIANT, BOOK, WEAVING TOGETHER FICTION, MUSIC, PHILOSOPHY, ART AND SERIOUS MATHEMATICS:

Gödel, Escher, Bach An Eternal Golden Braid , Douglas Hofstadter (1979)

Also by Hofstadter: 

I Am a Strange Loop (2007).
Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern (1985)