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Topic: Math Books

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Subject: Math Books
Date Posted: 11/4/2008 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2008
Posts: 12
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I didn't see a section specifically for math books or non-fiction books in general in the listing of genre forums so I thought I'd try posting this here.

I'm looking for good non-fiction math books to read.  I'd consider myself of reasonable intelligence with an interest in math, but I don't have a degree in mathematics or a related field, so anything more complex than calculus needs to be explained in layman terms.

I've found, and read, several great books on science and physics, but haven't found any great books on math.

The last book I read on math was this past spring, Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature by Sautoy, and I did not enjoy it all.  It was dull, repetitive, and for much of it, way over my head.  (I posted a review of it here.)

I'm looking for math books as unlike Symmetry as possible. I loved The God Particle and liked I Am A Strange Loop to give you an example of science books I like. There's not one particular area of math I'm interested in, but I would like to find out more about the concept of zero, pi, the development and invention of new ways of doing or thinking about math, etc.

If this post should be posted in another discussion, please kindly let me know :)

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 2,787
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What about the teacher forum?  They may know specific titles for you....Just a thought...

Date Posted: 11/6/2008 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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Tracey, have you thought about contacting someone in the Math department at a local college? I'm sure they'd be thrilled to hear from you.

Or, a Math club at a local high school, who knows, you may find something interesting for them.

Last Edited on: 11/6/08 8:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/6/2008 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Perhaps some of these titles will interest you


I'm not particularly interested in math but a couple sounded like really good reads!

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2008
Posts: 12
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Thank you for the teacher forum suggestion Shelia.  I'll check that out and see if they have any good math book recommendations :)

I do actually live in a college town.  I hadn't thought about contacting any math departments or professors. Thanks for the idea Bloomer :)

Shiela, the link is great! Some of those books do sound like really good reads.

Thanks for all your help and ideas! I appreciate them.


Date Posted: 11/8/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 2,027
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I read a book about the number zero, that was very good.  http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-that-Natural-History-Zero/dp/0195142373/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226181559&sr=1-2

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I "watched this topic" earlier (I'm a recently graduated math major who, unfortunately, has limited most of her math reading to textbooks) but I just found a "Good math reads" thread on another forum:


Hopefully you'll find something good there. (And I'll check into some other math-related books mentioned here because I intend to know a little more about the subject.)

Date Posted: 11/15/2008 1:23 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 110
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I would recommend the books which have been written about a number in particular: zero, pi, e, i, and phi.

Date Posted: 11/15/2008 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2008
Posts: 15
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Doverpublications.com has a good number of math-related books for laymen.  You could look there to find titles you might like, then come back here to see if anyone has them.

Date Posted: 11/16/2008 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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One my Math/physics/computer science loving husband read recently was E=MC2 ISBN #0425181642. It is as much history of the physic concepts and the people who developed them as math but he enjoyed it. Not on my bookshelf because at this point he is keeping it and I have not read it yet either.