Listing books in mathematics
Full title  A Mathematician's Apology ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  G. H. Hardy (author) 
Categories  Mathematics and science 
Publication year  1940 
Online version  Link 
Pages  52 
Full title  Asimov On Numbers ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  Isaac Asimov (author) 
Publisher  Pocket Books 
Categories  Mathematics and science 
Publication year  1978 
ISBN  0671821342 ^{[Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]} 
Pages  275 
Synopsis  This is a collection of essays by Asimov on numbers and mathematics. It discusses how we got the concept of zero (from India via the Arabs), exponents, factorials, aleph numbers (there are actually different kinds of infinities), pi, imaginary numbers, huge numbers (like googol, but that doesn't even scratch the surface), the metric system (yum), and a host of other stuff. It also has an essay on animals and their sizes. 
Review  As with most essay collections from Asimov, this one is a surefire good read. Asimov explains in detail (but not too painful detail) a lot of difficult mathematics, step by careful step. Unlike a lot of his other collections, this one feels a little miscellaneous, but that doesn't at all detract from its quality. 
Images  
Table of Contents 
[Toggle visibility]

Full title  Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  Edwin A. Abbott (author) 
Categories  Classic, mathematics, novel and science fiction 
Publication year  1884 
Online version  Link 
Pages  68 
Synopsis  Flatland chronicles the adventure of A. Square, a being in Flatland. Flatland consists of only two dimensions, as opposed to Pointland, which consists of zero dimensions, Lineland, which consists of one dimension, and Spaceland (the one we inhabit), which consists of three dimensions. It describes at length the society in Flatland, and how they go about tasks that we Spacelanders find trivial. For instance, everyone is a Polygon. The more equal all its angles and the more sides it has, the higher its social rank. Lowest are women (or the Frailer Sex, as they are often called) who are mere Lines and have no chance of rising in rank. Then come the Triangles, which are men. Then Squares (of which the narrator, A. Square, is naturally a member), Pentagons, Hexagons, Heptagons, Octagons, etc. The more sides a Polygon has, the closer it gets to being a Circle. They're the top leaders of every aspect of Flatland's society. 
Review  Flatland is a classic, and even though it's written in the 1880s in Victorian English, it's still eminently readable (and funny). You might have to read a little carefully at first to get used to the age of the language, but once you've picked it up you'll have no trouble enjoying this excellent story. 
Full title  Flatterland: Like Flatland, only more so ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  Ian Stewart (author) 
Publisher  Basic Books 
Categories  Mathematics, novel and science fiction 
Publication year  2001 
ISBN  9780738206752 ^{[Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]} 
Pages  294 
Synopsis  Flatterland is sort of an unofficial sequel to Abbott's classic Flatland, written in modern nonVictorian English. Although Victorian English gave the original a pretty classy feel, Flatterland doesn't disappoint. Its aim is similar to that of the original: To explain new mathematical concepts to lay people in lay language. 
Review  The book succeeds brilliantly. It's filled with illustration to help visualize the concepts, and the stories around which the concepts are introduced are reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (well, the fact that chapters have names like The Topologist's TeaParty and Along the LookingGlass probably helps), and this gives the book a whimsical tone (that's a benefit). Here's a sample:
The book also ventures a little into physics, explaining things like the Schrödinger's cat, the doubleslit experiment, time travel, and forces. But the meat of the book is mathematics. 
Images  
Table of Contents 
[Toggle visibility]

Full title  Letters to a Young Mathematician ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  Ian Stewart (author) 
Publisher  Basic Books 
Categories  Mathematics and science 
Publisher series  Art of Mentoring (1/15) 
Publication year  2007 
Original publication year  2006 
ISBN  9780465082322 ^{[Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]} 
Pages  203 
Synopsis  Letters to a Young Mathematician is written as an update on G. H. Hardy's classic A Mathematician's Apology, but the book is not an exercise in apologetics.
It follows an imaginary girl, Meg, from her school years through her ensuing career, and each chapter is a letter to her at crucial steps in her career. Some parts are musings on math (pure vs applied) while others are specific career tips (solitary work vs collaboration). The book is virtually devoid of any actual math, so I think it's safe for mathophobes. In fact, for this very reason, it might even help to partially cure the phobia of those unfortunately inflicted. 
Review  I really liked the lighthearted way the book is written. Perhaps someone who is planning on embarking on a mathematical career would enjoy it even more. 
Images  
Table of Contents 
[Toggle visibility]

Full title  Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  Martin Gardner (author) 
Publisher  Penguin Books 
Categories  Mathematics and puzzle 
Publication year  1965 
Original publication year  1959 
ISBN  0140207139 ^{[Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]} 
Pages  154 
Synopsis  Based on articles written for Scientific American, every chapter has an addendum, explaining further points or elaborating new ones, and some chapters have letters from people sent in after the article in question was published. 
Review  An awesome book with lots of interesting things. Read the chapter titles in the Structures for a preview. 
Images  
Table of Contents 
[Toggle visibility]

Full title  More Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Author  Martin Gardner (author) 
Publisher  Penguin Books 
Categories  Mathematics and puzzle 
Publication year  1963 
Original publication year  1961 
ISBN  0140207481 ^{[Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]} 
Pages  186 
Synopsis  This book is written in the same vein as Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions. 
Review  I truly loved this book. My favorite chapters are The Five Platonic Solids, Mazes, and Eleusis: The Induction Game. 
Images  
Table of Contents 
[Toggle visibility]

Full title  Sphereland: A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and an Expanding Universe ^{[permalink]} 

Language  English 
Authors  Dionys Burger (author) and Cornelie J. Rheinboldt (translator) 
Publisher  Thomas Y. Crowell Company 
Categories  Mathematics and science fiction 
Publication year  1968 
Original publication year  1965 
Pages  205 
Synopsis  Somewhat of a sequel to Flatland, Sphereland continues in the same vein, explaining three dimensions to twodimensional creatures. The pace and mode of writing is pretty similar to the original, and I very much liked that. The novel things that Sphereland does is twodimensional space exploration and explaining a curved line to a onedimensional being (and thus setting up the explanation for why twodimensional beings would have problems understanding a plane curved into a sphere, and by extension how threedimensional beings would have trouble understanding how to curve a sphere around a hypersphere). 
Images  
Table of Contents 
[Toggle visibility]
A Look at FLATLAND A Fantasy About the Fourth Dimension by A. Square
SPHERELAND A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and and Expanding Universe by A. Hexagon
