Will just mention some books I’ve been perusing lately or that are in the queue (from old to new):

**1)**Picked up John Derbyshire’s old (2006) “

**Unknown Quantity**” for a buck at a used shop recently and very much enjoying it (popular treatment of algebra).

For folks wanting a popular treatment of the Riemann Hypothesis, his “

**Prime Obsession**” probably gets mentioned more often than the other mass audience works on the subject. Politically, Derbyshire is a right-winger so I actually hate recommending him! and favor instead du Sautoy’s “**The Music of the Primes**” or Rockmore’s “**Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis**,” but have to confess Derbyshire’s math writing is enjoyable and accessible.**2)**Another older volume (2012) I just finished is Dana Mckenzie’s “

**The Universe in Zero Words,**” a rapid flowing, succinct history of key mathematical achievements. Math history isn't one of my major interests, but this was an enjoyable read. Recommended, if you've never seen it.

**3)**Then a bit of synchronicity… I finally picked up Judea Pearl’s “

**The Book of Why**” from 2018, a volume I’ve wanted for awhile. (I think the title is poor, but the subject matter, cause and inference, is important, interesting, and timely.) Then was surprised to discover that Dana Mckenzie is actually a co-author of this volume as well! Have barely begun it, but very much looking forward to it, and have a hunch that IF I had read it in 2018 it would’ve been high up on my year-end recommended list back then.

**4)**Another 2018 book, but just now showing up in the U.S. is from Australian award-winning-teacher Eddie Woo: "

**It's a Numberful World**," a fun journey into mathematics especially aimed at engaging young folks who might think themselves not interested in the field; a quick read (on well-known topics) for more experienced math fans, and a thoughtful introduction for math beginners.

**5)**Finally, this week two new (as-always beautifully-produced) Princeton University Press volumes showed up in my mail, David Richeson’s “

**Tales of Impossibility**” and Julian Havil's "

**Curves for the Mathematically Curious**" anxious to sink into both when time permits!?

Several other math-related volumes are recently-out or on-the-way. Don't know how many of them I'll have time for, and lots of old volumes at the moment I'm also wanting time to RE-read!

Always incredible to see the well-written bounty of instructive popular math books now regularly produced. There were certainly some good popular math volumes in my youth, but nothing like the yearly high-quality output we see these days. Not sure what the reason is… perhaps more mathematicians nowadays come out of well-rounded, liberal artsy educations, where they emerge not just good at math, but good at (and interested in) writing, as well. Or maybe it’s simply that word-processors and computers have made book-writing a far easier/pleasanter task than it once was; accessible to more people (not that writing a book is ever easy, but just easier/more efficient than it was decades ago). The internet also brings along a lot more collaboration, inspiration, rapid feedback, ideas, and contagious encouragement for writing.

Whatever the reason, math fans/students these days are blessed with an abundance of selections!