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Thursday, June 16, 2011


Always fun to construct Top 10 lists, so I looked over my mini-library of popular math books to put together a list of favorite volumes I'd take to keep me richly entertained on a desert island (these are not technical or academic works, and I've deliberately limited myself to one selection per any given author):

1)  How Mathematicians Think -- William Byers

2)  The Colossal Book of Mathematics -- Martin Gardner

3)  Mathematics: the New Golden Age -- Keith Devlin

4)  Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes -- Bryan Bunch

5) Beyond Innumeracy -- John Allen Paulos

6) The Riemann Hypothesis -- Karl Sabbagh

7) Mathematical Mysteries -- Calvin Clawson

8) A Passion For Mathematics -- Clifford Pickover

9) Mathematical Amazements and Surprises -- Alfred Posamentier and Ingrid Lehmann

10) Chances Are... Adventures In Probability -- Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan

... and several Honorable Mentions:

The Big Questions: Mathematics -- Tony Crilly 
Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis -- Dan Rockmore

The Music of the Primes -- Marcus du Sautoy
Everything and More -- David Foster Wallace
The Drunkard's Walk -- Leonard Mlodinow
Mind Tools -- Rudy Rucker

lastly, not really a math book, but always worth mentioning (for entertainment on a desert island), Godel, Escher, Bach -- Douglas Hofstadter

I'm sure there are easily 20 more math books out there though that I've never seen, or simply forgotten about, that would be just as satisfying...

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