Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pluggin' A Few Books...

Been having some internet connection issues lately so a quickie post while things be workin'....

I'll just plug 3 books I've read in recent months that I've especially enjoyed, and that contain somewhat overlapping content....

Two of them I've already mentioned here previously but are so good I feel deserve a second mention, especially for the layperson math enthusiast:

1. The Big Questions: Mathematics by Tony Crilly

2. Mathematics Without the Boring Bits by Richard Elwes

Both Crilly and Elwes are Brits who really seem to have a knack for this sort of writing (making math interesting!!). I especially love the breadth of topics the Elwes volume covers and the clear, playful nature of the presentation, and the Crilly book is super as well, covering a slightly smaller, but still interesting range of subjects.

3. A much older volume, that I only recently read, is from 1988 by William Poundstone, "Labyrinths of Reason" -- an absolutely wonderful introduction to not only a few of the same mathematical notions covered in the first 2 volumes above, but with more in-depth, rich discussion of various philosophical underpinnings of logic, math, reasoning, and the like. A great, thought-provoking read; I don't know how I've missed it all these years. (Definitely makes me want to look at more of Poundstone's books.)

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