on to the books:

I'm forever amazed at the number of wonderful math-related books available for the non-professional, like myself! ...Have been looking through (…or looking forward to) several recently, and give all the following a thumbs-up (…apologies that some of these are older works you may well be long-ago familiar with):

"

**To Infinity and Beyond**" -- Eli Maor's work from 1987 may be the best intro to infinity I've yet come across (how I missed it all these years I don't know!); a rich, varied, and comprehensive introduction to an endlessly fascinating topic. A review of it here:

http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/46/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=1029

"

**The Universal Computer**" -- from Martin Davis, 2000; perhaps the best and most readable summary of the historical persons and events that brought us computers as we know them today. A great read and chronology. A review here:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-393-04785-1

"

**A Tour of the Calculus**" -- David Berlinski's 1995 volume which I started when it came out almost 2 decades ago, but never got through… having recently read and enjoyed his "

**One, Two, Three**" I decided to give "

**Tour**" another try, and I must've grown accustomed to his quirky, unconventional writing style, because I'm finding it much more delightful (although still ponderous at points) this go-around; certainly the most unique, outside-the-box volume on calculus out there (even for a non-textbook).

Interestingly, I've now read Gregory Chaitin's short new volume on math and biology, "

**Proving Darwin**," and it begins by mentioning that it was inspired in part by yet another "delightfully polemical book" from Berlinski, "

**The Devil's Delusion**." Chaitin's book is a bit choppy but still, to me, a wonderful read that I may say more about after a second reading (although if you haven't cared for Chaitin's writings/ideas in the past, you might not care for this pithy volume).

Finally, tangential to math, I'm a long-time Douglas Hofstadter fan, though didn't much care for his last book, "

**I Am a Strange Loop**" (see Martin Gardner's review here: http://tinyurl.com/7skxw7g), so have been waiting to see what he would do next. Apparently, he has a new volume coming in the fall entitled "

**Surfaces and Essences**," relating the importance of analogy to human thinking.

**http://tinyurl.com/6qgpftp**

Also, a reminder that Steven Strogatz's book "

**The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math From One to Infinity**" is also due out in the fall.

So much good stuff coming our way!! (...and I'm still awaiting the paperback version of Daniel Kahneman's "

**Thinking Fast and Slow**"!)

Lastly, speaking of math books, '

*Wild About Math*' blog did its latest podcast with Vicki Kearn, an editor at Princeton University Press, which consistently puts forth some of the best popular math books out there (give it a listen):

http://wildaboutmath.com/2012/06/03/vickie-kearn-inspired-by-math-8/

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