Monday, November 25, 2013


…in popular math writing!! One thing I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving week is all the, not merely good, but GREAT math reads that appeared for the public this year; many of which I would put into "best of" categories:

For my money...:

BEST math-related book seen in decades: "The Outer Limits of Reason" by Noson Yanofsky
MOST fun-and-entertaining book in a long time: "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets" by Simon Singh
RICHEST introduction to high level mathematical ideas in a general audience book: "Love and Math" by Edward Frankel
MOST highly anticipated math biography evuh!: "Undiluted Hocus-Pocus" by Martin Gardner
BEST popular math anthology for a general reader: "The New York Times Book of Mathematics" edited by Gina Kolata
BEST (though hard to choose) book from the prolific Ian Stewart: "Visions of Infinity"
Probably my favorite popular treatment of statistics for a mass audience: "Naked Statistics" by Charles Wheelan
One of the best books ever focused entirely on a Clay Institute Millennium Problem: "The Golden Ticket" by Lance Fortnow (...this is a tough call though since there were several Millennium Problem books this year)

(I've reviewed all the above volumes over at MathTango at some point, with the lone exception of Singh's book, which is an absolute blast to read, but received SO MUCH positive coverage/publicity I feel no need to do a review myself.)

If there's a math geek on your Holiday shopping list I don't think you can go wrong with some of the above picks. It's amazing how a subject so often perceived as dry-and-dull as math, continues generating so many great volumes, demonstrating what a living, growing, kick-ass subject it really is ;-)… hats-off to the authors and publishers who keep the books flowing!!!

Please add your own favorites from the year-now-ending in the comments below. And feel free to add 2013 volumes of a more technical nature as well, if you think math professionals/specialists should be made aware of them.

...Meanwhile, as an aside, check out MathTango for the Caption Contest that is now up there!:

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