Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Matters


Don't know if I'll get around to fully reviewing any of these volumes, but will make note of a few books today:

1)  First, happy to see that Matthew Watkins has a new publisher and new publicity for his delightfully wonderful trilogy on prime numbers (I loved the first volume, but haven't actually gotten around to the other two yet):
http://www.secretsofcreation.com/index.html

Volume 1 reviewed here:
http://www.maa.org/publications/maa-reviews/secrets-of-creation-volume-one-the-mystery-of-the-prime-numbers

2)  A h/t to Richard Elwes for pointing out this book review of C├ędric Villani’s "Birth of a Theorem"... unlike almost any book review you've previously read:
http://tinyurl.com/q7hoxpj

...and a couple more reviews of the same volume below:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/25/birth-of-a-theorem-mathematical-adventure-cedric-villani-review

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/books/birth-of-a-theorem-a-mathematical-adventure-by-cdric-villani/2018653.article

3)  Meanwhile, just became aware that one of my favorite writers, William Byers, was out with a new book at the end of last year, "Deep Thinking: What Mathematics Can Teach Us About the Mind." Here's one review:

http://www.euro-math-soc.eu/review/deep-thinking-what-mathematics-can-teach-us-about-mind

Though a trained mathematician, Byers tends to be both philosophical and psychological, and if you enjoy exploring the cerebral foundations of mathematics, or thinking about mathematical thinking, I always recommend his work.

4)  Finally, the one book I am currently reading/enjoying is Ian Stewart's latest, "Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers." With over 30 popular math books to his credit, any new offering falls prey to a certain amount of redundancy, but if by chance you don't have (m)any Stewart books this is a great one to start with. The Professor has pulled together a fantastic and wide range of topics to refresh the engaged mathematician or stir the mind of the younger person on their mathematical path. Both text and illustrations are excellent. While it certainly includes some recreational math (often a mainstay for Stewart), the book really is more of an instructive adjunct guide to a high school or basic college math text. And it's released in paperback so the price is right. My only small issue with it is that it lacks an index (is this a new trend, I've run across several books in the last year foregoing indexes???) which makes it impossible to find all instances of mention of a topic that one may be keenly interested in.

Anyway, it's not even quite April yet, and there are already so many good math books out there... 2015 appears to be another banner year for numbers fans.
I've already reviewed two books over at MathTango this year that will be among my year's favorites:

http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-review-without-apologies.html

http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2015/03/single-digits-and-much-much-more.html


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