bapowell and qsa - thank you as well
I'll put these on the list (or bookmark this link, that's probably better).
I agree that when all is said and done, I'll probably have a lot of books. I've gotten 6 or so over the past year, so I'm feeling a little bit like a book whore and will probably feel this way until I get some traction here.
Particle physics is a further goal - what I'm trying to do here is get the first layer of the onion peeled back.
What really started me off on all of this - the spark that hit the tinder - was Frank Wilczek's book "lightness of being" which prompted me to pull his paper on asymptote-free behavior (from the 70's) and some others. What hit home was that I really didn't understand the framework and math behind it all and I was stunned that I was so lost - after all, I was a Ph.D. student a few (more than a few) years ago. So I've been spinning my wheels in different ways with different books over the past year and a half and I think I finally have an image of where I'm trying to go.
Further suggestions and ideas are welcome, please keep them coming
thanks to all - Mark