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What maths book to read?

  1. Dec 11, 2014 #1
    What are the top 20 mathematics books to read before you die? I not looking for classicals like Principlia Mathematica. Just books that are very enlightening and readable for the layman.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2014 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    "For the layman"? Are we ruling out books written for mathematicians?
  4. Dec 11, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Dec 11, 2014 #4


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    I like "What is Mathematics?" by Courant and Robbins.
  6. Dec 11, 2014 #5

    George Jones

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    Not exactly a math book, but I like "A Mathematician's Apology" by G.H. Hardy.
  7. Dec 12, 2014 #6
    No. It could even be textbook.
  8. Dec 12, 2014 #7


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    Here is my list:


    https://www.amazon.com/How-Mathemat...&ie=UTF8&qid=1418386707&sr=1-1&keywords=byers think&pebp=1418386758657[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Foundations-...s&ie=UTF8&qid=1418386758&sr=1-1&keywords=eves foundations&pebp=1418386809861[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Introduction...ie=UTF8&qid=1418386825&sr=1-1&keywords=wilder foundations of mathematics&pebp=1418386876706

    https://www.amazon.com/Roads-Infini...UTF8&qid=1418386867&sr=1-1&keywords=stillwell roads&pebp=1418386920660[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Mathematical...ie=UTF8&qid=1418386954&sr=1-1&keywords=crilly ideas&pebp=1418387005942[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Riddles-Math...e=UTF8&qid=1418387559&sr=1-1&keywords=riddles northrop&pebp=1418387560400[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Concepts-Mod...e=UTF8&qid=1418387080&sr=1-2&keywords=stewart mathematics[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Visions-Infi...e=UTF8&qid=1418387193&sr=1-1&keywords=stewart visions&pebp=1418387194216[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Gödels-Theor...e=UTF8&qid=1418387303&sr=1-1&keywords=franzen godel&pebp=1418387305120[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Incompletene...UTF8&qid=1418387307&sr=1-1&keywords=goldstein godel&pebp=1418387358125[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Gödels-Proof...&ie=UTF8&qid=1418387357&sr=1-1&keywords=nagel godel's proof&pebp=1418387408148[/URL]

    https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Somet...&ie=UTF8&qid=1418387418&sr=1-1&keywords=berto godel&pebp=1418387469033[/URL]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Dec 12, 2014 #8


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    I really like "A history of pi" by Beckmann
    and "An imaginary tale" by Nahin,
    Both have some math and a bunch of history. Nahin requires calculus; Beckmann is better if you know calculus but enjoyable as long as you know some geometry and perhaps trigonometry - I read it in highschool with no calculus under my belt and LOVED it.

    Don't know if they are "top 20" but I really like these books.


    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  10. Dec 13, 2014 #9
    Thanks for all this. I will be purchasing some of these books. Please let me know of any others.
  11. Dec 16, 2014 #10
  12. Dec 18, 2014 #11


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    I would suggest, What is mathematics by Courant and Robbins, Geometry and the imagination by Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen, Euclid in the green lion edition along with Hartshorne's Geometry: Euclid and beyond as a guide, possibly some of Elements of algebra by Euler, Calculus by Mike Spivak, and Algebra by Mike Artin.
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