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Here is a list of books with a science and/or maths interest, which I am happy to recommend. I own and have read them all. I haven't put any book on the list I didn't enjoy for one reason or another, in spite of what weaknesses they might or might not have. They are all written for "the intelligent layman", and so don't assume much technical background. Some of them "dumb down" a little in places, but most are pretty reliable technically, given the constraints of writing for a "general audience". Some of these books are "flawed", some are truly inspiring, some are both(!); I think they are all interesting in one way or another, and I don't think you'd waste your time with any of them. They are all well written (I think).

Check out some reviews on-line if you want more opinions (the
links provide some reviews - I don't necessarily agree with all the
reviews, but they should help you get an idea of what each book is about).

Check out the books (eg from a library) to make your own
decision. Treat this list as a "starter" - if you like a book on it,
look for others like it, maybe by the same author, or on the same
topic. Google and Amazon are a help; so is a visit to your
neighborhood library or bookstore.

The categories are not clearly defined - some books belong to several and some to none. Don't take the categories too seriously. The books are not in any particular order.

*By the way: if you are interested in "literary" books (aren't they
all "literary"?), Yann Martel sent 101 books to Stephen
Harper (then Canadian Prime Minister) over several years, and
the
collection became a marvellous reading list, annotated by his
excellent letters to the Prime Minister. I've not read everything on
the list, but enough to be confident in recommending it to anyone.
*

- Maths
- Cakes, Custard and Category Theory - Cheng
- The Art of Logic in an Illogical World - Cheng
- Beyond Infinity - An expedition to the outer limits of the mathematical universe - Cheng
- How
to bake Pi - Cheng

(Eugenia has become my favourite "pop-maths" author. These books of hers are currently my favorite "maths for non-mathematicians" books!) - The Mathematical Experience - Davis & Hersh (But this is a classic!)
- Proofs & Refutations - Lakatos (This and the preceeding by Davis & Hersh express my own philosophical view of what Maths is)
- Gödel, Escher, Bach - Hofstadter
- Gödel's Theorem - Franzen (Also this review And this)
- How Mathematicians Think - Byers
- The Mathematician's Brain - Ruelle
- The Archimedes Codex - Netz & Noel
- Pi in the Sky - Barrow (Also check this out this review)
- Is God a mathematician? - Livio
- Mathematics and the Unexpected - Ekeland
- Journey Through Genius - Dunham
- I Think, Therefore I Laugh - Paulos
- Prime Obsession - Derbyshire
- The Poincaré Conjecture - O'Shea
- The Pea and the Sun - Wapner
- A
History of
**π**- Beckmann - The Calculus Wars - Bardi
- Div, Grad, Curl, and all that - Schey
- A Course of Pure Mathematics - Hardy
- What is Mathematics? - Courant and Robbins
*Personal note:*there were two books that got me "hooked" on maths & logic -

One is accessible to a cegep student: Theory of Sets - Kamke

The other perhaps should wait till you've taken a*real*logic course: Undecidable Theories - Tarski*et al*

Curiously, I ended up specializing in something else entirely ...- Flatland

This one deserves a section to itself; not only is*Flatland*an entertaining book about multidimensional maths, but it's also a clever social satire - a point often missed by its copiers and sequels. - Flatland -
Abbott

A recent scholarly edition

Also: Links to the full text (free) and some videos on 4D

Next: some of the better "sequels" - The Planiverse - Dewdney
- Flatterland - Stewart
- Sphereland -
Burger
- History & Philosophy
- Logicomix:
An Epic Search for Truth - Doxiadis
*et al.*

(Another review) (Yet Another review and the cover story) - The Discoverers - Boorstin
- Revolution in Science - Cohen
- On the Shoulders of Giants - Merton
- The Age of Wonder - Holmes
- Wittgenstein's Poker - Edmonds & Eidinow
- Emblems of Mind - Rothstein (Also: this review.)
- Intellectual Impostures - Sokal & Bricmont
- On Bullshit - Frankfurt
- Crimes
against logic - Whyte (
*aka*Bad Thoughts) - Science in History - Bernal
- The
Unnatural Nature of Science - Wolpert
- Other Science
- The Origin of Species & The Descent of Man - Darwin
- A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
- How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony - Duffin (Review) (The maths)
- The Cello Suites - Siblin (here just because I liked it)
- This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs - Levitin
- How the Mind Works - Pinker
- Other Minds - Godfrey-Smith
- Are we Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are - de Waal
- The Idiot Brain - Burnett
- Cosmos - Sagan
- And anything you can find by Stephen Jay Gould (especially his
essays;
here's
a collection to start with).
- Biography
- Logical Dilemmas - Dawson (A more technical review)
- Alfred Tarski - Feferman & Feferman
- From Trotsky to Gödel - Feferman
- Alan Turing, the Enigma - Hodges
- Turing's Cathedral - Dyson (Review)
- Incompleteness - Goldstein (Also: this review)
- A Mathematician's Apology - Hardy
- The
Man Who Loved Only Numbers - Hoffman

(There is also a related documentary) (BTW, my Erdös number = 3.) - A Convergence of Lives - Koblitz
- Galileo: When the World Stood Still - Naess
- The Strangest Man - Farmelo
- Never at Rest - Westfall
- Einstein: the Life and Times - Clark
- Subtle is the Lord - Pais
- Longitude - Sobel
- Galileo's Daughter - Sobel
- The
Difference Engine ... Babbage and the ... First Computer - Swade

[ Youtube Youtube2 Long Youtube ] - Fiction
- War & Peace - Tolstoy (And this)
- The World as I Found It - Duffy
- Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture - Doxiadis
- A Game with Sharpened Knives - Belton
- The Periodic Table - Levi
- Doctor Copernicus - Banville (First of a trilogy, including Kepler and Newton)
- Newton's Darkness - Djerassi & Pinner
- The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel - Bloch
- Measuring the World - Kehlmann Another view My view, in brief
- And anything by Douglas Adams, but especially the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

**Addendum** - some recommendations by Daniel Gatien, Joshua
Gordon, and Andy Rajnak

(And thanks to Daniel and Joshua for reminding me of some others I'd
read too, which have made their way into the list above.)

- Maths
- The Broken Dice - Ekeland
- The Best of All Possible Worlds - Ekeland
- Poetry of the Universe - Osserman
- Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis - Rockmore
- Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction - Gowers
- Abel's Proof - Pesic
- Other Logic
- The Closing of the American Mind - Alan Bloom
- Other Science
- Death by Black Hole - Neil deGrasse Tyson
- The Making of the Atomic Bomb - Richard Rhodes

And if we are to mention "Abel's Proof", then we should give "equal time" to another biography:

- Evariste Galois - Rigatelli

**NOTE:**

This isn't a "static" list - it grows, and suggestions for additions
are welcome. You can find my email address on my homepage.

If you like pictures more than text, there are cover images of most of these books on Dusty's Pinterest Page