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Hot Topics! Reading List for...
Mathematics

and for more Mathematical Fiction, check this list by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston

The Youngest Mathematicians (preschool through late elementary)

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
Compare the crocodile to the Goliath frog, the Atlas moth to the dwarf goby... see how these real-life bugs, fish, and animals compare in size through amazing paper collages...
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat: The Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas
Penrose, a cat with a knack for math, takes children on an adventurous tour of mathematical concepts from fractals to infinity.  Don't miss the sequel, Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat...
Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream by Marilyn Burns
Known as Bean Counter, young Amanda Bean happily counts "anything and everything" by ones, twos, fives, and tens. Although her teacher tells her that multiplication is important, Amanda remains unconvinced until a strange dream... 
Anno's Counting House by Mitsumasa Anno
On the first page all we see is a barren winter landscape--a hazy, blue sky above a hazy, white hill. Nothing to count here. But wait, this is zero! On the next page the scene brightens: one tree, one bird, one house. Turn the page again...
Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Masaichiro and Mitsumasa Anno
Multiplication and factorials, presented for all ages!
The Best of Times: Math Strategies that Multiply by Greg Tang
Giving kids tools rather than rules and more memorization, pays off once again, using rhymes and commonsense tricks to walk through the multiplication tables from zero to 10 (multiplication)
A Cloak for the Dreamer by Aileen Friedman
A tailor's three sons make cloaks for the Archduke. One uses only rectangles; the second, squares and triangles; but the third son makes his of circles the shape of the globe. While beautiful, it's filled with open spaces...
The Grapes of Math: Mind Stretching Math Riddles by Greg Tang
If children can open their minds to new ways of perceiving math, anything is possible! Greg Tang shows readers creative ways to use patterns and combinations of numbers to solve math puzzles quickly and effectively (addition to multiplication)
The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns
An introduction to shapes and polygons, a bored triangle is turned into a quadrilateral after a visit to the shapeshifter. Delighted with his new career opportunities he decides the more angles the better, until an accident teaches him a lesson
The Hands-On Marvelous Ball Book by Bradford Hansen-Smith
A picture book for all ages, from 4 or 5 to adult.  Jimmy discovers a marvelous ball that keeps shifting its shape, size, and color, this book offers directions for making three-dimensional geometric figures from simple materials: thin paper plates, bobby pins, and masking tape...  You can, too!
If You Made a Million by David Schwartz
Entertaining introduction to money, a little and a lot, with the theme that "enjoying your work is more important than money," and "making money means making choices"
The King's Chessboard by David Birch
When the wise man refuses to accept a reward for his service to the king, the king insists and so the wise man asks for a payment of rice for each square of the king's chessboard--the amount to be doubled each day...
Making Faces by Norman Messenger
An introduction to permutations and combinations, with split pages to create 65,000 different faces!
Math Appeal by Greg Tang
Problems - how squares on a kite can be added quickly or peas in a pod grouped - with hints for their solutions (patterns and addition)
The Math Curse Recommended by Jon Scieszka
Did you ever have one of those days where everything is a math problem? You have 10 things to do, and 30 minutes till the bus leaves. Is there enough time? You have 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. How many outfits can you make?  Also read Science Verse...
Math for All Seasons by Greg Tang
With a few simple tricks, math can become fun!  Encourages kids to think through problems, rather than relying on memorization and formulas  (patterns and addition)
Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuschwander
Matt and Bibi go to Egypt in search of an ancient pharaoh's mummy. When the twins are accidentally shut in the pyramid, they decide to explore. Using hieroglyphic clues...
Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in Patterning by Cindy Neuschwander
This time Matt and Bibi accompany their scientist parents to Peru. By interpreting patterns woven into an Inca shawl, the youngsters follow clues to the Lost City of Quwi, whose location has eluded explorers for centuries...
On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey by David Schwartz
Professor X and his dog, Y, introduce counting by powers of 10 - leaping quickly from 1, 10, and 100 on to exponentially greater numbers such as millions, quindecillions, and googols. Sidebars include real-world examples of large numbers, and the conclusion clears up misconceptions about infinity
One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi
Exotic Indian tale and illustrations introduce exponents and exponential growth... quick as you can imagine!
One Monday Morning by Uri Shulevitz
The days of the week, told in a royal tale with a new character each day...
Quack and Count by Keith Baker
Board book. Seven uniquely marked ducklings slide, chase bees, and play peekaboo as they group on double-spread pages to illustrate ways to add up to seven..
Roman Numerals I to MM: Liber De Difficillimo Computando Numerum by Arthur Geisert
Roman Numerals go to the pigs... thousands of them!  A great introduction to Roman numerals...
Round Buildings, Square Buildings, and Buildings that Wiggle Like a Fish by Phillip M. Isaacson
Explore architecture around the world, through amazing photographs and descriptions...
A Second Is A Hiccup by Hazel Hutchins and Kady MacDonald Denton
Time is a relative thing, and A Second is a Hiccup brings the abstract to life in a fun, educational way!
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table: A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander
Assisted by his knight, Sir Cumference, and using ideas offered by his wife and son, King Arthur finds the perfect shape for his table
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi: A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander
A young boy gives his father the wrong potion to cure a bellyache, and must solve the riddle of the ratio of a circle's circumference to it's diameter to get the dosage to cure him
Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference's son, Radius, is in a quest to earn his knighthood by rescuing a king. The circular medallion (a protractor) given to Radius by his father and his mother, Lady Di of Ameter, aid him in examining every angle along the way...
Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone by Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference, Radius, and Sir Vertex search for Edgecalibur, the sword that King Arthur has hidden in a geometric solid...
Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter by Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference returns to introduce readers to the concepts of perimeter and area...
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All: A Mathematical Story by Marilyn Burns
When Mrs. Comfort's guests rearrange all of her carefully placed tables and chairs, dinnertime at the family reunion becomes a complete mess, in a playful introduction to the concepts of area and perimeter
Spotted Yellow Frogs: Fold-out Fun with Patterns, Colors, 3-D Shapes, Animals by Matthew Van Fleet
Speckled bugs and spotted frogs, fold the shapes and find the patterns, count them all! Flap book with fold-out surprises... Also read Van Fleet's One Yellow Lion, Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings and Alphabet
Squarehead by Harriet Ziefert
George is a squarehead, living in his square house and square world... but what spherical wonders invade his dreams? Not only a book about shapes, but also an introduction to differences...
Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger by Ann Whitehead Nagda
T. J., a Siberian tiger cub, is born at the Denver Zoo. Ten weeks later, the death of his mother puts his survival in question. Follow the little tiger through the difficult months ahead. The text is paired with different types of graphs (picture, circle, bar, and line) that display information such as the numbers and types of tigers in the wild, T. J.'s food consumption, and his weight compared with that of his father at the same age
The Wing on a Flea: A Book about Shapes by Ed Emberley
First published in 1961, this fun rhyme introduces geometric shapes in real life...
You Can Count on Monsters Recommended by Richard Evan Schwartz
The playful and colorful monsters are designed to give children (and even older audiences) an intuitive understanding of the building blocks of numbers and the basics of multiplication. The introduction and appendices are designed to help adult readers answer questions about factoring from their young audience...

Murderous Maths by Kjartan Poskitt.  Visit Horribles! for the whole Horrible collection!

Murderous Maths (or from the Amazon.co.uk Murderous Maths)
More Murderous Maths (or from the Amazon.co.uk More Murderous Maths)
Fractions and Averages: The Mean and Vulgar Bits (or from the Amazon.co.uk Fractions and Averages...)
Do You Feel Lucky?: The Secrets of Probability (or from the Amazon.co.uk Do You Feel Lucky?)
Vicious Circles and Other Savage Shapes (or from the Amazon.co.uk Vicious Circles and Other Savage Shapes)
The Essential Arithmetricks (or from the Amazon.co.uk The Essential Arithmetricks)
Numbers: the Key to the Universe (or from the Amazon.co.uk Numbers: the Key to the Universe)
An introduction to number Theory
Professor Fiendish's Book of Diabolical Brain-benders (or from the Amazon.co.uk Professor Fiendish's Book...)
Desperate Measures (or from the Amazon.co.uk Desperate Measures)
All about measurement...
The Fiendish Angletron (or from the Amazon.co.uk The Fiendish Angletron)
Phantom X (or from the Amazon.co.uk Phantom X)
All about algebra...
The Perfect Sausage and Other Fundamental Formulas (or from the Amazon.co.uk The Perfect Sausage...)
Su Doku (or from the Amazon.co.uk Su Doku)
Kakuro and Other Fiendish Number Puzzles (or from the Amazon.co.uk Kakuro and Other Fiendish Number Puzzles)
Math in the same vein as Terry Dreary's Horrible Science... fun for everyone!
 

As They Grow in Mathematics

Afterwards: Folk and Fairy Tales With Mathematical Ever Afters by Peggy Kaye
Delight in reading these multicultural stories and then solving the math problems that cleverly involve the main characters...
Calculus by and for Young People (Ages 7, Yes 7 and Up) by Donald Cohen
A description of how young people, Don and some mathematicians, solved problems which involve infinite series, infinite sequences, functions, graphs, algebra, +, - important mathematical ideas. Also available, Calculus by and for Young People Worksheets (some say all you need)...
The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland
The story of a straight line that falls in love with a dot
The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics by Norman Juster
The story of a straight line that falls in love with a dot
Fractals, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales by Theoni Pappas
Explore mathematical concepts including real numbers, exponents, dimensions, tangrams, and geometry in both serious and humorous ways
Fractal Universe 2010 Wall Calendar
Digital images of the intriguing and beautiful world of fractals, where art and science blend to create a myriad of colors, forms, and patterns
From Zero to Infinity: What Makes Numbers Interesting by Constance Reid
A classic of popular mathematical literature (since 1955) that combines the mathematics and the history of number theory with descriptions of the mystique that has, on occasion, surrounded the numbers even among great mathematicians
G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book Recommended by David Schwartz
Entries include abacus, binary, cubit, diamond ("There are no diamonds in math. We put diamond in this book so you would know it doesn't belong here"), equilateral, exponent, Fibonacci, googol, y-axis, and zillion
Go Figure!: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers Recommended by Johnny Ball
Filled with puzzles and problems to solve, 4 sections--Where do numbers come from? Magic numbers, Shaping up, and The world of math--cover the history of counting, zero, number theory, Pi, chance, logic, fractals, and more, including brief histories of mathematical greats from Ahmose to Einstein...
How Math Works by Carol Vonderman
Fascinating explanations, activities, profiles of history's most noted mathematical thinkers, and experiments introduce young readers to the world of mathematics
The I Hate Mathematics! Book Recommended by Marilyn Burns
Events, gags, magic tricks, and experiments to change one from a mathematical weakling into a mathematical heavyweight. Written especially for children who have been convinced by the attitudes of adults that mathematics is impossible and only for bright kids. It shows that math is nothing more than a way of looking at the world and that it can be relevant to everyday life and fun...
It's Alive: It's Math Like You've Never Known It Before...and May Never Know It Again by Asa Kleiman and David Washington
It's Alive and Kicking ... Math the Way It Ought to Be--Tough, Fun, and a Little Weird by Asa Kleiman and David Washington
A two-book set of weird, crazy, and bizarre math problems guaranteed to challenge, stimulate, and gross-out math students everywhere. In addition to making math highly motivational, this set of books focuses on teaching students to translate real life problems and questions into mathematical equations. All of the problems are based on known facts...
The Joy of Mathematics by Theoni Pappas
More Joy of Mathematics: Exploring Mathematics All Around You by Theoni Pappas
Part of the joy of mathematics is that it is everywhere in soap bubbles, electricity, da Vinci's masterpieces, even in an ocean wave. Written by the well-known mathematics teacher consultant, this two volume collection of over 500 clearly illustrated mathematical ideas, concepts, puzzles, and games shows where they turn up in the "real" world
The Little Book of Scientific Principles, Theories, & Things by Surendra Verma
Serious science, presented in an easy-to-access way, in historical order... great introduction to 200 topics and people, and a way to answer all their science and math questions!
The Mathematics Calendar 2010 by Theoni Pappas
A problem a day, all year long!  Plus facts, curiosities, and challenging problems...
Math Dictionary for Kids: The Essential Guide to Math Terms, Strategies, and Tables by Theresa R. Fitzgerald
Covering everything from "addend" to "zero," this comprehensive resource gives kids definitions, illustrations, and examples that can help them investigate math fun and solve math problems...
Math for Kids & Other People Too! by Theoni Pappas
Help kids discover what mathematics is all about - not dreary, repetitive computations, but concepts brought to life by stories, puzzles, and challenges. With a section dedicated to puzzles, games, and tricks
Make Shapes Series No. 1 by Gerald Jenkins
19 mathematical models for children to cut out of the book, glue, and decorate
Make Shapes Series No. 2 by Gerald Jenkins
Make Shapes Series No. 3 by Gerald Jenkins
More mathematical models for children...
The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures by Malba Tahan
The Arabian adventures of a man with remarkable mathematical skills, which he uses to settle conflict and give wise advice
Math Wizardry for Kids by Margaret Kenda, Phyllis S. Williams
Over 200 math puzzles, games and designs for kids, also available as a kit with a protractor, various triangles, a ruler, compass, and other essential tools
Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers by Jan Gullberg
If a family is to have only one mathematics book on the reference shelf, then this is the one...
Math Olympiad Contest Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools by George Lenchner
Four hundred challenging math problems provide kids with a book of problems which introduces many different problem-solving strategies...
Primary Grade Challenge Math Recommended by Edward Zaccaro
Challenge math now available for younger kids, too...  or from Amazon.co.uk
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
A collection of wacky, mind-boggling math puzzles and brain teasers challenges young readers...
More Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
A sequel to the original collection of brain twisters and math puzzles includes ""How much is PEPPERS + PIG LIPS?"" and ""If Jenny's shirt has sparkles on it, will Todd have egg in his hair?""

Between Arithmetic and Higher Math

1000 Play Thinks: Puzzles, Paradoxes, Illusions & Games by Ivan Moscovich
Visual challenges, riddles, and puzzles to help push thinking into these new frontiers, some original; others are adaptations of classic challenges. Bold, bright, colorful, and genuinely inviting, they are arranged by mathematical or scientific category, and ranked by a degree of difficulty from 1 to 10...
25 Real Life Math Investigations That Will Astound Teachers and Students by Edward Zaccaro and Jack Berg
Find the wondrous side of mathematics, the music that's made with the scales of basic arithmetic.  Discover the power of mathematics as the danger of short-term loans, investigate math mistakes in the news media and their potential consequences, watch as mathematics shows the futility of depending on corn-based ethanol to lower our dependence on oil imports, learn the surprising answer to how much money a hybrid car will save its owner, and much more...
Amazing "Aha!" Puzzles by Lloyd King
Improve your ability to think "outside the box" and boost your creativity with these mixed bag puzzles - some are easy, some are not!
Becoming a Problem Solving Genius: A Handbook of Math Strategies Recommended by Edward Zaccaro
Every math student needs a tool belt of problem solving strategies to call upon when solving word problems. In addition to many traditional strategies, this book includes new techniques such as Think 1, the 2-10 method, and more...
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science by Michael S. Schneider
In the spiral of the nautilus shell, in the veins of a maple leaf, in the bonds of the benzene ring--everywhere he looks, we see a cosmic geometry...
The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick
A signpost directing you toward "Statistical Literacy," "Enlightenment," and "Diploma"; within, you'll find lucid explanations of probability, distributions, error functions, hypothesis testing, and other basic tools of statistics
Challenge Math For the Elementary and Middle School Student Recommended by Edward Zaccaro
"Math is often taught as all scales and no music. This book contains the music!" I couldn't have said it better myself - tons of fun problems...   or Amazon.co.uk
Fantasia Mathematica: Being a Set of Stories, Together With a Group of Oddments and Diversions, All Drawn from the Universe of Mathematics by Clifton Fadiman
This anthology of mathematically oriented short stories and poems should delight a new generation of readers...
The Mathematical Magpie: Being More Stories, Mainly Transcendental, Plus Subjects of Essays, Rhymes, Music, Anecdotes, Epigrams, and Other Prime oddments and diversions, rational and irrational, all derived from the infinite domain of mathematics by Clifton Fadiman
Fantasia Mathematica, volume two...
Fractals, Googols and Other Mathematical Tales Recommended by Theoni Pappas
Explores real numbers, exponents, dimensions, the golden rectangle in both serious and humorous ways. Penrose the cat, the parable of p, the numberline that fell apart, Leonhard the magic turtle and many others offer an amusing and entertaining way to explore mathematical ideas...
Life by the Numbers by Keith Devlin
Most of us think mathematics is about numbers and counting. That's just the basics, though, and Keith Devlin's companion book to the PBS series "Life By the Numbersicon" gives examples of the versatility of math as a tool for understanding just about everything.  Original VHS series sometimes available used, and sometimes even the 7-volume DVD set...
bullet 1: Seeing Is Believing
bullet 2: Numbers Game
bullet 3: Patterns Nature
bullet 4: Chance-Lifetime
bullet 5: Shape of World
bullet 6: A New Age
bullet 7: Making A Difference
Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail by Danica McKellar
Gives girls the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more. Features hip, real-world examples, step-by-step instruction, and engaging stories of Danica’s own childhood struggles in math (and stardom). In addition, borrowing from the style of today’s teen magazines, it even includes a Math Horoscope section, Math Personality Quizzes, and Real-Life Testimonials—ultimately revealing why math is easy and cool... Also read McKellar's Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss
Math for Real Kids by David B. Spangler
Fun math book for upper elementary gifted kids (middle school not-math-gifted), that makes it easy to understand the context - why do I need to know this?  Sports scores, restaurant tips, probability of guessing on tests... lots of kid-friendly examples...
Math for Smarty Pants Recommended by Marilyn Burns
Fundamental math concepts explained through entertaining puzzles, tricks and word problems. For the numbers-averse, this book proves that numbers are only a part of math; for the math whiz, it offers plenty of challenges, too...
Mathematics, A Human Endeavor by Harold R. Jacobs
Subtitled "A book for those who think they don't like the subject." A wonderful way to learn mathematics! (text book, a bit expensive)
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure Recommended by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
In 12 dreams, a 12-year-old boy who hates math discovers the amazing world of numbers: infinite numbers, prime numbers, Fibonacci numbers, numbers that magically appear in triangles, and numbers that expand without end...
the Planiverse: computer contact with a two-dimensional world Recommended by A.K. Dewdney
Imagine you live in a two-dimensional world. Practically speaking, you're going to need your eyes on the side of your head.  Imagine you have a house in your 2D world. How can you construct a door that a 2D person can open up? If you have a front and rear door, and friends open both at once, will the roof of your house collapse?  Dewdney explores cool 2D inventions and solutions, with simple diagrams. A great problem-solving eye-opener...
Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks Recommended by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer
Learn neat math tricks to make complex calculations easy, and amaze your friends and yourself.  Amazing tricks to multiply large numbers, memorize digits of pi or any other sequence of numbers, figure squares and cubes almost instantly.  For a sample, watch Arthur Benjamin does "Mathemagic" TED Talk!
The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life by I.B. Cohen
We think about almost everything in numerical terms, but this engaging essay shows that this mindset developed only gradually. Explore the colonization of the modern mind by numbers...

Ready for Algebra, Geometry, and more

A Gebra Named Al: A Novel by Wendy Isdell
Julie hates algebra--until she meets a gebra named Al, and the Periodic horses journey through the Land of Mathematics, where the Orders of Operations are real places and fruits that look like Bohr models grow on chemistrees... Also available, a teachers guide Using a Gebra Named Al in the Classroom
Aha! Insight and Aha! Gotcha by Martin Gardner
144 wonderful puzzles from the reigning king of recreational mathematics. In this combined volume, you will find puzzles ranging over geometry, logic, probability, statistics, number, time, combinatorics, and word play. Aha! problems "seem difficult, and indeed are difficult if you go about trying to solve them in traditional ways. But if you can free your mind from standard problem solving techniques..."
Algebra the Easy Way by Douglas Downing  (← look for this author, he's excellent in The Easy Way series)
an algebra text in the form of a fantasy novel, with the story's characters solving problems by using algebra.
 Also... Trigonometry the Easy Way by Douglas Downing,
Calculus the Easy Way by Douglas Downing
Algebra Survival Guide: a Conversational Guide for the Thoroughly Befuddled by Josh Rappaport
Cartoon based study guide, fun yet functional!  Also Algebra Survival Guide Workbook
The Art of Problem Solving, Volume 1: the Basics by Sandor Lehoczky and Richard Rusczyk
The Art of Problem Solving, Volume 2: and Beyond by Sandor Lehoczky and Richard Rusczyk
A problem-solving tutorial that can be used to prepare for mathematics competitions. Written at the high school level...
The Book of Numbers by John Horton Conway and Richard K. Guy
A fascinating review of numbers: from Egyptian fractions to surreal numbers; prime numbers, Fibonacci numbers, Catalan numbers, Fermat numbers; from numbers so large they cannot be imagined (and barely be named) to ruler-and-compass
Calculus by and for Young People-Worksheets by Donald Cohen
This is a book of problems to work on and think about. Archimedes, Newton, Euler, my students and I have worked on them also -- they are important...
Chances Are: Adventures in Probability by Michael and Ellen Kaplan
A fascinating layman's trek through probability theory, from its roots in dice games in the seventeenth century to its role in modern-day thermodynamics, tackles humanity's innate need to seek order in even the most chaotic phenomena...
In Code: A Mathematical Journey by Sarah Flannery
British best-seller by and about the 16-year-old who stunned the world by inventing a way of making public-key encryption much more efficient; an engaging, almost playful, book in which the reader is encouraged to spend lots of time working out mathematical puzzles
Crossing the River with Dogs: Problem Solving for College Students by Ken Johnson, Ted Herr, & Judy Kysh
Great problem-solving techniques for real-life mathematics, designed for college kids, but useful for gifted kids starting in late elementary school!
Elementary Algebra by Harold R. Jacobs
A terrific way to learn algebra! (text book, and good!)
e: The Story of a Number by Eli Maor
The interest earned on a bank account, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis are all intimately connected with the mysterious number e. In this informal and engaging history...
E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis
We grow up knowing that the equation E=mc2 changed the shape of our world, but never understanding what it actually means  Read the "biography" of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history--that the realms of energy and matter are inescapably linked--and learn a seemingly impenetrable theory is actually a dramatic human achievement and an uncommonly good story...
Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity by David Foster Wallace
Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? The nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's answer to this question not only surprised him but also shook the very foundations upon which math had been built. Cantor's counterintuitive discovery of a progression of larger and larger infinities created controversy in his time, but it also helped lead to the development of set theory, analytic philosophy, and even computer technology...
Fantasia Mathematica edited by Clifton Fadiman
Anthology of mathematically oriented short stories and poems should delight a new generation of readers...
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott
Visit a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension...
Sphereland: A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and an Expanding Universe by Dionys Burger
The sequel, sort of...
Geometry, Relativity, and the Fourth Dimension by Rudolf V. B. Rucker
Fourth dimension and concepts of relativity, as the Flatland characters continue their adventures...
The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of the Higher Universes by Rudolf Rucker
Pulls together study and conjecture about higher dimensions (everything from Abbot's Flatland to Einstein's relativity theory), and explains it using easy to understand analogies and imprecise cartoons...
Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding by Harold R. Jacobs
A great way to learn geometry! (text book, and good!)
Godel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
a Pulitzer prize-winning treatise on genius, explores the workings of brilliant people's brains with the help of historical examples and brainteaser puzzles
The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number by Mario Livio
Theoretical astrophysicist Livio gives pi's overlooked cousin phi its due with this lively account, the first on the subject written for the layperson...
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences Recommended by John Allen Paulos
Sprinkling his discussion of numbers and probabilities with quirky stories and anecdotes, Paulos ranges freely over many aspects of modern life, from contested elections to sports stats, from stock scams and newspaper psychics to diet and medical claims, sex discrimination, insurance, lotteries, and drug testing. Readers of Innumeracy will be rewarded with scores of astonishing facts...
The Last Universe by William Sleator
After a brief introduction to the uncertainty of quantum mechanics, the paradox of Schrodinger's cat, and the possibility of infinite universes, Sleator launches into a story inspired by these ideas. Fourteen-year-old Susan feels burdened by her parents' expectation that she will provide help and companionship for her older brother, Gary, an invalid who is wheelchair-bound and becoming progressively weaker. Exploring their large garden, they discover that entering the often-invisible maze at its center will enable them to travel to other times and even different versions of the present reality
Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart
Letters from a fictitious mathematician to his niece, over a period of 20 years, from the time the niece is thinking about studying mathematics in high school through the early years of her academic career. Introduces readers to the basics of the discipline of mathematics while providing a sense of what mathematicians actually do...
Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects edited by Sarah-marie Belcastro and Carolyn Yackel
Investigate the interplay between mathematics and needlework, with stories of what happens when mathematicians turn to their hobbies but still continue to think about mathematics.  Great math, carefully explained, with simple knitting projects.  Read KFinn's review for Hoagies' Page on Amazon...
The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth by Paul Hoffman
The biography of an amazing and prolific mathematician whose life as a world-wandering numerical nomad.  Also read a different biography... My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos by Bruce Schechter
A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper Recommended by John Allen Paulos
Reveals the hidden mathematical angles in countless media stories. Real life perspective on the statistics we rely on and how they can mislead is for anyone interested in gaining a more accurate view of their world. Humorous and knowledgeable...
The Mathematics of Oz: Mental Gymnastics from Beyond the Edge by Clifford A. Pickover
Grab a pencil. Relax. Then take off on a mind-boggling journey to the ultimate frontier of math, mind, and meaning as acclaimed author Clifford Pickover, Dorothy, and Dr. Oz explore some of the oddest and quirkiest highways and byways of the numerically obsessed...
Misteaks: And How to Find Them Before the Teacher Does by Barry Cipra
Written in a humorous vein that encourages one to realize that mathematics is very often enjoyable, even to the novice, the book contains sound advice that the student might heed in order to avoid unnecessary errors....This essay certainly helps to bring mathematics to its rightful place--the real world.
The Möbius Strip: Dr. August Mobius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology by Clifford A. Pickover
Today Möbius's strip is everywhere: it forms the familiar recycling symbol; freestyle skiers attempt a stunt called a "Möbius flip"; and it appears in the works of artists like M.C. Escher and writers like Arthur C. Clarke. Pickover uses the strip as a jumping-off point for a wide-ranging exploration of objects that are "chiral" (objects that are mirror images yet cannot be superimposed on each other) or have unusual properties of continuity. His travels take us from Earth to the outer reaches of space...
A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality by Clifford A. Pickover
An educational, entertaining trip through the curiosities of the math world, blending an eclectic mix of history, biography, philosophy, number theory, geometry, probability, huge numbers, and mind-bending problems into a delightfully compelling collection that is sure to please math buffs, students, and experienced mathematicians alike...
Pi: A Biography of the World's Most Mysterious Number by Alfred S Posamentier & Ingmar Lehmann
Reveals the mystery behind the constant number Pi
the Planiverse: computer contact with a two-dimensional world Recommended by A.K. Dewdney
Imagine you live in a two-dimensional world. Practically speaking, you're going to need your eyes on the side of your head.  Imagine you have a house in your 2D world. How can you construct a door that a 2D person can open up? If you have a front and rear door, and friends open both at once, will the roof of your house collapse?  Dewdney explores cool 2D inventions and solutions, with simple diagrams. A great problem-solving eye-opener...
Prime Numbers: The Most Mysterious Figures in Math by David Wells
Brings to life the strange attraction of primes, from their current use in codes and cryptography to the Fermat and Fibonacci numbers, Goldbach's Conjecture, the Mersenne primes, and the number mysticism of old Pythagoras; from prime records and mathematicians, ingenious efforts to find primes (including a 2002 breakthrough algorithm), all the way to the unproven Riemann Hypothesis and the extraordinary zeta function
Prof. E. McSquared's Original, Fantastic & Highly Edifying Calculus Primer: Expanded Intergalactic Version by Johnson Swann
A comic book of Calculus... it's fun!
Real World Algebra: Understanding the Power of Mathematics Recommended by Edward Zaccaro  Amazon.co.uk
The Ten Things All Future Mathematicians and Scientists Must Know (But are Rarely Taught) by Edward Zaccaro 
Mathematicians and scientists have been closely tied to many famous disasters. This book presents the ten things our future mathematicians and scientists must know to prevent these kinds of tragedies from occurring...
The Sand-Reckoner by Gillian Bradshaw 
Armed with just a few antique facts, Bradshaw ably recreates the extraordinary life of Archimedes, the great mathematician and engineer who built sophisticated weapons during the first Punic War...
Scammed by Statistics Recommended by Ed Zaccaro
We all need this book! We are continually bombarded by charts, graphs, and quotes from various studies with the goal of influencing our opinions, health, or buying habits, yet we seldom know if we are being manipulated, deceived, and lied to by those presenting the data. We need to know how to interpret statistics and are aware of the numerous techniques that are used to distort and misuse numbers. Using real examples Zaccaro illustrates the good and evil of numbers while providing the knowledge to properly interpret statistical data, ask the right questions...
Science of Hitting by Ted Williams
The classic handbook of baseball by it's greatest hitter, but at the same time, a fascinating study in mathematics of hitting and of baseball...
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by Dr. Richard Feynman 
A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to an autobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of received wisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88) cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestseller ever since its initial publication in 1985...
Surreal Numbers by Donald Knuth
How two ex-students turned on to pure mathematics and found total happiness.  (adult with strong math skills)
Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession by Apostolos Doxiadis
The narrator, a young man living with his parents in Athens, is fascinated with his reclusive Uncle Petros, considered a failure by his family. When his nephew shows a zeal for math, Petros offers him a problem that the youth cannot solve even after a summer's work: proof that any even number greater than two is the sum of two primes. The narrator soon learns that this problem, called Goldbach's Conjecture, is more than 200 years old and has remained famously unsolved...
Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations by Tomoko Fuse
Tomoko Fuse is recognized at home and abroad as one of the most original and exciting of all up-and-coming origami talents. In this book, she explains her method for combining folded-paper units in an insertion fashion that results in an endless sequence of multidimensional variations giving new life and freshness to old-fashioned origami classics...
For more Origami books, visti Hot Topics Reading List: Origami...
Vedic Mathematics or Sixteen Simple Mathematical Formulae from the Vedas by Sri Bharati Krisna Tirthaji and V.S. Agarwala
The ancient Indian method and its secret techniques are examined and shown to be capable of solving various problems of mathematics...
What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Dr. Richard Feynman
Anecdotal, unpretentious, and lively, its mathematics!
Why Do Buses Come in Threes? by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham
successfully navigate statistics, codes, coincidences, and many other parts of our lives, peeling away the surface to show what's really going on to make things so weird and wonderful...
Zome Geometry: Hands on Learning With Zome Models by George W. Hart, Henri Picciotto
Geometry using our favorite Zome System pieces!

Young Adults

The Da Vinci Code Recommended by Dan Brown
A murder in the Louvre reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected since the days of Christ. The victim manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle... (some sexual content, offends some by overlap of fact and fiction)
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra, to embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals... Prequel to The Da Vinci Code (sexual and violent content, offends some by overlap of fact and fiction)
Deception Point by Dan Brown
When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory. To verify the authenticity, the White House calls upon the skills of intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts, Rachel travels to the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery...
Digital Fortress Recommended by Dan Brown
When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage--not by guns or bombs -- but by a code so complex... (some violent content)
Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
There isn't really a grand theory of everything here, except perhaps the suggestion that self-styled experts have a vested interest in promoting conventional wisdom even when it's wrong. Instead, Dubner and Levitt deconstruct everything from the organizational structure of drug-dealing gangs to baby-naming patterns. Includes a detailed look at Levitt's controversial linkage between the legalization of abortion and a reduced crime rate two decades later. Underlying all these research subjects is a belief that complex phenomena can be understood if we find the right perspective...
In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World Recommended by Ian Stewart
Celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical equations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress...
The World's 20 Greatest Unsolved Problems by John R. Vacca
Current debates in astronomy and cosmology, physics and astrophysics, biology and paleontology, neuroscience, geology, chemistry, and energy

For All Ages!

G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book Recommended by David Schwartz
Entries include abacus, binary, cubit, diamond ("There are no diamonds in math. We put diamond in this book so you would know it doesn't belong here"), equilateral, exponent, Fibonacci, googol, y-axis, and zillion
Powers of Ten Recommended by Philip & Phylis Morrison
Starting with a view of a billion light-years, the book moves inward, with each page being 1/10th the scale of the previous one. In 25 steps, you're looking at a picnic by the shores of Lake Michigan, then plunging into a human hand, down through the cells inside it, the DNA inside the cells...
What is the Name of this Book?: The Riddle of Dracula & Other Logical Puzzles Recommended by Raymond Smullyan
A progression of logical conundrums, a subtle introduction to Godel's Incompleteness Theorems, suitable for kids and adults! Check out Smullyan's other books
The Riddle of Scheherazade: And Other Amazing Puzzles
Lady or the Tiger? And Other Logic Puzzles Including a Mathematical Novel That Features Godel's Great Discovery
 

Programming and Robotics!

Building Robots With Lego Mindstorms: The Ultimate Tool for Mindstorms Maniacs and don't forget Lego Mindstorms kit!
Sound like anyone you know? A companion book...
The Code Book for Young People: How to Make It, Break It, Hack It, Crack It by Simon Singh
Calling upon accounts of political intrigue and tales of life and death, author Simon Singh tells history's most fascinating story of deception and cunning: the science of cryptography--the encoding and decoding of private information (adapted for a younger audience)
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold
Carefully researched gem that will appeal to anyone who wants to understand computer technology at its essence. Learn about number systems through Petzold's patient (and frequently entertaining) prose, and discover the logical systems that are used to process them. There's loads of historical information, too...
Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners by Warren and Carter Sande
Gives kids--or anyone who wants to learn programming from a fresh perspective--a gentle but thorough introduction to the world of computer programming, using the Python language, a free, open source language which is ideal as a teaching tool...
In Code: A Mathematical Journey by Sarah Flannery
At 16, Flannery made worldwide headlines as Ireland's 1999 Young Scientist of the Year for her discovery and presentation of the Cayley-Purser algorithm, an innovative encryption system roughly 22 times faster than the worldwide standard RSA algorithm. She declines the "genius" label, and a method for cracking her algorithm has since been discovered, but this only makes the book more interesting and unpredictable. It's more about the journey's adventure than the destination and less about Sarah's special-ness than her spirit
Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future with 20 Projects (Build It Yourself) by by Kathy Ceceri (grades 3-5, younger for gifted)
By building simple projects (including a few electronic hacks) you'll come away with an idea of what's going on behind all that complicated circuitry. But you'll also see how technology opens the door for creativity and innovation -- a true melding of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) with Art to create STEAM education!
Teaching Kids Programming
A great list of software (Win and MAC) and books for kids learning programming!

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Last updated April 08, 2014

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