48 Best Books from Oxford’s Very Short Introductions Series

48 Best Books from Oxford’s Very Short Introductions Series

Oxford’s Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects — from Islam to Mathematics, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not only a textbook of definitions, but each volume also provides trenchant, provocative, balanced discussions of the central issues in a given topic. 


How many Oxford’s Very Short Introductions are there?

The series began in 1995, and today there are around 700 titles published. Oxford’s Very Short Introductions range from worth reading to wonderfully appealing. They’re well written by leaders in their area, thought-provoking, and insightful. Expert authors curated facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make often challenging topics highly readable. Whatever the area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates the reader, the series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.


With over 700 titles, many more in development, and regularly updated new editions, the series constantly evolves to reflect a contemporary readership. Whatever your area of study, whatever the topic that fascinates you, the series is an indispensable and accessible guide that will enrich your understanding.


Since I absolutely love Oxford’s Very Short Introductions series, and they are extremely informative books, I decided to curate 40+ the best books from Oxford’s Very Short Introductions series. They will make a useful addition to your bookshelf.


If you like this list, you should definitely check out 73 Beautiful Books from the MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series.

From the distant past to the present, this Very Short Introduction explores mathematical practice's great historical diversity and cultural diversity. Mathematical concepts are far from being set in stone, as historian Jacqueline Stedall demonstrates; rather, they are modified and altered as they travel through different eras and cultures. The book uses fascinating case studies from a variety of historical periods...
"This book's goal is to carefully but untechnically illustrate the distinctions between high-level, research-level mathematics and the kind of mathematics we learn in school. Readers of this book will leave with a deeper grasp of seemingly counterintuitive ideas like infinity, curved space, and imaginary numbers since the most fundamental distinctions are philosophical. The opening chapters discuss general facets of mathematical...
What are dreams, and what triggers them? Why do dreams seem so bizarre, and why is it so difficult to remember them? J. Allan Hobson presents a fresh and increasingly comprehensive understanding of how dreaming is produced by the brain, replacing the mysticism surrounding dreams with contemporary dream science. This book examines how the new science of dreaming is influencing...
This book introduces readers to the science of human intelligence for those who know little or nothing about it and helps them reach the point where they can evaluate the basic issues of mental capacity for themselves. Each chapter discusses an important scientific topic but does so in an engaging and perfectly understandable manner. Discussed topics include whether there are...
From infancy to the beginnings of puberty, this Very Short Introduction provides a current, trustworthy, and intelligible summary of modern child psychology. Usha Goswami explores the bonding and attachment process from infancy on, showing how secure attachments encourage the development of self-awareness. Goswami examines how infants and toddlers understand the natural, biological, and social environments and how they acquire sophisticated...
Jonathan Slack examines the discovery, nature, and function of genes in both evolution and development in this investigation of the idea of the gene. Slack emphasizes how DNA variants are used to trace human ancestry and migration and can also be used by forensic scientists to identify suspects in crimes. She explains the nature of genetic variation in the human...
Our capacity to use models and manage data is being improved by mathematics, which is playing an increasingly significant role in society and the sciences. Applied mathematics stands at the nexus between this abstract world and the one in which we live, whereas pure mathematics is primarily interested in abstract structures. This branch of mathematics, which draws inspiration from both...
What is the issue? The material from which we and everything else in the world are produced is called matter. A million atoms may fit across the width of a human hair, yet everything around us, including desks, books, and even our own bodies, is formed of atoms. Every atom contains a small nucleus surrounded by a circling cloud of...
Since Newton, quantum theory has been the most ground-breaking advancement in physics. The surprising and paradoxical concepts that influence our understanding of the subatomic world are described in this book in a way that is lucid, engaging, and easy to understand. It doesn't hide the interpretational issues that are still up for debate 75 years after the initial discoveries. Equations...
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