A Beautiful Mathematical Reading List for 2023

A Beautiful Mathematical Reading List for 2023

Are you looking for a comprehensive mathematical reading list that will spark your curiosity and keep your motivation up throughout the year? Look no further! I have got just the thing. This “Beautiful Mathematical Reading List for 2023” provides an exciting selection of mathematics resources, from introductory guides to advanced topics, covering everything in between.

Whether you are a math person who has been studying the subject since childhood or someone keen to start exploring this fascinating world, this reading list is perfect for everyone interested in deepening their understanding of mathematical concepts and sharpening their skills. Read on to discover what lies ahead – from challenging texts full of diagrams and equations to captivating stories about famous mathematicians- these titles are sure to expand your horizons in 2023!

Why Should You Have a Mathematical Reading List in 2023?

For the vast majority of people, the word “Math” evokes unpleasant memories of their high school years. We must resolve this issue as soon as possible! However, how do we do it? Is that even possible?

Mathematics is a profound subject with an abundance of wonderful things to offer its students. For thousands of years, mathematicians have attempted to make our lives more beautiful and comfortable by employing mathematical principles and techniques. Many of them are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with us!

If you do not know anything about anything, there is no reason for you to be pleased about it. That is why you should start learning new things about mathematics, and the ideal method to do so is to have a mathematical reading list and read the best books on the subject matter.

Here, I have curated 22 wonderful math books to make your lives a little bit easier. Once you have delved into these math books, you will never see mathematics as tedious or intimidating again.

If you like this list you can also check, The Ten Best Popular Physics Books of 2022.

Before I get started, I would like to suggest Audible for those of us who are not the best at reading. Whether you are commuting to work, driving, or simply doing dishes at home, you can listen to these books at any time through Audible.

Step back in time and dive into the captivating world of numbers with this classic book, Number: The Language of Science. Although it was written decades ago, its relevance remains intact, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the fascinating evolution of numbers and their impact on mathematics, philosophy, and science.

Unlike other math-focused books, this gem takes a storytelling approach, making it accessible to a wider audience. While some mathematical proofs are explored, the author skillfully explains them in a way that even non-mathematicians can appreciate. A basic understanding of math could certainly enhance the experience, but it’s not a prerequisite.

Don’t let its age deter you. While the chapter on “Future problems” may no longer hold relevance, it offers an intriguing glimpse into historical math problems and their subsequent solutions. And for those hungry for more, the editors have included additional book recommendations, sure to keep us engaged in further exploration.

Discover the wonders of number theory and embark on a journey that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the language of science. Number: The Language of Science is the perfect starting point for anyone delving into the realms of mathematics and beyond.

Like Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, and David Berlinski’s A Tour of the CalculusEuclid in the Rainforest combine the literary with the mathematical to explore logic—the one indispensable tool in man’s quest to understand the world. Underpinning both math and science is the foundation of every significant advancement in knowledge since the time of the ancient Greeks. Mazur artfully reveals the less-than-airtight nature of logic and the chaotic relationship between math and the real world through adventure stories and historical narratives populated with a rich and quirky cast of characters. Ultimately, Mazur argues, logical reasoning is not purely robotic, and it is a creative process guided by our intuitions and beliefs about the world at its most basic level.

An illustrated tour of the structures and patterns we call “math”

The only numbers in this book are the page numbers.

Math Without Numbers is a vivid, conversational, and wholly original guide to the three main branches of abstract math—topology, analysis, and algebra—which turn out to be surprisingly easy to grasp. This book upends the conventional approach to math, inviting you to think creatively about shape and dimension, the infinite and infinitesimal, symmetries, proofs, and how these concepts all fit together. What awaits readers is a freewheeling tour of the inimitable joys and unsolved mysteries of this curiously powerful subject.

Like the classic math allegory Flatland, first published over a century ago, or Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach forty years ago, there has never been a math book quite like Math Without Numbers. So many popularizations of math have dwelt on numbers like pi or zero or infinity. This book goes well beyond to questions such as: How many shapes are there? Is anything bigger than infinity? And is math even true? Milo Beckman shows why math is mostly just pattern recognition and how it keeps on surprising us with unexpected, useful connections to the real world.

The ambitions of this book take a special kind of author. An inventive, original thinker pursuing his calling with jubilant passion. A prodigy. Milo Beckman completed the graduate-level course sequence in mathematics at age sixteen, when he was a sophomore at Harvard; while writing this book, he was studying the philosophical foundations of physics at Columbia under Brian Greene, among others.

How can we be sure that Pythagoras’s theorem is really true? Why is the ‘angle in a semicircle’ always 90 degrees? And how can tangents help determine the speed of a bullet?

In The Wonder Book of Geometry, David Acheson takes you on a highly illustrated tour through the history of geometry from ancient Greece to the present day. He emphasizes elegant deduction and practical applications and argues that geometry can offer the quickest route to the whole spirit of mathematics at its best. Along the way, we encounter the quirky and the unexpected, meet the great personalities involved, and uncover some of the loveliest surprises in mathematics.

Mathematics may seem like a daunting and impersonal subject to some, but for Francis Su, it is the very key to unlocking a life of true human flourishing. From the joy of playful puzzles to the awe-inspiring beauty of complex equations, math offers us a unique way to tap into some of humanity’s most fundamental desires for freedom, justice, and love.

Su’s book, Mathematics for Human Flourishing, is a masterpiece, crafted to inspire those who may have lost sight of math’s potential to bring us closer to our most essential selves. With parables and personal reflections, Su reminds us how math can be a source of creativity, wonder, and even some much-needed joy in a world that can often seem harsh and unforgiving.

Beyond Infinity is a captivating book that takes readers on a mind-expanding journey into the outer realms of mathematics. With her engaging storytelling style, Eugenia Cheng delves into various mathematical concepts, shedding light on the complex idea of infinity and unraveling its mysteries.

Through clever analogies and thought-provoking examples, Cheng guides readers through the exploration of natural numbers, rational numbers, and real numbers, ultimately showing that infinity defies classification as a “normal type” of number. Along the way, we encounter fascinating topics such as Hilbert Hotels, Cantor’s diagonalization argument, and the different sizes of infinities, all brought to life with vivid storytelling and relatable scenarios.

Once we grasp the concept of infinity, Cheng takes us on a captivating journey into the realms of the incredibly large and the infinitesimally small. We explore growth rates through the lens of folding puff pastry and song shuffles, delve into the idea of dimensions and infinite dimensions, and catch a glimpse of category theory. We also ponder infinite sums of diminishing numbers and the mind-bending paradoxes they create. Cheng expertly fills gaps in our understanding of the real number line, shedding light on the irrational numbers and bringing us closer to a comprehensive definition of the real numbers.

This book is a must-read for anyone curious about infinity, whether they are beginners or seasoned mathematicians. It offers a fascinating introduction to the concept of infinity while showcasing the creative and playful nature of mathematical thinking. Beyond Infinity is an enjoyable and enlightening read that will leave readers longing for more.

“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 theory. Following these are talks of more specialized subjects, and the book concludes with a chapter that addresses frequently asked social concerns concerning the mathematical community, such as “Is it true that mathematicians burn out at the age of 25?” Anyone who wants to better grasp mathematics should start with this introduction.”

Prepare to be captivated by the remarkable life of Benoit Mandelbrot, a brilliant mind behind groundbreaking scientific theories. In his memoir, “The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick,” Mandelbrot reveals a side of himself that is cultured, humorous, open-minded, and reflective—the traits that endeared him to his colleagues, friends, and mentees.

Rather than a typical memoir that spans multiple volumes, Mandelbrot divides his 86-year journey into three distinctive parts. He takes us on a captivating ride through his childhood in depression-era Poland, his experiences as a teenager during France’s occupation and liberation, and his eventual rise to become a renowned scientist.

Whether you’re a fan of Mandelbrot‘s work or simply appreciate a fascinating life story, each part of the memoir serves as a window into history. Through his experiences, we witness how an influential career took shape and how he shaped the fields of mathematics, physics, and economics.

Mandelbrot’s memoir is not just a reflection on his own life, but a celebration of the human spirit and the thirst for knowledge. It is a testament to the power of curiosity and the willingness to explore new frontiers, even when faced with criticism or opposition.

By the end of “The Fractalist,” you’ll find yourself inspired by Mandelbrot’s unwavering determination and awed by the incredible depth and complexity of the world around us.

“Everyone likes pasta, but despite several cookbooks, no one has ever seen the dish prepared in this manner. This one-of-a-kind book, which a group wrote of compulsive designers, uncovers the mathematical beauty that cooks all over the world have known since Marco Polo.

The wonderful, occasionally whimsical, geometrical surfaces and shapes of pasta are made to hold particular sauces or accoutrements while still being aesthetically pleasing. Here are more than 90 different varieties of pasta, each of which is depicted using images that were particularly ordered, mathematical formulas that precisely describe each shape, and illustrations that highlight the culinary brilliance of our everyday staple. Brief writings outline the unique qualities of each type of pasta and offer suggestions for specific cooking applications. Two hundred black-and-white pictures and 90 color illustrations.”

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Ali Kaya


Ali Kaya

This is Ali. Bespectacled and mustachioed father, math blogger, and soccer player. I also do consult for global math and science startups.