The powers and pleasures of mathematics.




By John Allen Paulos


Numbers carry facts, ideas, information, and intelligence of every sort. What are the consequences of not understanding the relationships and probabilities they express? From sports to stocks, lotteries to political polls and elections, Paulos provides an enlightening—and entertaining—course in the costs of innumeracy.





The Math Book

By Clifford Pickover


From Archimedes's Spiral to Rubik's Cube, with stops along a timeline of insight and discovery that stretches across millennia, this anthology charts 250 milestones in mathematical history. Topics include the discovery of pi and the calculus, the butterfly effect, cryptography, key formulas and concepts, and much more—all illustrated with art, diagrams, and photos.




A Mathematician's Lament

By Paul Lockhart


"If I had to design a mechanism for the express purpose of destroying a child's natural curiosity and love of pattern-making, I couldn't possibly do as good a job as is currently being done—I simply wouldn't have the imagination to come up with the kind of senseless, soul-crushing ideas that constitute contemporary mathematics education." Does math class have to be "stupid and boring"? Lockhart, a research mathematician who has devoted his career to teaching K-12 level kids, doesn't think so, and passionately explains why.




One Hundred Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know: Math Explains Your World

By John D. Barrow


Why six degrees of separation and not seven? Noted cosmologist Barrow uses math to illuminate conundrums buried in everyday experience, and manages to uncover the speculative delights of mathematics itself. In a series of brief and engaging essays, he employs aspects of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus as, alternately, telescopes and microscopes to reveal clever perspectives on reality.





The Education of T. C. Mits

By Lillian R. Lieber


A wonderful excursion into the realm of the mathematical imagination in the company of T. C. Mits—better known to all of us as The Celebrated Man in the Street. First published more than six decades ago, Lillian Lieber's whimsical survey of topics from the commutative law to multiplication to Einstein's theory of relativity is a wise and witty gem.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.