Thursday, April 10, 2008

Celebrate Mathematics Awareness Month

Yet more from our Used Book Buyer—and bookselling machine—Brad. It's a list of books you can read to celebrate the other April holiday, Mathematical Awareness Month. Says he:

To celebrate April as Mathematical Awareness Month, why not read some great fiction in which math plays a central part? Herewith, a brief list:

Obedience: A Novel by Will Lavender

A new thriller in which the students in Professor Williams’ “Logic and Reasoning 204” are asked to find a seemingly hypothetical missing child, Polly, who’s peril begins to sound terrifyingly real.

Gifted by Nikita Lalwani

14 year old Rumi is a math prodigy pressured by her Indian émigré father to become the youngest student to ever attend Oxford. Rumi has ideas of her own.

The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt

Leavitt’s brilliant new novel based on the real life collaboration of two of the 20th Century’s greatest mathematicians: G. H. Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan.

The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez

A former “Nick’s Pick” and great mathematical murder mystery.

Flatland by Edwin Abbott

One of the greatest math books ever, and a delightful introduction to geometry.

The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt

Scientific wizard Nikola Tesla makes friends with a New York chambermaid. Time travel, romance, and delightful prose.

Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman

A classic little fable of Einstein in the miraculous year of 1905.

The Parrot’s Theorem by Denis Guedj

A talking bird may hold the key to the unfinished work of a great mathematician.

Turing: A Novel about Computation by Christos H. Papadimitriou

A great nerd love triangle of computers, calculations, and travel.

Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino

The great Italian fabulist here tells stories that include characters who are, in fact, mathematical formulae. A dizzying trip.

And for the younger readers, a list from our Kids Bookseller, Anna:

Math-y books for kids & teens

How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller

This fun early reader tells the story of a rather spatially-challenged kingdom, and how the king invents feet—the measuring kind, of course.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

John Green is absolutely one of our favorite Young Adult authors, and this charming novel about a teenage child prodigy trying to write an equation to predict heartbreak is one of the smartest (and funniest) books on our shelves.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Ray Cruz

Poor Alexander (of the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day fame) is now learning subtraction the hard way—watching his precious dollar disappear a few cents at a time.

Wild Fibonacci: Nature’s Secret Code Revealed by Joy N. Hulme, illustrated by Carol Schwartz

After a concise introduction to Fibonacci numbers, this incredible book introduces us to Fibonacci creatures, animals that have a part of their body that fits the Fibonacci spiral: tusks, teeth, tails, and more.

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

A boy who thinks math is a waste of time is visited in his dreams by the number devil, who shows him the magic and wonder of numbers.

Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert

A grandfather tells the tale of two fox fairies to his granddaughter, using tangrams to help her visualize the story. Another story featuring these ancient Chinese puzzle pieces is the middle grade novel The Wright Three by Blue Balliett, a mystery that is solved with the help of tangrams.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Who can forget Milo and Tock’s travels through Digitopolis, with the Dodecahedron and the Mathemagician showing the way, in Norton Juster’s and illustrator Jules Feiffer’s classic fantasy?

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to say how happy that review made me. (Not that I was googling myself. Okay, I was googling myself.) Thanks for your support! -John Green


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