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5 Math Books That Caught My Eye This Year

Math readers are great, from adventurous histories like The Calculus Story to essay collections like The Prime Number Conspiracy, but sometimes what really catches my eye is a well-executed illustrated book. Here are five beautifully illustrated math books that came out this year.

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The Golden Ratio: The Divine Beauty of Mathematics by Gary B. Meisner, art by Rafael Araujo

 

9781631064869The Golden Ratio examines the presence of this divine number in art and architecture throughout history, as well as its ubiquity among plants, animals, and even the cosmos. This gorgeous book—with layflat dimensions that closely approximate the golden ratio—features clear, enlightening, and entertaining commentary alongside stunning full-color illustrations by Venezuelan artist and architect Rafael Araujo. (October 2018)

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Math with Bad Drawings: Illuminating the Ideas That Shape Our Reality by Ben Orlin

 

9780316509039In Math With Bad Drawings, Ben Orlin reveals to us what math actually is; its myriad uses, its strange symbols, and the wild leaps of logic and faith that define the usually impenetrable work of the mathematician. Every discussion in the book is illustrated with Orlin’s trademark “bad drawings,” which convey his message and insights with perfect pitch and clarity. With 24 chapters covering topics from the electoral college to human genetics to the reasons not to trust statistics, Math with Bad Drawings is a life-changing book for the math-estranged and math-enamored alike. (September 2018)

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Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics by Talithia Williams

 

9781631064852Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics is a full-color volume that takes aim at the forgotten influence of women on the development of mathematics over the last two millennia. You’ll see each eminent mathematician come to life on each page, women like the astronomer-philosopher Hypatia, theoretical physicist Emmy Noether, and rocket scientist Annie Easley. (May 2018)

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Problem Solved: The Great Breakthroughs in Mathematics by Robert Snedden

 

9781788883221Robert Sneden explores the great mathematical breakthroughs in history. Each chapter opens with a helpful overview and timeline of events, putting each breakthrough in perspective. From the inventions of algebra and geometry to probability and the Turing machine and the birth of the computer, you can see how each fascinating breakthrough paved the way for the next. (November 2018)

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Math Hacks: 100 Clever Ways to Help You Understand and Remember the Mos Important Theories by Richard Cochrane

 

9781788400121Everything you need to know about 100 key mathematical concepts condensed into easy-to-understand sound bites designed to stick in your memory and give you an instant grasp of the concept. The perfect introduction to algebra, logic, probability and much more, this is a great new way to learn about the most important mathematical ideas and concepts in a way that makes them easy to recall even months after reading the book. (May 2018)

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