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File: WhatWouldYouRecommendToABright14YearOld [[[>50 I submitted this question to Hacker News: * https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9268981 There are some excellent suggestions and some intriguing discussions happening there. I will let that settle, and then integrate the suggestions into this page. ]]] When I was about 14 or so I was given some books that proved to be influential. Included were several of Martin Gardner's books, some science fiction, including Asimov and Niven, and a few others. * What books do you wish you'd been given? * What books *were* you given that proved to be influential? * What books would you give to a bright, enthusiastic 14 year old? Here are some specific recommendations: ********> * Kevin Houston * "How to Think Like a Mathematician" * https://www1.maths.leeds.ac.uk/~khouston/httlam.html * T. W. Körner * "The Pleasures of Counting" * http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1978357.The_Pleasures_of_Counting * MartinGardner * "Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions" * "The Colossal Book of Mathematics: _ Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems" * "Entertaining Mathematical Puzzles" * Actually, anything by MartinGardner. _ They are a bit dated, but there is a _ wealth to be mined. * RobEastaway * How Many Socks Make A Pair * The Hidden Maths of Sport * Mindbenders and Brainteasers * ... /and/many/more/ ... * http://www.robeastaway.com/books * John Haigh * "Mathematics in Everyday Life" * NASA JPL and Elon Musk both say _ good things about this: * http://kerbalspaceprogram.com/en/ * Oren, Knuth, Patashnik * Concrete Mathematics * Thomas A. Garrity * All the Mathematics You Missed: But Need to Know for Graduate School ******** * Rudy Rucker * Infinity and the Mind * Paul Lockhart * Measurement * Simon Singh * Fermat's Last Theorem * Jim Al-Khalili * Quantum Theory for the Perplexed * Simon and Schuster * Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Writing * Richard Feynman * "What do you care what other people think?" * Neal Stephenson. * "Cryptonomicon" * Edwin Abbott * "Flatland" * David Green * "The Inventions of Daedalus" * "More Inventions of Daedalus" * J.A.Green * Sets and Groups: A First Course in Algebra * Julian Havil * The Irrationals: A Story Of The Numbers You Can't Count On * ... and others. ********< !! Possibly too advanced? There are three books by Avner Ash and Robert Gross: * Fearless Symmetry: Exposing the Hidden Patterns of Numbers, * Elliptic Tales: Curves, Counting, and Number Theory. * Summing It Up: From one plus one to modern number theory. Here's a review: * http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=8555 !! Pending I'm receiving lots of recommendations via the HN item, _ I will need to vet and categorise them, but they are _ mostly looking great. Here, unvetted and uncategorised _ are some: ********> width="50%" * Things to Make and Do in the 4th Dimension * "Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities" * APeriodical * Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms * Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" * Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" * "Gödel, Escher, Bach", * "QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter", * "The Adapted Mind" * The Iain M Banks culture novels. * How to Solve It - George Polya. * Professor E McSquared's Calculus Primer: * The Hacker's Dictionary * "Calculus the Easy Way" * "Algebra the Easy Way" * "Trigonometry the Easy Way" * Measurement by Paul Lockhart. * Misteaks. . . and how to find them before the teacher does. * "A wrinkle in Time" * "stranger from the Depths" * "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance" * Dorris Lessing, "Mara and Dann An Adventure " * Everything by Asimov and Heinlein * The Dune series by Herbert. * "Watership Down" * What do you care what other people think? by Richard Feynman. * Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. * Flatland, by Edwin Abbott. * Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman * Adventures of a Mathematician * Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" * Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. * Warrior of the Light: A Manual by Paulo Coelho * Logicomix * Blogs of favorite authors. ******** width="5%" ******** width="45%" !! The game, FTL. * http://www.ftlgame.com/ A "roguelike-like". It's SF themed which is unusual in the Roguelike world. You start off with a spaceship with limited weapons, crew and so on and run away from an advancing enemy fleet attempting to collect enough equipment along the way for a showdown with the enemy flagship. Unlike with nethack or perhaps moreso Angband where a winning run could last quite a while, the maximum possible duration of a game of FTL is limited by the relentless advance of the enemy fleet behind you. Various "Rogue-A-Like" games: * nethack, * angband, * crawl, * adom, * dungeons of dredmor, * /and/ FTL. ********< ---- Email me your suggestions: mailto:WWYR2AB14YO@solipsys.co.uk