1089 and all that: A Journey into Mathematics
David Acheson
Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0198516231, £13.50
A mathematician’s account of the maths that’s intrigued and interested him, it is written in a highly accessible and entertaining style, with plenty of puzzles and illustrations. It communicates the buzz the author gets from maths as well as introducing many mathematical ideas. Something to curl up and read or just dip into.
Fermat’s Last Theorem
Simon Singh
Fourth Estate, 2002, ISBN 1841157910, £8.99
Simon Singh’s very readable bestseller focuses on Andrew Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, and also manages to touch on most of the puzzles that have occupied mathematicians over the centuries. The Daily Mail likened it to a chronicle of an obsessive love affair.
also by Simon Singh
The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Codebreaking
Fourth Estate, 2000, ISBN 1857028899, £9.99
Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions
Edwin Abbott
Kessinger, 2004, ISBN 0760755876, £10.95
This fresh and original mindexpanding book, easily accessible to layman and mathematician alike, was first published in 1884. An enduring classic, in story form, it explores how it might be to live in worlds of other dimensions. The worlds are inhabited by characterful geometric forms whose activities paint a satirical picture of Victorian Society and, at the same time, illuminate and deepen our understanding of dimensions. The book has the virtues of being short, entertaining and illuminating, a combination not always found in Maths books!
How to Take a Penalty
Rob Eastaway and John Haigh
Robson Books, 2005, ISBN 1861058365, £12.99
This book shows how mathematics can help improve performance in athletics, darts, football, snooker and tennis, among other sports. It does this, as well as giving much more information about the mathematics of sport, in a lively and accessible fashion.
by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham
How Long is a Piece of String?
Robson Books, 2003, ISBN 1861056257, £6.99
Why do Buses Come in Threes?
Robson Books, 2006, ISBN 1861058624, £6.99
In Code: A Mathematical Adventure
Sarah Flannery and David Flannery
Profile Books, 2001, ISBN 1861972717, £8.99
Sarah was a teenage mathematician who wrote, with her father’s help, about her childhood with daily puzzles set by her father, which led to a love of problem solving and also to knowledge of cryptology that won her international recognition. It includes problems to solve (with solutions) and an easytofollow explanation of her work.

It Must be Beautiful
Graham Farmelo (editor)
Granta Books, 2003, ISBN 1862075557, £9.99
The essays in this book cover a wide range of the scientific research of the twentieth century. The main content is in the field of mathematical physics but chemistry, environmental science and human behaviour are also included. The book is very readable and can be enjoyed by students with little mathematical or scientific expertise. The essays are seasoned with anecdotes and short biographies of some of the major scientific personalities of the last hundred years.
Polyominoes
Solomon Golomb
Princeton University Press, 1996, ISBN 0691024448, £15.95
Polyominoes are shapes made by joining squares edge to edge. You'll have seen tetrominoes if you've played the game Tetris. This book looks at the mathematics behind these shapes. You'll be introduced to proofs by colouring, which will convince you that you'll never be able to tile a 5 by 4 rectangle with the 5 tetrominoes, and how to create faultfree tilings using dominoes. There's a jigsaw using the 1285 enneominoes (nine squares) but what if, instead of squares, you used equilateral triangles? Or cubes? ...
The Magical Maze
Ian Stewart
Phoenix Press, 1998, ISBN 0753805146, £7.99
Very readable collection of diverse mathematical topics such as the Monty Hall problem, optimisation and chaos. This book places maths in a real life context. Some of the mathematics will be familiar to AS students but most will find something new and stimulating in this book.
also by Ian Stewart (see also overleaf)
From Here to Infinity
Oxford Paperbacks, 1996, ISBN 0192832026, £9.99
The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers
David Wells
Penguin, 1997, ISBN 0140261494, £8.99
This book takes the form of a numerical dictionary starting with 1 and i and ending with Graham's number. The entries give mathematical properties and historical facts. Many concepts, such as Fermat and Catalan numbers, are explained. Tables of common sequences are included. This book is ideal for dipping into, by GCSE as well as AS students. Find out why 13 is lucky, why 28 is perfect and about the first uninteresting number.
Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture
Apostolos Doxiadis
Faber & Faber, 2000, ISBN 0571202039, £9.99
This novel is a delightful story of the search for a solution to a famous problem and of the possible pitfalls in a research project that is too restricted in its outlook. There is a wonderful mix of humour, pathos and maths.
