The best math books 📚

Browse the best books on math as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

By David Allen

Why this book?

Succeeding in a mathematics degree requires not only intelligence but also organization. Many students are not great at organization because they have comparatively little experience in taking responsibility for time management and because they are, after all, just people. This sometimes causes them a lot of stress. I think that the stress is largely avoidable, and Allen agrees: one of his main points is that stress comes from the nagging sense of important things not being done, so that it is useful to have both a grip on what is important and realistic plans for when important things will be…

From the list:

The best books for studying undergraduate mathematics

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Men of Mathematics

Men of Mathematics

By E.T. Bell

Why this book?

First published in 1937, this lovely book is a true classic. In two volumes Bell brings to life 30 or so mathematicians, from Archimedes to Cantor. When first reading the book many years ago I had remembered some of the names from school and college, but only as labels to theorems or equations, and I felt taken into a delightful new realm of knowledge – I could now think of Fermat, Lagrange, Gauss, and Riemann as people. And I began to want to know more about the scientists whose names I had heard in school and college. Bell’s book had…

From the list:

The best science books to enjoy and to get you thinking

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

By Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou

Why this book?

Logicomix is a revelation. It tells the colorful life stories of some incredibly important philosophers and mathematicians of recent times, how they met and how their lives reflect their thoughts about some of the most difficult questions ever posed. The stories are beautifully illustrated with a detail that conveys more than mere words. It feels wondrous how the most abstract ideas can be made comprehensible and captivating when we had only the vaguest notions about what these ideas even meant.
From the list:

The best graphic novels that explain things that matter

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality

Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality

By Edward Frenkel

Why this book?

Love and Math is a mathematical autobiography, seamlessly interweaving an inspiring personal journey with profound mathematical ideas. Born in the Soviet Union, Frenkel aspired to become a professional mathematician, only to see his hopes crushed by entrenched antisemitism at Moscow State University – home to the premier mathematics program in the country. While sitting for the entrance exam, he was confronted by two advanced graduate students who were sent to question him personally and make sure he failed. Rejected but undeterred, Frenkel turned instead to an informal network of top-flight but marginalized Soviet mathematicians, who like him were denied employment…

From the list:

The best books on the power and wonder of mathematics

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure

By Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Rotraut Susanne Berner, Michael Henry Heim

Why this book?

Among my children’s bedtime stories The Number Devil was a favourite. It’s about a boy who finds his school maths lesson dull and pointless. One night in his dreams he gets visited by the Number Devil, who introduces him to the astonishing patterns to be found in numbers. By making the lead character a maths-sceptic, the author carries the reader along so that we are all drawn into the hidden beauty of mathematics. The book has wonderful colour illustrations, which adds to its charm. Parents love it too.

From the list:

The best math(s) books for people who don’t read math(s) books

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

By Cathy O’Neil

Why this book?

It is no surprise that algorithms, statistics, and computation have changed our lives irrevocably. In many cases these are changes for the better. However, because we view mathematics as true and impartial, it is easy to view the output of algorithms as immune from the biases that affect human decision-making. In Weapons of Math Destruction Cathy O’Neil gives us many reasons to rethink this perception. Algorithms are written by humans and data is collected by humans. Thus, the output of these seemingly impartial algorithms may have the same biases that humans do, or even ones that are worse, and they…
From the list:

The best books for mathematics enthusiasts

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 99 books about math

New book lists about math

All book lists about math

Bookshelves related to math

Browse books by…