Want to know what books Alex Bellos recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Alex Bellos's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Alex BellosOK, so this is The Triumph of Numbers by IB Cohen, who is a scholar, an eminent historian of science and he has written many academic books. But this one – very short – was only published after he died. Again, the difficulty in maths writing is often that the mathematicians don’t know how to write and the non-mathematicians don’t really get the maths. But Cohen is an amazing historian, so... (Source)

Alex BellosPetr Beckmann was a Czech electrical engineer who lived in Czechoslovakia until he was 39 in 1963, when he went to America as a visiting professor and just stayed there. (Source)

*Zero*follows this number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of the black hole. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for the theory of everything. Elegant, witty, and enlightening,

*Zero*... more

Alex BellosUnlike Ifrah, Charles Seife is a brilliant popular science writer who has here written the ‘biography’ of zero. And even though he doesn’t talk that much about India, it works well as a handbook to Ifrah’s sections on India. Because Seife talks about how zero is mathematically very close to the idea of infinity, which is another mathematical idea that the Indians thought about differently. Seife... (Source)

Bryan JohnsonChronicles how hard it was for humanity to come up with and hold onto the concept of zero. No zero, no math. No zero, no engineering. No zero, no modern world as we know it... (Source)

Alex BellosMy next book is by Georges Ifrah, who you could say is the real ‘man who counted’. The French have what is probably the best tradition of popular maths in the world: they love their science, their maths, their engineering and philosophy. And from 1650 to 1850 probably the largest percentage of the great mathematicians were French: Pascal, Fermat, Laplace, Lagrange and the rest. (Source)

The adventures of Beremiz Samir,

*The Man Who Counted*, take the reader on an exotic journey in which, time and again, he summons his extraordinary mathematical powers to settle disputes, give wise advice, overcome dangerous enemies, and win for himself fame and fortune. as we accompany him, we learn much of the history of famous mathematicisns who preceded... more

Alex BellosThe author Malba Tahan is a fictional character, the pen name of Júlio César de Mello e Sousa, and the book is set in Arabia as a mixture of One Thousand and One Nights and a maths book – it’s coming out of the most populous Catholic country in the world and yet it’s as much a love story to Arab culture as to maths itself. There were lots of Arab immigrants in Brazil and they love Arab culture –... (Source)

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