11 Best Math Books To Augment Your Skills

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Students who struggle to score desirable grades in math often look for the best math book online. However, finding the best titles by knowledgeable and experienced authors often becomes a complicated task. Moreover, many students cannot recognize if specific books have the right contents to help them understand math deeply. If you are one of these online searchers, then this blog is for you. Here, we have compiled a list of the 11 finest books on math. Read along and choose the one that suits your needs best.

What Are The Main Branches Of Mathematics?

  • Arithmetic: It is the most basic and oldest branch of mathematics. It performs fundamental operations and number systems of mathematics like addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division.
  • Algebra: It is a type of mathematics that is concerned with unidentified numeric values. Unidentified numeric values are made up of alphabets like A, B, X, Y, and much more. The alphabets help to simplify the regulations and formulas that one writes, and they help to determine the missing quantity in the algebraic equations and expressions.
  • Geometry: This is the most justifiable and usable branch of math that is concerned with the size and shape of figures and their features. This branch is made up of lines, surfaces, points, angles, and solids.
  • Trigonometry: This branch of mathematics is concerned with the sides and angles of triangles.
  • Analysis: It is based on the rate of changes in different quantities. Calculus is an essential form of analysis.

Why Mathematics Is Considered a Difficult subject To Learn for Students?

math books

Mathematics appears to be harder than other subjects because of the following reasons:

v  Difficult Concepts

Mathematics includes complicated concepts and ideas that can be difficult for students to grasp initially. Concepts like infinity, limits, and imaginary numbers may appear new and hard to recognize without enough context or visual representation.

v  Complex Problem Solving

Mathematics needs logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Students must apply various methods and formulas to solve complex mathematical problems. It may be mentally stressful and time-consuming.

v  Cumulative Nature

Mathematics is a cumulative subject. It means that new concepts are developed based on previously learned ones. If students have gaps in their knowledge of mathematical concepts or do not know its basic concepts, it can pose a problem in understanding the advanced topics of the subject.

v  Lack of Real-World Context

Sometimes, students make great efforts but fail to observe the real-life implications of mathematics. Without recognizing how mathematical concepts are connected to everyday situations or other academic disciplines, they may put in more effort to connect and find the motivation to learn.

v  Symbolic Language

Mathematics employs a symbolic language with equations, symbols, and notation that can come out to be intricate and unintuitive to students. Recognizing and figuring out mathematical symbols requires practice and acquaintance, which can appear to be a stumbling block for learners.

v  Perception of Difficulty

Mathematics has a name for a difficult subject. This thought can pose a psychological barrier for students. Anxiety related to math can harm their self-confidence and eagerness to learn the material. This makes it more complicated for them to learn effectively.

Also read: Importance of Math in Our Daily Life

11 Best Math Books For Students To Enhance Their Skills

The following are the best math books for students.

1. The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, Timothy Gowers, and June Barrow-Green

  • The Best math book for: Learning many math topics
  • Reasons to read the book

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics is like an encyclopedia of mathematics for students and professionals alike. Readers get to cover a wide range of topics by reading this book.

  • Summary of the book

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics deals with the following topics:

  • Linear algebra
  • Elementary number theory
  • Modern analysis and logic
  • Algebraic geometry
  • Probability theory
  • Algebraic number theory
  • Complex analysis
  • Key Takeaways
  • Apart from learning about mathematical concepts, students can become familiar with more than 95 influential mathematicians.
  • The best part of the book is its excellent writing style. However, there are no exercises to improve students’ learning.


2.  A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley

  • The Best Math Book for: Learning the Tricks to Score the best grades in math exams
  • Reasons to read it

A Mind for Numbers is an indispensable book for students who get nervous when it comes to learning math.

  • Summary of the book

This author, Barbara Oakley, developed this book after years of experience teaching students. Through the book, she aims to turn advanced mathematics into an engaging learning experience. She approaches every pure math and science problem as a puzzle and includes stories and illustrations to ease the learning process.

  • Key Takeaways
  • A mind for numbers helps readers get the essential skills they need to grasp various mathematical concepts and ace the exams.


3. Introduction to Mathematical Thought by Keith Devlin

  • The Best Math Book for: Learning mathematics from a different perspective
  • Reasons to read this book

This book is for students, professionals, and anyone interested in mathematics to get a new perspective. Keith Devlin helps his readers to get an insightful perception of many complicated mathematical concepts like logic and set theory through his book, Introduction To Mathematical Thought.

  • Summary of the book

Students tend to work on math using the learned formulas. Most of them are not curious to find out different ways of solving math problems. However, Keith wants to encourage and introduce learners to logical and ‘mathematical thinking.’ He achieves it through his book, Introduction to Mathematical Thought.

  • Key Takeaways
  • This book is helpful for both high school and college students. However, many learners can use it as a bridge to jump into college mathematics.
  • The author details how people can use math as a method of communication instead of just a calculation tool.

Read more: How to Solve Math Assignment Problems Faster?

4. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife

  • The Best Math Book For: To learn about the origin of numbers
  • Reasons to read this book:

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife discusses the mathematical judgment of a single number. It has a part in world history that many students might find appealing.

  • Summary of the book

As a science journalist, Charles Seife explores the following topics:

  • The origin of zero
  • The journey to the acceptance of zero for mathematicians and the public on the whole
  • How zero is a threat to contemporary physics

Readers can also get a glimpse of the celebrated mathematicians’ thoughts about the numbers. Charles Seife has included views of the following mathematicians:

  • Pythagoras
  • Newton
  • Heisenberg
  • Kabalists
  • Many modern astrophysics
  • Key Takeaways
  • Zero is a thrilling read as it does not include an excessive number of equations like many other mathematics textbooks.
  • Charles Seife uses a fun writing style to talk about the importance of zero. Readers will also learn about the impact of zero in physics in the second part of the book.

5. Answers to Contemporary Abstract Algebra by Joseph Gallian

  • The Best Math Book for: Introduction to Mathematics
  • Reasons to read this book

Answers to Contemporary Abstract Algebra, 7th edition, talks talk about the basics of conceptual algebra. The writing style followed by the author is pleasing, thorough, and clear. Therefore, this book is best for students who are looking for different methods to learn mathematics.

  • Summary of the book

This book focuses on readability to offer a solid foundation in algebra for all beginner-level mathematics students. The multiple outstandingly worked-out examples make this book a must-have for teaching assistants and students alike.

  • Key Takeaways

Gallian utilizes the following to enhance the learning experience:

  • examples
  • tables
  • charts
  • photographs
  • biographies

However, not all examples are completely solved, and they do not provide answers to the problems.

  • The book is easily readable. The author uses limited jargon. It makes the book one of the best introductory texts to mathematics.
  • This book has practical exercises and suggestions. It helps you learn better.

6. The Joy of X by Steven Strogatz

  • The Best math book for: Understanding the practical applications of fundamental Math
  • Reasons to read this book

The Joy of X uses simple texts to familiarize readers with the world of mathematics.

  • Summary of the book

In this book, author Steven Strogatz talks about the use of mathematical concepts in the fields of medicine, business, philosophy, law, art, and pop culture. He uses small chapters to explore the fundamentals of mathematics. Therefore, the contents become quite engaging to read.

  • Key Takeaways
  • The book focuses on the uses of mathematics in the practical world through a student-friendly approach.
  • It is easy to understand for readers who are novices to intricate mathematics. However, a background in mathematics will help you recognize the concepts easier.

Also read:  What Is A Term In Math, And How To Solve A Mathematical Term?


7. Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension by Matt Parker

  • The Best Math book for: Becoming aware of unique math concepts
  • Reasons to read this book

This book has multiple chapters that are based on different concepts of mathematics. The writer uses a clear writing style with a delightful approach to help students of all academic levels in learning mathematics.

  • Summary of the book

Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension by Matt Parker covers several abstract concepts. Some intriguing ones include:

  • knot theory
  • optimization algorithms
  • prime numbers
  • mathematical concepts of barcodes
  • iPhone screens

The author helps learners recognize the basics of mathematics through real-world examples.

  • Key Takeaways
  • This book has unique concepts. It meets the needs of everyone, from students in junior high to graduate levels.
  • Intricate mathematical concepts seem easy with Mark Parker’s wit.

8. Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus Thompson

  • Best math book for: Learning elementary Calculus
  • Reasons to read this book

This book offers the best reference material to learn the fundamentals of calculus.

  • Summary of the book

Silvanus Thompson mixes precision with publication language to take learners through a journey in Calculus. The author makes the complicated Calculus appear simple through his unique style of presentation and explanation of the complex Calculus concepts. Therefore, the book becomes an interesting and intriguing read.

  • Key Takeaways
  • The writing style employed in this book makes it one of the best math books on Calculus.
  • Calculus Made Easy reflects the contemporary concepts of Calculus.
  • Almost all the contents of the book are intriguing. However, some notations may appear strange, especially for A-level students.

9.  Imagining Numbers: Particularly the Square Root of minus fifteen by Barry Mazur

  • The Best math book for: Learning about the practical implications of many types of math
  • Reasons to read this book

This book helps in learning about imaginary numbers.

  • Summary of the book

Mr. Mazur has divided the book into three insightful parts and elaborates on the following contents in each section:

  • Part 1 discusses the fundamentals of the numbers.
  • Part 2 covers the negative numbers.
  • Part 3 highlights the beauty of the numbers.
  • Key Takeaways
  • This book discusses imaginary numbers and their uses in practical life.
  • The author sheds light on algebra, triangles, number lines, and all other math tools appropriate for all-level mathematics students.
  • The book also has poems between the poems. It breaks the boredom of learning various types of math and their symbols.

Also read: Arithmetic vs. Mathematics: An Analysis of the Differences

10.  Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry by Tony Rothman and Fukagawa Hidetoshi

  • The Best book for: Acquainting yourself with Japanese culture through mathematics
  • Reasons to read this book

Tony Rothman and Fukagawa Hidetoshi take their readers on a tour of the Japanese world of solving math. The book helps readers to:

  • Understand and recognize the Japanese influence on the development of math.
  • Identify the Japanese technique for solving trigonometry.
  • Know the evolution of trigonometry in Japan before the influence of European countries.
  • Learn how the Japanese create various puzzles with the help of trigonometry.
  • Reasons to read the book

Rothman and Hidetoshi take their readers on the journey of Sangaku puzzles. They share a convincing story about the evolution of Sangaku puzzles. The authors open the world of Sangaku mathematicians to their readers. During the journey of the story, they let readers explore the various Japanese cultures.

  • Key Takeaways
  • As an expert on the Sagunka puzzles, Hidetoshi offers details on temple geometry in simple language.
  • The best part of the book is the illustration of the book itself. The use of beautiful graphics, clean mathematics, and use of language arrest the attention of the reader. It is bound to make them feel happy and never get bored of the unique application of trigonometry.
  • Through Sacred Mathematics, students indeed get to learn a new approach to geometry. However, the only disappointing factor in this book is that the authors do not provide solutions to all the problems.

11.  Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers, by Jan Gullberg

  • The Best Book for: Undergraduates to gain knowledge of the core math concepts
  • Reasons to read the book:

In this book, Jan Gullberg discovers the birth of mathematics. He discusses the history of the subject and talks about the pressing questions.

  • Summary of the book

In this book, readers can see Gullberg’s interest and love for math. The book offers readers wide exposure to mathematical concepts. Students can join in a voyage to experience various mathematical languages and numbers, like:

  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Geometry
  • Differential equations
  • Set theory
  • Calculus
  • Logic
  • Probability theory
  • Key Takeaways
  • This book is best for undergraduates. It helps them become familiar with the fundamental mathematical concepts. However, postgraduate students may not benefit much from the book as it fails to offer extensive knowledge.

Also read: Best Math Research Topics for Students to Consider


The discussion above highlights the 11 best math books for students. Read them to enhance your knowledge of the subject. However, if you are intrigued to learn more about such unique books or need assistance solving math problems, quickly reach out to us.



Jacob Smith Education Reading Time: 12 minutes

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