Books that have left their mark

Below are the noteworthy books suggested in comments to my last post:  “Books with Longevity”.  (I could not find good photos of Grothendieck’s EGA and SGA, published by publications IHES)   Thanks for sharing them!

31XYoKNuDLL._AC_US160_      31NsWOSHhzL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_  41W6uxOhk4L._AC_US160_41We8RcZgwL._AC_US160_41Ejo5VjbgL._AC_US160_41TJIGgzH-L._AC_US160_  41eB8GyAwDL._AC_US160_     41+RT8fjXsL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_      j2700      41jEXEmhDGL._AC_US160_  41WJDfaYLUL._AC_US160_41YfYhyMQoL._AC_US160_  41Tt2-K+h9L._AC_US160_ 51EKdH8E46L._AC_US160_ j2404     41QkrgV1BhL._SL75_    41nCdOM1wpL._AC_US160_      31PFTUa1khL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

The intention of any worthy math book is to communicate a collective understanding of a subject by experts to potential future practitioners, but is it just me, or is there sometimes something more personal that happens between author and reader?  Some books seem to “talk” to you.  They can make you smile for the beauty that they reveal (examples for me are David Mumford’s Lectures on Curves on an Algebraic Surface, or Emil Artin’s Galois Theory), or they can egg you on with challenging problems leading you to deeper understanding (Attiyah and MacDonald’s Introduction to Commutative Algebra comes to mind).

On a more pragmatic level, as one comment pointed out,  it is also important for books to be useful for teaching.  That will be a topic for a future post.

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1 Response to Books that have left their mark

  1. Avatar Barbara says:

    Some titles are so blurred they’re really hard to read. May I suggest to include a mouse-over with title and author(s)?
    This would help all people with visual impairments benefit from your work.

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