**Reading list**

So many people ask for book
recommendations that I thought I'd write some down. This is
not a complete list, just a random selection to help the kinds of people who
usually ask me to recommend books. All of these books are well-written and among the very best I have come across. (Of
course I haven't read everything yet, nor do I
intend to.) I have no financial stake in any of these books.

**Applied Mathematics**

Foundations of Applied
Mathematics, Michael D. Greenberg, is
wonderful, but sadly out of print. It covers all the basics that a
Master's-educated applied mathematician should know. If
you steal the library copy, you will make enemies.

Advanced Mathematical
Methods for Scientists and Engineers, C. Bender and S. Orszag. Pay attention to the word "advanced".
It is full of very useful methods you won't find in Greenberg's book.

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Steven Strogatz. A
textbook suitable for upper-level undergraduates or beginning graduates in
applied mathematics. Dynamical systems approach to the study of differential
equations. Excellent pedagogy, abundant examples, many many applied problems. I
somehow think the word "bifurcations" should be in the title, since
that's a major theme and possibly the most important topic for most people. The
book is so comfortable with applications that we use it as the text for our
first-year graduate course in biomathematics.

Numerical Methods for
Engineers and Scientists, Joe Hoffman.
So you got your feet wet with Numerical Recipes. How
do you really do numerical work? The Hoffman book has a huge variety of
methods, and it's very well organized and easy to follow. The best part is the
hundreds of figures illustrating iterations, which let you easily compare
algorithms.

Numerical Computation in
Science and Engineering, C. Pozrikidis.
Another excellent book on numerical methods. Very
clearly written and well organized.

Introduction to Theoretical
and Computational Fluid Dynamics, C. Pozrikidis. The beauty of this book is that it abandons the
classical approach of derivation of exact solutions of the few linear or weakly
nonlinear problems that we can do, and integrates theory with computational
methods and results, so you can quickly get to do CFD. Well
written and organized.

The Visual Display of
Quantitative Information and Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte. The world is full of so much information, and
most of it is so badly organized and badly presented. Wouldn't you rather learn
some basic design principles that will let you effectively communicate
visually? A picture is worth a thousand words, but a bad picture is worth
nothing.

**Biomechanics and Biophysics**

Biomechanics: Motion, Flow, Stress, Growth, Y-C Fung

Biomechanics: Mechanical Properties of Living
Tissues, Y-C Fung

Biomechanics: Circulation, Y-C Fung

All the Fung books are
wonderful, combining theoretical background and experimental results. An
Introduction to Continuum Mechanics, Y.-C. Fung. Yet another great book by Fung. This is an
undergraduate-level engineering text that isn't just about building
bridges. There are excellent biological examples and exercises in it.

Life in Moving Fluids, 2nd
ed. Steven Vogel. A
spectacularly broad description of what happens when things flow in and around
living things. The mathematical level is basic. This is not a book about
theoretical or computational fluid dynamics.

Axis and Circumference,
Stephen Wainwright. A short and sweet book exploring the implications of being
cylindrical.

Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo,
Gabor Forgacs and Stuart A Newman. A splendidly written, very accessible book
about the physical forces that make us who we are. I believe that there is no
other book out there on this topic at an introductory level.

**Fiction About
Science/Academia**

Cantor's Dilemma, Carl Djerassi

The Bourbaki Gambit, Carl Djerassi

Menachem's Seed, Carl Djerassi

NO, Carl Djerassi

Djerassi's four novels (to
be read in this order) are simultaneously about the culture of science, ethics,
major discoveries, women in research, high culture, and occasionally politics
and sex. Why not start a Djerassi book discussion group
for students and/or faculty to discuss these issues?

Moo, Jane Smiley: a sly, very clever and
accurate composite portrait of academic life, from housekeeping to Provost. If
you have ever been at a university, you will enjoy it.

The curious incident of the
dog in the nighttime by Mark Haddon.
Not exactly about academia, but about people who can get
obsessed about ideas. Features some well-known and interesting
mathematics.

**Gardening**

The Complete Guide to Landscape Design,
Renovation, and Maintenance: A Practical Handbook for the Home Landscape Gardener by Cass Turnbull. Irreverent, practical, fun,
and it's also good landscaping. By the founder of Seattle's
PlantAmnesty ("One raging woman is a lunatic, 2000 people is a
movement.") For anyone wondering why their yard
doesn't look like the Arboretum. The publisher chose the title. Cass wanted to
call it It's a Jungle Out There.

**Graduate Students**

Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's
Guide to Earning a Master's or a Ph.D., Robert L. Peters.

The Elements of Style by
William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell. Everybody has to learn to write, and if you
write well, people will understand your work. If you write really well, people
will seek out your work, cite it, fund it, and praise it, even if the work
itself isn't good. If you write badly, people will not bother to read your
work, and you will slowly and painfully fade away into obscurity and
unemployment.

Ms. Mentor's Impeccable
Advice for Women in Academia, Emily Toth.
Irreverent and good advice for young and old, from students
to Emeritae. Excellent advice in the grad
student section.

A PhD is Not Enough: A Guide to Survival in
Science by Peter Feibelman. A slim and overpriced book that
is nonetheless worth the price for its excellent advice. Borrow it from
a friend.

**Mathematical Biology**

Mathematical Models in
Biology, Leah Edelstein-Keshet.
Best for the person who has not studied qualitative theory of
ordinary differential equations. A gentle introduction
to the construction and analysis of differential and difference equations as
models of biological phenomena.

Mathematical Biology, J. D. Murray
: Best for the person with a strong background in applied mathematics
including ordinary differential equations and basic partial differential
equations. The book is not for the beginner in applied mathematics, but is
ideal for an applied mathematician, physicist, or other mathematically-trained
person who wants to know what to do with all those math skills. Not
comprehensive; focused on specific problems Murray and his friends have worked
on.

**Parenting**

Your Baby and Child, Penelope Leach, is my
favorite. Leach is very practical and really gets inside the heads of babies
and small children.

Parenting Your Spirited
Child, By Mary Kurcinka. Many
many practical tips for coping with, and improving, your child's more challenging behaviors.

**Science, Miscellaneous**

How Many People Can the Earth Support? Joel E.
Cohen. This takes 500 pages to answer a single question, but it's all interesting, and most of it is pretty scary. And you think it's hard to find a parking space now.

Guns, Germs, and Steel,
Jared Diamond. Why is Western
Civilization doing so well, and other parts of the world are not? This is a
combination of biology, history, and geography. Some of the answers are: (1)
Zebras have a temper, (2) the Americas go north-south while Eurasia goes
east-west, (3) keeping the cows in the basement makes your grandchildren
healthy. This won the Pulitzer Prize, not just the Lubkin Prize.

Random Walks in Biology,
Howard Berg. A short book about things (like single-celled organisms) that move
randomly.

Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William
Bryant Logan. This is a book about soil. More than you ever knew you wanted to
know about soil. I loved it, but people who have studied soil professionally
tell me that it is over the top. Read it, get excited about soil, learn the
real dirt on soil, and then trash the book for being over the top. But I loved it.

I am told of a study of
television viewers which found that physicians love
the cop shows but think the hospital shows are ridiculous; the policemen loved
the doctor shows but thought the crime shows were ridiculous. The applied
mathematician loves the popular soil science book but thinks the popular math
books are extreme. I imagine the soil scientists must love the popular math
books.

Structures, Or Why Things Don't Fall Down, J. E.
Gordon. This is a totally accessible and wonderful book about civil
engineering. Don't look at me like that. How do you know that the ceiling over
your head is going to stay there?

The Tinkerer's Accomplice,
J. Scott Turner. How
does biological complexity emerge? The explanation is, well, complex - and
cleverly written and comprehensively annotated.

**Teaching**

Teaching Tips, McKeachie. Classic.

**Women's Issues**

Why So Slow? The Progress of Women,
Virginia Valian. This is serious scholarly research, every bit of it
backed up by references. Required reading for everybody who
hires or promotes anybody in the professions.

Ms. Mentor's Impeccable
Advice for Women in Academia, Emily Toth.
Irreverent and good advice for young and old, from students
to Emeritae.