Reading lists

This is just a list of assorted books for sixth formers!

Mathematics books

  1. Alex in Numberland,Alex Bellos. Very readable.
  2. Mathematics Masterclasses: stretching the imagination, ed. Brian Sewell. Lots of interesting mathematics topics demonstrating all sorts of applications ofmathematics.
  3. Strange curves, counting rabbits and other mathematical explorations, Keith Ball
  4. Towing icebergs, falling dominoes and other adventures in applied mathematics, Robert Banks
  5. Mathematics and the search for knowledge, Morris Kline
  6. The Tiger That Isn’t: Seeing Through a World of Numbers, Blastland & Dilnot. About the difficulty of interpreting statistics, especially where very large or small numbers are involved.
  7. Nine algorithms that changed the future: the ingenious ideas that drive today's computers

Engineering books

  1. The Anatomy of the Aeroplane, Darroll Stinton. A very comprehensive explanation of why aeroplanes are designed the way they are, by a former aircraft designer.
  2. The romance of engines, T. Suzuki (how the Japanese design things)
  3. Development of Aero Piston Engines,Bill Gunston (lots of interesting detail)
  4. Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Airby David MacKay. A detailed look at the energy usage and performance of almost everything from heating to electricity, transport, food and power generation, leaving readers to make up their own minds as to what might work and what obviously won't. [You can download it too - availableonline].

General sciencebooks

  1. Is science necessary? - essays on science and scientists, Max Perutz
  2. Stepping Stones: the making of our home world, Stephen Drury. A very informative book on the history of the earth from the formation of the universe to the present day - geology, planetary science, origins of life etc
  3. Collapse: How societies choose to fail or survive, Jared Diamond (thousands of people “getting their calculations wrong” and making the wrong decisions)
  4. Guns, Germs and Steel: a short history of everybody for the last 13000 years,Jared Diamond
  5. Surely you're joking, Mr Feynmann, Richard Feynmann

Science books (yes, I'm interested in science too, and I collect books!)

  1. Physics, Tom Duncan. (A traditional 1980's book)
  2. Patterns in Physics, Bolton (ditto)
  3. Physics, Dobson Grace & Lovett. A more modern text book
  4. The New Physics, ed Paul Davies. Wow, lots of detailed stuff.
  5. Physics for Scientists and Engineersby Fishbane, Gasiorowicz and Thornton - more of a first year undergraduate book
  6. Landmark discoveries in Physics, Trigg
  7. General Chemistry, Ebbing and Gamow


Most of these books are available very cheaply on Ebay.

If you are an Oxbridge applicant for Engineering, I would recommend readingDuncan [ "(2)" means second column] p1-46, 49-51, 59, 65(2)-69, 71(2)-72, 77(2)-79(1), 83-88 maybe, 95-98, 101, 108-110, 116-119, 147, 157-161, 165, 168, 173, 191, 227-8, 281-300, 306(2)-307, 496-503, 509(2)-510, 523-4, 526 and Dobson p231-239, 247-254, 261-276, 283-291.



RWM 2013