Men of Mathematics
Eric Temple Bell
Here is the classic, much-read introduction to the craft and history of mathematics by E.T. Bell, a leading figure in mathematics in America for half a century. Men of Mathematics accessibly explains the major mathematics, from the geometry of the Greeks through Newton's calculus and on to the laws of probability, symbolic logic, and the fourth dimension. In addition, the book goes beyond pure mathematics to present a series of engrossing biographies of the great mathematicians -- an extraordinary number of whom lived bizarre or unusual lives. Finally, Men of Mathematics is also a history of ideas, tracing the majestic development of mathematical thought from ancient times to the twentieth century. This enduring work's clear, often humorous way of dealing with complex ideas makes it an ideal book for the non-mathematician.
"What is the book that changed your life? (not novels or religious texts)"
I think it's a wonderful way to connect in a less superficial way and learn a little more about each other. It's also a wonderful way to discover new books worth reading.
This is one of them. The full list is here.