The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages: An Illustrated Guide to Signs, Symbols, Ciphers, and Secret Languages
An entertaining introduction, fully illustrated with colorful photographs and diagrams.
The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy From Mary, Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography
The next step, a deeper discussion, and through history. Images are spartan but frequent and relevant.
Understanding Cryptography: A Textbook for Students and Practitioners
A serious book on cryptography complete with diagrams and algorithms.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
This Pulitzer Prize winning book is so delightfully complicated and deep that academics are still discussing what its primary purpose is. The book touches on an incredible variety of subjects, and draws unusual parallels (such as between zen and mathematics).
Fractals, Chaos, Power Laws: Minutes from an Infinite Paradise
In this book the author draws parallels between several disciplines to demonstrate some core aspects of our reality. Many of his points are illustrated by puzzles and relate to puzzle theory.
Chaos: Making a New Science
A worldwide bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. This mind bending book introduced chaos theory to the masses. Chaos theory is the science of predicting random events on a large scale.
Games, Puzzles, and Computation
“The authors show that there are underlying mathematical reasons for why games and puzzles are challenging (and perhaps why they are so much fun). The appendices provide a substantial survey of all known results in the field of game complexity, serving as a reference guide for readers interested in the computational complexity of particular games, or interested in open problems about such complexities.”
Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey
“Superb nontechnical introduction to game theory and related disciplines, primarily as applied to the social sciences. Clear, comprehensive coverage of utility theory, 2-person zero-sum games, 2-person non-zero-sum games, n-person games, individual and group decision-making, much more. Appendixes. Bibliography. Graphs and figures.”
The Colossal Book of Mathematics: Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems
“The Colossal Book of Mathematics‘ array of absorbing puzzles and mind-twisting paradoxes opens mathematics up to the world at large, inspiring people to see past numbers and formulas and experience the application of mathematical principles to the mysterious world around them. With articles on topics ranging from simple algebra to the twisting surfaces of Mobius strips, from an endless game of Bulgarian solitaire to the unreachable dream of time travel, this volume comprises a substantial and definitive monument to Gardner’s influence on mathematics, science, and culture.”