The Calculus Diaries

Sean Carroll in Cosmic Variance:

Calc-diaries No more will innocent citizens cower in fear at the thought of derivatives and integrals, or flash back in horror to the days of terror and confusion in high-school math class. Because now there is a cure for these maladies — The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

Yes, you read that subtitle correctly. Let’s be clear: this book is probably not for you. That’s because you, I have no doubt, already love calculus. You carry a table of integrals in your back pocket, and you practice substituting variables to while away the time in the DMV. This isn’t the book for people who already appreciate the austere beauty of a differential equation, or even for people who want to study up for their AP exam.

No, this is the book for people who hate math. It’s for people who look at you funny and turn away at parties when you mention that you enjoy science. It’s for your older relatives who think you’re crazy for appreciating all that technical stuff, or your nieces and nephews who haven’t yet been captivated by the beauty of mathematics. The Calculus Diaries is the book for people who need to be convinced that math isn’t an intimidating chore — that it can be fun.

More here. [I read the book from cover to cover in two sittings.]