Books by other authors

Clicking on the links below downloads pdf files.


A List of Recommended Books in Topology. About 75 books, from elementary to advanced, organized by topic, with some comments. The list was made in 2003 and ought to be updated to include a few books that have been published since then.

Hans Samelson, Notes on Lie Algebras, 3rd edition (1989). This classic, beautifully written introduction now seems to be out of print.

Heinz Hopf, Selected Chapters of Geometry. This is a write-up by Hans Samelson of lectures by Hopf in a course at ETH in the summer of 1940. The four chapters are:

  1. Euler's Formula.
  2. Graphs.
  3. The Four Vertex Theorem and Related Matters.
  4. The Isoperimetric Inequality.

These total just 41 pages. There is quite a bit of overlap with notes from another course of the same title taught by Hopf at New York University in 1946 and published as the first part of volume 1000 of the Springer Lecture Notes. The 1946 course seems to have covered slightly more material, but Samelson's write-up of the earlier course is more polished and has a more pleasing appearance, being in TEX with nice electronically-drawn figures.


Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim. This delightful book was first published in 1898 and was quite popular for many years. Somewhere between fiction and autobiography, it presents an attractive and appealing portrait of the narrator, describing her experiences with her flower garden, her family, and friends. If your tastes are anything like mine, you will find the style of writing quite bewitching. There are two sequels, entitled "The Solitary Summer" and "The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rügen". Another very enjoyable book by the same author is "The Enchanted April", which has been made into an excellent movie.

Another highly recommended author from the same period, perhaps not as well-remembered now as he deserves to be, is W. H. Hudson. His autobiographical book "Far Away and Long Ago" is especially fine.