for Your Mathematical Plays
E.R.Berlekamp, J.H.Conway, R.K.Guy
The two volume set is actually one of a kind. Currently only the second volume is available which must be regreted. If you are lucky and get at least the second one, you'll discover that it may be read independently from the first volume. As the authors say in the Preface, it's not an encyclopedia. But the book is encyclopedic. Which it is. The book's a pace setter. It raises recreational math to the science level keeping it still reacreational up to the very last.
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