The Heart of Hidden Reality by Edward Frenkel
Early in his career, mathematician Edward Frenkel had a secret love. He worked diligently on applied mathematics but would sneak away to indulge in the seductive problems of pure mathematics. Frenkel recounts his maturation from a young boy plagued by anti-Semitism in the USSR to a leader in his field.
Along the way, readers experience complex mathematical concepts as Frenkel did while developing his love affair with math. He admits that he was not always captivated by the subject. Like other teenagers, he assumed math was what he learned in school: quadratic equations, some calculus, geometry and trigonometry. He found the work easy, but pointless and irrelevant, he writes. Instead, quantum physics, and quarks in particular, first sparked his passion for numbers.