Why write? is a question that has plagued my mind for a fair while. Some people write things to remember them, others write to put things into perspective and even others (like yours truly) write because they want to!! :-D - a bold statement that!
The last book I read was 'Fermat's last theorem' by Simon Singh. It absolutely and completely lives upto its reputation. Truly, it takes you on a roller coaster ride through time, where one moment you are sitting alongside Fermat, chuckling with him while he silently reveals the problem to the world. You are then transported through time to Andrew Wiles and witness to his sheer frustration during a lifetime committed to solving the 'Last Theorem'. No other book has made me want to do Mathematics more than this one. That is not to say that I want to do it enough to actually do something about it, but this was the first book that made me feel like I had half a brain where Maths was concerned.
Prior to 'Fermat..." I always came away from Mathematics (be it a book, an exam or even a puzzle!) feeling like an idiot. Plain and simple. In fact it seems like a global phenomenon that children, students and young adults fear the subject (although I am unsure as to whether Physics wins out on the sheer horror factor!). My initiation to Maths was not pretty and to cut a long story short, I never liked it. I thought that all Mathematicians were sadistic fiends (like the person who wrote our seventh form Calculus exam! Hope someone sued him!) and they delighted in the idea of tormenting young minds. However my perception had to change, now I think that some, not all, Mathematicians conform to the above.
The aforementioned book opened up a whole new world. One in which ... wait for it... they were actually human and (much less frequently than I) experienced periods of despair and frustration. Ok, so they experience it over Fermat and I over 3 x 7 (I will never forget that 3 x 7 = 21; it was whacked into me!!) yet I feel an instant connection.
However, the point about all this ranting and raving is that - go buy this book and read it and I would be very interested to know if you, like me, wouldnt classify it as 'unputdownable'.