John Allen Paulos is author of another book that you may have read or heard about, "Innumeracy", in which he describes the decline in the ability of Americans to perform simple mathematics, even arithmetic. In "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper", he provides some of the reasons why mathematics is important to everyday life. He uses items from daily newspapers and current magazines as "jumping off points" for thoughtful, short essays about applied mathematics. This book is only about 200 pages, and each topic is discussed in easy-to-digest, well-written articles of a few pages each. Busy teachers will find it easy to surf through the book, which can be read in any order. You will find health issues, technological risks, affirmative action, food, sports, and lots of other apparently non-mathematical subjects discussed from the perspective of a professional mathematician and engaging writer.
John Allen Paulos