Core traveling library

I’ll be spending the academic year 2012-13 at UCLA, and so leaving one well-stocked university library for another. Nevertheless, like every mathematician, I have some favorite books — for research, teaching, and finishing my book — that I can’t be without. After a lot of fussing, in an effort to pack light, I’ve chosen a core traveling library to take from Cambridge to Los Angeles:

Adem/Milgram, Cohomology of finite groups
Atiyah/Macdonald, Introduction to commutative algebra
Benson, Representations and cohomology, I and II
Benson, Polynomial invariants of finite groups
Bloch, Lectures on algebraic cycles
Brown, Cohomology of groups
Eisenbud, Commutative algebra with a view toward algebraic geometry
Fulton, Intersection theory
Fulton, Introduction to toric varieties
Fulton/Harris, Representation theory
Garibaldi/Merkurjev/Serre, Cohomological invariants of algebraic groups
Griffiths/Harris, Principles of algebraic geometry
Hartshorne, Algebraic geometry
Kobayashi, Hyperbolic manifolds and holomorphic mappings
Kollár, Lectures on resolution of singularities
Kollár, Shafarevich maps and automorphic forms
Kollár/Mori, Birational geometry of algebraic varieties
Lang, Algebra
Lazarsfeld, Positivity in algebraic geometry, I and II
Milne, Etale cohomology
Mumford/Fogarty, Geometric invariant theory
Mukai, An introduction to invariants and moduli
Schwartz, Unstable modules over the Steenrod algebra and Sullivan’s fixed point set conjecture
Serre, Cohomologie galoisienne
Serre, Linear representations of finite groups
Seshadri, Fibrés vectoriels sur les courbes algebriques
Voisin, Hodge theory and complex algebraic geometry, I and II



Filed under book, travel

6 responses to “Core traveling library

  1. Artie Prendergast-Smtih

    Dear Burt,

    This is my favourite kind of post. By the way, may I ask what “finishing my book” refers to?

  2. Burt Totaro


    I’m glad you like these — they’re easy to write.

    I’m writing a short book called Group cohomology and algebraic cycles. I wrote one paper about this in the 90s and always thought I should say more. Recent impetus has come from a paper by Peter Symonds in which he proved the first good bound on the cohomology of finite groups; see “On the Castelnuovo-Mumford Regularity of the Cohomology Ring of a Group,” available on his webpage

  3. Wow… That’s a lot of books. I wonder how would it be if you didn’t travel light 😉

  4. plm

    I love real paper books/journals, much more than looking at them on the computer. But I usually take books going to various places ending up having too many things in my head to get to the books, keeping them in my hands without reading them until time is over, or I only manage to look at a few paragraphs in several hours.

    Do you do a bit the same? Do you take those books expecting that in the end you will mostly not use them, just wanting to be sure you will not miss them if you do need them? Do you also prefer paper to looking at pdfs?

  5. plm

    Also. Do you have preprints of your upcoming book?

    And Schwartz’s book on unstable modules over the Steenrod algebra: I am curious why you have/take it? What concepts in it relate to your interests? If you felt like commenting about its contents, sharing any insight, I would be very interested.

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