If your anxiety dream repertoire has at least one “I can’t remember the last step in a theorem proof” or any usage of the word “calculus”, then Edward Frenkel's Love and Math is for you!
No, it doesn't offer a unified theory for falling in love. However, it does extoll the virtues of math's abiity to break down barriers with poetic flourishes such as “an expression of unbounded imagination in the search for truth."
If you're not convinced by Frenkel's contagious enthusiasm for the subject, he does offer numerous examples of how higher math literacy could have prevented disasters such as the global economic crisis. Frenkel explains in detail how this was caused by the widespread use of inadequate mathematical models compounded by decision makers who didn’t fully understand them. He cautions all of us that, “…far fewer of these sorts of backroom deals could be made in a mathematically literate society...where there is no mathematics, there is no freedom.”
Another fascinating fact, especially given my recently revived fascination with physics, is a literary link--quarks received their name from a mock poem in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.
In addition to interesting factoirds, you'll dive head first into a fascinating world with delicious new concepts such as symmetry, braids with n threads, magic numbers…and even the importance of donuts. Yes, really.
Although I didn't remember everything, I did walk away with a basic framework for understanding why theoretical math matters...along with an improbable desire to learn more.