well, finally it´s all just math, so basically yes. however, the main difference is not the math itself but how it´s used.
it might help to think about it like this: in houdini you are working mainly with geometry described by discrete data in 3d space and represented by spatial coordinate points, edges and polygons. this is basically what computer graphics is about. it´s about how you generate and modify geometry. precalculus and calculus on the other hand is much more about "pure" math and less about geometry, in other words, the level ob mathematical abstraction is much higher. in calculus you use geometry only to visualize functions and equation. well, it´s a bit simplified but in general i think its true ...
so, if you read a book about computer graphics you´ll find it alot easier to make use of this knowlege in houdini because it´s related to geometry and not to functions. this doesn´t necessarily mean that it´s easier to understand but it´s at least much more direct "transferable" and usable. take for example derivatives. the mathematical formulation for the gradient is very simple and easy to understand but how do you use it on a quad mesh? you won´t find the answer in calculus but most probably you can find it in books about computer graphics. on the other hand, if you don´t know what a gradient is and what it does, it´s maybe not the best thing either....
to cut a long story short, if you really want to know how and why things work like they do, and i assume thats the case, read both books in parallel.
thb, i didn´t read one for some time, so i leave this to others.
the links by oskar seem to be quite good.
hth.
petz