I read this book when I couldn’t sleep. It was good at fixing that. Writing was full of itself, with a distinct lack of females.

“If a student has gone through his mathematics classes without having really understood a few proofs like the foregoing one, he is entitled to address a scorching reproach to his school and to his teachers. In fact, we should distinguish between things of more and less importance. If the student failed to get acquainted with this or that particular geometric fact, he did not miss so much; he may have little use for such facts in later life. But if he failed to get acquainted with geometric proofs, he missed the best and simplest examples of true evidence and he missed the best opportunity to acquire the idea of strict reasoning. Without this idea, he lacks a true standard with which to compare alleged evidence of all sorts aimed at him in modern life.”

Urgh. Unreadable. Would have made a decent blog post but way to much boring detail for a book. On some level I’m glad someone has spent so much time thinking about this … I just didn’t need to read it all. Sample problems + clues at the back were good.

Cover image for How to Solve It