Best textbook you've used?

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Best textbook you've used?

Postby pastrybot » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:57 am UTC

What's the best textbook that you've used?

Art or music theory, geometry or statistics - doesn't matter.

For me, I'd have to go with Rubenstein's Human Geography, Ninth Edition.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Ieatsoap6 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:17 am UTC

I'll admit I don't really have much experience with bunches of text books, but the ones I've liked most have been James Stewart's Calculus and Kreyszig's Advanced Engineering Mathematics. I used Stewart's book in learning Calculus 1 and 2 and thought it explained things very well. I used Kreyszig's book for Vector Calculus and as a reference for several other courses. It has sections on ODE's, PDE's, Linear Algebra, Vector Calculus, Complex Analysis, and a few other things. Although it doesn't go as thoroughly through each topic it is still great for checking a formula or getting an explanation for the main topics (and some more minor stuff) quickly.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Cosmologicon » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:32 am UTC

An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution by Dina Prialnik. Compared to other astrophysics books, it's so comprehensible and well-written. The exercises are fun, too.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby sje46 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:34 am UTC

Wheelock's Latin is a good book. :)

Also, David Myer's Intro to Psychology books.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby scowdich » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:00 am UTC

Jewett's "Physics for Scientists and Engineers". Great science book, got me 5's on both AP physics tests (mechanical physics and electrical physics).

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Grunger » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

Albert's Molecular and Celular Biology
at first sight, it's horrendous and almost jappanesse, but after a few looks, you realize that the guy is a genius, and you can be a genius to.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Sungura » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:39 pm UTC

Grunger wrote:Albert's Molecular and Celular Biology
at first sight, it's horrendous and almost jappanesse, but after a few looks, you realize that the guy is a genius, and you can be a genius to.

We used this last semester in my grad program...all I can say is...it still looks like Japanese to me. I used my biochem and cell bio books from undergrad because I couldn't follow his layout at all.

My best textbook:
A History of Mathematics by Victor Katz. I never felt like I was reading a textbook once! Although it is a very heavy read with proofs and the like. I could only get through like 5-10 pages at a time normally so I could let things sink in. We didn't make it through the whole book for my class, but I finished it anyway. Learning about how math has developed since ancient times is just so interesting, and he wrote it really well in my opinion, a great combination of explanations with background.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:59 pm UTC

Workshop Technology for Technicians, its useless for my course. But knowing how to regrind a saw, or set up a planer is highly useful IsUrL.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby trebach » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:36 am UTC

Starting Out with C++ by Tony Gaddis. It helped me a lot when it came to pointers.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby doogly » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:33 am UTC

Spivak's Comprehensive Introduction to Differential Geometry. All the way with Gauss Bonnet!
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Mr. Beck » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:24 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Also, David Myer's Intro to Psychology books.

I concur.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby TheQntty » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:52 am UTC

Does Elements count? Its rigorous and to-the-point (only downside is that heath's translation is hard to read at first).

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby OCEAT » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:56 am UTC

My Chem. textbook this year is better than my teacher at explaining things, so that's a plus. We don't use many textbooks here, though, so I can't really say.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Lycur » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:55 pm UTC

Introductory Real Analysis - Kolmogorov, Fomin
Thermal Physics - Schroeder

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby swansoer » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

I'd say Boyce and DiPrima's Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems. It was very good at explaining the concepts and had nice problems.

Also not a text book but a reference book I loved, Mastering MatLab 7. That combined with 'lookfor ____' and 'help _____' within Matlab will teach you everything you need to know about it.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby alitheiapsis » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:38 am UTC

pastrybot wrote:For me, I'd have to go with Rubenstein's Human Geography, Ninth Edition.


I'm using the fifth edition for my AP Human Geography class right now. Yeah, fifth. My school sucks. It's actually kind of amusing to read it, though, because it is so outdated. My teacher keeps saying how bad it is and how this is the last year they will be using it, but I really don't know how much of a comfort that is to me. Especially since I am supposed to take an AP exam in a few months. ;) I hope the format has changed a lot over the last four editions, though, because I really don't think it's that great. I mean, it's not bad, but I think the layout is hard to follow. Also, the examples are really old (They speak of GPS as if it is a novelty), but I guess that would be improved in a newer edition.

As for my favorite, I am not sure. I enjoy reading Biology by Campbell and Reece, sixth edition, but it's certainly not perfect. As my AP Biology teacher puts it, they like to wander off the path and into random obscure parts of biology.

I think the problem with finding "the best textbook" is that most teachers don't teach straight from the book. This happens a lot in AP classes, but even in those that are not, many of the teachers I have had don't use the complete textbook curriculum. Hearing the teacher criticize the book or offer supplements of some kind is usually a turn-off.
Last edited by alitheiapsis on Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:32 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Kaiyas » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:50 am UTC

This, if only because I don't need to carry it around. :lol:
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Masily box » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:32 am UTC

I don't actually have a lot of experience with textbooks per se (books written specifically with a college course in mind, problems after each section, etc...), but two academic-ish books that have been particularly meaningful for me:
The World's Major Languages, edited by Bernard Comrie
and
Elements of Sonata Theory by James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy

Then again, I have fond memories of Zumdahl's Chemistry (maybe 5th ed.?) from high school. (I rather like the Boyce&DiPrima book that someone mentioned earlier, too.)

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby mark999 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:45 am UTC

Rudin: Principles of Mathematical Analysis. At first I hated it, but eventually I loved it.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby masher » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:05 am UTC

Not Solid State Physics by Kittel. Shitty textbook that uses SI and CGS equns willy nilly throughout...

.

I'd probably vote for Physics for Scientists and Engineers With Modern Physics by Serway. Can't remember the edition. I got it in 1997.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby doogly » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:22 am UTC

masher wrote:Not Solid State Physics by Kittel. Shitty textbook that uses SI and CGS equns willy nilly throughout...


Opt for Ashcroft and Mermin. That is a solid one.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby Yambert » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:56 am UTC

A world history book: Traditions & Encounters, A Global Perspective on the Past. My first AP class , the book (as well as a fabulous teacher) got me a 5 on the test, and I've disliked the tone of other history books ever since.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby blue_eyedspacemonkey » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:48 pm UTC

Life, the science of biology, Purves et al. Oh, how I love that book.
Also, human molecular genetics, 2nd Ed. Peter Sudbery. This text book is awesome, it's written well, not dry and dull. I read it from cover to cover.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby btarlinian » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:33 am UTC

Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism is so very beautiful, although I'll probably never use it as a reference and its use of cgs units is very pretty but impractical later on. But Chapter 5, it's derivation of magnetism from special relativity is so pretty. It's a delight to read. Apostol's Calculus Vol I and II are both quite good as well. They make my non-math major self feel smart for getting through reading them. :)

alitheiapsis wrote:As for my favorite, I am not sure. I enjoy reading Biology by Campbell and Reece, sixth edition, but it's certainly not perfect. As my AP Biology teacher puts it, they like to wander off the path and into random obscure parts of biology.


Wandering off the path into random obscure parts is what makes a textbook good. As long as it highlights the important stuff, the random obscure things are what make a textbook interesting.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby doogly » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:43 am UTC

btarlinian wrote:Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism is so very beautiful


Yes! So fantastic. And as for cgs units, apparently Jackson had a deal with Purcell that he would also use cgs, but then he broke this deal after Purcell died. Jackson is a man with no honor. This is why I get all my E&M from Purcell and Landau. (There is no need to consult people without Nobel prizes; Griffiths I am also looking at you.)
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby btarlinian » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:56 am UTC

doogly wrote:
btarlinian wrote:Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism is so very beautiful


Yes! So fantastic. And as for cgs units, apparently Jackson had a deal with Purcell that he would also use cgs, but then he broke this deal after Purcell died. Jackson is a man with no honor. This is why I get all my E&M from Purcell and Landau. (There is no need to consult people without Nobel prizes; Griffiths I am also looking at you.)


I don't plan on being a theorist, but I can appreciate the beauty of cgs units. Not knowing the MKS system that well makes life more difficult in pretty much every other class you take, so I can't fault Jackson for switching.

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby masher » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:01 am UTC

doogly wrote:
masher wrote:Not Solid State Physics by Kittel. Shitty textbook that uses SI and CGS equns willy nilly throughout...


Opt for Ashcroft and Mermin. That is a solid one.


We also used Rosenb[u|e]rg, as we had that in third yr....

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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby pastrybot » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:23 am UTC

Yup, take some comfort in knowing that the Ninth Edition (I think there might be a tenth edition now?) talks a lot more about GIS and GPS - they even talk about Google Maps mashups in one of their case studies. It's nice seeing a textbook that's that up to date, especially when all of our other ones are about ten years old. :D

alitheiapsis wrote:
pastrybot wrote:For me, I'd have to go with Rubenstein's Human Geography, Ninth Edition.


I'm using the fifth edition for my AP Human Geography class right now. Yeah, fifth. My school sucks. It's actually kind of amusing to read it, though, because it is so outdated. My teacher keeps saying how bad it is and how this is the last year they will be using it, but I really don't know how much of a comfort that is to me. Especially since I am supposed to take an AP exam in a few months. ;) I hope the format has changed a lot over the last four editions, though, because I really don't think it's that great. I mean, it's not bad, but I think the layout is hard to follow. Also, the examples are really old (They speak of GPS as if it is a novelty), but I guess that would be improved in a newer edition.

As for my favorite, I am not sure. I enjoy reading Biology by Campbell and Reece, sixth edition, but it's certainly not perfect. As my AP Biology teacher puts it, they like to wander off the path and into random obscure parts of biology.

I think the problem with finding "the best textbook" is that most teachers don't teach straight from the book. This happens a lot in AP classes, but even in those that are not, many of the teachers I have had don't use the complete textbook curriculum. Hearing the teacher criticize the book or offer supplements of some kind is usually a turn-off.
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Re: Best textbook you've used?

Postby alitheiapsis » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:27 am UTC

pastrybot wrote: Google Maps mashups


Oh, I am jealous beyond words. That is really quite amazing. More proof that my teacher has no idea what the hell he is talking about (when I asked him, he said the ninth edition sucked as well).


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