Problem Solving book recommendations

Problem Solving book recommendations

June 14, 2024 (1mo ago)

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This week, I actually don't have time to write an article on problem solving specifically so I thought I would leave you with a few handy links to some books that I really enjoyed and that I think you might enjoy too.

Books that changed the way I think about problem solving

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton

This book highlights the importance of clarifying and questioning assumptions


  • The process of simplifying your explanations of a problem will help you understand the problem better
  • Break problems down into smaller / manageable pieces

The Art of Problem Solving by Richard Rusczyk

This book provides strategies and techniques for solving complex mathematical problems.


  • Develop critical thinking and logical reasoning skills
  • Learn systematic approaches to break down and solve problems

Lost in Math by Sabine Hossenfelder

This book critiques the current state of theoretical physics and its reliance on mathematical beauty.


  • Question the assumptions driving scientific theories
  • Emphasize empirical evidence over aesthetic appeal in scientific research

Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

This book applies computer science algorithms to everyday decision-making.


  • Use algorithmic thinking to optimize daily choices
  • Balance trade-offs and manage uncertainties in complex situations

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

  • Summary: Explores the two systems of thinking that drive the way we make decisions.
  • Lessons:
    • Understand the cognitive biases that affect your decisions.
    • Learn how to harness both intuitive and analytical thinking.

How to Solve It by George Pólya

  • Summary: Classic book on mathematical problem-solving techniques.
  • Lessons:
    • Learn heuristic strategies for tackling problems.
    • Apply systematic thinking to find solutions.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell

  • Summary: This book investigates the power of intuitive thinking and how snap judgments can often be more accurate than deliberate analysis.
  • Lessons:
    • Harness the power of intuition in decision-making.
    • Recognize when quick thinking is beneficial and when it's not.

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