Looking for a good book on Algebra

What’s this? A request for a algebra book reccomendation in the Cafe Society? I thought we were only supoosed to talk about entertainment here.

Well, if I’m going to learn everything there is to know about algebra, it’s best to have a good attitude towards it and take whatever pleasure I can in solving math problems.

So anyways, I’m taking a required algebra class for the second time. Rather than having algebra taught to us by a teacher, or even a good book, we’re using computer programs. Let me tell ya, they’re not doing they’re jobs, they didn’t last semester, and they sure as hell aren’t this semster. They simply do not teach well and are very impersonal. When I try asking the “teacher” for help, she asks me to go back to the computer program and try harder. Last semester, the “teacher” I had suggested that maybe I had a learning disability. So it looks like I’ll be having to teach myself the wonders of math on my own time. I’m not the biggest fan of math, and I forget what I learn all too often. I have enjoyed solving math problems in the past once I got the hang of it, solving very long confusing problems can be as rewarding as putting a puzzle together.

Can anyone suggest a good book on algebra, thoroughly explaining all of the ins and outs? Preferably something pleasant to read.

A friend reccomended some textbooks he had at his house, but I think I’m ready for something a little different.

In another thread about a year or so ago, someone had a similar question, and I recommended Algebra Unplugged. It focuses more on the concepts than on the machanical details, and is about as fun to read as a book teaching basic algebra can be. (There are probably other good books as well, but that’s one I’m familiar with.)

“Looking for a good book on algebra.” Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron?


Not the big math fan here. Being the not-a-math-fan I am, I used everything from algrebra for dummies to this little comic book on stats. I found the dummies one pretty helpful (which I’m aware says a little something about me). The best thing though? My brother-in-law tutored me. If you have some kind of math lab on campus I’d definitely go for the tutoring. It just helps to have someone show you also.

Just to be clear, we are talking about high-school level algebra, right?

It sounds like the “teachers” are pretty worthless. You might want to raise a stink with their bosses–you are paying for an education and not getting it here.

Well it seems you are fed up with computer “teachers”.
However, you might want to try my computer website www.1728.com
It’s not really an algebra tutorial. However, it does offer several interactive calculators by which you can check your work.
Give it a visit and make your own decision.

Mathematics for the Million, by Lancelot Hogben, is worthwhile.

I just passed my algebra placement using (believe it or not) Cliff Notes - I took algebra in high school twenty years ago so just needed a refresher. It was pretty good. And quick.

Sorry, more “computer” stuff.




Thanks. I’ll see if any of the bookstores around here have it :slight_smile: .

I’ve had plenty of people teach it to me, but it never sticks. I’m going to try something different and teach myself this time.

Yup. I didn’t do so well on my community college’s placement test so I landed myself in an interremedial algebra class. And the “teachers” are a pain in the ass. I would like to pass this class with flying colors before complaining before writing a letter of complaint to someone. Truth is, I have been diagnosed with having ADD, and at the time I was said to have this, I did have a hard time paying attention to anything for longer tha a minute or two. So I was prescribed aderole for a while and my grades shot up to an A. Somedays I started sweating like crazy and my heart rate was really high, so I started only taking one a day instead of two.

Now, it seemed to me at the time that people usually find what they know to be interesting, and while I had a very hard time paying attention to school while on Aderole, I knew I could take an interest in learning and condition myself off of the stuff so I could learn without taking any pills at all. A good way of doing this was reading history and nonfiction books found in bookstores, not in school. I was still making good grades while taking half an Aderole pill. When I told my doctor I had been taking 1/4 a pill instead of two, he suggested I go back to taking two, nevermind my grades and overall demeanor were just fine on half a pill. I was beggining to suspect this doctor was more of a pill pusher than anything, so I wasn’t going to take much of what she said too seriously.

A year or two later, I’m completely off of the stuff, and can teach myself just about anything, from social studies, to advanced psychics (Dancing Wu Li Masters, with help from an online friend o’ course). At this point I’m sure any teacher that says I have a learning disability can look into my history and say “ah ha! See? I was right!”. But I damn well know my own capabilities for learning. If I want my complaints to be taken seriously, I have to prove myself to them it seems.

I’m adding it to favorites, thanks.

I’ll check it out tommorrow.

I could have used this reccomendation half a year ago or so. Curse you time!

I would definately recomend taking a look REA’s Algebra & Trigonometry Problem Solver. It has oodles and oodles of solved problems, each done in an easy-to-follow step-by-step fashion. If you’re having difficulty w/ a topic, you just look in the back for the topic and it gives all the problems where that topic is addressed. It may not do a lot of explaining, but I find it helpful to see a representative solved problem to understand how it is done.

While I was searching, I also found REA’s The High School Algebra Tutor, which may be worth looking into as well.

Oh, and your teacher sounds like an asshat.