learn on your own
June 8, 2012 2:29 AM   Subscribe

What are the best workbooks you would advise someone to use ?

I've been trying to learn music on my own for years, and after years of collecting theory stuff, I recently came across Barrett Tagliarino's workbooks : there's one for the fretboard (I'm struggling to play the guitar) and another one for reading music. Well, these hands-on books I find invaluable, and I appreciate the way they are paced, thought out and so on...

So I was wondering, are there any other workbooks that you would advise people to get ? I'm obviously very interested in music, but I like to discover things too. So my question is open to a wide range of fields. I mean, maybe not some really specific domains (but after all, why not ?) But workbooks that would work for laymen or amateurs to get into a new field and gain some proficiency, or raise their level to a satisfactory (like in "I understand what I do / how it works") one. Thanks !
posted by nicolin to Education (4 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
In mathematics there are the Springer Problem Books In Mathematics series, and the Dolciani Mathematical Expositions. Both of which take a problem-based approach to exploring math.

There are also the Schaum's guides for various areas. But I've had really hit & miss books from them. Lots of mistakes in the Schaum's guides. Plus recent Schaum's editions have the same errors in them as past editions, which shows some laziness on behalf of the publisher McGraw Hill.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 3:03 AM on June 8, 2012

In terms of coping skills and self-understanding, the Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns is brilliant.
posted by whalebreath at 6:43 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:08 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've just discovered the McGraw-Hill Practice Makes Perfect books - I've got Spanish Grammer, French Conversation, and Geometry out from my local library at the moment, and they're all pretty good (well, I haven't looked that closely at the Spanish one yet).

For all kinds of programming topics, the O'Reilly books have a great reputation. For example, here are their HTML5 books. The Head First series (fourth item in the list) includes lots of reinforcement and exercises.

I've also been checking out the Demystified series (Physics Demystified, Creative Writing Demystified, Accounting Demystified), as well as the ___ for the Utterly Confused series (Beginning Spanish, Astronomy, English Grammar).

I've just pulled Statistics Demystified and Statistics for the Utterly Confused from my bookshelf. From a quick glance, I think the Utterly Confused book is closer to what you're looking for - more quiz questions, different types of quiz questions, possibly clearer explanations.

(Wow. These are ALL McGraw-Hill series? I hadn't realized.)

I strongly suggest a trip to your library to poke around - there are books like this for ALL KINDS of subjects. (I know you wanted MeFite recommendations, but in case you don't get enough, the library will probably have a lot more options.) For example, there are step-by-step books to teach you just about any kind of craft or hobby, from knitting to chess to drawing comics.
posted by kristi at 6:06 PM on June 8, 2012

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