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17Calculus Book Review - Deep Work

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Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
We have read this book.
We recommend this book.

We cannot say enough good things about this book. If you get only one book that we recommend, this is it. In our opinion, the advice in this book will take you further in your studies and your career than any other book out there. We have personally read this book, twice so far, which is highly unusual for us to reread any book.

This book could catapult your learning, if you apply the techniques and insights carefully and radically.
Deep work is necessary as a student to succeed but few students do it. This leaves a huge chasm of possibility for you to stand out and achieve the seemingly extraordinary feat of acing calculus. This book not only explains deep work but also how to implement it in your life.
Why You Need To Work Deeply (from chapter 1)
- Deep Work Helps You Quickly Learn Hard Things
- Deep Work Helps You Produce at an Elite Level
Order this book now [ Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World ] and read it during your next semester break. It will be time well spent.

Here is a video review that may give you more information.

Productivity Game - Success in a distracted world: DEEP WORK by Cal Newport

This section contains lists of recommended books. Most book links are affiliate links. Click the topic above to open the books list for a particular topic.

Free Textbooks - - - Recently, some free calculus textbooks have shown up online. Now, these are not the usual watered down versions. These are full textbooks that instructors are using in classrooms at reputable colleges and universities.

The best free book we've seen so far is Active Calculus by Matt Boelkins. It is over 500 pages of good material and there is a free workbook available as well. A second book we recommend is simply entitled Calculus I, II, III by Jerrold E. Marsden and Alan Weinstein. This book is actually three books and there are student guides as well. For a list of other free textbooks, check out the American Institute of Math - Approved Textbooks.

Purchased Textbooks - - - As far as purchased textbooks go, the best we've found is Larson Calculus. If you have a choice, go with Larson. If you are looking for a textbook for reference, go with an early edition of Larson. The third and fourth editions are both good.

There are a couple of things you need to know when navigating through the list of Larson Calculus textbooks.
1. There are two main types of books, Early Transcendental Functions (ETF) and non-ETF. The difference is in the structure of the material. The ETF version has the calculus of exponentials, logarithms and trig mixed in with calculus of polynomials. The non-EFT version has all the calculus of those functions separated out in later chapters. We recommend the ETF version since the flow of the material is better in our opinion and easier to learn from. However, you need to go with whatever your instructor suggests.
2. There is also the option of purchasing a copy that says just Single Variable Calculus. This is basically the first half of the full book (which contains both single and multi-variable calculus). We recommend the full version, since you never know when you might need an extra chapter or two. But, again, go with what your instructor recommends.

Here are some links to Larson textbooks, several editions. Here are the ETF editions.

Larson ETF 3th Edition
Larson ETF 4th Edition
Larson ETF 6th Edition

Here are the corresponding non-ETF editions.

Larson non-ETF 7th Edition
Larson non-ETF 8th Edition
Larson non-ETF 11th Edition

Reference Books - - - For a reference book to help you learn calculus or give you extra practice, we recommend these books. The absolute best books to supplement your calculus knowledge are How To Ace Calculus and How To Ace The Rest Of Calculus. For suggestions on how to select and use supplementary books, read the discussion on the How To Save On and Use College Books page.

Books for differential equations need to be more indepth and comprehensive than for calculus or precalculus, since differential equations might be considered advanced math and is usually required for students who are actually going to use it and therefore really need to know it.

There are many books out there but these suggestions should get you started for ordinary and partial differential equations. For suggestions on how to select and use supplementary books, read the discussion on the How To Save On and Use College Books page.

Elementary Differential Equations by Boyce and DiPrima has been the standard textbook at many universities for years. New versions are still being produced but it can often be difficult to read because it can be quite terse. So you need to take a lot of notes and fill in a lot of blanks. That said, it is still a good book and will give you a good grounding in first semester differential equations, if you are willing to put in the work.
These links are to more current editions of the textbook. If you don't require a specific edition, an earlier edition will work nicely.
If you are required to have it for a class, we recommend you get a supplementary text as well.


Ordinary Differential Equations (Dover Books on Mathematics) is a great supplementary text for beginning differential equations. It has great reviews on Amazon. We recommend most Dover books because they are well written and have great content, while at the same time discussing topics with depth and insight. This book will not disappoint the serious student.


We recently discovered this book and, from what we have seen, it is a good book. We looked primarily at the chapter on series solution. This book goes into more detail about the radius of convergence of power series about singular points than we have seen in most books.


These next two books discuss partial differential equations, usually taken the semester after ordinary differential equations. Dover books are some of the best supplementary math books out there, including these.

On the How To Study Math Proofs page, we give concrete techniques on how to read and understand math proofs, as well as some links for additional help. Here are some book suggestions if you are interested in learning more.

This next book, Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis is the classical text used at many universities. It is concise and I suspect used to weed out the students that are not committed to learning advanced math. You will really need to use the study suggestions on the page on How To Read and Learn From Math Books. You will also need one of the above supplementary texts or a supplementary text that you have found. Additionally, it will help you to read the Learning Techniques page.

Precalculus and college algebra books are quite plentiful but not all of them are helpful. Here are the ones that we think will help you the most.

Here are some good books on how to learn many things, not just math. As you can see, there are a lot of books on this topic. The best place to start is to read the first book, Deep Work.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World [review]
Indistractable - Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life [review]
On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life - Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process
A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
Becoming a Master Student
How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less
Study Smarter, Not Harder
What Smart Students Know: Maximum Grades. Optimum Learning. Minimum Time.
Concentration: Strategies for Attaining Focus
How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week: 50 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Memory Skills
Learn to Remember : Practical Techniques and Exercises to Improve Your Memory
College Study Skills: Becoming a Strategic Learner
How to Think Like a Mathematician: A Companion to Undergraduate Mathematics
You Can Have an Amazing Memory: Learn Life-Changing Techniques and Tips from the Memory Maestro
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

For recommendations on what to look for before buying a calculator, check out the supplies page on 17Calculus.

The Art of Electronics
Schaum's Outline of Electric Circuits
Control Systems Engineering
Electrodynamics

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