What's the idea behind this then, since a website doesn't normally recommend books? It's because electronics is a vast field that covers a multitude of sins and I don't care if you are the Professor of Being Very Good at Electronics at Electronic University in Electronic City in the Country of Cleveratelectronicsia - even if you are you still can't possibly know everything. For instance, I'm good at control systems (I don't know everything though). I know a bit about DC motors. I know less about AC motors and have to look stuff up. Usually I can knock together or mend an electromechanical device, and radios are a field I'm particularly strong in.

Now ask me what's going on under the bonnet of this computer I'm currently typing on. Here's what I'll reply:


"La la la la la-------- I'll get back to you on Wednesday with that."


Unless of course you ask me on Monday or Tuesday when the reply will be that I'll get back to you next Monday with that.


The reason behind that is I haven't got a clue, and what I'm going to do is fervently pray that I can get hold of a book that tells me what's going on. Then I'm going to hit it hard and hope that what you've asked me becomes apparent. If you're at school at college, this is what your teachers are or have been doing all the time. The older ones need less recourse to the books, because they've done it years before and the same question has cropped up every year since. But still at least once a school year they get a stumper which sends them scurrying off to the bookshelf. So here, as far as electronics is concerned, is what they are looking at:


Success in Electronics by Tom Duncan


A practical book which is useful for those doing BTEC II and III or City and Guilds 2240 (Servicing) and some use for those doing A level courses in Physics, Electronics or Design . Although complete beginners may glean something from it, it's not really suited to them and a simpler book to start with will lead to a better understanding of the level of this book. First published 1983, revised 1987- 1997(2nd Edition) and 2008 and available from Amazon.




Electronics for Dummies by Various


It seems that there's no area that the "For Dummies" series doesn't cover- my sister (a forensic biologist) has copies of Genetics for Dummies and Molecular and Cell Biology for Dummies. They might be, but I still don't understand a word in them. Sure enough, here's Electronics for Dummies. It comes in UK and US versions and it's easily the best book for complete beginners. I'd recommend this book for anybody for anybody doing a GCSE course, or who needs to understand basic electronics for personal, business or academic reasons.

It won't turn you into an inventor, but what it will do is give you the scope to be confident you know what you are talking about at the most basic level. I can think of a few managers who need to read this to better understand the industry that



they think they're in. Available in the UK from Waterstone's, WH Smiths and Maplin, as well as Amazon.


This book in all it's incarnations has taken on the status of the Bible as far as graduate courses go. It's hard. In fact it's so hard that somebody else wrote a book to explain what this book was on about. This is not a book that you read from cover to cover, it's one that you read in small sections usually under supervision. Nevertheless it is the most comprehensive and thorough University level text book that there is and the approach is highly academic if somewhat American. Available from Amazon.

The Art of Electronics

Horowitz and Hill



Understanding the Mathematics of Electronics by FA Wilson

This book is from the Babani Press and it's always worth reading any Babani book if you're interested in electronics. Those like me who find maths a chore that you have to do rather than enjoy it will find this invaluable. It goes right up to basic calculus via vectors and complex numbers and though the focus is on electronics anybody who needs fairly advanced practical maths will benefit from it too (physics students, mechanics, statistics for business managers). You can find this book at any electronics parts suppliers, and it is available at Amazon.

Go Back pdm

The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics

by David Nelson

I'd be the first to admit that as a mathematician I am pretty hopeless.......actually no, there is a long queue of people who over the years have had the unfortunate task of trying to teach me to be a mathematician that would be the first to admit that as a mathematician I'm pretty hopeless. That's why this book is so invaluable, because anything I come across and experience the "durrrr......" factor with, this book explains. New Scientist calls it  "a masterpiece" and they aren't wrong. I got my copy from Waterstone's, but it's in every bookshop and on Amazon too.


Sciencia (Various Authors)

This is a bizarre little gem I've recently discovered. It's a bound collection of six books produced by the wooden book company and it's probably the handiest little look-up reference I've ever seen. In addition it informs me about some aspects of chemistry (on which I am not strong) and biology (on which I am clueless) as well as astronomy (about which I know nothing, not even what I learnt at school- as far as I'm concerned stars are twinkly little lights that switch on when it gets dark- I tend to view them the same way I view the floodlight at the back of the house).

A very worthwhile read if you want to get into the nuts and bolts of Newton, Keppler, and many of the subjects of both applied and pure physics. Waterstone's, WH Smith, Amazon.

You'll notice I mention Waterstone's a lot in this bit. That's not because I have any shares in it (I haven't) but because they run a loyalty card scheme. Every time you spend a tenner, they give you a stamp on your card. When you get ten stamps you get a £10 book voucher. It's delightfully low-tech- the card is cardboard and they stamp it with an old-fashioned library stamp. Consequently I always go into Waterstone's if I can to buy books, otherwise it's WH Smiths, last resort  It's Amazon.

Plus the Waterstone's in York is HUGE. You could spend hours in there. It's on High Ousegate (28-29) and it's got very comfy sofas and smiley staff.

I like the one in Meadowhall next to M&S too- not nearly as big but the staff are really nice and point you in the right direction.


Buying from Amazon is often cheaper and the range is unbelievable- I'm convinced there isn't a book in or out of print that Amazon can't source. To test it I looked for  "Air Patrol and the Underwater Spies" by Paul Buddee which is a book I had in the 1970's. It found three copies for sale.