Keep Your Mind Sharp

Keep Your Mind Sharp

With the semester over and the holiday break upon us, you’ve reached a well-deserved rest.  But as tempting as it might be to turn your brain off and vegetate the whole break, it’s important to keep the mind sharp and focused – ready to hit the ground running when next semester begins.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean spending your free time perusing more peer-reviewed journals in your discipline (although we can certainly accommodate that if you want!).  There are lots of more entertaining ways of keeping your mind supple.  And one great way is with puzzles – from riddles to games to mysteries to brainteasers.  Fortunately, the library has a lot of books to satisfy every taste, whether you’re looking to test your logic, math, or deductive skills, in print or ebook format.

Some titles offering brainteasers include Puzzles 101: A Puzzlemaster’s Challenge by N. O. B. Yoshigahara, Dueling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers by Paul J. Nahin, Father Lee’s Opera Quiz Book by M. Owen Lee, The pocket book of frame games: hundreds of mind-bending word puzzles from the king of brainteasers by Terry Stickels, and Puzzlers’ Tribute: A Feast for the Mind by David Wolfe.  Is math your thing?  Riddles of the Sphinx and Other Mathematical Puzzle Tales by Martin Gardner or Are you as smart as you think: 150 original mathematical, logical, and spatial-visual puzzles for all levels of puzzle solvers by Terry Stickels might be perfect for you.

If you want to exercise your inner Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple, try 5 minute mysteries: 37 challenging cases of murder and mayhem for you to solve and its sequel Even more five-minute mysteries: 40 new cases of murder and mayhem for you to solve, both by Ken Weber.  There are even puzzles and riddles with an international flair – try Riddles, Folktales and Proverbs from Cameroon by Comfort Ashu, Crossword Italian: Have Fun Learning Italian by Solving Crossword Puzzles by Marcel Danesi, or Qué animales by Eduardo Bustos.

If you’ll be spending the holidays with children, we have books targeting them, too.  Share some puzzles with them like Unriddling: all sorts of riddles to puzzle your guessery by Alvin Schwartz or Riddle me this: riddles and stories to challenge your mind by Hugh Lupton.  And if you are interested more in the academic side of riddles and puzzles, there’s still plenty to read – books like Say What I Am Called: The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book & the Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition by Dieter Bitterli and Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life by Marcel Danesi are likely to be right up your alley.

Need help finding the perfect book for the holiday break?  Ask us at!





And for those that need it, the solution to the puzzle above:

Taken from Riddles of the Sphinx and Other Mathematical Puzzle Tales by Martin Gardner

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