Books and Articles

This collection of books is by no means complete. What I have tried to include are those books that are "must have" for serious  puzzle collectors. They cover a range of subjects and it's likely that most collectors would not be interested in all of them. If there are any that you think I should add, please tell me about them. If you have a cover photo, it would be nice.

Many of these books are out of print at the publisher and very difficult to find. Where a source is known, it is included.

Many of the books are available from amazon.com. Amazon will often list sellers having used copies of hard-to-find books. Links are provided directly to the amazon.com page for the specific title where you can usually find additional information or purchase the books.

Amazon.com Logo

Click on a cover
to see a large image.
Author, Year, Title, Pages, Composition, Where Published: Publisher
Karakuri - Akio Kamei Art Works - Front Cover Karakuri - Akio Kamei Art Works - Back Cover Karakuri - Akio Kamei Art Works, 48 pp., pb, Self Published, In Japanese

This book contains 24 pages in color and 24 pages in black * white of Akio's famous puzzle boxes. A must-have for the Akio Kamei puzzle box collector.

The Ins and Outs of Peg Solitaire Beasley, John, 1985, The Ins and Outs of Peg Solitaire, 275pp., hb., Oxford: Oxford University Press
All Screwed Up! - Cover Berkley, John, 2004, All Screwed Up!, Turned Puzzles and Boxes Featuring Chased Threads, 121pp., pb, Carmarthenshire, UK: Stobart Davies Ltd.

This book is intended primarily for the wood trurner, but contains remarkable detail about producing many of John's beautiful reproductions (along with a few of his own creations) of Hoffmann puzzles from the late 1800s. More information about John and his puzzles can be found on his designer page.

Buy from amazon.com.

The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler Berlekamp,  Elwyn and Rodgers, Tom (Editors), 1999, The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler, A Collection in Tribute to Martin Gardner, 266pp., hb., Natick, MA: A. K. Peters (now CRC Press)

This book is a must for the puzzle collector. It is a compendium of papers presented at the first "Gathering for Gardner" held in Atlanta, GA in 1993. About half of the articles concern puzzles. The articles are written by such notable puzzle  people as Stewart Coffin, Edward Hordern, Dick Hess, Nob Yoshigahara, Bill Cutler, Oskar van Deventer and many other recognizable names.

Buy from amazon.com.

Tribute to a Mathemagician - Cover Cipra, Barry, etDemaine, Erik D, Demaine, Martin L. and Rodgers, Tom (Editors), 2005, Tribute to a Mathemagician, 262pp., hb, Wellesley, MA:  A. K. Peters (now CRC press)

The third tribute book to Martin Gardner. Like the others, this book has many interesting articles by puzzle designers and collectors.

Buy from amazon.com.

Puzzle Craft (1985) Cover

 

Puzzle Craft (1985) - Sample Page Coffin, Stewart T., 1985, Puzzle Craft (1985), 100pp, pb, Lincoln, MA: Self Published

The edition is no longer available in print. Although much of the material in this edition was included in The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections, there is a considerable amount that was not, making this edition very desirable. It is included on the CD-ROM edition of The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections and is available on this web site. Click here for information.

The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections - Front Cover Coffin, Stewart T., 1990, The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections, 196pp, hb and pb, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press

This book is out of print. It is available on the Internet.

The enhanced and revised Geometric Puzzle Design was published in 2007 by A. K. Peters (now CRC Press)

Puzzle Craft (1992) - Cover

 

Puzzle Craft (1992) - Sample Page Coffin, Stewart T., 1992, Puzzle Craft (1992), 80pp pb, Lincoln, MA: Self Published

Similar to the 1985 edition, but fewer and easier to make puzzles. Still available in print and also included on the CD-ROM edition of The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections and is available on this web site. Click here for information.

Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections - CD-ROM Coffin, Stewart T., 1998, The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections, CD-ROM, Oregonia, OH: Puzzle World Productions

This CD-ROM edition is enhanced with many color photographs and a list of tables and figures. The CD-ROM also contains BMP and GIF page images suitable for viewing or printing of the 1985 and 1992 editions of Stewart's Puzzle Craft and the Puzzle World web site as of August 1998.

Out of print, but available on the Internet.

The enhanced and revised Geometric Puzzle Design was published in 2007 by A. K. Peters (now CRC Press)

AP-ART - The Sculptural Art That Comes Apart Coffin, Stewart T., 2000, AP-ART - The Sculptural Art That Comes Apart, 48pp pb, Andover, MA, Self Published

This is a complete compendium and history of puzzles designed by Stewart Coffin. Also, included are listings of the instructions, descriptions and other printed matter he has produced. And more! This version contains drawings, but no protographs. It covers up to 167 in his numbering system. Download in PDF format.

AP-ART A Compendium of Puzzle Designs - Front Cover AP-ART A Compendium of Puzzle Designs - Back Cover Coffin, Stewart T., 2003, AP-ART - A Compendium Of Puzzle Designs, 143pp, pb, Oregonia, OH: Puzzle World Productions

This is an updated complete compendium and history of puzzles designed by Stewart Coffin. It contains more than 200 full-color photographs and more than 150 drawings. Also, included are listings of the instructions, descriptions and other printed matter he has produced. It covers up to 195 in his numbering system. Download in PDF format.

AP-ART A Compendium of Puzzle Designs - Front Cover AP-ART A Compendium of Puzzle Designs - Back Cover Coffin, Stewart T., 2014, AP-ART - A Compendium Of Puzzle Designs, 228pp, pb, Lexington, MA: Self Published

This is an updated version of the 2003 compendium and history of puzzles designed by Stewart Coffin. Many puzzle were added along with drawings and other material.It covers up to 275-A in his numbering system. However, several inconsequential puzzles have been omitted.

Puzzle Instructions And Ephemera Coffin, Stewart T., 2003, Puzzle Instructions And Ephemera, 394pp pb, Oregonia, OH: Puzzle World Productions

This is a complete collection of puzzle instructions included with puzzles made by Stewart Coffin. These instructions generally included far more information than publications produced by Stewart. Also included are sales brochures from 1971 to 1990 and other papers mailed to customers concerning puzzles.

Geometric Puzzle Design Coffin, Stewart T., 2007, Geometric Puzzle Desugn, 204pp pb, Wellsley, MA: A. K. Peters (now CRC Press)

The long-awaited enhanced revision of The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections. New chapters have been added and old ones reviewed and updated.

"Stewart Coffin's new release, with new materials and beautiful illustrations, is by far the best book in its category.  It is a must for serious puzzlers and amateurs as well." - Ivan Moscovich, author of the best-selling 1000 PlayThinks

"This is a comprehensive reference work by the greatest designer of interlocking puzzles that ever lived. Puzzle designers and craftsmen all over the world have been waiting for just such a book. It encompasses all aspects of Stewart's extraordinary skills, from his use of the psychology of the puzzle solver to design a simple looking puzzle which is an unexpected challenge for the best solver, to the use of coordinate motion in the assembly and disassembly of spectacular and beautiful polyhedral puzzles."  - Jerry Slocum, Slocum Puzzle Foundation
 

Buy from CRC Press or amazon.com.

  Cutler, William H., 1978, The Six-Piece Burr, Journal of Recreational Mathematics, Vol 10(4), 1977-78, pp 241-250 pb, Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Co.
  Cutler, William H., 1988, Holey 6-Piece Burr!, 46pp, pb, Palatine, IL: Self Published
  Cutler, William H., 1994, A Computer Analysis of All 6-Piece Burrs, 80pp, pb, Palatine, IL: Self Published
  Dewdney, A. K., 1985, Bill's baffling burrs, Coffin's cornucopia, Engel's enigma, Scientific American, Computer Recreations column, Vol 253, Issue 4, Oct. 1985, pp 16-27, San Francisco: W. H. Freeman

The pieces of the burr are not depicted correctly. For a correct version see Holey 6-Piece Burr! orThe Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections.

Berrocal - Front Cover

 

 
Berrocal - Back Cover Berrocal - Inside Front Cover Die Galerie, 1987, Berrocal (Monograph), 192pp, hb, Frankfort, Die Galerie

This large format book is a biography of Miguel Berrocal and a history of his sculptures. It contains over 200 color photographs. The text is in German. The front cover, back cover and the inside front cover is shown.

The Art Of The Maze - Front Cover Fisher, Adrian, 1990, (and George Gerster),The Art Of The Maze, pb, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Out of print, but available from Adrian.

Secrets Of The Maze - Front Cover Fisher, Adrian, 1997, (and Howard Loxton), Secrets Of The Maze, 96pp, hb, Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated, London, England: Thames & Hudson

A beautiful book of mazes. Includes a clear overlay and an erasable pen to trace on the mazes and a "funnel" shaped device for simulating walking though a maze. The first edition is sold out at the publisher in the U.S.

Buy from amazon.com.

Dissections: Plain & Fancy - Front Cover Frederickson, Greg N., 1997, Dissections: Plain & Fancy, 310pp, hb, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press

Everything you could ever want to know about 2D and 3D dissections. The Six Block, Six-Step Puzzle by Thomas O'Beirne is covered in detail as are several other similar puzzles, plus dissections that could be made into good packing or put-together puzzles.

Buy from amazon.com.

Hexaflexagons And Other Mathematical Diversions - Front Cover Gardner, Martin, 1988, Hexaflexagons And Other Mathematical Diversions, 200pp, pb, Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press (Originally published in 1959)

Martin's first book of mathematical puzzles and games from Scientific American. Has a chapter dealing with the Tower Of Hanoi puzzle and excellent information on hexaflexagons, including construction details.

Buy from amazon.com.

Penrose Tiles To Trapdoor Ciphers - Front Cover Gardner, Martin, 1989, Penrose Tiles To Trapdoor Ciphers: And The Return Of Dr. Matrix, 311pp, pb, New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Company (Revised and republished by the Mathematical Association of America in 1997)

In addition to a chapter on Penrose Tiles, there is a chapter on Berrocal's puzzle sculptures.

Buy from amazon.com.

Polyominoes - Puzzles, Patterns, Problems and Packings - Cover Golomb, Solomon W., 1994,  Polyominoes - Puzzles, Patterns, Problems and Packings; Revised Edition, 181pp., hb, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Buy from amazon.com.

A Century of Checkerboard Puzzles - Cover Haubrich,Jacques, 2005, A Century of Checkerboard Puzzles, 254pp., pb, Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Self Published

Successor to the Compendium of Checkerboard Puzzles by Slocum and Haubrich, this book describes all checkerboard puzzles known to have been produced between 1880 and 1980. Beautifully produced in full color.

Available from Jacques only as a set along with Additional Checkerboard Puzzle Designs (see below) for 65.00, plus postage. Please contact him for details.

Additional Checkerboard Puzzle Designs Haubrich,Jacques, 2005, Additional Checkerboard Puzzle Designs, 130pp., pb, Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Self Published

Sold as a set with A Century of Checkerboard Puzzles, this book describes all checkerboard puzzles known to have been produced after 1980 up to the date published. This book is in black and white.

Available from Jacques only as a set along with A Century of Checkerboard Puzzles (see above) for 65.00, plus postage. Please contact him for details.

Compendium of Card Matching Puzzles Haubrich,Jacques, 1995, Compendium of Card Matching Puzzles (Volumes 1, 2 & 3), 530pp., pb, Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Self Published

Definitive encyclopedia of all known card matching puzzles.

Available from Jacques as a set for 50.00, plus postage. Please contact him for details.

About, Beyond and Behind Card Matching Puzzles Haubrich,Jacques, 1996, About, Beyond and Behind Card Matching Puzzles, 90pp., pb, Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Self Published

Companion to the Compendium of Card Matching Puzzles. This book contains information on the history, patents, design and solving of card matching puzzles.

Available from Jacques. Please contact him for details.

Puzzles Old and New (Hoffmann) - Cover Professor Hoffmann (Angelo Louis), 1893, Puzzles Old and New, 393pp, hb, London, England: Frederick Warne and Company

Republished by L. Edward Hordern in 1988

Sliding Piece Puzzles - Cover Hordern, L. Edward, 1993, Sliding Piece Puzzles, 249pp, hb, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press
Hoffmann's Puzzles Old and New - Front Cover

 

Hoffmann's Puzzles Old and New - Sample Page Hordern, L. Edward, 1993, Hoffmann's Puzzles Old and New, 256pp hb, Reading, England:

A reprint of the 1893 Puzzles Old & New by Professor Hoffmann with color photographs of the actual puzzles from the collections of Hordern and others. Available from James Dalgety. Look in his Shop and Swap section.

Russian Puzzle Vessels - Front Cover

 

Russian Puzzle Vessels - Back Cover Kalinin, Anatoly, 2004, Russian Puzzle Vessels (Russian Vessels With Secret), 285pp., hb, Moscow, Russia

This book is beautifully produced and contains hundreds of full color photographs of Russian puzzle vessels. It is entirely in Russion. However, Part 2 is a large section (about 90 pages) devoted to puzzle vessels from foreign (not Russia) countries and there is a 62-page black & white booklet with an English translation available for that section. The translation also contains black and white copies of the photographs from the original book so you don't have to have the books side-by-side to read it. Highly recommended!

Contact Anatoly for information about ordering.

Russian Puzzle Vessels - Sample Page

 

Russian Puzzle Vessels - Part2 Translation
Engineering Through The Looking-Glass - Front Cover Laithwaite, Eric, 1980, Engineering Through The Looking-Glass, 114pp, hb, London, England: British Broadcasting Corporation

This book is based on 1974 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures given by the author. I can only describe this work as a cross between the work of Martin Gardner and Dr. Wizard. Everything from Slinkys, to Gyroscopes to pentominoes to flexagons (including hexaflexagons). If you can find it, you'll want it.

Cover is simply black cloth
with line drawing of Torero
Marchiori, Giuseppe, 1973, La Sculpture De Berrocal, 142 pp, hb, Bruxelles, Belgium: La Connaissance

Text in French, Italian and English. All black and white photographs.

Antologica Berrocal Minister of Culture, Spain, 1984, Antologica Berrocal, 496pp, pb, Madrid, Spain: Misisterio De Cultura, Spain

Complete works of Miguel Berrocal from 1955 to 1984. Spanish text. Might be available from James Dalgety.

Compendium of Checkerboard Puzzles - Front Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1983, (and Jacques Haubrich), Compendium of Checkerboard Puzzles, 259pp, pb, Beverly Hills, CA: Slocum Puzzle Foundation

Second edition published in 1993 and third edition published in 1997.

Puzzles Old & New - Front Cover

 

Puzzles Old & New - Back Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1986, (and Jack Botermans), Puzzles Old & New, How to make and solve them, 160pp, hb and pb, Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press

The first significant book dealing solely with mechanical puzzles. Available from Jerry.

Buy from amazon.com

New Book of Puzzles - Front Cover

 

New Book of Puzzles - Back Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1992, (and Jack Botermans), New Book of Puzzles, 101 Classic and Modern Puzzles to Make and Solve, 128 pp, hb, New York, NY: W. H. Freeman
The Book of Ingenious & Diabolical Puzzles - Front Cover

 

The Book of Ingenious & Diabolical Puzzles - Back Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1994, (and Jack Botermans), The Book of Ingenious & Diabolical Puzzles, 152pp, hb, New York, NY: Times Books

Buy from amazon.com

Optical Illusions and Other Puzzles - Front Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1995, (and Jack Botermans), Tricky Optical Illusions Puzzles, 96pp, pb, New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

Buy from amazon.com.

The Puzzle Arcade - Front Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1996, The Puzzle Arcade, 49pp, pb with enclosures, Palo Alto, CA: Klutz

Available from Jerry.

Buy from amazon.com

Directory of Puzzle Collectors and Puzzle Sellers - Front Cover Slocum, Jerry, 2003, Jerry Slocum's Directory of Puzzle Collectors and Puzzle Sellers (5th Edition), 177pp, pb, Beverly Hills, CA: Slocum Puzzle Foundation

If you are serious about mechanical puzzles, you must have this directory and you should be in it. The directory has large sections of individuals who sell puzzles and retail stores that have significant puzzle offerings. If you are already in it, you can update your entry here on Puzzle World. Available from Jerry.

Puzzles from Catel's Cabinet - Front Cover

 

Puzzles from Catel's Cabinet - Back Cover Slocum, Jerry, 1997, Puzzles from Catel's Cabinet and Bestelmeir's Magazine, 1785 to 1823, 59pp, pb, Beverly Hills, CA: Slocum Puzzle Foundation

 

Slocum, Jerry, 2003, (and His Team), The Tangram Book, 192pp, hb, New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

This is the first comprehensive and accurate history of the Tangram and includes over 2000 Tangram problems from many centuries. All in color.

Buy from amazon.com

 

 

Slocum, Jerry, 2006, (and His Team), The 15 Puzzle, 144pp, hb, Beverly Hills, CA: Slocum Puzzle Foundation

How Sam Loyd's most successful hoax lasted more than a century!

"The 15 Puzzle is the granddaddy of all sliding block puzzles. It was a worldwide sensation more than a century ago - the first major novelty craze of the industrial age, the progenitor, in a way of Pigs in Clover, crosswords, Rubik's Cube, sudoku, and all the other mental manias in the year since.

The quest for the origin of the 15 Puzzle was itself an historical puzzle of sorts, with a 'solution' every bit as surprising and satisfying as any other. ... this surprising, entertaining, and painstakingly researched book ... This is a book that everyone interested in puzzles will enjoy."

From the forward by Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, New York Times and Puzzlemaster, National Public Radio.

This book is loaded with high quality photographs, history and analysis of the 15 Puzzle.

Buy from amazon.com

Slocum, Jerry & Dieter Gebhardt, 2012, (with Jack Botermans, Harold Raizer and Dic Sonneveld), The Anchor Puzzle Book, 152pp, hb, Beverly Hills, CA: Slocum Puzzle Foundation

The amazing stories of 53 new puzzles made of stone.

F. Ad. Richter began selling the first Anchor Stone puzzle in 1890, and the same puzzle is still being produced 120 years later. The first puzzle was the Chinese Tangram and it was so successful that Richter designed and produced four new puzzles within the next two years. His success was due to the attractive look and feel of the stones and by the beautiful graphics by the best German artists on the covers of the boxes and problem books.

This book is a journey of 120 years through the development of amazing puzzles during the turbulence of European history. It tells the stories of the puzzles and shows all of Richterʼs puzzles and their many variations over the years, and it provides more than 650 problems for you to solve from 37 Anchor Stone puzzles.

A DVD is included with the book that contains:

KERAM, The Unknown Anchor Stone Factory
All 4000 problems from the 53 puzzles, and their solutions
Anchor Stone Puzzle Catalogs by Richter from 1890 to 1960
Advertising the Anchor puzzle during 1891
Drawings of Anchor Stones used for the puzzles

Buy from amazon.com

The Magical Maze Stewart, Ian, 1997, The Magical Maze, 268pp, hb, New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons

Of particular interest to puzzle collectors are the chapters of depth first searching and tiling. Stewart shows how depth first searching can be use to solve a variety of puzzles including Tower of Hanoi.

Buy from amazon.com.

Creative Puzzles of the World - Front Cover

 

Creative Puzzles of the World - Back Cover van Delft, Pieter, 1978, (and Jack Botermans), Creative Puzzles of the World, 200pp, hb, New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, pb, Berkeley, CA: Key Curriculum Press

About half of this book deals with mechanical puzzles. The remainder is logic, mathematical, etc.

Buy from amazon.com.

Hlavolamy - Cover Vyrabet, Jak Je, 2004, Hlavolamy, 228pp., hb, Czech Republic: Olympia

This basis for this book is  Puzzles Old & New, How to make and solve them by Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermans. Many new puzzles by Czech designers and craftsmen have been added.

Puzzler's Tribute - Cover Wolfe, David and Rodgers, Tom (Editors), 2002, Puzzler's Tribute, 420pp., hb, Natick, MA:  A. K. Peters (now CRC Press)

The second tribute book to Martin Gardner. Like the first, this book has many interesting articles by puzzle designers and collectors.

Buy from amazon.com.

Puzzles in Wood - Front Cover Wyatt, Edwin Mather, 1928, Puzzles in Wood, 64pp, pb, Milwaukee, WI: Bruce Publishing Company, Reprinted 1992 Parkersburg, WV: Woodcraft Supply Corporation

This book contains woodworking techniques for making several puzzles.

Buy from amazon.com.

Wonders in Wood - Front Cover Wyatt, Edwin Mather, 1946, Wonders in Wood, 76pp, pb, Milwaukee, WI: Bruce Publishing Company, Reprinted 1997 Fresno, CA: Linden Publishing Incorporated

Buy from amazon.com.

Puzzlart - Front Cover Yoshigahara, Nob, 1992, Puzzlart, 99pp, pb

Japanese text. A nice book covering many of Nob's puzzles made by Toyo Glass Company.