Hello everyone,

I've always had an interest in cryptography but so far I've only learned about general concepts and did not try to understand the maths hidden behind them.

To solve this problem, I bought two books:

Applied Cryptography and

Elliptic Curves: Number Theory and Cryptography.

I started reading that second book only to find out that, unlike programming books, I can't just read them and understand what is written, as my maths knowledge is too small for that. Which is not really unsurprising as in high school, while I was good at maths, I only did the bare minimum to pass (who likes studying when you're that young!) and I didn't have any maths in college...

So, what I am looking for are book(s) to help me improve my math skills from basically high school level. Preferably the kind of maths that will be useful for me to understand more about cryptography. I can't be really be more specific though as I don't actually know what I need.

The books themselves should ideally fulfill the following criteria:

- Written in a fun style, so no boring school books.
- Language: English or Dutch. Or if the book is really good, it can be French too.
- Has to have exercises with solutions.
- Where possible, it has to show examples of actual uses of that kind of math.

I know this is a bit vague, which is why I'm asking this instead of googling around.

If you have any suggestions, please do share them!