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Best Chemistry Books

Explore the fascinating world of atoms and molecules with this list of the best chemistry books, applauded by educators and science publications. Each book is ranked based on its frequency of recommendation for both students and enthusiasts.

Recommendations from 29 articles, Bill Gates, Werner Vogels, Samin Nosrat and 11 others.
Best Chemistry Books
62 books on the list
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The Disappearing Spoon book cover
The Disappearing Spoon
And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Sam Kean - 2010-07-12
Goodreads Rating
Discover the passion, adventure, and obsession behind the periodic table in this fascinating book. Follow elements like carbon, neon, and gold as they play their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of mad scientists who discovered them. Uncover the surprising ways that elements like lithium and gallium have impacted our world, fusing science with the classic lore of invention and discovery, from the big bang to the end of time.
Chemistry book cover
The Central Science (14th Edition) (MasteringChemistry)
Theodore E. Brown - 2002-01-01 (first published in 1977)
Goodreads Rating
A trusted and innovative textbook on general chemistry that has stood the test of time. This edition, authored by leading researchers and teachers, draws on data to identify and address student misconceptions, encouraging a real-world understanding of chemistry. With an enhanced eText 2.0 and Mastering Chemistry, this book provides a seamless learning experience that includes interactive media, personalized learning, and problem-solving exercises. Mastering Chemistry is the leading online engagement system and the General Chemistry Primer supports student learning. This textbook will improve results and prepare students for success in their studies.
Elements book cover
A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
Theodore Gray - 2009-10-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover the fascinating world of the periodic table with this visually stunning book on all 118 elements. The Elements features big, beautiful photographs of each element in their purest form, along with fascinating stories and data on their properties. This perfect gift book, based on seven years of research, includes a poster of its iconic photographic periodic table of the elements.
Recommended by
Stewart Brand
Napoleon's Buttons book cover
Napoleon's Buttons
How 17 Molecules Changed History
Penny le Couteur - 2003-04-28 (first published in 1991)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the molecules that have shaped history in this fascinating account. From early explorations to advances in medicine and law, these seventeen groups of molecules spurred grand feats of engineering and determined what we eat, drink, and wear today. Le Couteur and Burreson offer a unique perspective on the shaping of civilization and our contemporary world through captivating prose and delightful details.
Chemistry book cover
A Molecular Approach (5th Edition)
Nivaldo J. Tro - 2006-12-01 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
Learn chemistry visually through multi-level images with Nivaldo Tro's Chemistry: A Molecular Approach. This active learning approach helps students become expert problem solvers and critical thinkers, making connections between the world they see around them, the atoms and molecules that compose the world, and the formulas they write down on paper. The textbook includes interactive digital versions of select worked examples, and an integrated media package that streamlines course set-up and engages students to improve their results. Mastering Chemistry is also available to personalize the learning experience and improve outcomes.
Stuff Matters book cover
Stuff Matters
Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World
Mark Miodownik - 2014-05-27 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the incredible science behind the everyday materials that make up our world in this eye-opening New York Times Bestseller. Join globally-renowned materials scientist Mark Miodownik as he unpacks the secrets behind the steel in our razors, the graphite in our pencils, and even the foam in our sneakers. From porcelain to diamonds and graphene, learn about the most astounding histories and marvelous scientific breakthroughs in the material world. No matter how ordinary the object may seem, Stuff Matters proves that it's overflowing with incredible stories and fascination.
Recommended by
Bill Gates
The Periodic Table book cover
The Periodic Table
Primo Levi - 1995-04-04 (first published in 1975)
Goodreads Rating
This collection of 21 short stories is a powerful response to the Holocaust. Told through the lens of a Jewish-Italian chemist, each story is named after a different chemical element, and is written in eloquent and stunning prose. Revealing the author's experiences before, during, and after Auschwitz, this book is considered to be a literary masterpiece and was named the best science book ever by the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
Uncle Tungsten book cover
Uncle Tungsten
Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
Oliver Sacks - 2002-08-23 (first published in 2001)
Goodreads Rating
"Uncle Tungsten" is a luminous memoir that charts the growth of a young mind fascinated by the world of physical sciences. Author Oliver Sacks recounts his early discoveries of metals and their properties, and seamlessly interweaves a masterful survey of scientific history. Sacks shares personal recollections of his family, most notably "Uncle Tungsten", a maker of lightbulbs with filaments of fine tungsten wire. Despite becoming a neurologist, Sacks's passion for science as a profoundly human endeavor never fades.
The Poisoner's Handbook book cover
The Poisoner's Handbook
Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York
Deborah Blum - 2010-02-18
Goodreads Rating
Delve into the hazardous world of poison and crime in Jazz Age New York City with The Poisoner's Handbook. Follow the groundbreaking work of forensic scientists Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler as they investigate and solve countless cases involving lethal substances. But it's not just murderers that pose a threat, as toxins can be found everywhere in modern life. This captivating true crime tale is equal parts history, science, and suspense.
Recommended by
Raychelle Burks
Chemistry For Dummies book cover
Chemistry For Dummies
John T. Moore - 2002-12-06
Goodreads Rating
Discover the fascinating world of chemistry with Chemistry For Dummies! This book covers everything from how chemistry applies to everyday activities like cooking and cleaning, to more complex topics such as matter and energy, acids and bases, atoms and molecules. With step-by-step lessons and real-world examples, beginners can easily grasp basic chemistry principles and gain valuable insights from chemistry professors. Updated to reflect current teaching methods, Chemistry For Dummies is the perfect guide for anyone looking to master the basics of chemistry.
Chemistry 2e by OpenStax by Openstax
Chemistry by Karen C. Timberlake
Organic Chemistry As a Second Language by David R. Klein
Molecules by Theodore Gray
By Theodore Gray & Nick Mann Photographic Card Deck of the Elements [Paperback] by Theodore Gray
Chemistry by Richard Post, Chad Snyder, Clifford C. Houk
H2O by Philip Ball
Chemistry by Martin Silberberg
Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Atkins' Physical Chemistry 11e by Peter Atkins
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt
What If? by Randall Munroe
The Science of Good Cooking by The Editors of America'S Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby
The Alchemy of Air by Thomas Hager
Awesome Science Experiments for Kids by Crystal Chatterton
The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book by Tom Robinson
The Demon Under the Microscope by Thomas Hager
Modern Approach to Chemical Calculations by R. C. Mukerjee
Concise Inorganic Chemistry by J. D. Lee
Chemistry Made Easy by NEDU
Organic Chemistry - Standalone Book by David R. Klein
Chemistry by Openstax
The Periodic Table by Gail Dixon
Chemistry by Clifford C. Houk
Cook's Science by Cook'S Illustrated
The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry by Larry Gonick
Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson
Theo Gray's Mad Science by Theodore Gray
Molecules of Murder by John Emsley
Theodore Gray's Elements Vault by Theodore Gray
Force of Nature - Part 2 of 2 by Thomas Hager
Mad Science 2 by Theodore Gray
Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson
Astronomy Hacks by Robert Bruce Thompson
Hands-On Chemistry Activities with Real-Life Applications by Norman Herr
Chemical Demonstrations by Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Chemistry by Karen C. Timberlake
Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments by Robert Bruce Thompson
The Romance of Chemistry by Keith Gordon Irwin
Chemical Demonstrations by Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Chemical Demonstrations by Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Chemical Demonstrations, Volume 5 by Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
Chemical Demonstrations by Bassam Z. Shakhashiri
The Fabulous and Fun World of Chemistry! by Angela Taha Naef
Hands-On Physics Activities with Real-Life Applications by James Cunningham
General Chemistry by Ralph H. Petrucci
What Einstein Kept Under His Hat by Robert L Wolke
What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert L. Wolke
The Elements of Murder by John Emsley
Introductory Chemistry Essentials by Nivaldo J. Tro
Culinary Reactions by Simon Quellen Field