Chemistry Book Reviews

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  • 7/25/2019 Chemistry Book Reviews



    Student book reviews

    Chirality in transition metal chemistry:

    molecules, supramolecular assemblies

    and materials

    H Amouri and M GruselleChichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell2008 | 260 pp | 37.50 (SB)ISBN 9780470060544Reviewed by Dai Davies

    This book starts with a detailed

    introduction to chiralityand enantiomers and thenomenclature associated withchirality. However, readers shouldideally already be familiar withchiral carbon atoms and themore simple aspects of inorganicchirality, for example enantiomersof [M(bipy)3]

    n+complexes.This section is followed by a

    chapter on chiral organometalliccompounds and asymmetriccatalysis which is necessarily a verybrief overview of this topic andif this is your main interest, more

    specialist books in this area will bemore appropriate.

    The second half of the bookconsiders chiral recognition,supramolecular coordinationcompounds, and enantiopuremolecular materials and it is inthese areas that the book is mostuseful. These topics are wellcovered, in particular showing howthe field is progressing to morerational approaches to the design

    of enantiopure supramolecularcompounds and materials.The book is well-referenced

    to the primary literaturethroughout and serves as a goodreview of these areas but withexplanations provided for theless well-established worker inthe field. Throughout, a cleardifferentiation is made between theuse of enantiopure materials andracemates, and where appropriate,discussion of the stability of thechiral information.

    Overall this book will be useful

    to students taking an advancedundergraduate course and

    particularly to postgraduates andacademics undertaking researchin the areas of chiral inorganicsupramolecular complexes andmaterials.

    Fundamentals of asymmetric


    P J Walsh and M C KozlowskiHerndon, US: University Science

    Books2008 | 688pp | 52.99 (HB)ISBN 9781891389542Reviewed by Dai Davies

    My advice to anyone readingthis book that is not alreadyexperienced in the field would beto start with the appendix, itselfover 50 pages long, on terms andenantioselective processes inasymmetric catalysis. Indeed, eventhough I thought I understood thefield reasonably well, I learnt somenew things just from the appendix.

    The book is organised differentlyto most books on asymmetriccatalysis in that the chapters arearranged by concepts rather than byreaction type. While this sometimesleads to the same reaction beingdiscussed in more than one place,I found it gave me an overview andperspective of asymmetric catalysiswhich I had not found from anyother text.

    The book deals with Lewis acid,Lewis base, metal-based catalysisand organic catalysis with detaileddiscussions of reaction mechanisms

    including kinetic analyses andenergy diagrams in many cases.

    There are chapters on varioustypes of kinetic resolution and onhow stereochemical informationis transferred from the catalystto the substrates. The authorsemphasise that while there havebeen significant achievements inasymmetric catalysis there is muchleft to do.

    The book will no doubt provideinspiration for further work whilemaking it clear that understandingthe mechanisms and origin of

    The importance of knowing left from right

    Hands up for chiral chemistry

    60 |

    Chemistry World |August 2009

    This willbecome thebible for thosewho wish tomaster theconcepts ofasymmetric


  • 7/25/2019 Chemistry Book Reviews


    enantioselectivity in asymmetric

    catalysis is a very challenging field.Overall this book will be useful,though perhaps somewhatdaunting, to students taking anadvanced undergraduate course.However, for postgraduates andacademics undertaking researchin asymmetric catalysis this shouldbe essential reading before startingresearch. I concur wholeheartedlywith the foreword which suggeststhat it will become the bible forthose who wish to master theconcepts underpinning researchadvances in asymmetric catalysis. It

    is also very good value.

    Writing up yourresearchWriting scientific research articles:

    strategy and steps

    Margaret Cargill and PatrickOConnorChichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell2009 | 184pp | 17.99 (SB)ISBN 9781405186193Reviewed by David Parker

    As both an author and copy editorof scientific articles, I know well thechallenges and pitfalls of writingup research for publication in theinternational literature.

    Written by a science educatorand a linguist, this book aims tomentor early-career researchersthrough the difficult crucial stepsof knowing how to write, whatto write and where to aim forpublication, reminding the readerthat though the quality of theirresearch is key, how it is presented

    for publication will ultimatelydecide whether it is accepted and sogain the kudos it deserves.

    The book breaks down thewriting process into a series ofkey concepts, from understandingthe publishing process and thereasons for doing so, to explainingthe purpose and best practicestructuring of an articles varioussections, through to the importantissues of language use and theavoidance of plagiarism.

    Depending on how a writerintends to use the book, there are

    Chemistry World |August 2009 |61

    How you present yourresearch is key to

    whether it gets published

    Classic kitThiele tube, p72

    Last retortCar catastrophe, p84

    A researcharticle is neverbetter than thequality of thedata

    Physical meetsbiologicalModern biophysical chemistry:

    Detection and analysis of biomolecules

    Peter Jomo WallaWeinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH2009 | 301pp | 39.95 (SB)ISBN 9783527323609Reviewed by Alan Cooper

    The interface where physicalchemistry meets molecularbiology presents exciting

    challenges for both disciplines,and this new book gives a niceintroduction to some currentaspects.

    Biophysical chemistry dates backat least to 1958 with the classic, nowtechnically antiqueBiophysicalchemistry, by Harvard chemistsJohn Edsall and Jeffries Wyman.

    Fifty years on, and we shouldexpect to see significant advances,as indeed exemplified here. Takingadvantage of recent developments,especially in optical and electronictechnologies, often driven by the

    need for enhanced sensitivityand applicability to biomedical/pharmaceutical R&D, we now havea wide range of techniques forstudying the structure and functionof biological macromoleculesand their detection at almosthomoeopathic levels. Walla gives athorough and authoritative accountof the current situation, focusingalmost entirely on spectroscopicmethods.

    The book is strong on the basics,with appropriate treatmentsof fundamental molecular

    spectroscopy leading on to morerecent application in single-molecule manipulation andanalysis. The authors researchexpertise in this area underpinsa good selection of illustrativeexamples, with a nice range ofproblems accompanying eachchapter (answers apparently tobe available online though not attime of writing).

    But perhaps the choice of title isa little unfortunate. The coveragehere is not quite as comprehensiveas the title might suggest, omitting,

    exercises (with answers) at theend of each section, the scope tolearn as you write your own article,complete example articles to referto, and the support of a dedicatedwebsite.

    Some of the authors advice mayseem like common sense to some,but nevertheless it is sometimesvaluable to have the underlyingreasoning reiterated to keepwriters focused on their goal ofsuccessful publication. Even for amore seasoned writer, the very welllaid out and accessible style of the

    book offers a dip-in reminder ofaspects of good scientific writingpractice.

    As always, a research article isnever better than the quality ofthe data and scientific rigour thatunderpins it, a principle that nogeneralised training material, suchas this book, can reasonably hopeto impart. That said, I found thatthere was enough genuinely usefulguidance, which can help writersdevelop their technique, for thisbook to be a worthy companion onany new researchers desk.

  • 7/25/2019 Chemistry Book Reviews


    Student book reviews

    Curly arrows show the

    movement of electrons

    eventually reaches a definition inthe last paragraph, and even then thedefinition is poor. Other definitionsare suspect; for example consider:carbocations are positively charged

    carbon ions (a much better definitionfrom elsewhere is a carbocation isan ion in which a positive chargeresides on a carbon atom). Detailedexplanations are given for simplepoints, but more difficult ones areskipped over.

    The one good feature of the bookis the collection of problems withsolutions, and lecturers may like tomake use of these.

    In conclusion, I would mostdefinitely not recommend this bookto students they might like to try

    Pushing electronsby Daniel Weeks


    Jump startthermodynamicsIntroduction to molecular


    Robert M Hanson and Susan GreenHerndon, US: University ScienceBooks2008 | 296pp | 23.99 (HB)ISBN 9781891389498Reviewed by Mark Miller

    There are several reasons whyfirst-year science undergraduatesrarely rate thermodynamics as theirfavourite subject. Many find themathematics daunting, but it can alsobe hard to grasp concepts like entropyand free energy when presentedwithin the traditional framework ofphenomenological thermodynamics.

    Hanson and Green strive to bypassthese problems first by restrictingthe level of mathematics to simplealgebra with no calculus, and secondby taking a molecular approach from

    the very start. Hence, explanationsof thermodynamic quantities andprocesses are couched in terms ofmolecules distributed over energylevels. This explicitly chemicalapproach makes clear, for example,the microscopic meanings of workand heat, and provides a moreaccurate perception of entropy thanthe misleading measure of disorder.

    The book starts with anintroduction to probability and thenintroduces internal energy, the FirstLaw and thermodynamic cycles.Entropy and the Second Law enter

    62 |

    Chemistry World |August 2009

    stand out from thecrowd by offeringa comprehensivecoverage of recentlypublished research,

    there are somealarming gaps. Forexample, there is nomention of alkene

    metathesis, even inthe chapters specifically

    focused on CC double bondforming reactions and Transitionmetal mediated CC bond formingreactions; despite award of theNobel Prize in this field in 2005.

    In summary, this book does notbridge the gap it intends to; rather itfalls down it. On one hand there aremuch more forgiving mechanistic

    primers available, and on the otherthere is insufficient detail andreferencing to the literature for thework to be applied in research. Abook for the bus or the bath, ratherthan the bench.

    Arrow-pushing in organic chemistry:

    An easy approach to understanding

    reaction mechanisms

    Daniel LevyHoboken, New Jersey, US: Wiley2008 | 302pp | 28.50 (SB)ISBN 9780470171103Reviewed by Mary Masson

    From the blurb for this new text, Iexpected a student-friendly bookthat would be a real help to beginnerstrying to get to grips with writingcurly arrow mechanisms, but sadly Iwas disappointed. There are severalproblems, the most serious onebeing the poor and often incorrectdrawing of the actual curly arrows;the defect being that the arrow headdoes not point to the final destinationof the electron pair. Other moderntextbooks do a much better job (egOrganic chemistryby J Clayden et al).

    The style of writing in the bookis also a problem, in that it is datedand not appropriate to the currentgeneration of students. The textoften introduces outdated conceptsin explanations, and it jumps aroundbetween topics and does not startat the beginning of anything. Forexample, the five-page sectionentitledDefinition of arrow pushingstarts by talking about some namedreactions, goes through Lewisstructures, lone pairs, cleavagereactions, concerted mechanismsand pericyclic reactions before it

    A book for thebus or the bath,rather than thebench

    for example, any mention of widelyused non-spectroscopic techniquessuch as microcalorimetry oranalytical ultracentrifugation. Andany modern text is unlikely to

    remain so for very long, especiallyin such a rapidly developing field.However, these are minor quibbles,and I commend this book as a fineintroduction for more physicallyoriented bioscientists or biologicallyinclined physical chemists at thesenior undergraduate/graduatelevel, or beyond.

    Reactionswith arrowsReaction mechanisms in organic


    Rakesh K ParasharChichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell2008 | 392pp | 37.50 (SB)ISBN 9781405190893Reviewed by Guy Lloyd-Jones and hisresearch group

    This book sets out to bridge the gapbetween the teaching lab and theresearch laboratory. Unfortunately,in most parts it does not. Inmany places there is insufficientmechanistic discussion, particularly

    on stereochemical aspects, so thatthe reader is left with only half thepicture, sometimes less than found inundergraduate texts. There is also arather sporadic level of referencing,some of which is not at all up to date,and in places there are rather poorlyconstructed mechanistic schemes, orreactions are mentioned without anydiscussion of the mechanism at all.

    On the plus side, the breadth ofmaterial is good, it is well organisedand the language appealingly simple.However, for a book that claims to

  • 7/25/2019 Chemistry Book Reviews


    Student book reviews

    half-way through, leading to Gibbsenergy and equilibria. Two chaptersat the end briefly cover phase changesand electrochemistry.

    The text is written in a very

    informal, chatty style, making itapproachable and easy to read,though it is a little verbose at times.As the authors point out, the bookis based on a course in which themajority of students will not continuewith chemistry. Hence, although thebook conveys immense enthusiasm, itis important to realise that it does notcover the subject at a sufficient levelfor many first-year thermodynamicscourses in UK chemistry degreeprogrammes. Nevertheless, itprovides a coherent and refreshingintroduction to the subject.

    Welcome tothe nanoworldNanochemistry: A chemical approach

    to nanomaterials

    Geoffrey A Ozin, Andr Arsenaultand Ludovico CademartiriCambridge, UK: RSC Publishing2009 | 820pp | 45.00ISBN 9781847558954Reviewed by Rafael Luque

    This book is the second edition ofa title, first published in 2005, inwhich the authors have alreadyestablished a reputation for goodwriting and attractive presentationacross the field of nanoscience.

    Unsurprisingly, the book isperfectly balanced and containsmany new chapters withdetailed and comprehensiveinformation about a wide varietyof nanomaterials/nanoapproachesof interest to people from differentbackgrounds. From nanoflowersto nanocubes through lithography,

    self-assembly and biomaterials,the highly challenging task ofcovering as much as possible ofthe immense and fast-movingnanochemistry/technology areahas been successfully and elegantlyaccomplished.

    Excellently written and well-structured, the book also includes avery appropiate nano-introductionwith the basics, many referencesand interesting nanofood forthought questions in each chapterthat add value to the book. Being oneof the best and most comprehensive

    Chemistry World |August 2009 |63

    In briefAn introduction to medicinal


    Graham Patrick

    Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press2009 | 776pp | 29.99 (SB)ISBN 9780199234479

    This book, now in its fourth edition,

    provides a one-volume textbook for

    the variety of medicinal chemistry

    courses now being offered. It starts

    from first principles of drug action,

    to drug design and development

    and specific drugs, such as HIV

    inhibitors and painkillers. The text

    is supported by topical case studies

    and an online resource centre.

    Molecular biology and biotechnologyJohn M Walker and Ralph Rapley(eds)Cambridge, UK: RSC Publishing2009 | 624pp | 49.95 (HB)ISBN 9780854041251This book has been revised andupdated in this new third editionto reflect the latest developmentsin this rapidly expanding area.Chapters on the impact of molecularbiology in the development ofbiotechnology have been updatedand include the applications ofmolecular biology in the areas of

    drug design and diseases. Thereare also new chapters in developingareas such as genome technology,nanobiotechnology, regenerativemedicine and biofuels. An idealundergraduate text of interest tostudents of biology and chemistry,as well as to postgraduates.

    Chemistry in quantitative language

    Christopher OriakhiOxford, UK: Oxford University Press2009 | 490pp | 37.99 (HB)ISBN 9780195367997

    This book provides students with

    innovative, intuitive and systematicstrategies to master problem-solving in chemistry. Though nota replacement for a standardtextbook, this book serves as avaluable guide to solving chemicalequations and calculations basedon chemical equations.The widevariety of areas covered includes:

    formulae, equations, gas laws,

    solution chemistry, kinetics,

    equilibria, thermochemistry,

    thermodynamics and nuclear


    available texbooks on the subject andnot being particularly nano sized

    (820 pages), it is also a magnificentvalue for money.In summary, this second edition

    ofNanochemistry: A chemicalapproach to nanomaterialsis notonly a must have in the collection ofanyone with a minimum chemistry/materials background, but also acomprehensive masterpiece ofart that will introduce readersfrom various backgrounds to thefascinating world of nanomaterialsand nanoscience.

    RetrosynthesisElements of synthesis planning

    R W HoffmannBerlin, Heidelberg, Germany:Springer-Verlag2009 | 227 pp | 26.99 (SB)ISBN 9783540792192

    Reviewed by Gordon Florence

    From an undergraduate learningperspective the concept of synthesisplanning or retrosynthesis can appearto be a daunting prospect. The ideaof being asked to think backwards

    Nanofoodfor thoughtsections addvalue

    From nanoflowers to

    nanocubes - the small

    world of nanomaterials

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    Student book reviews

    64 |

    Chemistry World |August 2009

    for many is a big leap, despite thevast majority already possessing awell-stocked chemical toolbox andbeing more than capable to explaina multitude of complex mechanistic

    transformations. InElements ofsynthesis planning, a reworkedtranslation of his original Germantext, Reinhard Hoffmann sets outto demystify the art of syntheticplanning, which is an essentialand vital skill practised every daythroughout the worldwide organicchemistry community.

    In 12 clear and logical chapters,Hoffmann takes the reader fromthe basic concepts of retrosynthesis(use of synthons, identifyingkey bond disconnections,unmasking symmetry elements

    etc) to dedicated chapters on theapplication of chiral buildingblocks, strategic planning ofcomplex synthetic sequencesand the synthesis of polycyclicring systems. In the final chapter,all these concepts are broughttogether to elegantly compareseveral individual approaches toone of five representative naturalproducts, highlighting the tacticsand strategies employed.

    As such, this text wouldideally complement an advancedundergraduate course on complex

    organic synthesis, which is beyondthe level of most standard organicchemistry textbooks. It would alsoprove highly useful to postgraduatesat the beginning of their researchcareers in synthesis to inspirecreativity and maybe put their ideasinto practice.

    Molecules on alarge scaleSupramolecular chemistryJonathan Steed and Jerry AtwoodWeinheim, Germany: Wiley VCH2009 | 990pp | 45.00 (SB)ISBN 9780470512340Reviewed by Phil Gale

    At just under 1000 pages, thesecond edition of Steed andAtwoodsSupramolecular chemistryis the most comprehensiveoverview of the area available intextbook form.

    The book starts with anintroduction to the basic concepts

    Starting fromquantum theoryQuanta, matter, and change

    Peter Atkins, Julio de Paula, andRonald FriedmanOxford, UK: Oxford UniversityPress2008 | 816pp | 39.99 (SB)ISBN 9780199206063Reviewed by Peter Taylor

    This is a splendid book. True to theauthors philosophy as outlined inthe preface, it approaches physicalchemistry by first developing thequantum theory of molecular

    electronic structure, then bystatistical arguments moves intothermodynamics, and thence tokinetics. Spectroscopy of varioustypes, the electronic structureof solids, and the rudimentsof molecular symmetry are alltreated along the way, and theoverall presentation is masterly,with sub-sections devoted tocurrent illustrations of particulartopics, chapter summaries,numerous exercises, and extensiveuseful tabular material, all withinthe book, to say nothing of the web

    resources that are also available.The aim is to produce abook to accompany teachingphysical chemistry accordingto this philosophy, which issomething of a novelty, andone might ask whether this is adesirable or useful approach, asopposed for example to teachingthermodynamics and kinetics tosome extent independently of oneanother and certainly independentof quantum chemistry, which isthe common strategy.

    The authors do a fine job of

    presenting the subjects in aconnected, logical way thisapproach to physical chemistryhas a great deal to recommendit. This book in turn has a greatdeal to recommend it as anaccompanying text.

    One can point to minoromissions or disappointments: theauthors focus almost exclusivelyon Boltzmann statistics andalthough FermiDirac statisticsget a mention BoseEinstein doesnot (that I could find), which is apity for several reasons, not the

    Rotaxanes are dumbell-

    shaped moleculesthreaded through


    The authorshave produceda text that willbe a delight toteach from

    of molecular recognition,pre-organisation, thenature of supramolecularinteractions and a lookat biological systems

    as an inspiration forsupramolecular design.As the reader progresses

    through the book the levelof complexity increases.The first part of thebook covers molecularrecognition with a series ofchapters on cation, anion,ion-pair and neutral guestcomplexation by syntheticreceptors that provide alogical and comprehensiveintroduction to each area.The central section centres

    on the solid state providingan overview of inclusioncomplexes, clathrates,interactions in crystals,coordination polymers andmetal-organic frameworks.The final third covers self-assembly, topological bonding,sensing, molecular machines,catalysis and soft-matter.

    Of course in a textbook onsupramolecular chemistry, figuresare all-important and here eachchapter is well illustrated with acombination of chemical diagrams

    and crystal structures. A separatesection of colour illustrations isincluded for the more complexfigures.

    In addition to good coverage ofthe primary literature, perhapsone of the most useful featuresfor those wishing to delve deeperare the key references at the startof each section to a seminal bookor review which provides theinterested reader with a gateway tothe supramolecular literature.

    Each chapter ends with asummary of key learning points and

    a useful section of study problems.The book provides the

    foundation for a course onsupramolecular chemistry withextra resources such as thesolutions to the study problemsand the figures in the bookavailable online fromthe publisher.

    Aimed at the seniorundergraduate level, the bookwill also be a useful resource forboth postgraduates and moreexperienced researchers alike andis highly recommended.

  • 7/25/2019 Chemistry Book Reviews


    Student book reviews

    Chemistry World |August 2009 |65

    least of which is the opportunity topoint out the difference a changeof sign can make!

    The concept of a spinHamiltonian is mentioned

    only in an exercise, despite anextensive chapter on magneticresonance spectroscopies. Andfor readers not in their first youththe difference between script anditalic fonts a significant partof their notation is well-nighinvisible.

    But these are trivial complaints:the authors have done a wonderfuljob and produced a text it will bea delight to teach from. I cannotrecommend it too highly.

    New lightPrinciples of molecularphotochemistry: An introduction

    Nicholas J Turro, V Ramamurthyand J C (Tito) ScaianoSausalito, California, US:University Science Books2009 | 495pp | 42.99 (SB)ISBN 9781891389573Reviewed by Frank Wilkinson

    This textbook aims to familiariseboth students and researchers withthe critical concepts and methods

    involved in studies of organicmolecular photochemistry. It is anexcellent introduction written bythree supreme masters in this theirfield. Those familiar with earliertexts by Nick Turro, including hisModern molecular photochemistry,will not be surprised to learn thatthis is another first class up-to-datebook. It gives an understandablegeneral introduction to bothphotophysical and photochemicalprocesses of importance in organicphotochemistry and will be ofinterest not only to chemists but to

    biologists and material scientists.Important topics such as

    radiative and non-radiativetransitions between electronicstates, energy and electrontransfer and the theory oforganic photochemical reactionsare presented with plenty ofexamples and clear illustrationsin well written chapters at alevel appropriate for final yearundergraduates. Some Europeanstudents only familiar with SI unitswill need to know, for example, thata kcal mol1is 4.184 kJ mol1but

    degree to which it is being taughtat an undergraduate level. Therecently publishedEssentialsof chemical biologyby AndrewMiller and Julian Tanner is an

    excellent new textbook in this areatargeted at third and fourth yearundergraduates as well as youngresearchers. The book providesan important foundation in boththe chemistry associated withbiological systems, in additionto the wide array of chemicaltechniques and methods currentlyused to investigate biologicalproblems.

    The book starts with a broadbackground into the structure,chemical and biological synthesesof the main classes of biological

    macromolecules and then focuseson the molecular biology andbiophysical techniques that areextensively used in chemicalbiology. In each case, theunderlying physical chemistryis described in detail, in additionto its application to the study ofbiological systems. Later chaptersfocus on processes key to biologicalfunction such as molecularrecognition and binding, kineticsand catalysis.

    In summary,Essentials inchemical biologyis a valuable

    resource not only for chemistrystudents who are venturinginto and interested in biologicalsystems, but also biochemistryand biology students who wanta fundamental understanding ofthe physical and chemical basis ofbiology and the techniques used inits study.

    Bio-aidedchemistryPractical biotransformations:

    A beginners guide

    Gideon GroganChichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell2009 | 331 pp | 34.95 (SB)ISBN 9781405171250Reviewed by Andrew Carnell

    This is the latest volume in a seriesprimarily aimed at postgraduatesand researchers published byWiley. It will appeal to syntheticorganic chemists wanting to becomeactive in, or engage with, the use of

    they should not let this put them offusing this well-crafted primer.

    I am sure all research workersin organic photochemistry, novice

    and expert alike, will find thisbook an invaluable addition totheir personal libraries. They arelikely to find the clear descriptionsof complicated processes witha minimum of mathematicaltreatment most enlighteningand the comprehensive list ofreferences extremely useful.

    Chemical basisof biologyEssentials of chemical biology:structure and dynamics of biological


    Andrew Miller and Julian TannerChichester, UK: Wiley2008 | 590pp | 37.50 (SB)ISBN 9780470845318Reviewed by Sophie Jackson

    Chemical biology has beena growth area in research inchemistry departments worldwideover the last ten years, andits importance is now beingrecognised by the increasing

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    Student book reviews

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    Chemistry World |August 2009


    LEADING STUDENT RESOURCESArrow-Pushing inOrganic Chemistry:An Easy Approachto UnderstandingReactionMechanismsDaniel E. Levy

    September 2008ISBN: 978-0-470-17110-3(Paper) 28.50 37.90

    Chirality inTransition MetalChemistry:Molecules,SupramolecularAssemblies andMaterialsHani Amouri et al

    November 2008ISBN: 978-0-470-06054-4 (Paper)

    37.50 47.90

    ReactionMechanismsin OrganicSynthesisRakesh Parashar

    December 2008ISBN:978-1-4051-9089-3(Paper)37.50 47.90

    SupramolecularChemistry,2nd EditionJonathan W. Steedand Jerry L. Atwood

    January 2009ISBN:978-0-470-51234-0(Paper)45.00 57.90

    For all your chemistry learning resources

    enzymes and microorganisms forcarrying out biotransformations.

    It is primarily a laboratory manualwith many useful and easy to follow

    experimental protocols, includinglists of reagents, equipment andstepwise procedures to follow.However, it delivers much more,with appropriate levels of detail ineach section allowing the reader toappreciate the fundamentals behindthis interdisciplinary practice.

    Very little prior knowledge ofbiochemistry, microbiology ormolecular biology is assumed. Thereader is led through sections ofincreasing degrees of specialisationfrom using commercially availableenzymes (suppliers are given) or

    growing and isolating your own, togene cloning and directed evolution.The book could work in two ways:

    in an appropriate environmentone could get quite a long waytowards setting up a workingbiotransformations laboratory;alternatively the book wouldfacilitate collaboration withlife scientists by demystifyingterminology and methodologies.There is an invaluable sectionexplaining how to search gene andprotein sequences online with someguided examples. This would allow

    the uninitiated to easily identifypossible alternative sources ofbiocatalysts given a sequence of aknown enzyme, which may haveshown promise for a new reaction.

    This book is easy to read andwell organised and can be dippedin and out of, depending on yourlevel of experience in differentareas. Appendices on amino acidand nucleic acid base structures, thegenetic code, buffers and standard

    microbial growth mediaand other practicalresources are very useful.Well selected references are

    given for further readingat the end of each chapter.Overall an excellent,interesting and user-friendlymanual/textbook.

    ChemistryprimerChemistry3:Introducing inorganic,

    organic and physical chemistry

    Andy Burrows, Andy Parsons andGareth Price

    Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press2009 | 1416pp | 42.99 (SB)ISBN 9780199277896Reviewed by Hamish Kidd

    Chemistry3spans all three strandsof chemistry organic, inorganicand physical to enable students tosee the subject as a single, unifieddiscipline. It provides studentswith an understanding of thefundamental principles of chemistryon which to build later studies.

    The author team includes twospecialists in chemistry education

    who bring to the book a wealth ofexperience of teaching chemistryin a way that students enjoy andunderstand. The result is a text thatbuilds on what students alreadyknow from school and tacklestheir misunderstandings andmisconceptions, thereby providinga seamless transition from school toundergraduate study.

    The text is well illustrated and fullof useful and interesting boxes and

    The textprovides aseamlesstransitionfrom school toundergraduate

    Chemistry basics are

    best learned by use of a

    unified approach

    sidebars showing the ubiquity ofchemistry in both nature and

    everyday human life. Theseenhancements, together

    with helpful notes andcross-references aidcomprehension andmean that the book canbe easily dipped into to

    provide learning in bite-sized chunks.

    Of particular usefulnessis the mechanistic approach toorganic chemistry, rather than theold-fashioned functional groupapproach.

    Instead of avoiding the maths,Chemistry3provides structuredsupport, in the form of careful

    explanations, reminders of keymathematical concepts, step-by-step calculations in workedexamples, and a Maths Toolkit, tohelp students get to grips with theessential mathematical elements ofchemistry.

    Like many textbooks these daysthis book is supported by a teachingand resource package online. Forstudents there are interactive andanimation-based activities, 3Drotatable molecular structuresand interactive walk-throughsof solutions to selected problems.

    For lecturers there is a test bankof multiple choice questions andillustrations from the book availableto download.

    This book would be ideal forintroductory courses in organic,inorganic and physical chemistry,both for first-year chemistryundergraduates and for students inallied sciences, such as biochemistry,seeking a good grounding inintroductory chemistry.