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Chemistry A *great* general chemistry book for self study - please help

  1. Feb 13, 2014 #1
    In this post i want to discuss good chemistry text books vs. bad chemistry textbooks and I'd like some help finding a good General chemistry textbook for university - Undergraduate level.

    What Is a good introductory chemistry textbook?

    So i finally found a book in organic chemistry which actually explains a subject like no other book I've ever read - The book is called Organic chemisty by David R Klein. If i could find a book in general chemistry that succeeds in explaining subjects such as orbital theory, kinetics, bonding etc. in equal detail (no cutting corners) i'd be really happy!!

    What makes a textbook bad in my opinion?
    • Lack of visual explanation - fx. explaining orbital theory with a limit amount of images of orbitals and how they overlap.
    • Lack of clearly demonstrated examples - A definition can first really be grasped when you get your hands dirty or see A LOT of examples clearly demonstrating what is being spoken about and what is NOT being spoken about.
    • Lack of Depth: Explaining subjects or theories without showing in depth how the theory is derived, through math, reasoning and a visual demonstration of the experimental setup. Just learning an equation/calculus is easy but understanding clearly how the equation is derived - the reasoning, the assumptions made when discovering the equation - is essential to understanding the subject.
    • Too much nonsense text: In some textbooks pages could be boiled down to a few sentences and still demonstrate a subject clearly.

    What Makes a textbook great, and where can I find such a book in general Chemistry?
    (undergraduate level)?
    • All the opposites of the negatives.
    • Great visual explanation - Images demonstration what is being spoken about.
    • Depth: Deriving equations, showing and explaining the experimental setup, the reasoning, the logic so you understand how the equation came into existence and in which situations it's relevant. This is much better than an oversimplified view with no actual logical argument/math involved.
    • Short but concise and with ample amount of examples, for the reader to understand the point.

    I'd really like to find general chemistry book for self-study (perhaps with a solution manual for self check) which close to meets theese requirements.

    So my question is: IS there such a general chemistry book? Or would i have to buy several books? What books would you recommend?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2014 #2
    So Far I've thought about buying either

    Zumdahl - Chemical Principles

    Atkins Chemical principles - the quest for Insight (Perhaps the newest edition - 5th edition)


    I'm not sure Which of the 2 is best for explaining concepts such as ACID base, and Quantum theory (atomic orbitalls and Molecular orbitals), but something tells me Zumdahl might be a better choice.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Jan 9, 2015 #3
  5. Jan 16, 2015 #4

    I've got about 6 gen chem textbooks and my favorite two are:

    Chemistry: A molecular approach - Nivaldo Tro

    General Chemistry - Linus Pauling

    Between these two and a good 1st&2nd year calculus book you'll be styling.
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