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Any suggestions on self-enriching books for high schooler? (astro, chemistry, biology and calculus)

  1. Jul 11, 2015 #1
    Hi guys I'm Bruce. I'm new to this forum and I 'm currently a high school student. I was wondering if there was any good books( not too advanced) on topics such as astronomy, chemistry, biology and calculus. If you can give me one or two suggestions that will be great.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2015 #2
    I'm not sure if you're interested in Advanced Placement books - but they are the only level that I can really speak to. I took AP Bio, AP Chem, AP Physics C, and Calculus BC in high school and thought these books were great books.

    For AP Biology, Campbell Biology (any recent edition) is the gold standard. I believe this is a must have for any student interested in biology as a major or pre-medical track (medical, dental, pharm, etc.).

    For AP Chemistry, our textbook was Kotz and Treichel (Title: Chemistry and Chemical Reactivity). The book served its purpose as majority of my class received 4s and 5s on the AP test. I believe it is especially strong in its discussion of the more quantitative aspects of AP Chemistry (equilibrium, kinetics, electrochem, thermodynamics). It is also a good primer for the other more conceptual topics (organic, solution chemistry, bonding, etc.). Another great book is Chemistry: The Central Science by Brown and LeMay (alternative at the AP Chem level).

    There are many authors in the Calculus subject area and I believe most books would be able to give you a great introduction. Thomas (used in high school for AP BC) and Stewart are probably the most used (50-50 at the Ivy League institutions). I think either would be great.

    I have no idea about astronomy unfortunately.
  4. Jul 12, 2015 #3
    Thank you, these responses really helped a lot.
  5. Jul 12, 2015 #4
    Chemistry, Zhumdall or maybe Brown as mentioned. If you know Calculus and have seen chemistry, then Linus Pauling : General Chemistry. People mention Oxotoby ( I have never seen a copy, I am going on general consensus).

    For calculus you can do much better than Stewart. There is Simmons Calculus, Thomas Calculus with Anylitical Geometry 3rd ed, Thomas/Finely 9th ed, or Kaiser Calculus which is free online. Many people also recommend Serge Lang Calculus series. I feel that the 3rd edition of Thomas Calculus is better than Lang.

    For Biology, there are some wonderful lectures on youtube. Type in Steven Fink Biology lectures on youtube.
  6. Jul 12, 2015 #5


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    If you are interested in lighter reading that you can do (almost) for entertainment, I like these math and physics books (ordered, roughly, from lighter to heavier):
    Mr Tompkins in Paperback
    Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field
    Relativity Visualized
    Men of Mathematics
    An Imaginary Tale: The Story of √-1
    Visual Complex Analysis
  7. Jul 16, 2015 #6
    cool comments, thank you
  8. Jul 16, 2015 #7
    thank you, those books and videos are going to help.
  9. Jul 16, 2015 #8


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    When I was your age (I must be old to write things like that!) I realy liked "a history of pi" by beckmann. Has a lot of fun history about mathematicians and some fun math - I didn't understand it all at the time (the "hardest" stuff is basic calculus) but it was still interesting.

  10. Jul 16, 2015 #9


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  11. Jul 30, 2015 #10
    For calculus, you'll be best off with David Patrick's calculus.
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