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Best book for intro?

  1. Jun 5, 2013 #1
    Hello all,

    I recently received a job doing pharmaceutical sales. So I need to brush up on some of chemistry (took it 7 years ago, don't remember much). My girlfriend is a chemist so I can use her for help if I get stuck on something I don't get, but besides that, what is the best intro book to use? I am reteaching myself calculus now, so by the time I get to the chem book I will know calculus, but don't remember anything from physics or calculus unfortunately, so treat it as something a highschooler could self teach with. I bought Pauling's "general chemistry" for $10, but have heard some say it is not the best intro book. I need something that is very intuitive...that can kind of help me get "why" what the stuff means/is, not something that can help me pass a test (as I will not be tested) or just rigorously help me equate things. Now, I am also not an idiot and don't need to be fully babied either. Do you think with no prior knowledge, I can use Paulings book and maybe suppliment it with khanacademy and my girlfriend, or should I get something like chem for dummies and read that before pauling? i also have Introductory chemistry: concepts and crtiical thinking by corwin.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2013 #2
    By the way I tried to regiter for chemical forums and post this there, but the "verification" letters are seriously impossible to read. I have 20/10 vision and have never once had a problem with these things. Embarassing but funny
  4. Jun 5, 2013 #3
    Tough to say without more info. You will likely get enough from a decent Undergrad Gen Chem text. I used Brown, LeMay et al Chemistry the Central Science.

    You don't need calculus unless you really need/want to get into the nitty gritty derivations of stuff.

    You also may want to look into Organic (atleast the nomenclature) and Biochem. These will likely be more relevant to your job.

    More information would be helpful, as many things you can probably learn with free online materials. As you said, you don't need to solve exam problems, just get comfortable with some concepts. Therefore you need not get crazy about learning Chemistry in a rigorous and structured way.
  5. Jun 5, 2013 #4
    Well I am looking for something more than just "covalent bonds are like two friends sharing lunch with eachother" and a little less than a book that starts talking about QM on page 5...you know what I mean? I plan on teaching myself organic chem and biochem, but my girlfriend already has the textbooks for those that she likes she says I can use. She doesn't have an intro book though. I was wondering if the Pauling book would be too tough for somebody who knows essentially NOTHING about chemistry. As for the calculus, I know I don't need it really, but I just want to relearn it (I only took calc 1 in college and I forgot it all). I also run a small hedge fund with a partner and I want to get into derivatives a lot more than I currently can handle, so I also plan on teaching myself different maths as well. What other prereqs are there for orgo and biochem? Besides genchem...I am guessing physics 1 and 2?
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