Best of the best books in your field

  • #1
honestrosewater
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What are the best books in your field? Any field- philosophy, math, physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology, history, literature, etc. Specialties too. Not just good, best. I don't really have a field :rolleyes: but I'll get this started with some suggestions.

Math Analysis. "Principles of Mathematical Analysis" by Walter Rudin.
Gen Physics. "Feynman Lectures on Physics" by Richard Feynman.
QM. "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" by R Shankar.
Computation. "Introduction to the Thoery of Computation" by Michael Sipser.
Intro Psychology. "Psychology" by Henry Gleitman et al.
Economics. "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith.
Philosophy. Complete Works of Aristotle.
Drama. Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Molecular Bio. "Molecular Biology of the Cell" by Bruce Alberts et al.

BTW I haven't read all of these- yet :biggrin:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Moonbear
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I don't really think there is a best book in molecular biology. I've never really come across a good one. When I got to advanced courses in molecular endocrinology, our prof told us not to waste our money on any of the books available. The field was moving too quickly and everything was too outdated to be of any use by the time it was for sale.

The best General Biology text I've ever come across is Campbell's. All the others I've seen aren't even a close second. I had to teach from another text once and had to keep telling the class to ignore sections of chapters because they were just plain wrong!

In reproduction, there's a two volume beast called The Biology of Reproduction edited by Knobil and Neill. The most recent edition is currently being edited. For a single reference with well-written reviews, there's no other source even comparable. Beyond that, you just have to read the literature on your own.
 
  • #3
honestrosewater said:
Intro Psychology. "Psychology" by Henry Gleitman et al.
Gleitman schmeitman. Gross, baby, Gross: Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour. I know its only intro but I like it, like it, yes I do.
 
  • #4
Gokul43201
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There are only a few (rather specialized) areas where I'd feel brave enough to pick one "best of the best".
Phase Diagrams : Reines
Physical Metallurgy : Reed-Hill
Solid State Physics : Ashcroft & Mermin (also Kittel, if both his texts were combined)
Vacuum Technology : Roth
Practical Electronics : Horowitz & Hill
1D and 2D Semiconductor Systems : Davies
Classical Fields : Landau & Lif$hitz (PF wouldn't let me spell that right :grumpy:)
Intermediate Level (high school/college) Physics Problems : Irodov; Thompson (for very different styles of problems)
History of Modern Physics : Crease & Mann
Intermediate (high school/college) Algebra : Hall & Knight

**the following are less related to my field, but I still have strong opinions on them having read different texts in the respective areas**

Physical Chemistry : Atkins
Basic Micro- & Macro-Economics : Samuelson

**this is purely from what I've heard from close sources**

Intro Biochemistry : Lehninger
 
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  • #5
honestrosewater
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Moonbear said:
I don't really think there is a best book in molecular biology. I've never really come across a good one.
I've read Alberts et al was among the best. Is it also no good? Are there any great online texts or websites? Do you happen to know if any of the following are good? http://www.cellbio.com/courses.html

Moonbear said:
The best General Biology text I've ever come across is Campbell's.
Oh yes, the parts I read were excellent. Each chapter is comprehensive so you can even skip around.

the number 42 said:
Gleitman schmeitman. Gross, baby, Gross: Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour.
Gleitman is also intro and does IMO include irrelevant history, pictures, etc. I'll give Gross a shot. How modern is it? Does it include plenty of neurobiology and such?
 
  • #6
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Organic Chemistry: Organic Chem by Bruice
Modern Algebra: Abstract Algebra by Gallian
Linear Algebra: Linear Algebra Done Right by Sheldon Axler
Game Theory: Strategy by Joel Watson
Combinatorics: Introductory Combinatorics by Kenneth Bogart
Macro Economic Theory: Macro Economics by Abel and Bernanke


Books that basically suck-

Physical Chemistry by Robert J. Silbey (talks way over your head for an undergraduate text.)
Linear Algebra by Otto Bretscher (atrocious use of notation. The only reason my professor said he used this text was for the problems only.)
Inorganic Chemistry by Miessler and Tarr (relies too heavily on group theory for most concepts which professors never teach.)
 
  • #7
honestrosewater said:
Gleitman is also intro and does IMO include irrelevant history, pictures, etc. I'll give Gross a shot. How modern is it? Does it include plenty of neurobiology and such?
Hmm. The last edition may be 2001, but that is only old if you need the latest info i.e. its good enough for an undergrad course. If you need the latest, check psycinfo.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...34079061X/026-7830733-3075658#product-details

Neurobiology: 'Plenty' is a relative term; it is sufficient for undergrad psych purposes IMHO, so it depends on your purposes.

Yeah, Gleitman is form over content.
 
  • #8
Tom Mattson
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Mechanics: Symon (undergrad), Goldstein (grad)
E+M: Griffiths (undergrad), Jackson (grad)
QM: Griffiths (undergrad), Sakurai (grad)
Particle Physics: Griffiths (undergrad), Halzen and Martin (grad)
QFT: Zee (It's probably not the best, but it's the most enjoyable!)
Philosophy: Goedel, Escher, Bach by What's-His-Face
Calculus: Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards (been teaching from it for 1.5 years, and it's the best I've seen)
General Physics: I'll let you know when I'm done writing it. :cool:
 
  • #9
Gokul43201
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I see you're a Griffiths fan ! :biggrin:
 
  • #10
Tom Mattson
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Gokul43201 said:
I see you're a Griffiths fan ! :biggrin:
If he'd written books in classical mechanics, QFT, general physics, calculus and philosophy, he'd have made a clean sweep. :wink:
 
  • #11
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analysis:
foundations of mathematical analysis - pfaffenberger/johnsonbaugh (rudin's is overrated; people need to move on from that one)
real analysis - royden

algebra:
abstract algebra - herstein
topics in algebra - herstein
algebra - hungerford (NOT good for learning from but i can easily see this being a good reference)
field theory & its classical problems - hadlock

topology:
topology - munkres
general topology - willard
general topology - kelley (was going to be entitled "what every young analyst should know)

verbal, nonberbal & written communication:
looking in, looking out - adler, etc
nonverbal communication in human interaction - knapp
academic reading - giltrow
academic writing - giltrow
the art of graphology - bernard

canada:
open for business: the roots of foreign ownership in canada - laxer
not for export: towards a political economy of canada's arrested industrialization - williams
999, 1000, 1001 questions about canada - columbo
uncle sam & us - clarkson
canada & the reagan challenge - clarkson

world issues:
killing hope - blum
rogue state - blum
america's achilles heel - falkenrath, etc
rushing to armageddon - hurtig
manufacturing consent - herman/chomsky
globalisation & its discontents - stiglitz
imperial brain trust - shoup/minter

Tom Mattson said:
Philosophy: Goedel, Escher, Bach by What's-His-Face
douglas hofstadter
 
  • #12
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A book that I really like is "Observational Astrophysics", Smith, Cambridge University Press.
 

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