December 3, 2020

8 Best Chemistry Books for Beginners


Best Chemistry books for beginners lets us know about the basics of Chemistry. It basically deals with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules, and ions. Their composition, structure, properties, behavior, and changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances. Chemistry defines how atoms and molecules interact via chemical bonds to form new chemical compounds. Since you start to study chemistry, you have to understand better its nature. The following best chemistry books for beginners for sure help you to master chemistry.

Best Chemistry Books for Beginners

Book Name & Author Image Rating Price
Everything You Need to Ace Chemistry in One Big Fat Notebook

Workman Publishing & Jennifer Swanson

  4.8 View on Amazon


  4.6 View on Amazon
4.3 View on Amazon
Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation

Steven S. Zumdahl and Donald J. DeCoste

4.5 View on Amazon
Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change

Martin Silberberg and Patricia Amateis

4.5 View on Amazon
4.5 View on Amazon
4.5 View on Amazon
4.4 View on Amazon

1. Everything You Need to Ace Chemistry in One Big Fat Notebook

In order to get a solid conceptual foundation start reading this Big Fat Notebook covers everything you need to know during a year of high school chemistry class, breaking down one big subject into accessible units. You can learn to study better and get better grades using mnemonic devices, definitions, diagrams, educational doodles, and quizzes to recap it all.

Big Fat Notebook includes a clear explanation of Atoms, elements, compounds, and mixtures, The periodic table, Quantum theory, Bonding, The mole, Chemical reactions, and calculations, Gas laws, Solubility, pH scale, Titrations, Le Chatelier’s principle, even and much more essentials to understand the chemistry clearly.


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2. Chemistry: The Central Science (14th Edition)

Chemistry: The Central Science is the leading general chemistry textbook for more than a decade by Theodore E. Brown, H. Eugene LeMay, Bruce E. Bursten, Catherine Murphy, Patrick Woodward, Matthew E. Stoltzfus. It is trusted, innovative, and calibrated. On the whole, the book increases the conceptual understanding of chemistry in students. To clarify the text guides the students to greater success in general chemistry. A dynamic team of leading researchers and award-winning teachers wrote the book Chemistry: The Central Science. Therefore, the book has become one of the best chemistry books for beginners indeed.

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3. Chemistry: Concepts and Problems: A Self-Teaching Guide

Clifford C. Houk & Richard Post’s Chemistry: Concepts and Problems: A Self-Teaching Guide is the fast, easy way to master the fundamentals of chemistry. This concise and interactive text provides you with a fresh approach to chemistry. Whether you do study chemistry for the first time on your own or want to refresh your memory for a test or need help for a course. This book is up-to-date. Most importantly, concepts and problems in this textbook have been tested, rewritten, and retested in order to make sure that you can teach yourself all about chemistry. In fact, the book is written in a question and answer format.

About the Authors

Clifford C. Houk earned a doctorate degree in inorganic chemistry. He is the Professor of Health Science at Ohio University.

Richard Post is an Assistant Dean & Director of Instructional Media & Technology Services at Ohio University.

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4. Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation

Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation is one of the best chemistry books for beginners with that you can succeed in your course. The best-selling text combines enhanced problem-solving structure with substantial pedagogy to help you become a successful problem solver in chemistry.

The early coverage of chemical reactions, accessible explanations and visualizations, and an emphasis on everyday applications offer to understand the basics of chemistry. Its step-by-step approach has already helped hundreds of thousands of students master chemical concepts and develop strong problem-solving skills. Most importantly, this book is an interactive study aids in OWLv2, such as ChemWork Problems and Adaptive Learning Activities to help students master chemistry concepts.

About the Author

Steve Zumdahl earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Wheaton College (IL), and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He is the author of market-leading textbooks in introductory chemistry, general chemistry, honors-level chemistry, and high school chemistry. Recently, he retired from his long-time position as Director of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Illinois. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to chemical education.

Donald J. DeCoste is Associate Director of General Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has been teaching chemistry at the high school and college levels for 26 years. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. At UIUC he has developed chemistry courses for nonscience majors, preservice secondary teachers, and preservice elementary teachers. He teaches courses in introductory chemistry and the teaching of chemistry. He has received the School of Chemical Sciences Teaching Award four times.

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5. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change

This classic textbook by Martin Silberberg and Patricia Amateis has been recognized in the general chemistry market as an unparalleled classic.

The text contains unprecedented macroscopic-to-microscopic molecular illustrations, consistent step-by-step worked exercises in every chapter, and an extensive range of end-of-chapter problems, which provide engaging applications covering a wide variety of interests, including engineering, medicine, materials, and environmental studies.

In the latest edition, essential changes have been made to the text and applications throughout to make them more succinct, to the artwork to make it more teachable and modern, and to the design to make it more simplistic and open. The revision for the eighth edition focused on continued optimization of the text.

About the Author

Patricia Amateis graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry Education from Concord University in West Virginia and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Virginia Tech. She has been on the faculty of the Chemistry Department at Virginia Tech for 28 years, teaching General Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. For the past 13 years, she has served as Director of General Chemistry, responsible for the oversight of both the lecture and lab portions of the large General Chemistry program.

Martin S. Silberberg received his B.S. in chemistry from the City University of New York in 1966 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma, in 1971.  He then accepted a research position at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he studied the chemical nature of neurotransmission and Parkinson’s disease.  In 1977, Dr. Silberberg joined the faculty of Simon’s Rock College of Bard (Massachusetts), a liberal arts college known for its excellence in teaching small classes of highly motivated students.  As Head of the Natural Sciences Major and Director of Premedical Studies, he taught courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and nonmajors chemistry.

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6. Introductory Chemistry (6th Edition)

Nivaldo J. Tro wrote the best-selling Introductory Chemistry that is designed to encourage student’s interest by demonstrating how chemistry manifests in students’ daily lives. He draws on his classroom experience as an award-winning instructor to extend chemistry from the laboratory to the student’s level. In addition, he captures student’s attention with the most relevant applications as well as an engaging writing style. The textbook provides a superior teaching and learning experience that enables students to deep conceptual understanding of chemistry. It also fosters the development of problem-solving skills.

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7. General Chemistry (Dover Books on Chemistry)

General Chemistry by Two-Time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling is an excellent & highly recommended textbook and therefore, it is one of the best chemistry books for beginners. The text complies with modern theories of atomic and molecular structure, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics. In addition, Dr. Pauling attempts to correlate the theories with descriptive chemistry, the observed properties of substances. The author intends to introduce a multitude of chemical substances and their properties to the student. Moreover, he maintains an excellent balance between theoretical and descriptive material.

About the Author

Linus Pauling is a Two-Time Nobel Laureate. He is the only Dover author to win two Nobel prizes, for Chemistry in 1954 and for Peace in 1962. None but Linus Pauling is the only winner in the history of two unshared Nobel Prizes. He wrote one of the best chemistry books for beginners.

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8. Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (13th Edition)

This text is, in fact, an ideal resource for anyone interested in learning about chemistry. It requires no prior knowledge of chemistry. Karen Timberlake involves readers with her friendly presentation style. Mostly, it reveals connections between the structure and behavior of matter and its role in health and the environment. The text aims to provide a better learning experience that highlights the relevance of chemistry through real-world examples. The textbook fosters the development of problem-solving skills in students while helping readers visualize and understand concepts through its engaging figures, sample problems.

About the Author

Karen Timberlake is the Emerita Professor of Chemistry at Los Angeles Valley College. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Washington & Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles. Moreover, Timberlake is the most experienced writer who has been writing chemistry textbooks for 40 years.

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Subject Matters in Chemistry

Chemistry is the core scientific discipline that study matters, its properties. It most crucially describes how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances. Chemistry also studies how substances interact with energy. Chemistry, in fact, is part of everything in our lives. Because every material in existence is made up of matter including our own bodies. Therefore, chemistry is one of the physical sciences that help us to describe and explain our world.

Branches of Chemistry

There are five branches of chemistry in general. For Example-1) Analytical Chemistry, 2) Physical chemistry, 3) Organic chemistry, 4) Inorganic chemistry, 5) Biochemistry.

Fields of study

The chemistry within these broad categories has countless fields of study. In fact, these have significant impacts on our everyday life. Chemists also develop products from the food we eat and the clothing we wear to the materials with which we build our homes. On the whole, chemistry helps to protect our environment and searches for new sources of energy continually.

Broadly, there are the following fields of study in chemistry. 

  1. Food Chemistry
  2. Environmental Chemistry
  3. Agricultural Chemistry
  4. Chemical Engineering
  5. Geochemistry
  6. Forensic Chemistry 

In order to know them in detail, you might read the above-described best chemistry books for beginners well. You can also buy chemistry books as you choose and your teacher suggests.

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