4 Best Books About Organic Chemistry

4 Best Books About Organic Chemistry

Last Updated on November 16, 2020

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Are you worried about your upcoming organic chemistry exam? Are you looking for some references to help you ace it? Fret not and equip yourself with these best books about organic chemistry. Organic chemistry deals with the properties, structures, and reactions of compounds containing carbon. This branch of chemistry is often studied and applied in numerous fields and industries such as pharmaceuticals, petroleum, agriculture, and medicine. Surround yourself with knowledge from great chemists and authors. 


1. Organic Chemistry (By John E. McMurry)

This best-selling book is consistently commended for helping master organic chemistry. McMurry’s Organic Chemistry is used worldwide by students and instructors at different universities as its approach to the subject is deemed accessible by various people. It is a comprehensive text and precise organic chemistry reference. Furthermore, it has an extended explanation about nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and new mechanism problems to test the mastery of the previous chapter.

  • Review: The book has a massive and organized coverage on various topics, written in a student-friendly approach; thus, it is easy to follow. It is also a widely required resource material for organic chemistry courses. The book also uses illustrations and diagrams to demonstrate and highlight concepts. Its practice problems are also helpful in giving insights on the mechanisms of the compounds. However, the book is thick and heavy for convenient carrying. Furthermore, McMurry does not represent long carbon chains with line drawings, which may be an issue of preference for readers. 
  • Author: John E. McMurry is a professor emeritus at Cornell University. He earned his Ph.D. in 1967 at Columbia University while collaborating with Gilbert Stork. He received the Max Planck Society Research Award in 1991 for his contribution to the organic chemistry field. He is famously known in the academe for his discovery of the McMurry reaction, named after himself. He is a published author of 45 undergraduate chemistry books and over 100 research papers.
  • Pages: 1512 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning (March 25, 2015)

2. Organic Chemistry (By Paula Yurkanis Bruice)

Bruice’s Organic Chemistry offers a strong framework and foundations about the principles of reactivity to help the readers master the chemistry logic and solve diverse problems. It discourages memorization by applying the concepts of the course. It also provides reasons for the chemical reactions and relates its structures and properties. The book has a wide coverage of substitution and elimination reactions, which are answered with new problem-solving techniques. Furthermore, it highlights the application of the syntheses and guides the students in understanding organic chemistry.

  • Review: The book is highly recommended for self-studying as it thoroughly explains diagrams, figures, and mechanisms of different concepts. The book is written in a comprehensive manner; thus, it elaborates complex topics in an easily understood text. It is an interesting resource material and often used in university lectures. However, there are some inconsistencies that can be easily pointed out. Furthermore, it is heavy for convenient carrying from class to class. 
  • Author: Paula Y. Bruice is a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Virginia. She received numerous teaching awards for her contributions in the academe, such as the Associated Students Teaching Award and the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award. She is a published author of research papers and two organic chemistry textbooks.
  • Pages: 1344
  • Publisher: Pearson (January 15, 2016)

3. Organic Chemistry (By David R. Klein)

Klein’s Organic Chemistry uses a skills-based approach to teaching organic chemistry. It covers the typical topics about the subject, focusing on developing the abilities for these concepts. It follows the principles of thought and analysis as it bridges the gap between theoretical notions and the real world. The book features the SkillBuilder, which enhances the problem-solving skills of the readers. 

  • Review: The book is highly recommended by students as it is well-versed and well-written, providing coverage about the organic chemistry course with an organized flow of discussion. It provides numerous practice problems and exercises after each chapter. It is one of the required books for university lectures due to its attention to detail. However, the answers to the practice problems of the book are incomplete to provide a challenge for the readers. 
  • Author: David R. Klein is a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University since 1999. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is a recipient of numerous awards from UCLA and Johns Hopkins University for his unique way of teaching organic chemistry. Aside from Organic Chemistry, he is also the author of Organic Chemistry as a Second Language. 
  • Pages: 1344
  • Publisher: Wiley (December 5, 2016)

4. Organic Chemistry (By T. W. Graham Solomons, Craig B. Fryhle, and Scott A. Snyder)

This book highlights the connection between structure and reactivity; thus, it uses a functional group approach to emphasize the reaction mechanisms. The mechanistic features of the book allow it to stand out among the resource materials for the subject and provide an illustrative way of organic chemistry instruction. Furthermore, it also presents real-life applications of the reactions and their significance in people’s lives. 

  • Review: The book is a required textbook for organic chemistry classes as it is consistent with university lectures. It comprehensively describes the fundamental concepts of each chapter with its illustrations and great details. It is a recommended textbook for students and a seasoned reference for the subject. However, the book is heavy, and the answers for some of the exercises are not provided. 
  • Author: T. W. Graham Solomons was a professor emeritus of the University of South Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Duke University. His area of expertise includes heterocyclic chemistry and rare aromatic compounds. Craig B. Fryhle is a professor at Pacific Lutheran University. He earned his Ph.D. at Brown University. He is an expert on the shikimic acid pathway and enzymes. Scott A. Snyder is a professor at the University of Chicago. He finished his graduate studies at The Scripps Research Institute. His research interests include the synthesis of complex natural products and halogenating reagents.
  • Pages: 1200
  • Publisher: Wiley (January 20, 2016)

Study organic chemistry with the help of experienced authors and educators by trying the listed books above. 

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