Atkin’s Molecules

By Peter Atkins

Rating by Bea Watson-Smyth: 7/10

“Dr Benesch: This book “Reveals the beauty of Chemistry.” The book goes through around 200 molecules showing its structure and then explaining its interesting functions. You can really just dip in and out of this book, with each molecule never having more than a page or two explaining why Atkin’s finds it cool. For example, Atkins goes through molecules in common plastics, to molecules that give leaves their colour, showing the shape, their formula and explaining why it made the cut. Good book to have on the shelf if you are interested in Chemistry.”

Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction

By Peter Atkins

Rating by Amy Oh: 8/10

”This book outlines central concepts of Chemistry and links them to real life applications and future potentials, such as medicinal chemistry, the petroleum industry and nanotechnology. I highly recommend you read it after GCSEs when you want to further your understanding of Chemistry’s role in the world. It is quite brief as it only gives an overview but it’s a good read if you want a broad knowledge of how core ideas like analytical techniques and chemical synthesis shape the subject.”

What is Life? How Chemistry Becomes Biology

By Andry Pross

Rating by Bea Watson-Smyth: 4/10

“The book discusses how biology is simply a branch of chemistry know as Systems Chemistry, and how natural selection should be traced back all the way to the find life forms. Where was the first life formed? In what environment? How? Although it discusses these questions there are very few real answers. Pross also attempts to reframe Natural selection is a way that is in line with chemical concepts of thermodynamics and entropy. Although elements of this book are interesting, I wouldn’t really recommend it as it didn’t feel the most useful in term of content or understanding. (Definity don’t read if not confident with entropy as it will tie you in knots.)”

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