Member Reviews

All of the Know-It-All series of books are excellent! Each of them gives a synopsis of the most important things to know on the topic in a brief but well-laid-out manner, and Chemistry is no exception! These books are a good introduction or a good review, as well as a starting place for discovering which topics you'd like to learn more about afterwards -- and then you can get a more in-depth book on just that topic.

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A good comprehensive overview for those curious about chemistry, but who can't quite remember their high school chemistry class (because they were busy reading novels under their I was...)

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The Know It All books offer a fast-paced look into various topics with lots of fun images thrown in. They cover a lot of topics with a good overview amount of data. Each topic is easily digestible on one page so it's great to flip to a random page and read (or read in order like I did). The books introduce new vocabulary that you would need in order to understand the next few topics.

This was easily my lease favorite from the line that I read. I found that I knew most of what was covered in the book - which didn't feel right to me since I only had one year of Chem in high school and 1 semester of chem in college. I think this book would be much better suited for middle school or high school learners.

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If you enjoyed the "Cosmos" series, or if you want to learn more about how our world works, this is a great book to start with.

Tro takes intimidating, complex topics and breaks them down into 50 easily-readable pieces designed to give readers a basic foundation of chemistry knowledge on which to build. Molecules, matter, reactions and more are presented in short snippets (one-sentence "nucleus" summary, one paragraph "valence" description, and one column detailed description) and enhanced with drawings, names of scientists who made large impacts on the topics, relevant quotes, and section glossaries. This book is a great resource for those who want to learn or refresh their memories on basic chemistry concepts.

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Know-It-All Chemistry: The 50 Most Elemental Concepts in Chemistry, Each Explained in Under a Minute, edited by Nivaldo J. Tro, is a nifty little book made up of bite-sized and easy-to-understand concepts of chemistry.

As a chemistry graduate student, it wasn’t exactly new information, but I can appreciate its simplicity in making chemistry accessible to everyone, especially to those that never took another chemistry course beyond high school.

Each page contained a different topic, with a quick, one-sentence summary in the margin. This book basically covers everything, from the basics of atoms and bonding to the states of matter to chemical reactions, to broad overviews of major areas of study, namely inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and nuclear chemistry.

Although the cover isn’t necessarily entirely eye-catching (green and white on a background of gray), the pictures inside are. They are colorful, fun, and serve to reinforce the theme on the mirroring page.

All-in-all, if you want to learn a little something about chemistry, I think this book is interesting and you should give it a go. I don’t know how it compares to other similar books on the market, but I liked its short and concise topics mixed with fun and colorful pictures.

Now go. Impress your friends. Win a trivia game. And learn a little more about chemistry, because chemistry is awesome!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Wellfleet Press for a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review!

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A nice introduction book on huge amount of areas that make up the field of chemistry.

Its nicely written, easy to understand, gives a good "vocabulary" to know and learn throughout this book as well as a great overview on important people in the field and a more in-depth summary of their lives.

If you want to get a better understanding of chemistry, or if you are someone that always struggled with the topic in school and want to finally be able to understand the basics?
This is a wonderful book to read!

All in all a nicely put together book, that I would highly recommend it to any one that is interested in learning more on chemistry.

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"Know It All Chemistry" attempts to condense the basic principles of chemistry into about 150 pages. Most chemists would say this is an impossible task, but I'm a biology teacher. I've seen how students struggle with chemistry, so was curious whether this book might be something useful for my students as a review. But, I'm also reviewing its ability to cover the topic for a lay person with no chemistry background.

Each of the 50 "important topics" in this book contains just 2 pages: a "text page that summarizes the topic, and an "illustration page" that consists of a graphic collage of relevant visuals. The text page is divided into 3 vertical columns. The middle column is the text that describes the concept. It doesn't go into any detail, but usually uses some sort of analogy to help the reader to understand that particular "unseen" concept of chemistry. The analogies chosen are pretty good--I think a lay person would get the picture. The left column has 2 things: a "3-second nucleus" summarizes the concept in 1-2 sentences (the author says 1-sentence in the Introduction, but the first chapter already breaks the rule--it has 2 sentences). Below that is a 3=minute valence, which shows how the concept fits into the big picture of science. The right column lists related topics in the book that might connect with this one, and some 3-second biographies of 1=2 important historical chemists (of course, nearly all are white male European descent). An interesting format. If one is going to be brief, this is a good way to do it.

I'm not very impressed with the illustration page--while colorful and somewhat relevant, don't mistake it for a labeled diagram that will illustrate the concept. As someone who knows chemistry, I can see that the images selected are relevant, but to someone with no knowledge of chemistry, it's just a pretty picture. Since chemistry is one of those topics that is difficult for the learner to visualize, I think a series of stylized labeled diagrams might be more helpful. Yes, it would be less visually stimulating, but this isn't an art book.

Concepts are organized into 7 sections, each section also containing a 2-page glossary and a 2-page biography of a famous chemist. Once again, the latter focus primarily on white male Europeans.

I'm divided as to whether this book would provide a lay person any real knowledge about chemistry. Maybe, in a very broad, applications-oriented sense. It may give them an idea of ways in which chemistry is important in life. But, could the person converse intelligently about chemistry (or could my biology students use it as a review)? I doubt it.

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I feel like I learned some things with this. Although it wasn't as easy to download as other books. Hoping it helps me help my son with chemistry class this year.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley.

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Chemistry was one of my favorite topics in college until organic chemistry. Then I couldn't wait for the semesters to be over. The labs were always great.

This is a great refresher book to just remind myself of the younger years and lots of caffeine. However, I do think that despite the "one minute learning" that this book offers for each topic, someone without a background in the subject matter would still be lost. It's hard to be a laymen's book for any of the sciences unless it's a "pop science" book. This book does try hard and I'd recommend for anyone currently in a chemistry class to just use it as a backup.

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As I always say, any book on science and math that uses colorful images, charts and illustrations, automatically gets an A+.

Know it All Chemistry has this and more going for it; I highly recommend it- but only as a companion to studying chemistry on a deeper level.

If you are looking for a simple, easy to understand book for help on areas dealing with tough topics like ionic bonding and chemical equations, this book is for you.

I wish this book was available when I was taking honors chemistry in the tenth grade years ago. The class was tough. Thank goodness for sites like Khan Academy and Thought Co. where you can learn this subject and more for free. There are also several books you can buy to help you with chemistry.

Earlier, I mentioned that this book is better paired with a deeper study of chemistry.

I say this because the book is broken into one minute bites- chapters that give you the bare bones about specific topics and even runs down the timelines of famous chemists and theorists.

A fascinating fact I learned from reading the book was about the Yew Tree. This tree is very special even though on the surface it seems it may not be. Chemists have found out that its bark actually has cancer fighting agents in it.

In summation, I find this book to be very much needed as a companion to whatever you are using to study chemistry now. Highly recommended!

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Great introduction to chemistry

The contributors and editor of this book created a fun, easy to read introduction to chemistry. All the explanations are clear and written in a conversational tone. And each entry is accompanied by a beautiful illustration. The only fault I found with the book is the claim that each concept is explained in under a minute. I don’t think that statement is accurate as I took longer than that for each one. Nonetheless, the book was fun and I recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about chemistry.

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I studied chemisty at college and only just passed (I should definitely have chosen history instead) but I still find chemistry interesting and I thought this book would be great to refresh my knowledge and learn something new.

I liked the layout, it's set out well in small chunks which makes it much more consumable and easy to get through - it's also a short book which helps too! I found the organic chemistry, biochemistry and nuclear chemistry the most interesting as well as the little biographies of various chemists. I think you definitely need some understanding of chemistry to understand most of this book, you can't go into it not knowing anything about basic principles for example. I did enjoy it and I will be requesting others in this series. The only thing I didn't like was I found it a little repetitive, even on one page there will be repetitive information.

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As I'm an ignorant person, I liked this book a lot because starting from the bases it gave me the most important concepts in a very clear way. I would love to read a book from this series on many others topics.

Siccome sono una persona ignorante, questo libro mi è piaciuto molto, perché partendo dalle basi mi ha dato tutte le nozioni piú importanti in modo molto chiaro. Sono molti altri gli argomenti sui quali vorrei leggere un libro del genere.


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Was really looking forward to reading this one, but can't on my Kindle. Bummer.

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This is a cool little book. A lot of solid information on Chemistry for the layman.

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