The Best Chemistry Textbooks of 2019

By July 27, 2019 October 16th, 2019 Textbook Reviews
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How far along are you in your studies for chemistry? Are you just getting started with an introductory course in high school? Are you studying something specific in college or beyond? No matter what your interest level or what you need to learn, you may want to pick up some popular chemistry books to help. In this post, we’ll detail the best chemistry textbooks to get.

Any subject in school can be difficult if you’re trying to go at it alone or you’re trying to follow along with a regular teacher. Sometimes it takes a little bit more time and effort, and sometimes you just need to be able to get your own books. The best chemistry textbook for self-study can help you make sure that you’re on the right track.

With any of the honors chemistry textbook options that we have here you’re going to have something that you can count on to help you along and to make sure that you’re going to be doing even better in your preparations. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to get the right information out of any one of these (or a couple if you want to pick them up).

Our Favorites for the Best Chemistry Textbooks

If you’re looking for the absolute best of the best chemistry book for beginners or even more advanced learners, you’re definitely going to want to look at these. They’re going to help you figure out even more about the topic, and they’re going to make sure you have information about a wide range of different aspects. They’re going to be great for learning, but maybe not as high for your budget. If that doesn’t concern you though, take a closer look at these books you definitely want to have.

Chemistry: A Molecular Approach 4th Edition by Nivaldo J. Tro

If you’re looking to learn as much as possible about chemistry Chemistry: A Molecular Approach is definitely the way you’re going to want to go. It gives you multi-level imaging with everything from macroscopic to molecular aspects of the world around you. You’ll learn about how to solve problems within the field, and you’ll also have access to the online system that includes interactive examples, questions, and more. A Molecular Approach focuses on all of the latest information about chemistry.

On top of all of that, you’re going to love the way A Molecular Approach offers you access to online homework, different tutorials, and more. It makes the content even more adaptable and makes sure that you can easily understand what it is and how it relates to your life. What makes it even easier to understand what’s going on in A Molecular Approach is the fact that you’re given step-by-step examples and you’re also given super simple explanations to go along with everything. It might just be the best high school chemistry textbook available.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Turns explanations into step-by-step information to make it easier to understand and comprehend.
  • Extra problems over and above most chemistry books to really foster better learning.
  • Great introduction to a somewhat complicated subject.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Focuses on a broad understanding of most of the common areas of chemistry.
  • Provides high-quality examples and explanations to make the topic easy for non-chemistry majors.


Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry 13th Edition by Karen C. Timberlake

If you’ve never taken a chemistry course before you’re still not going to have a problem with An Introduction to General, Organic and Biological Chemistry, because it focuses on the basics first. It looks at how chemistry actually relates to the world around you and helps you to learn how this will make learning even more straightforward. Not only that but there are several different activities and methods to apply what you’re learning throughout each of the chapters so you can understand why the subject is essential and how it relates to different areas of science.

With An Introduction to General, Organic and Biological Chemistry you’re getting a clinical focus on the information, but you’re getting information that you can apply to different areas of your learning as well. There are stories to help you, various tools to teach you problem-solving skills, and there are sample problems and concept maps alongside the figures. You’ll also have the opportunity to get online access that provides you with even more homework options, study and learning possibilities and examples that you can use to enhance your learning.

What Makes it Unique:

  • High quality and detailed explanations for all areas of the topic.
  • Jumps into the math right away to form a strong foundation and basis for other areas of the book.
  • Great even for those with no basis in chemistry or no formal study in the subject.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Provides a general overview of many different areas of chemistry for those who are just interested in the topic.
  • Simple to read in order to grasp the concepts and theories being taught.


Introductory Chemistry 6th Edition by Nivaldo J. Tro

The best way to learn any topic is to see how it actually relates to your real life, and that’s precisely what Introductory Chemistry does. With Tro, you’re going to learn about how chemistry applies not only in a laboratory setting but in your life to make sure the content is easier to understand. It’s focused on providing you with problem-solving skills as well as building the skills and intention in those who may not even have a foundation in the subject of chemistry. It’s one of the best honors chemistry textbooks out there.

Introductory Chemistry offers questions, data, and plenty of images to make it easier to visualize what is being said and to work through the problems, especially those at the end of each chapter. This allows the student to better understand what they’re reading and whether they actually understand it. There is also an online system that allows you access to more homework, sample questions, learning resources, and a great deal more. Together, Introductory Chemistry and the online resources make it easier to learn a subject that can be somewhat complex when you’re learning on your own.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Provides answers for practice questions in the back of the book to make sure you’re learning the content.
  • Introduces the subject in a way that relates to the real world to foster better learning for non-chemistry students.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Takes a complex subject and turns it into one that’s easy to understand.
  • Simple to read chapters that are focused on specific areas to make it easier to read along and study.


Runner Ups in Chemistry Textbooks

When it comes to getting the best chemistry textbook for high school, you may not need the absolute best of the best option. These books are going to be great, and they’re going to give you a lot of information, but maybe not quite as much. You might also focus on specific areas of chemistry rather than getting a full overview (which might be precisely what you need. So take a look at these books if you’re interested in great content that just doesn’t quite live up to our top picks.

Chemistry: The Central Science 14th Edition by Theodore E. Brown & H. Eugene LeMay

What you’re going to love about The Central Science is that it focuses on the specific information that you want to know. It’s dedicated to being scientifically accurate at all times, and it provides a wide array of different problems for you to look at and practice with. You get a strong focus on areas where most chemistry students or chemistry learners tend to have trouble to make sure that there is the best level of clarity possible at every turn. Not only that but The Central Science looks at areas where mistakes are prevalent and seeks to clear up the confusion.

You’re going to have plenty of interactive spaces within the text as well as information about how to apply your own thought processes to use chemistry in your normal life. There is also an online system available for this book that provides additional information and resources as well as offering media such as videos and images. All of this information gives you a way to improve your problem-solving and to start working on your skills. Even if you’re struggling with the topic, there are going to be resources to help you push yourself upward and onward.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The online source includes assistance for remedial chemistry students.
  • Highly accurate scientific information that is the most up-to-date currently available.
  • Provides additional engagement and feedback related to questions and information completed online.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Focuses most of the attention on areas where students are actually having trouble.
  • Works on clearing up mistakes and misconceptions that tend to happen frequently in specific areas.


Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change 8th Edition by Martin Silberberg & Patricia Amateis

With The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, you’re getting a book that is highly focused on areas where students have seemed to be having trouble. That’s because the authors of this book actually used a system called LearnSmart to quiz students and see where they were spending the most time or what content they weren’t as sure about. It looked at what questions they were getting wrong or which ones they spent the most time considering. The text reflects the information that students weren’t doing so well with, and that means it’s areas where you’re likely going to want more focus as well.

There is a whole lot of information packed into this book, including illustrations of everything from macroscopic to microscopic molecules. You’ll also have sample problems that are entirely worked out within each chapter so you can get an idea of what you’re doing before you try it yourself. What’s even better is that the questions and concepts are applied to different areas and industries, including medicine, environmental studies, engineering, and materials. Throughout the book, there is a strong focus on ways that students can use this information for their own studies and the real world.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Provides information about all aspects of chemistry and different areas within it (microscopic, macroscopic, etc.).
  • You’ll get a good understanding of the formulas and the various concepts that go into a full study of the field.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Focuses primarily on areas where students have been struggling and having problems capturing the material.
  • Practice problems are focused in many different regions of the world rather than primarily focused on the traditional sciences.


Value Picks in Chemistry Textbooks

Our final section are the books that are going to save you a bit of money. You’re going to get some good information (and in some cases great information), but you’re also going to be able to keep from breaking the budget. You want to make sure you’re going to have money for all the other things you need as a student, right? So look at each high school chemistry textbook here and decide if one of these is going to give you what you need, without the problems with the budget.

Chemistry for Dummies by John T. Moore

Chemistry for Dummies definitely provides a good overview of the topic material and provides you with a good understanding of the math and science involved especially. You’ll actually find that there are a number of different books that relate the idea of chemistry for dummies and they’re presented in different ways. You can get a study guide, an essentials guide, organic chemistry, AP chemistry, biochemistry, practice problems, and even a chemistry II version. Each of these are going to provide slightly different information because they focus in different areas.

With Chemistry for Dummies, you’re going to have a method of seeing how chemistry actually works and interacts within your normal life. You’re going to have step-by-step information and lessons throughout, and you’re going to have relevant information. The content is focused on getting you started and doesn’t assume that you know anything at all about chemistry. So if you’re just getting started and you haven’t taken a class yet (or you’re not even planning on taking a class), you can get really far with Chemistry for Dummies.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Looks at everything from a viewpoint of the real world and how chemistry is involved in everything you do.
  • Provides a good overview of the different concepts, theories, and ideas of chemistry.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Assumes no understanding of the topic before you’re getting started with the book.
  • Great as a reference guide or supplemental resource when it comes to classroom study.


Summary of the Best Chemistry Textbooks

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Chemistry: A Molecular Approach (4th Edition) $299.99 1312
Chemistry: An Introduction to General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (13th Edition) $246.65 720
Introductory Chemistry (6th Edition) $213.32 840
Chemistry: The Central Science (14th Edition) $299.99 1248
Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change $101.95 1248
Chemistry For Dummies (Math & Science) $19.99 384

Hopefully, you’re going to find one or more of these books helpful in your studies. Whether you’re a high school student, a college student or just someone interested in learning more about chemistry, you’re definitely going to be off to the right start, and you’re going to be more than certain you’ve chosen the best chemistry book you could. We know any of these are going to make it to the top of your list.

If you found this post helpful, check out our other comprehensive textbook reviews.


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