Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
This text book is not meant to be similar to other traditional organic chemistry texts, as mentioned in the introduction, and it is different. With primary attention focused on biological chemistry, the coverage and the order of topics in this text don’t follow the “usual” way.
In Volume I, the first two chapters serve as review of basic structure and bonding theories. The review is even more comprehensive than other organic text, with a lot useful information covered, like MO theory, non-covalent interactions (intermolecular forces) and physical properties. Followed by conformation and stereochemistry, which is the topic any organic book must include, the structure determination that include IR, UV, Mass and NMR are discussed in chapter 4 and 5. A rather unique chapter, which is “instruction to organic reactivity and catalysis”, is then included in this text book. Usually these topics are discussed as part of the reaction chapter in other text, but I like the idea of taking it out as a separate chapter. It provides enough attentions to reaction theories; also give a good chance to include enzyme function (some topics are illustrated by using enzyme catalysis examples in this book), which is very critical topic for bioorganic chemistry. Chapter 7 is about organic compounds as acids and bases, again as review and preparation to following topics, this chapter is complete and helpful. Only Nucleophilic substitution reactions are included up to Volume I, with more reactions coming in Volume II.
Since only Volume I (chapters 1-9) is available for now, it is not very confident to talk about the comprehensive for the whole book. However from the Table of Contents for Volume II, I believe all appropriate subjects will be included for the purpose of illustrate bio-organic reactions in living system. Even comparing to other organic texts, not all necessary organic reactions are (will be) discussed in this book, for example the reactions with alkenes, alcohols, but it is understandable because of the special purpose for this book.
No glossary in this text.
No printed index for this book. The electronic index is available in .pdf version by using “find” or “search” function. But it usually take rather long time to search a term through the whole book with 409 pages.
Not sure whether the solution manual available for the book? It will be great to have some answers included as part of the text for convenience to students’ studies.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
Generally speaking the contents are accurate. However, not error/typo free completely, some errors/typos are spotted and are listed as follow:
Pg 20, 1.3B, “zig-zig” shape, should be “zig-zag” shape;
Pg 58, 2nd line, “while 3* has three nodes…”, should be “while 4* has three nodes…”;
Pg 75, in the paragraph below the two structures, the font of letter (delta) is not consistent to the font in the structure;
Pg 110: the introduction of the term “stereocenter” is not exact accurate, the more complete definition of stereocenter is: the atom at which an interchange of groups produces a stereoisomer.
Pg 112, last line, one “that” should be removed.
Pg 251, the equation of is incorrect, should be G = H - T S
Pg 272, last paragraph, “covalent inhibitor” should have been mentioned in earlier sentence.
Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
Pretty up-to-date as a text book. References are cited for examples from recent research papers. Necessary update with most recent progress should be easy.
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
Clear, easy to read. Terms are usually highlighted in bold, with enough explanation in the context.
Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
Yes, good consistency maintained.
Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The text is well divided into small reading sections, with logical order. Because of the nature of organic chemistry topic, background knowledge is always necessary for some topics, it is not always realistic to reorganize or realign the subunits.
Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The topics are presented in clear and logical fashion. There are some issues, however, are concerned for the format of the book.
No page number available in the Table of Contents.
No numbers are assigned to the structures, pictures and diagram. So it is not that easy to refer to any of those in the text.
The tables are all compiles at the end of the text, instead of inserting into the text.
Organization Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
No any problems spotted in .pdf version.
Interface Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
No any concerns.
Grammar Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
No any concerns.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
Overall, it is an interesting and useful book. With large amounts of examples from living systems (amino acids, peptide, protein, enzyme, sugar, etc), students have chances to learn, understand and apply organic concepts into biological reaction context. It provides good connections between organic chemistry and biochemistry. For same reasons, it is not a choice for traditional organic chemistry course.