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Books About Biochemistry


I was wondering what books would be helpful to read for a freshman looking into a biochemistry major thanks for any suggestions


Books which teach you how to memorize lots and lots of stuff in limited time would be my recommendation.

The textbooks of your courses will have you covered on the actual subject matter.


I'd suggest looking on Amazon and used bookstores for books written, quite long ago, by Isaac Asimov that have titles that sound relevant.

That would include the New Intelligent Man's Guide to Science, or similar title, which is a great book or two volume set (can't recall which.)

The thing to accomplish is to have basic concepts and terms and a general background already in the mind so that as material related to that is taught, the mind already has "shelves" for that information, so to speak. New information that is in context with already-understood information, rather than being all-new, is far more readily absorbed and understood.

It is possible that there is some little book out there that is a real gem that would do wonders. I don't know what it would be for biochemistry. But for example, my major was microbiology and after having obtained the degree, I happened to find a quite short little book that hit upon just every thing that had been a barrier along the way, and explained each of them quite simply. It would have been a tremendous aid.

Or likewise, the Calculus the Easy Way, Algebra the Easy Way, and Geometry the Easy Way books are extremely fine. Sometimes an author can do a much better job of presenting things simply and highly effectively than the textbooks do. But it's rare.


Lehninger: Principles of Biochemistry by Nelson and Cox is by far the most comprehensive intro text IMHO.

For Biochem Light I recommend Biochemistry by Campbell and Farrell.

I use both. Campbell book for a basic no-lab intro course and Lehninger for senior level and my grad students.

Awesome major! Good luck.


My impression was that, being a freshman, he was looking to get an initial understanding and a look of what he was planning to get into, rather than that he was planning to immediately engage in full-bore study.

Lehninger is well beyond freshman level, I feel.


hmmm, yes perhaps you are correct. Wow, I can't really think of any sexy biochem oriented books. If he was interested in cell bio, then anything by Robert Weinburg would probably excite him. "One Renegade Cell," really did it for me :slight_smile:

I suppose Watson's "Double Helix" would be a start. Perhaps it has a more molecular bio flavor, but it does introduce some of the giants of the field and throws in a little into biochem here and there.

I agree Lehninger is WAY above freshman level, meh....torture is a good thing.