Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
In this welcome addition to the literature of basic chemistry for popular audiences, Quellen, well known for teaching chemistry to nonscience audiences, has chosen a significant number of chemical compounds that appear in the ingredient lists of products we commonly use. The compounds are grouped according to type and function. Each entry includes the compound's structural formula, synonymous names, and a description of common uses. The volume begins with an explanation of simple and structural formulas and what they mean. Also included are three-dimensional structures and interpretation in terms of simple bonding theory. There are many sidebars that focus on foods and consumer products with interesting ingredients, and they include explanations of what functions or why the ingredients are in the products. The bulk of the volume is a detailed description of each compound, and includes structural formulas for comparison with other compounds. Clearly marked "Chemistry Lessons" carry further discussion of the compound's structure and function. An excellent index makes this a useful resource that general readers unfamiliar with science and chemistry can use to find out more about ingredients and practical chemical applications. Science students will find it a very helpful volume identifying unusual and practical applications of chemical compounds. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates. D. A. Johnson Spring Arbor University