Submitted by Lori Watson / Earlham College on Wed, 03/26/2008 - 20:01
My Notes

Housecroft and Sharpe (Inorganic Chemistry, 3ed): This is a comprehensive inorganic textbook designed primarily for students at the Junior/Senior level. P-Chem would not be needed as a prerequisite for this text, but would be helpful. It includes both theoretical and descriptive material along with special topics, enough for a two semester course though it is easily adaptable to a one-semester "advanced inorganic" course by choosing only some topics. It is written in a clear and generally readable style and the full-color graphic contribute to student understanding. Ancillaries include electronic versions of most figures, and a student site with a limited number of multiple choice review questions for each chapter. The 3rd edition updates the end-of -the-chapter problems, though disappointingly does not draw problems from the recent literature. In general, these are good review problems to make sure students understand the basic concepts, but some faculty will want to supplement student assignments with more challenging problems. The list price for the student text is $175 for a paperback, 1098p version.

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Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College
I really like this text and have enjoyed using it in a one-semester sophomore/junior level course (pre-P-chem).  My students however, had a strong negative reaction to the steep price for a paperback book.  Long-term, it does not have the durability of a hardback book, and they would prefer to spend their money on something that will last.
Wed, 03/26/2008 - 23:14 Permalink
pforster / Dept. of Chemistry, UNLV

In reply to by Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College

I agree about the steep price and the paperback.  I decided to use the text for next fall anyway, but I'm frustrated with this trend towards paperbacks.  Hardback books are not much more expensive to print (it should only add a few dollars onto the cost), which is negligable for a $175 text.  This is particularly true for this text, where the printing and design quality of the text is very high.  Publishers are probably doing this to limit the market for used texts.  If more of us complain to publishers about this trend, hopefully we can reverse it.
Mon, 04/21/2008 - 14:27 Permalink
Keith Walters / Northern Kentucky University
I liked the comprehensive nature of this text, and would be more than willing to use it if I had a two semester sequence for inorganic. However, for the one semester course at NKU I found the book to be a little too difficult for a pre-pchem course and a little too long-winded in the descriptive chapters. I also agree with the others that the price is quite steep for a paperback text (albeit a big paperback text). I used this book for one term and then moved on.
Wed, 06/25/2008 - 22:34 Permalink
Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College

So, I was swayed by the very pretty pictures in this new edition and decided to try this as the text for my one-semester course (pre P-chem) despite the cost.

I have to admit that only 5 weeks into the semester, I am quite pleased so far.  The chapter on Crystalline Structures covers lattice energies and their applications with Born-Haber cycles in a way that perfectly complements my lecture notes that have evolved over the years.

I also like the fact that in the Molecular Symmetry chapter, there are very nice illustrations of the normal modes of vibrations for common molecular structures.  While I don't do this in my pre P-chem course, it is nice to have the figures there as a very visual "extra" for students that want to read more on applications of symmetry.  And it will definitely come in handy for my Advanced I-Chem course where I like to reuse the text from the pre P-chem course.

I am upping my initial rating from 4 d-orbitals to 5!

Tue, 02/24/2009 - 03:18 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College
I am preparing my inorganic course for this coming spring (now that grades are finally in) and am using H&S 3rd ed.  I was glad to see that people were generally in favor of the book (albeit the steep price).  If anyone has any more advice or suggestions on using the book or the online resources, let me know.  I had hoped that the online resources would have been updated since 2004 or 2005 when I last used the book, but as a mac user, the continued use of chime as a 3D renderer instead of something modern that runs on OSX is lame.
Wed, 12/23/2009 - 18:53 Permalink