Best book review EVER…hey, for a UK prof, it’s the least I can do

Coming home for Thanksgiving, I almost always discover something I thought I’d lost forever stashed somewhere in the house. This year I found no less than ten CDs on a rack that I thought was full of empty cases. My favorite was probably a CD I chanced upon three years ago, recorded by two amateur rappers in one of the dorm towers here at UK. They called themselves “OD” and “J-Mil,” but I liked to call them the “Louisville Murderers.” It’s a shame they never took off…especially since at least one of them was well on his way to flunking out of school freshman year…

On the more chemical side, I happened to find my copy of The Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms (hereafter affectionately referred to as TAOWRORM) by UK’s own MIT whiz and cycling afficionado Bob Grossman. This fascinating book tells the compelling tale of the journey of hundreds of electrons through the molecular frontiers of reaction vessels across the globe. It begins with an illuminating account of conventions for drawing organic structures, including stereoisomers and resonance structures, and covers polar, radical, and even organometallic mechanisms. I must admit I haven’t read the whole book, but the section on organometallic mechanisms is really good…ahem excuse me, utterly scintillating…and the problems are at once challenging and enlightening. If you’re interested in improving your mechanistic abilities, this book comes highly recommended.

Seriously, TAOWRORM is pretty good. 🙂



  1. I agree. I found it useful in organometallics class, too.

    Scintillating. Yes, that’s the way to say it. “Not putrid and unreadable like a lot of mechanism books” takes too many words.


  2. His synth class is also pretty good (though not easy). I do wish we’d not covered Evans aldols (because I hate them) and maybe briefly discussed things that work on nitrogen heterocycles (because that would be REALLY USEFUL for me now). The lectures are really fast-paced, which is my other complaint. He can teach, but I think he’d do it better with some mild sedatives.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s