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The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology Paperback – June 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1592578481 ISBN-10: 1592578489 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592578489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592578481
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Emily Jane Willingham, Ph.D., (Austin, TX) earned her Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin and completed postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. In the last decade, she has taught dozens of college-level biology classes at universities in Texas and California, including general biology for majors and non-majors, genetics, anatomy and physiology, and developmental biology. Willingham has written about science, nature, and medicine for national, regional, and local publications, including Backpacker and Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

More About the Author

Emily Willingham was born in Texas during the terrible year of 1968, but that has proved the nadir of her existence to date. Despite blowing the chemistry curve in Chem II in high school and placing out of freshman biology in college, Emily ended up earning a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin because (a) she was in a hurry and (b) English is her native language. Realizing that in her rush, she had failed to gain a degree that would make her marketable to prospective employers, Emily dropped her budding career in public relations to return to school, this time in her true calling: biology.

Emily had felt the call to study life from early on, dissecting her first preserved frog from a chemistry set at age 8 and spending far too much time in the 1970s watching "Wild Kingdom," back when there really wasn't anything on television. Diverted from her true course by the wild idea that she could be a writer, Emily did not enter graduate school in biological sciences until age 26, emerging five years later, again from The University of Texas at Austin, with a PhD, a lot of not-very-useful knowledge about turtles, and a growing list of scientific publications. In the meantime, because the grass is truly always greener, Emily's thoughts returned again to writing. She thought about writing even as she finished up a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, San Francisco, that involved investigating the development of the mammalian penis, always a fascinating subject.

Luckily, she realized that writing and science are a pair of reagents that combine into the perfect lifetime pursuit. Since that chemistry-inspired epiphany, Emily has written about science, nature, and medicine for national, regional, and local publications, including Backpacker and Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. In addition, she has taught dozens of college-level biology classes in California and Texas, blowing the minds of nonmajors who never knew that about the platypus and engaging graduate students in dissecting the finer points of the preservatives found in that mystery of mysteries, the Twinkie.

Living the life of a writer, teacher, and editor up to her ears in science, Emily cannot believe her good fortune. She shares that good fortune in Austin, Texas, with a direct descendent of the Vikings and their three sons, all of whom show similar tendencies to a love of all things biology.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael in Colorado on June 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I previously have completed undergraduate and graduate biology courses. I bought this as a refresher. This is really an excellent, concise review of college level biology. This is not your typical "eat your spinach" college level text. Aside from clearly outlining key core concepts, the book is sprinkled with intriguing tidbits about historical scientific personalities and events, along with strange but fascinating scientific facts. The book is well organized, the key points are clearly summarized and reiterated, and the authors enthusiasm for the material really shines through. Overall the style and format kept my interest focused. For the caliber of material presented, the price is a steal, particularly for those who want a concise yet up-to-date summary of key concepts in modern college biology. Nice companion for those taking college biology or preparing for MCAT.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Bishop on February 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a good preparatory read for the Biology Campbell-Reese textbook.
It is organized along similar lines.
I read a couple others and they under shoot the college level provided by this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter C on August 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this up as a supplement for my college biology course and it was what I expected. It more or less covered all subjects covered in my course and was a good side read to strengthen up key concepts. It can be a little wordy but it is a good addition for those taking Biology in College
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BeccaG on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Science and I are mortal enemies. However, I was flabbergasted by how much I learned from The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology by Emily Jane Willingham Ph.D. It was very informative about biology and even had bits of humor throughout. This is an excellent book to read before taking a biology class. There are many scientific topics covered throughout this book. It documents the history of earth and origins of life on earth. It also details how scientists study life. The book also includes many sections on plants and animals. It gives a basic overview of life and the make-up and function of life. The author also provides information about cells and how cells work and communicate. The concepts explained in this book are simple and easy to understand. The writing style was conversational and appealed to a person who does not enjoy science. My favorite sections were on the origins of life on earth and history of life on earth. The author does not favor one particular theory but says they all have merit. One of my favorite facts I learned was that sponges were the first form of life on earth. I will read other books by The Complete Idiot's Guide series. I would recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to College Biology to anyone who would like to read about biology or prepare for a biology class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bigtenalumnagraduate on April 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am taking a biology class that is geared towards those who are pursuing a career in the medical/science field, which goes into more in depth than those who are just trying to fill their general educational requirements for their major. The biology book I am using is okay but at times it gets a bit wordy but at the same time doesn't clarify certain concepts. This book helped me so much in that regard. Although it is not the perfect biology study guide, it is much more helpful than other books I have checked out from the library. I would recommend it for those who can't find time to seek a tutor or find some youtube videos too long. The only con about this book is that it doesn't cover all of the subject in my biology book but it does cover about 80% to 85% of the material.
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