I'd recommend this book to anyone who's interested in learning about the basic concepts of chemistry.
Here's the publisher's description for the book A Guide to the Elements, by Albert Stwertka:
Newly updated with the stunning discovery of two new elements, A Guide to the Elements, 2nd Edition is still the easy-to-read, easy-to-understand resource to the periodic table that students and teachers of the physical sciences expect. A Guide to the Elements, Second Edition begins with an introductory section that explains some of the basic concepts of chemistry and traces the history and development of the periodic table of the elements. In clear, non-technical language, Albert Stwertka takes complex ideas and terms easily understandable. Complemented with historical anecdotes and everyday examples, each fascinating article examines one element and is accompanied by photographs many in full color of practical applications. Middle school and high school students will find this a welcome reference, as will adults with no background in chemistry.
This new edition includes:
- A comprehensive list of informative websites
- An epilogue on recent near-discoveries of new elements
- An extensively updated further-reading list
An excellent "look up" resource as well as a superb introduction to chemistry, A Guide to the Elements, Second Edition is a good beginning step on the road to chemical literacy.