Paul at ChemBark was writing that “the Aldrich catalog ranks #1 on my list of the top desk references of all time”. I agree, it’s a great help when looking for melting/boiling points, densities, etc. However, I have a computer 2 meters from my hood and 1 meter from my desk, so the Sigma-Aldrich website is what I mostly use.
I also have another nice desk reference. It’s the total synthesis paper of Neotripterifordin by Corey and Liu (JACS, 1997, 119, 9929-9930). Actually my desk reference is the supporting information of that paper, which is very well written and contains many common reactions.
The reactions on that paper are, for example:
R-OH -> R-I
Wittig salt preparation/Wittig reaction
Pd/C catalyzed hydrogenation
Oh, and this is how Neotripterifordin looks like:
There is a nice cascade reaction in that synthesis:
Interesting paper to read. I recommend.