Having nearly finished my 4 year undergraduate course in Biochemistry, this is one of the first textbooks I've read which is genuinely well written, interesting, and very readable.
It introduces many single-molecule techniques to the reader, first outlining their principles, but also going into a little more depth for those interested. Crucially, ample examples are given of how each technique (and combinations of approaches) have been used to answer some very interesting questions, and of course raise more questions for the next wave of experiments.
The book constantly refers the reader on to other useful reviews or research papers, which guides you in your own exploration of the field, and many "key point" boxes repeat the take-home message.
Another strength of this book is the fact that it very consciously makes an effort to be accessible and interesting to readers coming from either a physics or biology/biochemistry background, with frequent information boxes intended to give supplementary information and interest to either background. Questions tailored to physics or life science students are also found at the end of each chapter, as well as questions for "those who have not made up their mind".
Again, in an effort to make the book accessible, there is an introduction to the biology/chemistry of the cell, and technical jargon and specifics are kept out where they're unnecessary. The book then rounds off nicely with a couple of chapters on the bigger picture and future developments in nanotechnology.
All in all, this is a well written, well laid out and comprehensive introduction to single-molecule methods, their principles, and impact on our state of knowledge. I would make this a first port of call when learning about the subject, as you could happily sit down and read it cover to cover, and also actually take something useful in, rather than have the words merrily bouncing off your brain.
Undergraduates with a degree in Biology don't know enough details in mathematics and in optics (especially laser); those with a degree in Physics don't know enough details in cellular devices and processes. This book fills up just these two holes. It does the job in a way conventional biology/physics textbooks can't do well: (1) it is tailor designed for single-molecule biophysics research and thinks and speaks from the right perspective; (2) it introduces the most basic ideas with sufficient brevity where needed so that it saves times for readers who want to brush up their high-school physics/biology; (3) it puts great emphasis on details most needed and on experiment techniques with plenty of examples.
Single Molecule Cellular Biophysics is highly reader-friendly. I have had a relaxing and enjoyable process reading the book while I gained much-needed information from it. As a novice in biophysics, I become more and more interested in this field with the engaging read of the book.
The appearance of biophysics textbooks is periodic, with a current rush. This reflects the demand and bloom of new biophysicists, but do the contents of these textbooks also reflect the current trends? The answer certainly depends on the interests and backgrounds of the readers. For me, however, a textbook focus on the prosperous in vivo single-molecule biophysics was absent before, and Mark's book fulfills this gap. Three things are essential for a textbook: accessibility, history/perspective, and insight. This book, indeed, has them all. I highly recommend this marvelous book to people interested in modern biophysics (or people who are forced to do so, this book will ease your pain). As a researcher in single-molecule biology, I believe this book will show you why I am absorbed in this amazing field!