If you are a hardcore maths/computing person Michael Waterman’s “Introduction to Computational Biology” [Chapman & Hall/CRC Statistics and Mathematics; ISBN 0412993910] and Pavel Pevzner’s “Computational Molecular Biology – An Algorithmic Approach” [The MIT Press (A Bradford Book); ISBN 0262161974] will give you all the discrete maths you can shake a stick at, but perfunctory introductions to the biology.

Bioinformatics.Org’s very own Jeff Bizzaro recommends Dan Gusfield’s “Algorithms on Strings, Trees and Sequences” [Cambridge, 1997 ISBN 0-52158-519-8], Richard Durbin, S. Eddy, A. Krogh, G. Mitchison “Biological Sequence Analysis: Probabilistic Models of Proteins and Nucleic Acids” [Cambridge, 1997 ISBN 0-52162-971-3] (which I think is one of the clearest and most comprehensive guides to alignment algorithms) and—for that full “computers-to-biology conversion”— Geoffrey M. Cooper “The Cell: A Molecular Approach” [ASM Press, 1996 ISBN 0-87893-119-8]. Jeff Ames writes that a second edition of this book is now available [Sinauer Associates, Incorporated, 2000 ISBN 0-87893-106-6] and that this version—if you can find it in the shops—comes with a CD.

Bioinformatics Books

I’ve divided suggested reading into books of general interest, those best suited to people coming from a computational/mathematical background and books for biologists interested in bioinformatics. Links to other lists of bioinformatics books follow this section of suggested reading.

General Introductions

Computational/Mathematical aspects

Applying bioinformatics in biological research

Fiction