I haven’t yet reviewed too many science books on this blog, even though I have typically read quite a few each year. This one may be too niche for most people, but I liked it and want to share for anyone interested in geology.
Beneath Our Feet: The Rocks of Planet Earth by Ron Vernon is about the basic principles of geology–the main kinds of rocks and the ways they are created and changed. I’ve read a fair number of geology books and so am familiar with some of the concepts he addresses. I really enjoyed this, though, because he explains these concepts in clear language for the non-geologist, but also manages to go into enough detail that I felt like I understood them far better than I did before.
The other fantastic thing about this book is the pictures. When reading other geology books, I sometimes get a bit lost in the written descriptions of visual concepts. This book includes a TON of high-quality color photographs illustrating the concepts Vernon discusses, and it is incredibly helpful.
I’m reading a book about the geology of the Colorado Plateau right now, and I have Beneath Our Feet out on my coffee table so I can go back and reference it as I come across some of the rock types and other concepts. If you’re not interested in geology, this isn’t for you–it isn’t narrative non-fiction at all–but if you are a layperson with an interest in geology, I highly recommend it.