Book review: Rocks and minerals: the definitive visual guide, by Ronald Louis Bonewitz

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Jon Trevelyan (UK)

Dorling Kindersley (DK) are well-known for producing popular reference media for beginners and enthusiasts. No doubt, most readers will be familiar with their ‘Eyewitness Guides’. The Eyewitness Guides to fossils and rocks & minerals for example, along with their later addition, the Eyewitness Handbook of fossils, certainly makes a useful starting point for anyone new to geology or palaeontology.

Rocks & minerals: The definitive visual guide‘ is an entirely new style of publication, and one which should be seriously considered by enthusiasts of all levels of expertise. The contents are covered in a much greater depth than in any of DK’s previous guides. It is also a massive 360 pages, making it one of the best reference guides for rocks and minerals you could have on your bookshelf. Its price of £14.99 also represents excellent value for money.

The high level of detail within the guide can be seen instantly simply by flicking through a few pages. For example, within the minerals section, apart from the clear, full-colour photographs, there are information boxes covering ornamental, medicinal and industrial uses, along with a quick and easy ‘properties’ section covering mineral features, composition and hardness.

The rocks section is extremely useful for anyone studying geology and covers almost every aspect of its subject that can be imagined, for example geological features, architecture, past social and scientific uses. Gems too are covered thoroughly, along with soils, clays and other deposits. For anyone who loves, studies or collects rocks and minerals, this is a must for you.

Rocks & minerals – the definitive visual guide, by Ronald Louis Bonewitz, Dorling Kindersley, London (2008), 360 pages (paperback), ISBN: 978-1405328319

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