Book review: Introducing Geology: A guide to the world of rocks (3rd ed), by Graham Park

Jon Trevelyan (UK)

This is a third, revised edition of a very successful, introductory-level geology guide, in which the author has taken the opportunity to revise and update the text, and to substitute improved illustrations for some of the old ones. As for the result, a recent review in the European Geologist succinctly describes it as “a key resource for both amateur and professional geologists alike, remarkably squeezing virtually all of the basics of our subject into some 135 pages with many informative illustrations” and I couldn’t agree more. It is well written, illustrated and produced, and is fascinating throughout.

Dunedin is a publisher that I have reviewed extensively (and see the article on the page opposite by Dunedin’s Director, Anthony Kinahan and the other two reviews on this page) and I very much like the style of its huge range of books on the earth sciences. Like the others in the series, this one has beautiful, full-colour photographs and diagrams, a simple layout, and an informal style that makes it worth just dipping in or out, or, as I did, reading it cover to cover. I like this format a lot.

The author is a professional geologist living in Scotland. He covers the extensive subject of geology in 11 short chapters, together with an extensive glossary of technical terms and a list of further reading. In this way, the subjects he manages to cover are: crystals, minerals and gemstones; volcanoes and melted rock; shaping the land; mud, sand and other deposits; moving continents and making mountains; earthquakes and faults; squeezing and stretching – rock deformation; geological time and the age of the Earth; fossils – a history of life; turning the pages – Earth history; and geology and industry.

While this guide is intended as an overview of geology and is probably best suited for amateurs or “A” level students, it nevertheless delivers on several levels – academically, aesthetically, entertainingly and so on. In this respect, the overall quality of the book is excellent, notwithstanding that I disagree with some small details and facts (but I may be wrong). However, notwithstanding these minor details, this is a great little guide and well worth owning.

Introducing geology: A guide to the world of rocks (3rd ed) by Graham Park, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh (2019). 134 pp., softback, ISBN: 978-1-78046-596-8

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