Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth

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To many of us, the Earth's crust is a relic of ancient, unknowable history. But to a geologist, stones are richly illustrated narratives, telling gothic tales of cataclysm and reincarnation. For more than four billion years, in beach sand, granite, and garnet schists, the planet has kept a rich and idiosyncratic journal of its past. Fulbright Scholar Marcia Bjornerud takes the reader along on an eye-opening tour of Deep Time, explaining in elegant prose what we see and feel beneath our feet. Both scientist and storyteller, Bjornerud uses anecdotes and metaphors to remind us that our home is a living thing with lessons to teach. Containing a glossary and detailed timescale, as well as vivid descriptions and historic accounts, Reading the Rocks is literally a history of the world, for all friends of the Earth.

3 comments on “Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth”

  1. Not many popular science books are this stylishly crafted Probably the most poetically written (and worldly erudite) books on geology you are ever likely to read - almost to a fault. Strangely and almost paradoxically, whilst admiring the lyricism of the prose and non-geological erudition, it is easy to overlook the hard geological facts, and for amateurs like me, more number-based information would have helped to fix the information in my mind.Prof Bjornerud certainly knows her subject, but as already implied, is not a book of naked...

  2. I wish I knew which book would make the perfect next step after this one I wanted an intro to geology so I could read some tech articles a friend of mine wrote. This is not the book for that, though. Once you settle into it this book becomes a fascinating biography of planet Earth (an autobiography, actually, since all the evidence is gleaned from the Earth itself). Its faster-paced than a text book, but it does require that you memorize some terms to make later chapters understandable, but its well worth the effort. Most of the phases of Earth's life were slow to...

  3. An Important Read If You’re Willing To Learn (and likely have some long held beliefs challenged) The first two thirds of the book are largely geological subjects, with a smattering of environmental warning. The last third the roles are reversed: environmental warnings based on, mostly, current geoscience findings. Bjornerud makes no secret of her hope that scientists and lay people like myself begin to, literally, “Read the Rocks.”Another reviewer noted, and I agree, he and I both would have liked more information of actually reading the rocks, identifying minerals,...

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