Monday 7 April 2008

The Earth, an Intimate History by Richard Fortey

This is a thick book about geology, focussing on plate tectonics and covering volcanoes, mountain formation and fault lines. There are some beautiful photos too and useful diagrams. I was also interested to read about the geology of many places I've visited and to read background information to the several recent tv shows on geology. The book is interesting, engaging and very informative, but I felt the author made too many digressions that didn't add to the reader's experience or knowledge. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson made a lot of digressions, but I felt they always added to the book.

I read this book for general interest but also partly as background reading for the Dino Dig at the Science Festival. I would have been better reading a dinosaur book I know! There were several dinosaur fans at the Dino Dig, who put our cobbled-together knowledge to shame. Last year there was a research paleantologist on the Dino Dig team, this year, for half the festival there wasn't even a real dino enthusiast on the team and it showed - though it didn't stop most of the children having a great time!

Edited to add: I've just found a copy of the Ultimate Book of Dinosaurs in the second hand shop across the road. How useful that would have been over the last couple of weeks.... I bought it anyway, my interest has been piqued by the Dino Dig...

1 comment:

Janice Thomson said...

I'd like to read this Juliet as I've had a strong interest in geology since a child. The recent quake in Kent had me studying plate tectonics again (have friends there - hence the unusual interest). The power that lies beneath the ocean is astounding and at times frightening at the damage that can occur when the plates move. It is fascinating studying for sure.