Great Books for Geologists
Geology-minded readers recommend books for their peers.
What's a Good Textbook?
Some general advice for those who want to learn more.
Good Books About Geologic Fieldwork
Here's a set of books that provide a taste of one of geology's central experiences: fieldwork.
Ulysses, by James Joyce
I argue that for geologists, reading this great novel is refreshingly like practicing geology.
Earthquake Storms, by John Dvorak
The San Andreas fault gets an up-to-date treatment by a geologist for scientifically literate readers.
52 Things You Should Know About Geology, Matt Hall editor
An innovative book for geoscientists designed to help make their downtime scientifically stimulating.
The Geoscience Handbook
The Geoscience Handbook, a/k/a the AGI Data Sheets, is essential for professionals and those who need to understand them.
The Dance of Air and Sea, by Arnold Taylor
A sound guide to the breakthrough science of ocean-atmosphere-biosphere interactions.
Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau, by Ron Blakey and Wayne Ranney
A unique picture book showing the Colorado Plateau's geologic past and where to see it best.
Carving Grand Canyon by Wayne Ranney, 2nd ed.
Masterful summation of geological thinking about the Canyon since the 1800s.
Geology Books on the Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau
Worthy books about America's finest rock landscape.
An Introduction to Grand Canyon Fossils
This colorful survey packs in a lot about the rocks as well as their fossils.
Gems and Minerals: Earth Treasures from the Royal Ontario Museum
Outstanding photos of a museum's prize minerals with ill-fitting scientific dressing.
Geological Field Techniques, Angela Coe, editor
An industrial-strength manual for field geologists and students.
Mind Over Magma: The Story of Igneous Petrology by Davis Young
A masterful survey of one of geology's most stubborn mysteries.
On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, Volumes 1 and 2
Dozens of excellent field trips in the Channeled Scabland and surroundings.
The Planet in a Pebble by Jan Zalasiewicz
A masterpiece of popular geology writing based on a single stone.
Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape
A wordbook for locality.
Hard Road West, by Keith Meldahl
A geologist retraces the steps of the 19th-century American emigrants across the prairies and the deserts and the mountains to the California gold fields.
Sand: The Never-Ending Story by Michael Welland
Michael Welland makes the subject of sand his base station for a journey around the whole Earth system and beyond.
Interview with "Sand" Author Michael Welland
An extended interview from the Geology Forum.
Walking Zero, by Chet Raymo
A charming and insightful treatment of the scientific worldview based on a stroll along England's Prime Meridian.
Over the Coasts: An Aerial View of Geology, by Michael Collier
A book to make anyone dream like a geologist.
The Mountains of Saint Francis by Walter Alvarez
A warm and humane account of a geologist's life in Italy's Apennine range.
Sherlock Holmes, Forensic Geologist
The great detective Sherlock Holmes is the exemplar of the modern geologist. Read the stories online.
King of the 40th Parallel: Discovery in the American West
An insider's look at a great geologist's exploration of the western territories and founding of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Wildest Alaska: Journeys of Great Peril in Lituya Bay, by Philip Fradkin
An exploration of landscape and culture in America's most dangerous place.
Disasters by Design, by Dennis Mileti
A classic book on disaster resilience, living sustainably with natural disasters, has gotten high-level attention.
The Chronologers' Quest, by Patrick Wyse Jackson
A sideways view of the history of geology subtitled "The Search for the Age of the Earth."
Field Guide to the San Andreas Fault by David K. Lynch
The best guide there is for visiting the world's most famous fault.
Top 10 Children's Books About Dinosaurs
Children's Books guide Elizabeth Kennedy reviews a range of good dinosaur books.
Life in Stone: Fossils of the Colorado Plateau by Christa Sadler
An elegant introduction to the fossil wealth of America's greatest paleontological province.
Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region by Doris Sloan
Superb handbook for learning to love the San Francisco Bay area's rocks and landscape.
A Wine Journey along the Russian River by Steve Heimoff
A ramble through an emerging California wine region and the geology that underlies it.
Magnitude 8: Earthquakes and Life Along the San Andreas Fault
Philip Fradkin's book sets the standard for treatments of California's seismic side: the geology, geography, history and political significance of the state's earthquakes.
Plates, Plumes, and Paradigms, edited by Foulger et al.
A massive collection of papers that sets forth the next stage of plate tectonics.
Earthquakes in Human History, by Jelle de Boer and Donald Sanders
Earthquakes are not just calamities but agents of regime change, sometimes in surprising ways. Subtitled "The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions."
Planet Earth, by Cesare Emiliani
The great scientist's last book is the single best science book I know.
A Crack in the Edge of the World, by Simon Winchester
Just the sort of thing for those who like this sort of thing—but not for geologists.
The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906 by Philip Fradkin
A sweeping, definitive new look at the iconic American disaster.
The Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal City--Heiken
A great world city is entwined with exceptional geology in this unique tour guide.
Volcanism, by Hans-Ulrich Schmincke
College-level treatment of volcano science presented with personal authority and superb illustrations.
Living with Earthquakes in California, by Robert Yeats
Gives California citizens all they need to take the fruits of seismic science into their personal lives, homes, neighborhoods and the public arena.
Earth Colors: An Em Hansen Mystery by Sarah Andrews
The ninth in the Em Hansen series of forensic geology thrillers has our heroine embroiled in a deadly drama centering on mineral pigments, beguiling gray-eyed strangers, stolen art and the need to get moving on her master's thesis. We also journey with her as she emerges from inner blockage to a new personal freedom.
Earth, An Intimate History by Richard Fortey
A 'geology for poets' book that delivers geology AND poetry, thanks to a paleontologist author who reaches deep into the science without leaving his heart and humanity behind.
The Winemaker's Dance: Exploring Terroir in the Napa Valley
Two wine-loving geologists have opened a new line of inquiry into the heart of winegrowing, bringing new depth to terroir: the concept that connects a wine's character with the place giving rise to it.
Time Traveler: In Search of Dinosaurs and Ancient Mammals from Montana to...
An unforgettable look at the outer and inner life of a contented scientist, plus a cogent introduction to Earth science.
More Geology Books
About 20 recent books for your reading pleasure.
Volcanoes in Fiction
Jessica Ball, the blogger known as Magma cum Laude, reviewed some of her favorite books in this post from 2008.