Books Related to Earth Science
I highly recommend each of these books; they all are tremendously informative and enjoyable reading. All are non-fiction except three of Edward Abbey’s books.
Black Sun by Edward Abbey (fiction)
A story of love found and lost by a forest fire
lookout on the North Rim of the
Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Abbey’s wonderful tale of his summer in Arches N.P. as a youthful park ranger. Great stuff!
Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey (fiction)
What more can be said about this book? If you a drawn to mischief, you’ve got to read
it. It’s the account of Doc, Bonnie and
Hayduke protecting the land they love in their own creative way. One of the real joys of this book is it takes
the reader on a wonderful tour of the Colorado Plateau including many gorgeous,
remote areas of
Hayduke Lives! by Edward Abbey (fiction)
The long-awaited sequel to the Monkey Wrench Gang; published post-humously in 1990. Honestly, its not as good ad Monkey Wrench Gang, but its worth reading if you liked Monkey Wrench Gang.
The Dinosaur Heresies by Robert T. Bakker
Bakker is a world-reknowned expert on dinosaurs. His entertaining book describes many modern discoveries on the biology, behavior and demise of dinosaurs, including many of his somewhat controversial ideas.
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
This book is an amazing look into why it came to pass that Western European society came to dominate, subjugate and exterminate much of the rest of the world. Diamond, a research biologist by training, combines enthralling anthropology with natural science to shed light on this fascinating question.
Collapse by Jared Diamond
As a follow-up to Guns, Germs and Steel, Diamond looks at the factors, including the natural environment and decision-making, that have contributed to the success and failure of societies throughout human history. Like Guns, Germs and Steel, the book not only is a very useful look at how societies succeed, but it takes the reader on such a fascinating tour of ancient societies that its hard to put down.
Barren Lands: An Epic Search for Diamonds in the North American
This incredible book chronicles Charles Fipke’s obsessive search for diamonds in the Canadian Barren Lands. The existence of a source of diamonds in the north was long suspected because diamonds have been found in glacial till transported from the north. Fipke tracked down the source of the diamonds. The story mixes Fipke’s use of crude geologic science, deceit and intrigue in his search, and the global diamond industry into a well-researched, informative, entertaining and true story. The book also contains a couple of great chapters that outline early explorations - which often came to painfully tragic conclusions - into the Canadian Arctic.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Albert Lansing
Shackleton and his crew set out from
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
McDougall sets out to be an ultra-distance runner. Instead, he finds himself on a quest to find the
Caballo Blanco in the
Annals of the Former World by John McPhee
John McPhee is a 1999
Pulitzer Prize winner and one of
Basin and Range by John McPhee
This first book in McPhee’s series focuses on the region known as the Basin and Range, which extends from the Wasatch Mountains west to the Sierra Nevada, but includes much of geologic history of the entire U.S. as well.
In Suspect Terrane by John McPhee.
This is the second book in McPhee’s series.
Rising from the Plains by John McPhee
is the 3rd book in McPhee’s series. It focuses on the
The Control of Nature by John McPhee
The Control of Nature comprises three vignettes that illustrate humans’ difficulties controlling geologic processes. The problems described are the collapse of the Grand Teton Dam, landslides in southern California, and the Army Corps of Engineers attempts to prevent the Mississippi River from inundating Baton Rouge. This book is a geologic classic.
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Everyone should read this book. If you haven’t heard of it already, it’s the story
of Greg Mortenson and his quest to bring schooling to children, especially
girls, in remote parts of
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
A famous book that should need no introduction - but here goes. A carefully researched historical novel that covers one of the greatest stories ever to unfold on the high-seas: the mutiny against Captain Bligh and the piracy of his ship, the HMS Bounty. This story has it all - adventure, love, utopian south sea islands, deceit, tragedy and triumph. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
basis for a PBS TV series, (http://www.pbs.org/kteh/cadillacdesert/home.html),
this book chronicles the exploitation of water resources in the arid western
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization by Steven Solomon
This is an ambitious book: it covers 5000 years of human history and technology from canals and canoes through the steam engine and electric pump to reverse-osmosis desalinization. The theme is humans’ quest to capture, control and use water, and how people’s ability to do so has shaped human history.
Beyond the Hundredth
classic biography of John Wesley Powell, who explored the
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester
A biography of William ‘Strata’ Smith, who made the first known geologic maps, and thus arguably founded the modern science of geology in the early 1800’s. Smith led a dramatic life, beginning a poor orphan, rising to relative wealth and social standing then falling to disgrace and debtors prison when his work was plagiarized. The book is a fascinating story of human resilience and accomplishment, as well as a great discourse on geology and scientific discovery.
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power by Daniel Yergin
This is an amazing (and lengthy) book that chronicles the international oil industry from its roots in the 1800’s through Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, to the Gulf War. The Prize reached #1 on the national best seller list, was made into an 8 hour PBS series and has been translated into 12 languages. History, political science, global economics as well as geology buffs will be captivated by this book.
Two Great Science – But Not Earth Science – Books
The Double Helix by James Watson
This is the gripping tale of Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA, told from Watson’s point of view. The book is a quick read that provides wonderful insight into the genius and serendipity that led to one of the great scientific discoveries of the 20th Century, and one that has hugely impacted modern society.
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
received the Pulitzer Prize for this monumental work on the personalities,
science and politics that led to the creation of the atomic bomb in World War
II. It’s a long and rewarding book that starts with the discovery of the
atom by Ernest Rutherford and ends with the bombing of Japan at the end of WWII
and the intriguing tale of espionage that jump started the Soviet Union’s bomb
program. At every step of the way,