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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Book Review - Rocks and Minerals - Princeton Field Guides

 


     Who among us has not collected an interesting  rock, an especially colourful one, or one veined with minerals, or containing a fossil? Who has not taken a pebble home from the beach? Perhaps even now they serve as paperweights on your desk, or are arrayed together in a corner of the garden to be shown with pride to visitors.
     There seems to be an eternal fascination with rocks and minerals, yet it is probable that most people who collect them have little knowledge of what they have brought home. They sparkle and gleam and provoke conversation even, yet their identity remains a mystery.
     This is the book that unlocks the Pandora's box of knowledge. It is a first class guide that can be used by the amateur rock collector or mineral sleuth, but equally by geologist and earth scientist, as a convenient, comprehensive, well-illustrated compendium of rocks and minerals.
     Chris and Helen Pelland have carved a niche for themselves in this field, having authored several books covering the structure of the earth, its formation, the fossil record and the story of evolution to be found therein. 
     The images in the book, first class coloured photographs all, were taken from the collection at the Natural History Museum in London, one of the largest collections in the world, with all exhibits documented and authenticated beyond reproach.
     Excellent introductory notes to rocks and minerals lead into a description of each type with glorious pictures to accompany each section. The pictures of are of very high clarity, taken of the finest specimens extant, and you will be able to quickly identify the rock sitting on your desk, collected on a vacation many years ago, or picked up during a walk along the lane yesterday.  Furthermore, if you slip this guide into your pouch or vest pocket, you will be set to add geology to your enjoyment of the natural history quest on which you are embarked. I remember years ago seeing my first Secretary Bird in South Africa, a monumental sighting in itself, but made even more agreeable by the fact that it was in a field strewn with volcanic bombs, prompting an impromptu lesson from a friend who is a geologist.
     There is an excellent glossary with links to further information.
     If you have even the slightest interest in the very ground on which you walk, this is the book for you!

Rocks and Minerals
Chris and Helen Pellant
Paperback - US$19.95 - ISBN: 9780691204062 - 208 pages - Many coloured photographs - 5.5 in. x 8.25 in.
Publication date: 17 November 2020

     

     

32 comments:

  1. It sounds like a very interesting book, David. My children was very happy about bringing different stones back home. Not far away from here we could find trilobites, and it's a little bit scary to think about how old they were.

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  2. Hi David! This sounds like a very useful book. I often bring home stones from the shore of the Rhine or from the fields, jut because I like them, but it might sometime be good to have a look-see what they are. A book like this sounds just right for that purpose. The museums in London, including the Natural History one, were places I loved to hang out in my youth. Have a great day, take care, stay safe. Hugs, Valerie

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  3. Hari OM
    ...no. I am not allowed another mineral book! (Dad was an amateur geologist and lapidarist, so inherted some of his, then added several of my own over the years as have quite the little collection 'stones' too...) YAM xx

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  4. Hello,

    Great review David. It is a wonderful book for the rock collector. Take care, enjoy your day!

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  5. I used always to rely on my brother for identification and education. Amongst his many interests (principally flora and fauna) was geology and he was a mine (no pun intended) of information. Nowadays a stone has to be very exceptional for me to pick it up and wonder about it. There's just too many things in life for my little brain to cope with.

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  6. Hi David. It seems that this may be a re-hash of a book published nearly a couple of decades ago in UK. Looks interesting, however, so have added it to my wish list.

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  7. Hi David, beautiful book of this rock. Beautiful for the rock collector. Greetings Caroline

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  8. My youngest son was very into rock collecting there for a while. (Personally, I still have nightmares about a 4th grade test where we had to identify different types of rocks. *Shudders*) Looks like a really helpful and interesting book.

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  9. I have a friend who is very into rocks and minerals. I'll make sure he sees this1

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  10. I grew up with an amateur gemnologist (ask me about the joys of camping besides old slag heaps). He would have loved this book. And yes, I do still have pieces of rock he collected and identified.

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    1. That sounds right up there with a birder taking his date to a sewage lagoon!

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  11. Some are called mine flowers...

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  12. Looks like a wonderful book! A great review, David.

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  13. I have a box full of fossils courtesy my eldest son, a Geologist, which I have been keeping safe for him for years. I also have a shelf filled with the best specimens that he found whilst doing research for his PhD.

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  14. I have a copper basket filled with rocks in my living room, all with memories: one from Georgia O'Keeffe's cliffs outside Abiquiu, one from a dive the the Virgin Islands, several chert nodules from the Texas hill country, and so on. When I travel, I carry books like Roadside Kansas: A Traveler's Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks, and study them before leaving home. This looks like a great addition to my library, especially since I'm thinking of heading into parts of Texas I've not visited: all of which are known for their geological formations.

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  15. Oh, I used to collect rocks as a child. I had a geology set where I learned to sort rocks by groups. Most of the ones I found were conglomerates or metamorphic. I drew a big chart of the geologic timetable and taped it on my wall. Had no idea I was a nerd. ;-)

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  16. Gran reseña amigo David. Seguro que es de una gran utilidad a los muchos aficionados y no tan aficionados para descubrir ciertas rocas o piedras.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo y compadre David.

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  17. Rocks were one of my first interests when, as a toddler, I encountered the brightly coloured cliffs at Hunstanton. I went on to study geology at high-school and even a little at university. I'm sure this guide book would be useful and interesting. Rock on, David!

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    1. I have used it quite a bit already and I am really enjoying it.

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  18. Nice!I love rocks and crystals. On my trips I mostly picked a few smaller ones as souvenirs :)

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  19. I do like this topic, and I even have some little boxes with stones and minerals that are supposed, according to guide books, to increase energy, bring luck, etc.. I sometimes open the boxes to contemplate their beauty and derive pleasure.
    The book sounds like a real treasure to be found on the shelf of those who have even the slightest interest in the above subject.

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  20. Il y'a sans doute de très belles photos. Quand j'étais gamine, j'avais acheté les premiers magazines d'une série sur les pierres, et avec le fascicule il y'avait une pierre, mais j'ai du avoir 3 ou 4 numéros car ensuite cela devenait plus cher.
    Bonne journée

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  21. I love pretty rocks (and I have a few) but Nigel is the one who really understands about geology.
    Keep well and stay safe, Diane

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  22. Hi David - many of my friends are geologists ... and I love rocks, minerals et al - I have some books here ... but they always interest me. Thanks for the preview of this excellent sounding reference book - all the best Hilary

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    1. I find this volume really well done, Hilary, and that fact that the photographs were taken of what may be the best collections anywhere in the world adds cachet to it. Maybe when you next go on one of your London jaunts you will go to visit the museum.

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  23. I have rocks I have collected from walks and trips all over my house. We had a rocks and minerals unit during grade school and I have been hooked ever since. I will look for this excellent reference.

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  24. Me encanta buscar rocas y minerales, tengo algunas en casa. El libro se ve interesante. Abrazos amigo David.

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  25. Podziwiam Twoje recenzje. W naszych czasach niewiele ludzi kupuje i czyta książki.

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