The Planet in a Pebble:
A Journey into Earth’s Deep History
This book counts for
The 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge
This is the story of a single pebble, whose history carries us into abyssal depths of time, and across the farthest reaches of space. Indeed, starting from this tiny, common speck, Jan Zalasiewicz offers readers a stimulating tour that begins with the Universe’s dramatic birth in the unimaginable violence of the Big Bang and explores the construction of the Solar System and the origins of our own planet. Zalasiewicz shows the almost incredible complexity present in the apparently mundane pebble, starting with the astonishing number of atoms in each. We learn that many events in the Earth’s ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; and even the creations of fool’s gold and oil deep underground. Zalasiewicz also demonstrates how geologists reach deep into the Earth’s past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter. The pebble may be small, and ordinary, but it is also an eloquent part of our Earth’s extraordinary, never-ending story [goodreads]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Jan Zalasiewicz is a Senior Lecturer, Department og Geology, at the University of Leicester. See here the list of his publications and classes.
As some of you may know, I LOVE rocks, and I paint on them. In case you have never seen my rockpainting art, please see here: Rocksbyemmanuelle.
A friend of mine, knowing about my art, found a review about this book and cut it out for me!
My geology classes are long forgotten, I was about 13 years old, so I thought I might give it a try.
This book is very interesting, as it basically retraces a lot of the geological evolution of our planet, by just looking at and analyzing a pebble found on a Welsh beach.
But I have to say, contrary to what some reviewers say, this is NOT an easy read; the style is good and entertaining, but the vocabulary is obviously and necessarily VERY technical in many passages.
If you are into geology, go for it, it’s worth it. Otherwise, it may be a bit overwhelming. I probably did not understand half of it, but I persevered, and I think I mange to learn some new things on rocks.
By the way, I never paint on gorgeous rocks or fossils, as they are pieces of art in themselves.
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