Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bretz's Flood: the remarkable story of a rebel geologist and the world's greatest flood

by John Soennichsen

Just in case you haven't yet realized what a nerd I am, here's a fascinating book about geology! And not just about geology, but about the personal story of a geologist who made a major discovery in the eastern Washington scablands — but no one believed him, so he had to defend his theory alone for many years before his findings finally were accepted by his peers.

I don't know how to explain it, but this is a really good book: enjoyable, informative, even poignant. If you scoff at the very idea that a book about rocks-dorks could ever be a good read, nothing I say will convince you. If, on the other hand, you know me or have read enough of my blog to have a sense of me as a critic, you'll just have to believe me.

Really, though, this book is written in a way that makes it accessible and interesting to anyone who's ever looked out the car window on I-90 (or any number of highways) and thought, "damn, that's a cool-looking mountain/canyon/coulee/alluvial fan/butte/glacier/etc." If you've ever taken an intro to geology (aka "rocks for jocks") class in college, or if you've seen the megafloods special on Discovery Channel, you might already know a thing or two about ginormous Lake Missoula and you might find this book even more enjoyable. I also think this would a fun book to read on a road trip up through the Spokane area (on the way to Montana or Yellowstone or something).

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