Geopedia is a trove of geologic wonders and the evocative terms that humans have devised to describe them. Featuring dozens of entries – from Acasta gneiss to Zircon – this illustrated compendium is brimming with lapidary and lexical insights that will delight rockhounds and word lovers alike.
Geoscientists are magpies for words, and with good reason. The sheer profusion of minerals, landforms, and geologic events produced by our creative planet demands an immense vocabulary to match. Marcia Bjornerud shows how this lexicon reflects not only the diversity of rocks and geologic processes but also the long history of human interactions with them.
With wit and warmth, she invites all readers to celebrate the geologic glossary – a gallimaufry of allusions to mythology, imports from diverse languages, embarrassing anachronisms, and recent neologisms. This captivating book includes cross-references at the end of each entry, inviting you to leave the alphabetic trail and meander through it like a river. Its pocket-friendly size makes it the perfect travel companion no matter where your own geologic forays may lead you.
With whimsical illustrations by Haley Hagerman, Geopedia is a mix of engaging and entertaining facts about how the earth works, how it has coevolved with life over billions of years, and how our understanding of the planet has deepened over time.
Marcia Bjornerud is a professor of geosciences and environmental studies at Lawrence University and a contributing writer for the New Yorker, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. Her books include Timefulness: How Thinking like a Geologist Can Help Save the World (Princeton). Haley Hagerman is a graphic artist and the illustrator of Timefulness.
"The subtitle says it all – Bjornerud and graphic artist Hagerman have compiled a wonderfully quirky collection of 'curiosities' that, collectively, detail the Earth's transformation over eons and illustrate how our understanding of the planet has deepened through time [...] A charming work, chock-full of information."
– Laurie Selwyn, Library Journal, starred review
"[Geopedia] is a buffet of bite-size chapters perfect for dipping in and out of [...] Its pocket-size format makes it perfect as a traveling companion, and its short chapters suit our frazzled attention spans, making it a fun alternative to night-time doomscrolling or heavier nonfiction. No matter if you're a hard-core rockhound or a geological outsider, you'll get something worthwhile from this little gem of a book."
– Howard Lee, Ars Technica