Adventures in Volcanoland: What Volcanoes Tell Us About the World and Ourselves

Hanover Square: Harlequin. Jun. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781335080851. $32.99. SCI
Award-winning geochemist Mather (earth sciences, Univ. of Oxford) takes readers on a globe-spanning journey to Nicaragua, Hawai‘i, Santorini, Ethiopia, and beyond to explore some of the world’s volcanoes. She clearly explains all that vulcanology entails as she relates her travel experiences and shares the history of human interaction with volcanoes and the impact they can have on nature. Her book starts with how volcanic eruptions began shaping the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, and it describes how volcanoes continue to shape the planet’s topography today. Mather also adds updated knowledge on the role volcanoes played in the Earth’s five mass extinctions and in shaping other planets. Her book’s travelogue approach and reader-friendly discussion will help audiences connect to this scientific topic in a captivating manner.
VERDICT Readers will easily imagine they are along for the ride in this crucial contribution to the geology of volcanoes. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this marvelous, earnest work is impressive and might motivate some readers to study volcanoes as a profession.
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