Hull Geological Society

Local Geology
Next Meeting
Contact us


Favourite Geology Books

My favourite geology books.

At the Club Night of the Hull Geological Society on 26th September 2019 the topic was “my favourite geology books”. Members brought books to the meeting and were also to record their choices. Members who did not attend were also asked to send in their choices.

  my favourite geology books

Angela chose –

The Spurn Gravel Trade by Phil Mathison – because of a long-standing question – where does all the gravel come from? A fascinating history of the Spurn trade.

Fossils of the Whitby coast by Dean Lomax – chosen after attending Dean’s lecture to the Hull Geological Society. A very informative, photographic guide to local fossils. Used with and loved by children from 4 – 10 years.

Rocks and fossils by Readers Digest – a comprehensive summary of everything geological; full of photos, illustrations, charts etc.

The Flintstones – the TV show. I’ve loved flint since the first viewing!

Brenda chose –

Deposits magazine

Atlas of Invertebrate Macrofossils edited by J W Murray

Fossils of the Chalk edited by Ellis Owen and Andrew Smith

The Wolds Way by Roger Ratcliffe and Tony Gowers

Fossils a photographic field guide by Chris and Helen Pellant

Chris Leach chose –

Reconstructing Quaternary Environments by J Lowe and M walker 2015 – this is brining me up to date on research on Quaternary studies.

Pleistocene Geology and Biology by R G West 1969 – this was a key textbook for me in my undergraduate course and fired my enthusiasm for Quaternary studies.

Principles of Physical Geology by Arthur Holmes 1944 – the first “solid” geology book I used.

The Crucible of Creation by Simon Conway Morris 1998 – a fascinating story of early fossils as revealed by the Burgess Shale

Textbook of pollen analysis by K Faegri and J Iversen – a book that was a great help for my final undergraduate thesis and would have been a key text if I had money to do my PhD!

David Hill chose –

Marokko – land of minerals and fossils by R Brode et al. – I like it because it describes many mineral and fossil localities in Morocco with lots of pictures. I’ve been to Morocco four times. The only disadvantage is that it is written in German.

Evolution of fossil ecosystems by Seldon and Nudds – twenty chapters each describing a fossil lagerstatte.

Trilobites of the British Isles by Robert Kennedy – 793 pictures of British trilobites. I like trilobites and didn’t know there were so many in the British Isles.

A fossil guide to Mesozoic Birds by M R Martyniuk – Archaeopteryx was discovered in 1861 and for a long time was the only known fossil bird. Now hundreds of different species have been discovered in China and Mongolia.

J Almond chose –

The geology of Britain an introduction by Peter Toghill

Fossils of the Mesozoic

British Fossils by Peter Doyle

Geology a complete guide by David Rothery

Atlas of invertebrate macrofossils by J Murray

Fossil detectives by the Open University

Martin Longshaw chose –

The Highlands Controversy - a wonderful retrospective by David Olroyd of the unravelling of the seriously mistaken and probably stubborn theory of Murchison of the highly complex geology of NW Highlands. I was fortunate to attend a field trip in Assynt 2 years ago in which we also retraced the evidence for the the work by Peach and Horne in finally resolving the Highlands structure. The book reproduces some original field sketches and shows and traces the blinkered analysis by the early geological establishment over many years.  A wonderful landscape and detective story!

Mountain Building in Scotland - an Open University publication which was part of my studies and was as many OU text books well written and presented for undergrads mainly but also as general interest.

The Great Ice Age - (RCL Wilson, Drury, Chapmann) a study of the Pleistocene era again in wonderful detail and written to suit those also working towards degree or of consolidating interest in Earth Science.

Mike Horne chose –

Geology Explained in the Severn Vale and Cotswolds by William Dreghorn 1967. This was the first book about geology I read; it was the only geology book in the local library and I borrowed it several times.

“Big Arthur” – Principles of Physical Geology by Arthur Holmes 1965 (second edition). This is a brilliant book and door stop. Arthur Holmes was ahead of his time in accepting “continental drift”. I think it cost me five guineas.

The Penguin Dictionary of Geology by Whitten and Brooks, 1972. This was great for my A Levels and first year degree. I love the table of minerals appendix which was not in the later editions.

British Mesozoic Fossils by the Natural History Museum. I think I learnt the name of most of the fossils. The drawings are great, far better than photographs.

Microfossils by Martin Brasier – probably the first textbook on the subject written by my PhD supervisor, who sadly died in a car crash shortly after his retirement.

Your field note books and mine – these are the most important books that any geologist can have. I thanks my teachers and in particular the late John Neale for making me realise this.

Down to Earth – I know it is not a book, but this free magazine published by Chris Darmon has done so much to spread our science to a wider public.

Mary Holland chose –

The Geology of Lincolnshire by H H Swinnerton and P E Kent – because Lincolnshire is my home county and this helped me to interpret the landscape I see every day.

Yorkshire Rock – a journey through time by Richard Bell – full colour, beautifully illustrated with maps and drawings; suitable for adults and children alike.

Underland by Robert McFarlane – a haunting journey into the planet’s past and future, through selected voyages underground. Not ‘pure geology’ but a perfectly thought-processed tale of the relationship between humans and landscape.

Sonja chose -

Underlands by Ted Nield 2014 – this book has been described a ‘elegant’ and was written by a geologist with experience in the oil industry and mentions fracking; it is a pleasure to read.

Geomorphology by C R Twidale – a textbook about Australian landscapes and written by my university teacher in Adelaide and later friend. I did a piece of research for him and intended to do a Ph D with him on offshore geomorphology.

Down to earth (magazine) – I love it

Hutton's Arse: 3 Billion Years of Extraordinary Geology in Scotland's Northern Highlands by M H Rider 2005

Rodger Connell chose four books that taught me about the Quaternary when he was young –

Pleistocene geology and biology by R G West 1972

The Quaternary history of the Irish Sea edited by C Kidson and M J Tooley 1977

Quaternary Geology by D Q Bowen 1978

The Quaternary in Britain edited by J Neale and J Flenley 1981

Stuart chose -

British Fossils by Duncan Forbes

Pebbles on the Beach by Clarence Ellis

Terry Rockett chose -

Principles of Physical Geology by Arthur Holmes – over 1200 pages with lots of geological photographs. First suggestion of the mechanism by which continents move.

The ecology of fossils by W Mckerrow – an illustrated guide of life in geological periods showing biological communities using an original method of presenting animals and plants as they once lived.

The floating egg by Roger Osbourne – geological stories relating to Yorkshire; easy to read.

Fossils and the history of life by Peter Sheldon – an Open University short science course containing clear explanations, photos and diagrams.


Copyright - Hull Geological Society 2019

Copyright Hull Geological Society.


Registered Educational Charity No. 229147