Bowler, Where ya been <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> must be just lurkin'these days as I rarely see you posting. Your best bet is to head over to the UofM bookstore and pickup a college text on geology used of course! I remember my high school years I was fascinated with the 'theory of Plate Tectonics' and read college texts like novels <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
I'm graduating in May with a geology degree, I may be helpful here...
Are you specifically looking for a book on orogenies (mountain building events), or just in something in general that covers a broad range of geological processes? I would recommend a basic, intro level textbook in Physical Geology if you aren't looking to get too technical. I know mine does a good job of explaining things in terms that you can understand without having to reread it and provides some good pictures/diagrams showing you how processes behave. You may also find what you want in an intro Historical Geology textbook, but I'd go for the Physical Geology one.
If you are wanting to spend more time on this, perhaps research it, and become more familiar with terminology and more advanced topics get a Plate Tectonics book, which should cover convergent boundaries and mountain building events.
And then if you are looking for a book written more for the public than for geologists or people with technical knowledge and vocabulary, Simon Winchester writes some good books that cover a broad range of topics, but the central theme is geology. Some of his books are: The Crack in the Edge of the World , Krakatoa, and The Map that Changed the World (haven't read this one; it is about William Smith, who made the first geological map and became the father of modern geology).
My recommendation is a Physical Geology book. Mine cover orogenies, plate tectonics, crustal deformation, volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes, interior of the earth, ocean floor spreading, gravity and erosion processes, and of course the basic types of rocks. I know that is just a list of things, but really all of those significantly contribute to making geological features, which is what you were wanting. I'd ship you my book, but I still reference it in my upper level classes!
I am a geologist. I am now reading McPhees anthology of all his books - Annals of a Former World. I love it. But - even with the geologic vocabulary I have, these books are surprisingly technical. Yes, there are lots of things he discusses and weaves into the books that are easily understood, but you have to know the terms. If you read his books you need to realize that you have to read them slowly and go look up some terms. I would read a geology text first, then read McPhee's books.
Geology is also very area-sepecific. Each mountain range has its own unique geologic history.
Be aware that a lot of books you will find in the library are really out-dated. Geology is an ever evolving science. Be sure the books you choose are post-1980 or newer.
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