California Geology by Deborah Harden is a clearly written and abundantly illustrated college textbook. In the preface, she states “This book is intended to acquaint … students with the basic geologic history of California and to cover those topics that do interest non-geologists.” As a California Professional Geologist and consultant formerly practicing in the state, I think the author meets this goal and much more.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, chapters 1 through 4, consists of the basic principles of geology. Part II, “Geologic Highlights of California,” contains chapters 5 through 17 and is the heart...

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