Minerals: A Very Short Introduction by David J. Vaughan is one of a series of over 400 volumes of “very short introductions” on a large variety of topics published by Oxford University Press. Begun in 1995, the volumes are meant to have an expert author present an introduction to a topic “for anyone wanting a stimulating and accessible way into a new subject”. This book certainly hits that mark and is a very effective introduction to mineralogy; indeed, the book should be required reading for the lay public and, particularly, for scientists outside of the broad discipline of mineralogy.

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