My own introduction to earthquakes and seismology came from a one-credit freshman-level class I took in 1980. The text? Earthquakes, A Primer by Bruce Bolt. Simple, clear, interesting. This classic text has been updated a number of times and translated into eight different languages. Bolt's Earthquakes is an excellent introduction to the study of earthquakes for high school and college students as well as for the public. The fourth edition, published in 1999, is significantly expanded from the original 1978 edition and boasts numerous updates.

New material in the fourth edition includes a chapter on plate tectonics, an appendix listing...

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