Among my many interests, geology has always been lurking in the background, one that I never really pursued but nonetheless seemed worth knowing about. For this reason, I finally got around to getting a book on the topic, and picked out The Practical Geologist by Dougal Dixon. Although it isn't a bad book, it was also not the wisest choice for me.
As the title indicates, this is a book for the practical geologist, one that goes out to sites to assess the landscape: the types of rocks, the shape of the hills, et cetera. There are plenty of illustrations and photographs to assist the reader, along with information about how to write up notes and set up displays.
All this is wonderful in its own way, but for the true geological layman like myself, it is a bit more than what I wanted. That is to say, as an introduction to geology, this book is not wholly successful: while never getting overly technical, it also doesn't offer enough in the way of explanation. Instead, it just presents the facts and moves onto the next topic. It reads a bit more like a reference book than a regular science book.
The back of the book describes The Practical Geologist as the "perfect introduction to the world of earth science". This is not really the case. Nonetheless, I am giving this book four stars: I think that what this book does, it does well. If you're looking for a first book on geology, however, I would search elsewhere.