Sand: Book summary and reviews of Sand by Michael Welland

Sand

The Never-Ending Story

by Michael Welland

Sand by Michael Welland X
Sand by Michael Welland
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

From individual grains to desert dunes, from the bottom of the sea to the landscapes of Mars, and from billions of years in the past to the future, this is the extraordinary story of one of nature's humblest, most powerful, and most ubiquitous materials. Told by a geologist with a novelist's sense of language and narrative, Sand examines the science--sand forensics, the physics of granular materials, sedimentology, paleontology and archaeology, planetary exploration--and at the same time explores the rich human context of sand. Interwoven with tales of artists, mathematicians, explorers, and even a vampire, the story of sand is an epic of environmental construction and destruction, an adventure in staggering scales of time and distance, yet a tale that encompasses the ordinary and everyday. Sand, in fact, is all around us--it has made possible our computers, buildings and windows, toothpaste, cosmetics, and paper, and it has played dramatic roles in human history, commerce, and imagination. In this luminous, kinetic, revelatory account, we do indeed find the world in a grain of sand.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Welland's eye-opening, even poetic story of sand, science writing as entertaining as it is profound, reveals the interconnectivity of life on Earth and beyond as he describes the sands of Mars and muses, 'Sand and dust are the stuff the universe is made of.'" - Booklist.

"Anyone who has walked on a beach, run up a sand dune, or built a sand castle will be fascinated by this excellent book." - Library Journal.

This information about Sand was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Michael Hobday

Sand - Welland
Anybody who believes that sand is composed of uniform, rounded
grains of quartz whose main use is to make cement and glass will not
have read Michael Welland's recent book, entitled simply, "Sand". In the
book Welland sets out to answer the questions: Sand? What is it?
What use is it? Where does it come from? How did it get there? He
answers these questions as perhaps only an ardent enthusiast can, and
along the way he answers a hundred other questions cataloging the
properties, uses and beauties of this ubiquitous, essential, constituent
of our planet (and its immediate neighbors)

He describes the erosion of a grain of sand in the mountains and we
follow its progress to the sea along a river system, we track its path
from offshore sand bar to sand bank to beach until it is eventually
deposited in the ocean deep where it awaits its turn for eventual
relithification, uplift and cycle repeat. His description of onshore sand
dunes and sand seas is enhanced by personal observations from his
work with the British Geological Survey in Oman and his work in the
Sahara

With the help of "geological forensics" Welland explains that we can
unravel the history of sand assemblages stretching back over
numerous erosional/depositional cycles, while at the same time
admitting that that are still a few intriguing gaps in our knowledge that
remain to be solved

The style is modern-light, and the book is written with humour. It is
more Bill Bryson than university lecture and all the more enjoyable for
that. The extensive bibliography gives some idea of the research
involved, and judging by the interesting asides that remain, one can see
that one of Mike's main problems was deciding what to leave out of the
final manuscript rather than what to include. A book for the inquisitive
-minded amateur, it is obviously a labour of love

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Michael Welland

Michael Welland is a geologist who has worked around the world in the energy industry. He is a fellow of the Geological Societies of America and London and the Royal Society for the Arts and Commerce.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more science, health and the environment...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Goose
    The Book of Goose
    by Yiyun Li
    Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose is a story of childhood friendship between narrator Agnès, a one-...
  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.