Shearer's Introduction to Seismology is a well-written textbook designed for a onesemester introductory course in seismology for beginning graduate students or advanced undergraduates. Shearer has a knack for clear explanations and for making otherwise difficult concepts easy to understand, and this book is evidence of that.
The book is truly a textbook and does not try to be an encyclopedia or an exhaustive summary of recent research results in seismology. Each chapter starts with a brief summary of the main point that will be covered in the chapter, proceeds with clear derivations of fundamental concepts, and concludes with problem sets that give students the opportunity to apply what they have just learned. The problem sets are fun and interesting and include frequent computer programming exercises. The students learn to write their own ray tracer, code up a τ-p inversion, and make their own synthetic seismograms—important skills for practicing seismologists. Shearer helps to make programming difficult problems more manageable by providing an outline or hints for how a program might be constructed. Such outlines help show students that even complicated programs can be broken down into smaller, easier steps.