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From its straightforward title, one would never guess what an idiosyncratic book this is. It includes selected topics in fluid dynamics, sediment transport, and physical chemistry; case studies in sedimentary geology, mostly from the author's own research; and anecdotes from the author's long career in industry and academia. Many of the latter are presented in conversational form.

The book starts and ends well, with compelling, personal appeals for the importance of analytical thinking and creativity in geology. It is erratic in between.