This unique book aptly discusses ""the extraordinary ways in which the world works."" It's like reading the encyclopedia, but more fun. It's something like a quiz show, too. Campbell and Rood attempt to answer the most commonly asked questions about the basics of earth science from patrons of the New York Public Library. A question-and-answer format divided into categories (""The Beginning of the Universe,"" ""The Beginning of Life,"" ""Volcanoes,"" etc.) allows readers to skip to a chosen topic, but many will read this creative reference book from beginning to end. The accurate black-and-white illustrations and diagrams cleverly draw those skimming the book right into the text, with conversational sidebars that are also full of facts. A fascinating book and a must for inquisitive readers, possibly motivating browsers to learn more about the earth.