If you like a day at the beach — and who does not? — you can find lots of books that will enhance your experience by telling you about the birds, the fish, the plants and even the bugs you will encounter there.
But what about the beach itself?
What is it made of? (The answer is not always “sand.”) How did it form? How does it change? Can it be preserved? Unless you want to pack your beach bag with a geology text or a manual of coastal engineering, your options for answering these questions are not so good. Four coastal scientists, three from the United States and one from Northern Ireland, have come to the aid of the beach curious with “The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline,” a comprehensive, readable guide to the physical features of many kinds of beaches and some of the threats they face.
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