The World and Its Wonders

So we all know what a volcano is, and a tornado. And most of us know about tsunamis. But jökulhlaups? Icelanders know. For the rest of us, the place to find out about jökulhlaups — and, literally, anything else on earth — is the 'Oxford Companion to the Earth' (Oxford University Press; 1,174 pages), a well-illustrated volume dripping with fascinating stuff about our planet, inside and out. The Companion, edited by two geologists, Brian J. Skinner and the late Paul L. Hancock, will interest not only experts in the field but general readers who wouldn't know their Pleistocene from their Cenozoic....