Glaciers and Glaciation by Douglas Benn and David Evans is an excellent review of the current theory and underlying principles of glacier science. It is copiously illustrated with black and white photographs, line drawings, diagrams, charts, and graphs. The writing is technical, but the ideas involved are clearly and methodically presented. The organizational structure of the book is comprehensive and logical, helping the reader comprehend and absorb fundamental concepts.
The book is designed for those with a serious interest in science. It would be appropriate, for example, for college students who have had an introductory course in geology and know that they wish to continue studying one of the earth sciences. It is also appropriate for professionals like myself, who are not geologists, but who have a strong interest in the earth sciences and wish to learn more about glaciers and glaciation.
The book may be accessible for people without a science background if they are willing to absorb the high rate of new vocabulary and concepts that the text presents. The first chapter on glacier systems and those in the second half of the book dealing with glacial landforms may be particularly satisfying in this regard. Even the more difficult chapters, like those on glacier motion, may be absorbing if people can visualize how the glacier slides, changes shape, and pours like a thick syrup over obstructions.
I found the book to be fascinating. It took me 71 hours over a period of several months to read the entire 640 pages of text and study the many diagrams and other illustrations the book has to offer. By applying what I have learned from Benn and Evans, I have been able to interpret certain sand and gravel deposits in my area as probable subaqueous outwash fans deposited by the retreat of the last ice sheet here in Maine. This interpretation needs to be verified by others more qualified than myself, but I could not have hoped to come up with an hypothesis of this nature without the knowledge gained in reading this text.
The book has abundant references, as it is in many ways a review of the current literature and thinking on the subject. It does not deal with the current debate about climate change, nor does it deal primarily with glacial history. Instead, it excels in its main purpose as a clear and quite technical discussion of the current principles and theory of glacier science as understood by glaciologists today.