Vesuvius: History of the Volcano – a review

This is going to be a review on the shorter side today, because I know a lot fewer people will be interested in this book compared to my usual reviews. Not only is this book non-fiction, which the online bookish world isn’t as keen on (which breaks my little heart) but it’s also in the style of a kids textbook and covers the topic of Mount Vesuvius. See? Told you this wouldn’t be up your alley. But I still want to talk about why I loved this book.

Vesuvius: History of the volcano and it’s eruptions

This book doesn’t even have a listed author, because it’s just a little touristy book to pick up when you’re visiting Naples, Sorrento or Vesuvius itself. That’s where I picked this up! At the shop just before you start upon the trail up the volcano to the summit. I’ve been up this volcano a number of times, and I picked this up when I was 19 (so back in 2016) and last visited the site with my parents. It’s taken me a fair bit of time to get around to it, but I’m kinda glad about that, because it’s allowed me to have a pretty different viewpoint on this.

Since I bought this book I started and finished an MSc in GeoHazards where my thesis focus was actually on Vesuvius, and reading this after I had carried out my studies meant I could really appreciate the accuracy of the information and how scientific and detailed it was without being too complex. It reminded me of the non-fiction books I would read as a child because I was so so interested and whilst some of the information was even new to me (you tend to hyperfocus for a thesis, don’t @ me) at no point does it overwhelm the reader, nor does it talk down to them. Instead it states the facts in a clear and understandable manner whilst also being engaging for a non-fiction reader.

In essence, I was quite surprised by this book. I had expected it to be fluff, or to be boring. But no. I judged it!! Literally the only fault I had with this book was that it had been translated from Italian and clearly hadn’t been done by a native speaker because some sections were a little weird. But nothing that wasn’t understandable and it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. If you’ve somehow made it to the end of this review and are vaguely interested, I really do recommend this little book!

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