Submitted: 03-24-2011 by pikabike
I bought "Atlantic Coast Beaches" near the beginning of a 3-month stay at a barrier island community. After walking the beach nearly every day, I am happy I read this book early on. Pretty much any geologic question I had pertaining to the beach was answered in this book, plus a bunch more about the creatures I found washed up on shore. I studied and underlined and highlighted and re-visited the book many times. I made lists of features to look for and identify. In other words, the book served as a sort of self-paced introductory class on beach formation and shaping.
Previously, I had tried to buy a copy of an out-of-print book about beaches and waves by Willard Bascom but I could not find one. I also got the impression that Bascom's book was not written for laypeople. Neal, Pilkey, and Kelley, OTOH, made their book both fascinating and easy to read. Lots of photos and illustrations help drive home the principles described in the text. Clear identification of photo locations also adds the "real life" element that sometimes is lacking in more generic treatments of the same features.
I consider this book to be a real "keeper" for all my future beach visits, regardless where on the Atlantic coast they may be. If I had read it when I was much, much younger I probably would have decided to study marine geology in college. People who live on the coast would do well to make this book required reading.
Now if only I could find a similar book on the Pacific coast!