Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Deserts: A Very Short Introduction” as Want to Read:
Deserts: A Very Short Introduction
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Deserts: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #215)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  22 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Deserts make up a third of the planet's land surface, but if you picture a desert, what comes to mind? A sandy wasteland? A drought-parched dust bowl? An alien landscape devoid of all life forms? In this marvelous Very Short Introduction, geographer and popular science writer Nick Middleton reveals that deserts are places of immense natural charm and rich biodiversity. ...more
Paperback, 135 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Deserts, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Deserts

Community Reviews

(showing 1-52)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bojan Tunguz
Oct 22, 2011 Bojan Tunguz rated it really liked it
The first thing that comes to one's mind when thinking about deserts are the vast expenses of sandy dunes, with an occasional palm-tree oasis and a few hardy souls on camel backs traversing them. This romantic image has more than a grain of truth to it, but deserts are in fact very diverse geographical areas. This very short introduction aims to explore deserts and explain what makes them so unique and fascinating. Despite what one may think, deserts as geographical locations are not that easy ...more
Intikhab
Sep 02, 2010 Intikhab rated it liked it
Nick Middleton has masterly covered the great varieties within deserts, their climates, landscapes, wildlife, and human use. The book covers in sufficient details of various types of deserts, which are climatically subdivided into deserts with cold winters, coastal deserts, and hot deserts. I found it an interesting read. It tracks mankind's spiritual links with deserts as the world's all the three great religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - have had their origins in desert. The book ...more
Mahendranath Ramakrishnan
Jul 29, 2015 Mahendranath Ramakrishnan rated it really liked it
Very good book. The author Nick Middleton manages to get across his idea to the reader that contrary to popular cultural depictions of a desert as a bleak, desolate and unforgiving landscape, a desert is a very unique ecosystem with organisms that have armed themselves with fantastic adaptions to thrive in such harsh climates. More importantly, Nick writes that deserts have played a great role in human evolution and the dawn of civilization. Some of the world's oldest and grandest civilizations ...more
Usfromdk
Aug 24, 2016 Usfromdk rated it liked it
Closer to two stars than four; some parts of the publication were a bit too pop-science-y for my taste and some of the content covering human geography aspects in particular I considered to be somewhat weak. I definitely take issue with the author's decision not to cover polar regions (Antarctica in particular) in a book like this, but I did not subtract any stars because of this decision. Given the page-count devoted to the topic, I think the author spends too much time telling us what specific ...more
Nazmul Hasan
Apr 27, 2015 Nazmul Hasan rated it liked it
Middleton is through in this exposition. He is careful to present factual information in an interesting way, and the book never seems to be bogged down by sheer facts that the reader would otherwise be annoyed by. Middleton's coverage goes beyond the desert as a place with a lot of sand. He discusses what deserts mean to people, possible theories of how deserts formed, select animals and plants which show a fascinating tendency to adapt, and other, page turning nuggets of information about the ...more
Darlene
May 10, 2012 Darlene rated it really liked it
Oxford's Very Short Introduction series is wonderful. Written by experts in the field, these little books pack a lot into few pages. The authors of the ones I've read, including Deserts, express a passion for their subject and inspire critical thinking unlike most introductory materials.
Darren
Nov 17, 2011 Darren rated it really liked it
I read it on the bus. If it was much longer, I probably wouldn't have read it. Now I know more about deserts.
Connor Davies
Connor Davies rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2016
Irene Niessen
Irene Niessen rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2015
Nicole
Nicole rated it liked it
Jun 29, 2016
Bill Kte'pi
Bill Kte'pi rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2014
James Lyons
James Lyons rated it liked it
Aug 12, 2014
Lauren
Lauren rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2016
Katrina Hill
Katrina Hill rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2015
Tim Goodacre
Tim Goodacre rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2013
Gareth
Gareth rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2015
Lydia Roman
Lydia Roman rated it really liked it
Oct 15, 2016
Andrzej
Andrzej rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2013
Isaac
Isaac rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2011
Erik
Erik rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2013
Peter
Peter rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2015
Shweta Sridhar
Shweta Sridhar rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2014
Geneviève
Geneviève marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2011
Chelsey
Chelsey marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2011
elle i
elle i added it
Dec 12, 2011
Desiree
Desiree marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2012
abcdefg
abcdefg marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
Allen
Allen marked it as to-read
Oct 09, 2012
Yinzadi
Yinzadi marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2012
Ian Scuffling
Ian Scuffling marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2012
Naomi
Naomi marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2012
Ali Don
Ali Don marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2013
Cassandra Troyan
Cassandra Troyan marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2013
Sarah Yaksic
Sarah Yaksic marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2013
Thea
Thea marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2013
Hydn
Hydn marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2013
Ali
Ali marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2013
Alice Geradine
Alice Geradine marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2013
Ethar Mahmoud
Ethar Mahmoud marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2013
James
James marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2013
Mario
Mario marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2013
Steve
Steve marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2016
Hasnaa
Hasnaa marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2014
Joelle Gilbert
Joelle Gilbert marked it as to-read
May 28, 2014
Meryki
Meryki marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
Nina Salvo
Nina Salvo marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2014
Alex
Alex marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
Jonathan
Jonathan marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
Busch
Busch marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Nick Middleton is a British physical geographer and supernumerary fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. He specialises in desertification.

Nick Middleton was born in London, England. As a geographer, he has travelled to more than 50 countries. Going to Extremes is a television programme for Channel 4 about extreme lifestyles, in which Middleton experiences life in the hostile conditions other cultur
...more
More about Nick Middleton...

Other Books in the Series

Very Short Introductions (1 - 10 of 449 books)
  • A Very Short Introduction to Everything
  • Classics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Music: A Very Short Introduction
  • Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction
  • Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Psychology: A Very Short Introduction
  • Islam: A Very Short Introduction
  • Politics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Theology: A Very Short Introduction

Share This Book