Fossil record: Book recommended
Ages ago (in February, really), someone wrote to me wanting to know of a good book on the fossil record. I received this reply, but have, in the meantime, lost track of the questioner's e-mail address. So I am putting up the answer here:
Paleobotany (the study of ancient plants) is a fascinating area, if you enjoy gardening. Plants like Boston ferns, a mainstay of a shade garden, date from about 300 million years ago.
For invertebrates and those are the most common ones, I would start with
Clarkson's Invertebrate Paleontology.
Clarkson gives you a good feel for what is known and does not just give
a simple story.
For my area of Paleobotany I might start with Paleobotany by
Taylor, Taylor, and Kringle 2009. It is a big tome but looks like it
covers much of the area. Actually I would first find a copy of Bold's
Morphology of Vascular Plants. He has a great philosophy.