Walking along the water's edge, who among us has not stopped to admire the evocatively patterned, shaped, and multihued stones that beckon? Fun to collect and free for the taking, beach stones are objects of contemplation, beauty, and sentiment. This exquisite volume-at once a gorgeous art book and a nature guide-presents more than 200 exceptional stones from around the world and describes the fascinating natural processes that produced them. Photographer and installation artist Josie Iselin, who uses a flatbed scanner to generate her imagery, has arranged these stones with great artistry, and nature writer Margaret Carruthers yields their secrets, revealing, for instance, that a pebble from Maine was created 400 million years ago during the birth of a great mountain range. Art lovers and beachcombing spirits everywhere will cherish this gift book.