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Grounded: How soil shapes the games we play, the lives we make and the graves we lie in

Alisa Bryce

Life on land could not exist without soil. Almost everything we need can be traced to the soil: food, fibre, medicines – even oxygen produced by plants. What would we be without it? Certainly not a planet worthy of the name Earth.

There are already plenty of books about agriculture, ecology or how to grow tomatoes. This book is about the other stuff. Like…

  • how soil evidence can nail a murderer
  • the ingredients that make a Test cricket pitch
  • how the soil affects the taste of your favourite wine
  • the soil microbes that could be the next wonder drug
  • tips for digging a POW camp escape tunnel (disclaimer: don’t try it at home) or mounting an invasion of Normandy (ditto)
  • how to be ecofriendly when you’re dead

In the unputdownable Grounded, soil scientist Alisa Bryce gives you the dirt on all this—and much, much more.


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Alisa Bryce
About the Author

Alisa Bryce is a soil scientist with a BSc in agriculture from the University of Sydney and a Masters from the University of Cambridge. She likes digging holes, analysing soil, playing with soil, writing about soil and patting dogs.

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Text publication date:
2 August 2022
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Praise for Alisa Bryce

‘Lively and entertaining…Grounded is a terrific primer to the world of soil. It will be appreciated by the non-expert citizen scientist and is the perfect present for those curious about the world around them. After reading Grounded, you will never look at soil the same way again.’

‘No, I did not think that I would need to read a book about soil, but oh, I loved it…It’s a triumph. Just wonderful.’

‘Bryce’s enthusiasm for her subject is certainly contagious as she delves into the significance of soil.’

‘When describing something as apparently commonplace as soil, a writer might be forgiven for unleashing all their rhetorical strategies to enliven the topic. But as Alisa Bryce shows us in her book Grounded, soil isn’t commonplace at all—rather, it is a teeming wonderland beneath our feet, an archive of earth and human history and a living pharmacopoeia. It needs to dressing up in order to fascinate and entertain.’

‘[Alisa Bryce succeeds] in her aim of making the reader think differently about soil…[with an] engaging writing style.’

‘An EFFing good book: Educative, Fascinating and Fun.’

‘In [Alisa Bryce’s] hands, these soil stories are thoroughly entertaining…[and] very accessible…You don’t need to be a soil nerd to make like a worm and get into it.’

‘Amusing, fascinating and erudite in a lighthearted way, rather like the work of Dr Karl…with a lot of wisdom and humour.’

Other editions ofGrounded
  • Grounded
    ISBN: 9781922459947
    2 August 2022
    Buy ebook