Ghosts of Vesuvius

Charles Pellegrino: Born May 5, 1953, in New York, NY; son of John and Jane Pellegrino; children: three. Engaged to Mary, the soon to be last Mrs. Pellegrino. (from his official website)
Recently he has become a controversial figure as his claims to a PhD have been revealed to be false, and numerous details from his books are being challenged. Wikipedia is a good place to start.

Ghosts of Vesuvius by

It is hard to blurb this book. On the one hand it is about Vesuvius and volcanic explosions and disasters both natural and man-made. But it is also a book about the origins of the earth, of the universe, and about how precarious our existence is. How so much of what we are today is dependent on natural events a thousand years ago, or a millennia ago, or so long ago that it is almost pointless to count the time because it is so difficult to grasp those sort of numbers.