In WEIT I mention, in the recommended reading at the end, Donald Prothero’s new book, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters, published by Columbia University Press. Prothero, a professor of geology at Occidental College in California, is a prolific writer, having produced or co-produced 26 books, most of them on paleobiology.
I don’t think that What the Fossils Say has gotten nearly the attention it deserves, so I wanted to give it a shout-out here. It is simply the best existing book on the evidence for evolution from fossils; there is no competitor. It lays out, for the educated layperson, not only the process of fossilization and the biases it imposes on our knowledge of ancient life, but also discusses systematics, how fossils are used to infer genealogy, and (my favorite part), the evidence. All the favorite transitional forms are there, in nice detail, and many that are not as well known. Prothero does not shy away from engaging creationists–he uses the evidence against their wrongheaded claims at every turn. The writing is superb, the illustrations (many by the great Carl Buell) are a joy. Everybody with an interest in biology and evolution–whether you be a professional or a layperson–should buy and read this book! If you have any doubts, check all the positive reviews on Amazon.