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[Top 5] Best Book For Soil Mechanics Of 2023 Reviews

As an expert in foundation design and repair, I have read many books on soil mechanics. Then, I found great books to develop deep learning over the years. 

Besides, I have improved my work. Also, these books cover many topics, from the basics of soil mechanics to advanced geotechnical engineering and concepts. 

In this review, I will share the best book for soil mechanics. Also, I found them the most informative and practical. So let’s discover what they are!

Our Top Picks 

The Best Book For Soil Mechanics In-Depth Reviews

The best books for Geotechnical Engineering make studying soil much more convenient. Here are my picks: 

#1. Geotechnical Engineers Portable Handbook – Best Overall

Best Overall (link)

Important Specifications

Item Weight2.01 pounds
Paperback1088 pages
Dimensions5 x 1.4 x 8 inches

Product Highlights

I highly suggest the book to anyone studying or working in this field. This book has received many positive reviews. Honestly, I consider it the top book on soil mechanics myself.

First, it’s a valuable buy for a basic repair and design practitioner like myself. I’ve always needed a quick and easy field guide. This book has all the information to make design and analysis decisions. Thus, it becomes an all-inclusive source.

Also, I know people who have passed the Civil Geotechnical PE exam, even those who didn’t read the book carefully. So, they find this an essential part of their exam preparation. It is an important factor to pass the exam on the first try.

It is an essential reference for engineers. Also, it has helped me and many others prepare for exams. So I’ve taken it as the industry’s permanent reference.

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What We Like

  • Cover everything
  • Easy to understand
  • Well organized

Thing To Consider

  • Slightly expensive

#2. Geotechnical Modelling – Best for Approachability

Best for Approachability (link)

Important Specifications

Item Weight2.01 pounds
Paperback1088 pages
Dimensions5 x 1.4 x 8 inches

Product Highlights

Working in foundation design and repair, I recently read this book. What I enjoyed about it was the expertise and ability of the author. 

Specifically, he created a modern treatise on this subject. As an aside, I find it a must-have for any graduate course in MEng or teaching.

Besides, the author’s ability to explain complex concepts readily stood out. Also, the book covers the theoretical basis and practical application. 

Moreover, it includes detailed case studies and usable examples. So, they help me apply learned concepts to real-life contexts.

Besides that, the book focuses on practical applications. So it is a helpful help for my job. In short, it provides a wealth of knowledge.

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What We Like

  • Accessible
  • Many information
  • Includes detailed case studies and examples

Thing To Consider

  • Poor print quality

#3. Geotechnical Engineering Investigation Handbook – Best for Practice

Best for Practice (link)

Important Specifications

Item Weight4.85 pounds
Hardcover1102 pages
Dimensions7 x 2.25 x 10 inches

Product Highlights

I must say that I am very impressed with the technical information level. Written by a famous geotechnical engineer, it covers most of the major work areas. Besides, these include survey ways for both sites- and area-specific estimates.

First, it highlights the nature of this topic. Specifically, the author stresses you cannot solve problems with a single discipline. So this view is helpful to me, who is still trying to learn the scope of this field.

Another notable aspect of the book is its practicality. Typically, the author provides many helpful tips and advice throughout the project. 

They go from planning to implementation during the daily review of upcoming field results, evaluation, and performance. Thus, I find this very helpful. 

Besides, it highlights safety. The author states safety is critical in this process. Also, he provides a wealth of details on how to ensure safety.

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What We Like

  • Practice
  • Focus on safety
  • Highlight the nature of this topic.

Thing To Consider

  • Not easily accessible 

#4. Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering – Best for Comprehensiveness

Best for Depth and Comprehensiveness (link)

Important Specifications

Item Weight4.58 pounds
Hardcover704 pages
Dimensions8.5 x 1.5 x 12 inches

Product Highlights

As an avid reader and deeply interested in this field, I picked up this book by Professor Towhata. Then, I was fascinated by its depth and comprehensiveness.

First, its timeliness impressed me. It’s been almost a decade since Professor Kramer made a similar effort, and the up-to-date and distinctive style of noting content levels is helpful. 

And as someone working in this field, I can attest that the details in this book are relevant and up-to-date. Besides, graphic descriptions are throughout the book. 

They are brief, making it easy to understand the concepts presented. Also, the hardcopy presentation of the book makes it a must-have notebook.

Moreover, the author has provided an email address through which he comments and responds promptly. It shows GS Towhata’s devotion to ensuring the book is as helpful and accurate as possible. Thus, I have presented several copies to close colleagues and students.

I must admit that the book is quite large and has many pages. So overcoming it is not an easy task. But the details provided are well worth the effort. 

The book covers many topics on earthquake engineering in a broad way. So it becomes an ideal help for practicing experts and teachers.

In short, the cost through Amazon is exceptionally reasonable, and you won’t be disappointed. Now, this book has become a staple in my library. I believe it will also be in yours.

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What We Like

  • Relevant information
  • Easy to understand
  • In-depth and thorough

Thing To Consider

  • Quite heavy for the number of pages

#5. Forensic Geotechnical and Foundation Engineering – Best for Ease of Reading and Understanding

Best for Ease of Reading and Understanding (link)

Important Specifications

Item Weight1.87 pounds
Hardcover528 pages
Dimensions6.3 x 1.23 x 9.3 inches

Product Highlights

Honestly, I have read “Forensic Geotechnical and Foundation Engineering” by Robert Day, and I agree with the rave reviews this book has received. 

It is the best resource if you are interested in geoengineering. Besides that, I find it a valuable addition to my library.

First, I love how the author included many photos and diagrams. They are to accompany the case studies discussed. So this feature makes the book much easier to read and understand. 

Also, it is invaluable when learning about complex topics like soil mechanics. So I appreciated that the book wasn’t too technical or full of equations. 

But it still provides a lot of valuable information on the cause of the failure, indications, and methods of remedial action.

Besides, I especially liked how the book tackles a variety of flaws. Hence, this benefit makes it an excellent resource for forensic geoengineering. 

As a foundation design and repair practitioner, I have found the discussions on soil and foundation-related items very detailed and informative. 

Also, the book offers a lot of perspectives on the subject. So I want to emphasize that this is very helpful.

In short, I agree that this book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and practicing engineers. Thus, it is informative and applicable.

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What We Like

  • Lots of pictures and diagrams
  • Easy to read and understand
  • Provide information on failure causes, indications, and remedial methods.

Thing To Consider

  • Not suitable for professionals

Buying Guides: How To Buy The Best Book For Soil Mechanics

Buying the best book for this topic can be a daunting task. But you can select one that meets your needs by considering key factors. Here are my tips:


As a reader, it is essential to consider the author when choosing the best book for some reasons.

First, an author’s qualifications and experience can affect the quality of information. Also, a good author with vast knowledge in the field can provide a more detailed version of the subject.


Next, the content review is also critical. In short, the book content should cover all the related topics.

  • Soil effects
  • Soil type
  • Earth behavior
  • Types of soil testing and analysis

So, they ensure that the reader has a thorough knowledge of the subject matter. Besides, the content must be relevant to current engineering practices.

Honestly, it is an ever-evolving field. So it is essential to have access to the latest research and growth in this field.

Clarity And Comprehensiveness

First, the clarity of the writing style can affect your learning. So a good book with clear explanations and examples. As a result, they can make the material easier to remember.

Besides, it will provide the reader with a solid basis. So this platform will allow readers to build on their understanding of the topic. Hence, they can then apply the concepts to real-world situations and pursue further research in the field.


This subject is technical, and the slang and lingo are complex. So it can be difficult for the reader to follow and understand the document. Thus, choose a book with clear, brief language that is easy to understand.

Besides, the language used in the book must be suitable for the intended audience. This field can be for many audiences, including students, researchers, and practicing engineers.

So a book written for beginners may use more basic language and terminology. Meanwhile, books written for experienced experts can use more technical language and advanced concepts.


First, newer editions of soil mechanics books often contain updated information, research, and advancements in the field. So the latest edition may provide more accurate information than the older one.

Second, a newer edition may contain additional or revised material. So it can improve the reader’s understanding of the subject. 

Thus, it can be essential if you are studying soil mechanics at an advanced level or use this book as a reference for your work.


Reputable publishers often have higher standards for the book quality they produce. Besides, they usually have a team of experienced editors and proofreaders. These people will edit the book before it is published. Hence, this process can ensure that the book is clear and error-free.


Lastly, reviews from readers who have used the book can provide a strengths and weaknesses assessment.

Also, those reviews can help you determine if the book is for your expertise level. So you will be aware of any errors or inconsistencies in the book.


Is It Essential To Study Soil Mechanics?

Yes, the study of this topic is essential for experts in the fields:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Building

In short, understanding this field is critical to designing and building safe and stable structures such as buildings, bridges, and highways.

What Is The Purpose Of Soil Mechanics?

Soil mechanics aims to study soil behavior and its interaction with structures and foundations. It provides insight into soil effects and features. 

Hence, you will know its strength, stiffness, and deformation. They are essential for designing and constructing safe and stable structures in civil engineering and building.

What Are Types Of Soil Mechanics?

There are several types of soil mechanics:

  • Properties
  • Classification
  • Compaction
  • Dynamics
  • Interaction between soil and structure

They provide a basis for understanding soil behavior and its interaction with the built environment.

What Are The Basics Of Soil Mechanics?

The basics of this field are concerned with understanding the physical properties of soil

  • Ingredient
  • Density
  • Humidity

Also, it is concerned with soil behavior under different loads and stresses.

What Is The Difference Between Soil Mechanics And Soil Engineering?

Soil mechanics is a branch of engineering mechanics that deals with soil under various loads and stresses. 

Meanwhile, the last one focuses on practical applications of soil mechanics principles. Also, they are in the design and construction of civil engineering projects such as buildings, bridges, and highways.


In summary, some great books on soil mechanics are available in the market. My choices all provide a wealth of factual information with comprehensive coverage. 

These include tables, charts, and diagrams. They feature real-world examples and case studies. For geotechnical engineers who want a comprehensive, practical, and easy-to-carry reference, the Geotechnical Engineer’s Handbook is a great choice. 

Besides, this best book for soil mechanics covers all the essential topics in soil mechanics and geoengineering in a concise and accessible format. Thus, it becomes an ideal resource for both students and professionals.

So what are you waiting for? Add it to your cart today!

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