If you are looking to find out more about sharks, there are some great books written on the subject. Whether you want to learn more about shark biology from marine biologists, hear adventures about researchers studying sharks in the field, or learn about what you can do to promote shark conservation, there are hundreds of books on the subject.
Unfortunately, like a lot of our media, many shark books like the famous books Jaws or Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence, only serve to reinforce the negative stereotypes that sharks are vicious man-eaters. So we’ve put together a brief guide of the 3 best books to read learn the truth about sharks. So here are our favorite books about sharks to add to your reading list:
Blue Meridian: The Search For The Great White Shark By Peter Matthiessen
Written by National Book award-winning naturalist Peter Matthiessen, Blue Meridian: The Search For The Great White Shark, is a biographical account of 17 month ocean journey to find the Great White Shark. The trek takes Matthiessen and his crew all over the planet from the Carribean to South Africa to Southern Australia and into the Indian Ocean. Though the primary mission of the crew is to find the mythic Great White Shark, they also come across a variety of other sharks like Blue and Tiger Sharks.
This adventure-packed book, describes the difficulties researchers face when trying to find Great White Sharks in their natural habitat. They deal with everything from inclement weather to technical issues to even strained relationships from being alone at sea together for so long. One of the most amazing scenes in the book is when Matthiessen describes the thrill of swimming in open water with sharks. The story leading up to when they finally meet the Great White Shark is a fascinating read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of taking a trek across the ocean to look for sharks.
Finally, when the book climaxes and the crew meets the Great White Shark, Matthiessen’s description is incredible. With just a some lights and aluminum submersion cage, Matthiessen and his crew get up close and personal with the Great White Shark. The encounter is both tense and full of wonder, and brings the reader face to face with this amazing creature. So it also a great book for people who love Great White Sharks.
The Secret Life Of Sharks By Peter Klimley
The Secret Life Of Sharks is widely regarded as one of the best books on shark behavior and biology. Peter Klimley is a world-renowned marine biologist and author who was one of the first shark researchers to ever free-dive with sharks, sometimes in schools of hundreds. The Secret Life Of Sharks focuses primarily on Klimley’s work with Hammerhead Sharks. He focuses most of the book on his first-hand observations of their behavior.
Klimley’s narrative is part research study/part detective story and a very humorous and fun read. As he recounts his encounters with sharks, he adds fun quips like calling the Great White Shark the “athlete” of the shark world because of its impressive physical feats, while the Hammerhead is the “PhD” because of its high intelligence. The book covers everything from shark social behaviors to their biological traits and their feeding habits and is a great read for people who want to learn more about sharks.
The book ends with an important dialogue about how sharks are deeply misunderstood by humans. Klimley argues that sharks are not ferocious man eaters, but are in fact interesting creatures that we know very little about. He then makes a strong argument for conservation, exposing the threats of overfishing, environmental destruction, and human fear on the populations of sharks. So in the end it is also one of the best books to read if you’d like to learn more about shark conservation.
Sharks Of The World: A Fully Illustrated Field Guide By David A. Ebert, Sarah Fowler, Leonard Campagno, and Marc Dando
Sharks of the World: A Fully Illustrated Field Guide is the definitive book on sharks. It covers over 500 different species of sharks and pools nearly 100 years of combined expertise between world-renown sharks conservationists and researchers David Ebert, Sarah Fowler, and Leonardo Compagno from over 10 years of collaboration. The book is gorgeously illustrated in full color by Marc Dando and can help you learn everything you ever wanted to know about the different species of sharks of the world.
The book was originally designed to help promote conversation and enforce international protection laws by helping fisherman and lay people identify different sharks. The book is a field guide that can be used to identify different species of sharks, as well as a comprehensive encyclopedia that includes information about their biology, habitat, and diet. Sharks of the World is incredibly easy to read and not only contains illustrations but informational charts, graphs, and gorgeous full-color photography. It features nearly every species of known shark, including newly discovered sharks that do not have taxonomic descriptions yet.
It is an incredibly comprehensive book that you can use as a reference book or for casual reading. The book is not only rich with information, it is easy to use and well organized into quickly to navigate the different sections. With the gorgeous illustrations, it is a book that both adults and children can enjoy. So if you are looking for an easy-to-read book to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the diversity of shark species, Sharks of the World is a great option for your bookshelf.
These are just our three favorite books to read on sharks. However if you are looking for other options check out Sharkwater by Rob Stewart, Great White: The Majesty of Sharks by Chris Fallows, Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks by Julie Eilperin, and The Natural History of Sharks by Thomas H Lineaweaver III and Richard H. Backus. All of these books are scientifically accurate, promote conservation, and will help you learn the real story about sharks. So the next time you are looking to relax and enjoy a little reading, grab one of these great reads on sharks.