No-Holds-Barred Reviews of

Recent Shark Books

It probably comes as no surprise that I read a lot.  Fact is, I love books.  Few things thrill me more than losing myself in the text of a well researched and written book on virtually any topic in science or natural history - especially sharks.  As with meeting new people, I am naturally inclined to try to find at least one thing that I like about every book.

A lot of book reviewers seem to enjoy pointing out errors in non-fiction books.  They seem to revel in their own cleverness compared with that evidenced by the writer.  I'm more interested in considering what an author has to say and savoring how he or she says it.  Even with word processing computers and on-line reference materials, writing a book is a tremendous amount of work requiring - at very least - exceptional self-discipline to complete.  Such industry, I feel, should be respected and admired.  No one can be an expert on all things - or even all aspects of one thing, such as sharks.  Therefore, I am pleased to extend authors benefit of the doubt and not criticize too harshly should they be human enough to let an error of fact or interpretation survive their best efforts to expunge them.  After all:  I've made mistakes in print, too plenty of them.  Most people have been very kind and gentle in pointing out my errors, so I'd like to return the favor by proxy:  extending to shark book authors every consideration and benefit of doubt.

The shark books of today are generally more accurate and up-to-date than those that were spawned in the wake of JAWS.  But sharks remain a topic of perennial fascination - much like serial killers and Hollywood scandals.  And just like those darkly fascinating subjects, sharks lure their share of exploitative writers - people who care nothing about sharks or scholarship but are simply out to exploit the public's fascination with teeth and blood.  For these charlatans, I have little patience and review their work accordingly.

So here are my honest, 'pull no punches' reviews of selected shark books.  All books featured here are in print and currently available.  I hope you will find my reviews helpful when deciding which shark book to buy next or whether or not to purchase a particular book.

Happy reading. 

Book Rating System:

An absolute Must Have!
Excellent book!  A valued addition to any library.
Pretty good.  A few problems, but doesn't really interfere with the overall value of the book.
Not great, but has some unusual content not found elsewhere.  
Poor.  Recommend that you save the money for something else.


So awful that I can't describe it using "polite" language!


By Title:

Sharks in Danger: Global Shark Conservation Status with Reference to Management Plans and Legislation, by Rachel Cunningham-Day

By Author:

Cunningham-Day, Rachel Sharks in Danger: Global Shark Conservation Status with Reference to Management Plans and Legislation



Sharks in Danger: Global Shark Conservation Status with Reference to Management Plans and Legislation, by Rachel Cunningham-Day. Universal Publishers/, 2001. 226pp. 

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Shark Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Thomas B. Allen. Lyons Press, New York, 2001. 293 pp.


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Twelve Days of Terror by Richard G. Fernicola. Lyons Press, New York, 2001. 330 pp.


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Sharks & Rays: Elasmobranch Guide to the World, by Ralf Hennemann. IKAN - Unterwasserarchiv, Frankfurt, 2001. 304 pp.


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Diving With Sharks and Other Adventure Dives, by Jack Jackson. New Holland Publishers, London, 2000. 160 pp.


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Sharks of Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, by Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch. Trident Press, London, 2000. 95 pp.


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To Purchase Any of These Books:

Please contact your local, Independent  Bookseller about Special Ordering  the book(s) you want.  Independent Booksellers are the life's blood that keeps publishers and authors in Business; they  need and deserve your support.

Otherwise, try:  Natural History Book Services, or Barnes and Noble

If You'd Like One of Your Books Reviewed Here:

Publishers who would like one of their books reviewed here are invited to contact R. Aidan Martin directly to arrange for a review copy.  The only condition is that Aidan be free to express his honest, unadulterated opinion about any book submitted for review.

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ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
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