Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Books!!...(but not appropriate for the Lake Erie coast...)

 Uh...it's kinda cold there, eh?

My good friend Jessica at the Princeton University Press always had a sense of humor...she's moved on and Andrew is carrying on the tradition of sending me great books to review...and a few odd ones thrown in for fun. As you know, I'm a little behind(Ha! that's a BFB pun!)...anyway here's the beginning of the books I've received this summer...oh yeah...there's more to come!

So...living on the "north coast" as we call the shores of the lake so scary we call it Erie, we have plenty of swimming, boating, birding and even diving available to us. If you are REALLY brave and adventurous( and like bathing in ice water) oh, do we have a series of books for you.

First is "The Antarctic Dive Guide" by Lisa Eareckson Kelley. When I first received this, I just laughed and thought "Really? Dive in ice cubes?" I don't even like birding on the lakefront in January looking for silly gray and white birds, but after browsing through this guide, I became hypnotized. I didn't realize how much wildlife is above and below the water and ice.

The guide starts with the history of diving beginning in 1902...who'd a thought! It continues with planning a dive trip and what to expect on your visit waaaaay down under, info on Leopard Seals(my what sharp teeth they have!), photography, the life you'll see and a wonderful guide to the dive sites.

This book turned out to be much more than I had expected. If you're into scuba diving and dream of the ultimate dive, you really need to get this one!

(By the way, I'm still afraid of water and can't swim, so you won't see me in the drink.)
 Gotta love those Pengweenies!

Staying in the chilly south, "Antarctic Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide" by James Lowen would be a great companion to the above title! This is a big switch from his last guide to the Pantanal in Brazil!

If you ever plan to take a cruise to the Antarctic, this would be an invaluable resource to have in your pack. Well illustrated and easy to read, it covers the environments you'll be visiting, info on the tourism and a great breakdown of the wildlife in each area to make you better prepared. There's also a month by month breakdown to give you an even better idea of what can be seen. From mammals, to whales and dolphins to seabirds(lots of gray and white things) to those wonders of nature, the penguins, Mr. Lowe has down a fantastic job in writing this guide to make your trip a more memorable one.

I want to see a penguin now!...and not at the zoo...and best of all, there's no stoopid chipmunks there!

Ahhhh...warm water!

"Offshore Sea Life ID Guide" by Steve N.G. Howell and Brian Sullivan is a wonderful pocket guide for folks going on their first pelagic trip to see some amazing wildlife of the west coast shores...wher it's MUCH warmer than Antarctica! 

If you're a Cornell Lab member, you'll be familiar with these two and their work. This compact guide is a must if you're planning a trip to catch sight of orcas, whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and of course those birds you can't see from shore!

It simply lists the marine mammals, seabirds and even the jellyfish you are likely to see on your visit to those warm waters off the coast of California, Washington and Oregon. This will give you a great head start before you get on the water and become over excited and overwhelmed with everything you see! I love a nice simple book to use on a first visit!

(I should also mention the availability of an east coast version of this guide...)
I might even look at some of those crazy gully things...


I gave a copy of "A Pocket Guide to Sharks of the World" by David A. Ebert, Sarah Fowler and Marc Dando to The Doodles nephew Jett...a connoisseur of all thing with sharp teeth. He absolutely loved this book! As he was going through it, he was searching Google for more photos and information on some of these sharks and was sharing this info with the whole family.

When you can captivate someone in elementary school so quickly and thoroughly, you know you've done a good job. This guide starts with the very basics on these misunderstood animals with the biology and ecology, then follows with the topography of a shark and one of Jett's favorites, a guide to their teeth...as good as dinosaurs! 

Though not really designed for children, this is a great book to show that there is much more than the myths of great white sharks attacking swimmers. I never knew that there are 501 species of shark, from the camouflaged Wobbegongs to Whale Sharks, everything you need to know about these sea creatures is in this guide.
Now I'm all set to get in the water anywhere in the world!



  1. Well, I don't think I need any of these pocket guides! Some valuable stuff is written for a very narrow interest and obviously some of this stuff is very well written.