Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

Our recent visit to the History of Diving Museum Store inspired some book purchases. Their selection is varied and delightful. If you can’t make it down there, here are my top choices:

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

Ocean-Inspired Reading

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson is the “if you only read one book from this list…” it’s THIS book. If you have any interest at all in diving, this book will keep you up at night! Even if you don’t even like diving, the tale is incredible.

It is an account of identifying a mystery submarine off the coast of New York. Shadow Divers tells about the divers and people involved, and the research for records of the unidentified vessel. I hate to say much more, because it is an incredible mystery, and I don’t want to spoil it for you!

Historical information about who was on the U boat covers fact-finding across the globe. I also found fascinating the ethical treatment of underwater sites, and the souvenir-hunting mentality.

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

Conservation and Environment

The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson is not only is a pleasurable read, but also a practical guide for identifying sea life. This is an excellent introduction to marine biology based on her extensive studies.

Her books have been rediscovered with the current renewed interest in the environment and conservation. She addresses changing sea levels, erosional changes to coast lines, human impact, pollution, ocean water quality.

Carson was a marine biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also, she is a best-selling writer who understood new observations would add too and possibly supplant her observations.

The original book has many fine line-drawings by wildlife artist Robert W. Hines that are included in the Kindle version. However, the print in the original version is quite small. Bill and I each gifted the other with a copy of the book; that’s how we know! The version pictured above has larger type, but not the drawings.

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

1950’s Holiday Fun

Treasure Diving Holidays: The Adventures of a Family Under the Sea by Jane and Barney Crile takes you back to the 1950’s. It features delightful descriptions of early sport diving in the US.

Take care to look for a reasonably-priced used copy. Some offerings are signed, very collectible (pricey) versions.

Barney invented modern mastectomy, and was an advocate for various alternative procedures in medicine. He wrote about medicine and travel. His second wife was Helga Sandburg, youngest daughter of poet Carl Sandburg. He also wrote The Way it Was: Sex, Surgery, Treasure & Travel, 1907-1987.

Jane was a dear friend of Rachel Carson. A bit of the backstory about her friendship with Carson and her similar battle with cancer, one of Barney’s specialties, is beautifully written here in the Lost Woods Letter.

Perfect book to read at Portside; takes you right back to an uncomplicated era when families vacationed with their children and explored together.

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

Swashbuckling Fun

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson the title says it all! What a fun summer read!

This was a New York Times bestseller, and named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune.

The search for the ship Golden Fleece from the 17th century is combined with the exploits of the notorious pirate Joseph Bannister.

This is a tale of globe-trotting to search for historical documents and accounts, suspense, history and adventure. Hard to put down.

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

Legendary Deep-Sea Diving Figures

The Last Dive: A Father and Son’s Fatal Descent into the Ocean’s Depths by Bernie Chowdhury tells a tragic side story from Shadow Divers. It’s the tale of father and son team Chris and Chrissy Rouse’s and their push beyond human limits.

Once you read Shadow Divers about solving the mystery of the undocumented World War II German U-boat off New York Harbor, you will have that “book hangover” and want more information.

This book is written from a different perspective, by a diver friend of the Rouse’s. In it, you learn about legendary figures in deep-sea diving and the divers’ psychology.

Chowdhury is the founder and co-publisher of The International Technical Diving Magazine. Also, he is a world-class diver, Explorers Club Fellow, and a recognized expert on extreme sport diving, makes documentary films and is a frequent lecturer.

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

All-Around World Traveler

The Remarkable Life of William Beebe: Explorer and Naturalist by Carol Grant Gould tells of Beebe’s 1930’s trek. He traveled a half mile down into the ocean depths.

Any book about him will be of interest; his travels to the Far East, the Galapagos…

He was a fascinating character. He was not only a really good writer, but also a marksman, swimmer, pilot, and photographer.

Interesting people travel in good company, so it’s no surprise that he was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt and mentor to Rachel Carson.

, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

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, Summer Reading 2019 // Incredible Books about Naturalists, Diving, and the Ocean

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