The most recommended shark books

Who picked these books? Meet our 34 experts.

34 authors created a book list connected to sharks, and here are their favorite shark books.
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Book cover of Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks

James Lindholm Author Of Calypso Down

From my list on ocean adventures, both real and imagined.

Why am I passionate about this?

The two constants in my life to date have been ocean exploration by day and reading epic adventures by night. As a Ph.D. marine scientist, I’ve had the incredible good fortune to travel the world conducting marine science research, work which to date has resulted in forty-two research articles and a textbook. But as much as I’ve enjoyed conducting the research, communicating about the sea has been even more engaging, taking me to the White House, both houses of Congress, and many countries around the world. And perhaps best of all, I’ve been able to couple my love of stories with my own research experience to produce four adventure novels. 

James' book list on ocean adventures, both real and imagined

James Lindholm Why did James love this book?

Great white sharks, rocky islands shrouded in fog, and a behind-the-scenes look at how science is conducted? I’ll take that any day, and indeed I have.

I first read this book while on a research vessel off the Farallon Islands. If you’ve read any of Casey’s other books, you’re familiar with the compelling level of detail she provides. Whether or not you’ll ever visit the islands yourself, this gripping story will leave you feeling like you have.

By Susan Casey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Devil's Teeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since "Jaws" scared a nation of moviegoers out of the water three decades ago, great white sharks have attained a mythical status as the most frightening and mysterious monsters to still live among us. Each fall, just twenty-seven miles off the San Francisco coast, in the waters surrounding a desolate rocky island chain, the world's largest congregation of these fearsome predators gathers to feed. Journalist Susan Casey first saw the great whites of the Farallones in a television documentary. Within months, she was sitting with the program's two scientists in a small motorboat as the sharks - some as long…


Book cover of The Bones Remember

M. A. Monnin Author Of Death in The Aegean

From my list on vacation spots perfect for hiding a body.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a mystery writer, I’ve always got my eye out for a great place to hide a body. I can’t help it, it’s a hazard of the job. I also love to travel, and a mix of the two has always been irresistible to me, whether I’m reading or writing. I’d say I’m not the only one who enjoys a little sightseeing with my whodunits, because my first book, Death in the Aegean, was nominated for an Agatha Best First Novel Award by the Malice Domestic community. I hope you enjoy these picks that combine some of my ideal vacation spots with entertaining whodunits.

M. A.'s book list on vacation spots perfect for hiding a body

M. A. Monnin Why did M. A. love this book?

I’ve never been to New Zealand, and this book makes me feel like I’m there with forensic odontologist Alexa Glock, who identifies bodies via dental records.

She navigates men, murder, and the ocean in this tightly woven murder mystery that’s as much about her personal life as her professional one. I learned quite a bit about sharks and whales, and bonus, this mystery includes quicksand!

By Sara E. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bones Remember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new title in the Alexa Glock Forensics Mysteries. When bodies wash up on the beach, is man or animal the culprit? It'll take everything forensic specialist Alexa Glock has to seek out the truth. Because lips may lie, but teeth never do...
These thrilling New Zealand mysteries are:Perfect for Fans of Kathy Reichs and Candice FoxFor readers of forensic mysteries and international mysteriesFor lovers of police procedurals and marine scienceAt first, Alexa Glock's initial case as a traveling forensic investigator seems straightforward-her expertise in teeth helps her identify the skeletal remains of a hunter found on the remote Stewart…


Book cover of Misunderstood Shark

Cassandra Federman Author Of This Is a Sea Cow

From my list on children’s stories about ocean animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been fascinated by the ocean and all of its inhabitants for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I discovered my dad’s SCUBA license and it blew my mind that I was related to someone who was allowed to explore the underwater world! Later, when I got to college, I took advantage of two exciting opportunities. First, I got my own scuba license. Second, I studied abroad in Belize, where I conducted manatee research by tagging, tracking, and rescuing manatees. I enjoyed the time I spent with the animals, but not the lab work. Now I express my passion for sea creatures in the books I write.

Cassandra's book list on children’s stories about ocean animals

Cassandra Federman Why did Cassandra love this book?

This book introduces some basic facts about sharks in an original, laugh-your-pants-off kind of way. The misunderstood shark derails jellyfish’s live TV broadcast with his questionable behavior. Readers will be left to debate the shark’s actual intentions and to discuss the cool shark facts they learned along the way. The supporting characters in the book also have fantastically funny dialogue. Every inch of this book is fun! And again, kids will be laughing and learning at the same time.

By Ame Dyckman, Scott Magoon (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Misunderstood Shark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Ame Dyckman and illustrator Scott Magoon comes the laugh-out-loud story about a Misunderstood Shark who just wants to show the world who he really is...

Every beachgoer knows that there's nothing more terrifying than a... SHARRRK! But this shark is just misunderstood, or is he? In a wholly original, sidesplittingly funny story, New York Times bestselling author Ame Dyckman and illustrator Scott Magoon take this perennial theme and turn it on its (hammer)head with a brand-new cheeky character. The filming of an underwater TV show goes awry when the crew gets interrupted by a... SHARRRK! Poor Shark,…


Book cover of The Shark Caller

Tamsin Winter Author Of Girl (in Real Life)

From my list on strong female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Whatever story I’m telling, I try to write female characters who are smart, funny, kind, and ultimately empowering; characters that drive the narrative, not the other way around. It is really important for me that my female characters have agency – that they actively move the story forward, make decisions and step up. Those are the kind of stories I like to read too. The books on this list are some of my favourites and all contain strong female protagonists. I hope you enjoy.

Tamsin's book list on strong female protagonists

Tamsin Winter Why did Tamsin love this book?

I have always been fascinated by sharks, so to read the story of Blue Wing, who lives among them, was an absolute joy. Set on an island near Papua New Guinea, this is a heartbreaking story, beautifully and originally told, that explores grief, friendship, forgiveness, and our relationship with nature. I’ve traveled and swam with sharks near where this book is set and it was so special to revisit those places in the book. But it’s Blue Wing’s selflessness, wisdom, and bravery that make this book utterly unforgettable. 

By Zillah Bethell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shark Caller as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE EDWARD STANFORD CHILDREN'S TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2022

A SUNDAY TIMES CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK

Dive beneath the waves with this spell-binding adventure of friendship, forgiveness and bravery, set on the shores of Papua New Guinea, perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell and Eva Ibbotson.

"I want to be able to call the sharks. Teach me the magic and show me the ways."

Blue Wing is desperate to become a shark caller, but instead she must befriend infuriating newcomer Maple, who arrives unexpectedly on Blue Wing's island.

At first, the girls are too angry to…


Book cover of Beast

Armand Rosamilia Author Of Keyport Cthulhu

From my list on tentacled horror.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading and writing horror for more than forty years and am prolific in both aspects. Show me a book with a tentacle and I’ll show you my newest purchase. 

Armand's book list on tentacled horror

Armand Rosamilia Why did Armand love this book?

Beast is an absolute classic, not only for the great story from a great author, not only because the cover is so darn good, but because… tentacles! You can’t really call yourself a reader of tentacle horror without having read this one. Stay away from the water, too.

By Peter Benchley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Makes the shark from "Jaws" look like a pet goldfish . . ." USA Weekend
Straight from the cutting edge of science and the logs of ancient mariners comes an immense horror -- a creature that rises up from the well of an ocean gone mad with an insatiable hunger and an endless lust to kill. One man leads a harrowing struggle to defeat the beast amid a threatened Bermuda paradise. His name is Whip Darling, a down-and-out sea dog who doesn't know where he'll get his next meal -- or whether it will get him first.


Book cover of The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific

William E. Glassley Author Of A Wilder Time: Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice

From my list on fieldwork in wild places.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a geologist who studies the origin and evolution of continents, which has required traveling the world to conduct fieldwork. Most of that experience has focused on Greenland and the wilderness fringe that bounds the inland ice cap. For weeks at a time, I and two colleagues, John Korstgård and Kai Sørensen, camp in some of the world’s greatest wilderness landscapes. Over years of such research, I have come to treasure the exquisite emotional power fieldwork in wilderness settings provides. It is the most direct way to begin the journey of understanding the place of humanity in the unfolding progress of cosmic evolution and was the impetus for my recent book.

William's book list on fieldwork in wild places

William E. Glassley Why did William love this book?

The relationship between ourselves and the sea is commonly constrained by beaches and tides. But Julia Whitty, deep-sea diver, and filmmaker opens the mind to the richness of deep waters through the scientific and soulful journeys she poetically shares in this book. Her time spent working in the South Pacific allows an expansion of our own experiences of the wild world. The delicate relationships of life’s many forms, from whales and sharks to rays and coral, contained within Earth’s liquid artistry, offers an opportunity to enrich our understanding of connections we seldom perceive but which, once acknowledged, expand the perception of life’s wealth.

By Julia Whitty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fragile Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Fragile Edge, the documentary filmmaker and deep-sea diver Julia Whitty paints a mesmerizing, scientifically rich portrait of teeming coral reefs and sea life in the South Pacific. She takes us literally beneath the surface of the usual travel narrative, in an underwater equivalent of an African big-game safari. Hammerhead sharks rule a cascading chain of extraordinary creatures, from eagle rays to reef sharks, as the sound of courting humpback whales reverberates through the deep.
Inspiring for both armchair and expert divers, The Fragile Edge reveals how science can extend our understanding of unfathomable waters, opening our eyes to…


Book cover of The Ultimate Book of Sharks

Deb Aronson Author Of Reptiles: King Cobras

From my list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a non-fiction writer my entire career and I love learning new things and then sharing them with readers in an approachable and engaging way, as these books do. These books encourage curiosity and that kind of “Oh! I didn’t know that!” response, which can spark a young reader to dig deeper and even share their new knowledge with others.

Deb's book list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

This book is much meatier than the others on the list. But it also delivers information in easy-to-digest blocks and is filled with amazing photographs, many of which the author himself took.

This book provides information that corrects some myths or misunderstandings that people have about sharks.

By Brian Skerry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ultimate Book of Sharks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Dive into the wild world of sharks! Get up close to learn the truth behind these fantastic, ferocious fish with famed National Geographic photographer and explorer Brian Skerry.

Join this amazing underwater adventure to track the sharks of the world, from the teeniest dogfish to the everfeared great white. This ultimate book features every species of shark on the planet, with awesome photos, fascinating facts, the latest science, and firsthand stories of real-life encounters with these incredible creatures. Learn how sharks live, how they eat, the challenges they face, and whether or not you are actually on the menu.


Book cover of Jaws

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From my list on malevolent beasts.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Ben H. Winters Why did Ben love this book?

Jaws is one of those extremely rare cases where the movie is actually better. (Can’t think of another one? Try The Godfather.)
It’s a perfectly fun suspense novel, but in the film version Spielberg conjures up by special effects magic (and the magic of Dreyfuss and Scheider’s performances) what Benchley in his novel comes close to but never quite lands: the absolutely terrifying feelings of knowing something is there—and getting closer—and closer—but you can’t actually see

By Peter Benchley,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Jaws as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Benchley's Jaws first appeared in 1974. As well as Steven Spielberg's film adaptation, the novel has sold over twenty million copies around the world, creating a legend that refuses to die.

It's never safe to go back in the water . . .

It was just another day in the life of a small Atlantic resort until the terror from the deep came to prey on unwary holiday makers. The first sign of trouble - a warning of what was to come - took the form of a young woman's body, or what was left of it, washed up…


Book cover of I Am the Shark

Charlotte Gunnufson Author Of Dream Submarine

From my list on exploring the ocean for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a children’s book author who is awed by the ocean and the creatures that dwell in its depths. I love writing for kids because they’re unabashedly eager, enthusiastic, and curious! To write this book, I dove deep into researching information about the ocean. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I kept thinking, kids will love these fascinating facts and they’ll want to learn more. The wonderful books on this list tell amazing tales, take kids on adventures, and turn dry facts into a deluge of fun. These nonfiction stories offer kids opportunities to become immersed in our awesome ocean!

Charlotte's book list on exploring the ocean for children

Charlotte Gunnufson Why did Charlotte love this book?

I laughed my way through this book about kids’ favorite ocean inhabitants!

In it, a silly shark presents a boatload of facts in a very funny way. Humor helps kids learn and remember! The story starts with a toothy, “Hey there!” from Great White Shark who introduces himself to readers as “the greatest shark in this book.” But another shark begs to differ—a whale shark who’s as big as a school bus.

Great White decides he must be the smallest shark. Nope. The smartest shark. Nope. The sneakiest shark? Wrong again. Off-the-hook hilarious illustrations make even the scariest shark entertaining and endearing.

By Joan Holub, Laurie Keller (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am the Shark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

What makes the great white shark (one of) the greatest fish in the sea? FIN-d out in this hilarious fish-out-of-water story that's perfect for Shark Week and all year-round!

"Don't miss this one." -School Library Journal, Starred Review

Hi! I am Great White Shark, and if you get this book, you'll read all about ME--the greatest shark in the sea!

Not so fast! Greenland Shark here, and as the oldest shark in this book, that makes me the greatest.

Did someone say fast? I'm Mako Shark, and I'm the fastest shark in this book! Eat my bubbles!

Wow, I'm Hammerhead…


Book cover of Albatross: The True Story of a Woman's Survival at Sea

Michael J. Tougias Author Of A Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80-Foot Seas

From my list on edge of your seat true stories of survival.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by the toughest survivors, the ones where I say to myself, “I could have never got through that.” Then I’m curious about how they endured: what mindsets and techniques did they use to fight on? When I became a writer I focused on this niche, with my first book Ten Hours Until Dawn which was followed by several other true survival and rescue tales. I became obsessed with researching where the survivors made the correct decisions and how they got trapped by bad ones. When my book The Finest Hours became a Disney movie I was deluged with people sharing their own survival stories. 

Michael's book list on edge of your seat true stories of survival

Michael J. Tougias Why did Michael love this book?

When sharks are circling your life raft, I do not recommend drinking seawater to quench your excruciating thirst. In Albatross, five people find themselves adrift at sea in a small life raft with no food or water. When one of the sailors drinks seawater we see how that can dehydrate the brain and cause hallucinations. Suddenly the sailor blurts out that he is going to get his car to get some beer, and he steps out of the life raft. The sharks are waiting.

Albatross is not only a story of mistakes made, but also of courageous decisions by two survivors, Deb Kiley and Brad Cavanaugh. It is hair-raising, insightful, and might just keep you off the water.

By Deborah Scaling Kiley, Meg Noonan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Albatross as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1982 the author and four companions got caught in a storm in a 58 foot yacht off the coast of North Carolina. For five days they kept alive without food or water in a tiny inflatable dinghy after the yacht sank. The first night was spent in the water under the upside down dinghy trying to keep warm, not learning until morning that the area was infested with sharks. Two of the boys drank sea water, went mad, climbed overboard and were never seen again. Meg, badly injured, died of exposure and gangrene. Brad and Debbie were rescued by…