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Great Books for Divers to Read When You're Out of The Water

books diving relax
Nothing like a good book and a hammock after diving

Who doesn't love a good book to get their teeth into during a diving holiday!

Here is a short list of (sometimes loosely) ocean-themed book ideas to inspire your next good read. Whether you are looking for a thrilling crime or heartwarming novel or fancy more of an academic and fact-based non-fiction - we've got you covered!


Other Minds by Peter Godfrey Smith. A fascinating read about the origin, evolution, behaviour and intelligence of marine life, primarily the cephalopods….

Back cover: "...In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being—how nature became aware of itself. As Godfrey-Smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development, Godfrey-Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated. The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys..."

The Eye of the Shoal by Helen Scales. An entertaining and interesting read about the secret life of fish...

Back cover: "...In this book, Scales shares the secrets of fish, unhitching them from their reputation as cold, unknowable beasts and reinventing them as clever, emotional, singing, thoughtful creatures, and challenging readers to rethink these animals. She takes readers on an underwater journey to watch these creatures going about the hidden but glorious business of being a fish. Their way of life is radically different from our own, in part because they inhabit a buoyant, sticky fluid in which light, heat, gases and sound behave in odd ways. They've evolved many tactics to overcome these challenges, to become megastars of the life sun-aquatic. In doing so, these extraordinary animals tell us so much about the oceans and life itself. Our relationship with these scaly creatures goes much deeper than predator versus prey. Fish leave their mark on the human world…."

The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau. A memoir from the father of scuba himself!

Back cover: "Before becoming the man who introduced us to the wonders of the sea through his beloved television series, Jacques Cousteau was better known as an engineer and the inventor of scuba. He chronicled his early days of underwater adventure in The Silent World—a memoir that was an instant, international bestseller upon its publication in 1954. Now, National Geographic presents a 50th-anniversary edition of this remarkable book, allowing readers to once again travel under the sea with Cousteau during the turbulent days of World War II."

Oceanology DK Secret World Encyclopaedia. A beautifully illustrated and informative look at the ocean, with stunning photos and interesting facts...

Back cover: "Astounding photography reveals an abundance of life, from microscopic plankton to great whales, seaweed to starfish. Published in association with the Smithsonian Institution, the book explores every corner of the ocean, from coral reefs and mangrove swamps to deep ocean trenches. Along the way, and with the help of clear, simple illustrations, it explains how life has adapted to the marine environment, revealing for example how a stonefish delivers its lethal venom and how a sponge sustains itself by sifting food from passing currents. It also examines the physical forces and processes that shat the oceans, from global circulation systems and tides to undersea volcanoes and tsunamis.

Seven Tenths by James Hamilton-Paterson. A difficult book to describe! A part memoir but also a factual, literary, poetic and philosophical look at the sea…

Back cover: "James Hamilton-Paterson's classic exploration of the sea, Seven Tenths is a beautifully written blend of literature and science that includes the acclaimed essay "Sea Burial." Hamilton-Paterson writes about fishing, piracy, and ecological crises, and is especially brilliant on the melancholy fascination of those border places and moments when the sea and land meet and the human experience seems transient. Taking humanity's complex relationship with the sea as its starting point, Seven Tenths is an enticing meditation on the sea as the physical birthplace of the human race and the emotional source of our dreams. Shifting effortlessly between the sciences and the humanities—between cartography and poetry, between ecology and philosophy—Hamilton-Paterson has created one of the most engrossing works on the sea in recent memory. The prose is never less than stunning, even as it is employed to describe exactly what happens to a human body during a burial at sea, as it sinks slowly through miles of water."


The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne – A thriller about a Police diver in Florida...

Back cover: "Coming from scandalous Florida treasure hunters and drug smugglers, Sloan McPherson is forging her own path, for herself and for her daughter, out from under her family’s shadow. An auxiliary officer for Lauderdale Shores PD, she’s the go-to diver for evidence recovery. Then Sloan finds a fresh kill floating in a canal—a woman whose murky history collides with Sloan’s. Their troubling ties are making Sloan less a potential witness than a suspect. And her colleagues aren’t the only ones following every move she makes. So is the killer.

Stalked by an assassin, pitted against a ruthless cartel searching for a lost fortune, and under watch within her ranks, Sloan has only one ally: the legendary DEA agent who put Sloan’s uncle behind bars. He knows just how deep corruption runs—and the kind of danger Sloan is in. To stay alive, Sloan must stay one step ahead of her enemies—both known and unknown—and a growing conspiracy designed to pull her under."

The Girl of the Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley – A Heartfelt story about a woman and the ocean...

Back cover: "On an island in the Gulf of California, an intrepid young woman named Paloma carries a special legacy from her father—a deep understanding of the sea and a sixth sense about the need to protect it. Every day, Paloma paddles her tiny boat into the ocean and anchors over a seamount—a submerged volcanic peak sixty feet underwater that is clustered with spectacular sea animals and a wondrous web of marine life. It is there that an astonishing event takes place; when on one of her dives, Paloma is shadowed by a manta ray—an animal so large it blocks the sun. She develops an extraordinary relationship with this luminous, gentle creature, but instinctively knows its existence is a secret she must fiercely protect."

Stranded by Beverley Scherberger – An exaggerated but entertaining action/thriller about a group of divers stranded on an island in Mexico...

Back cover: "After a tragic scuba diving accident claims the life of one member of their group and strands the others far out at sea, Lissy and her friends find themselves in a struggle for survival on an inhospitable deserted island in the middle of nowhere. A safe haven it certainly is not...

The group must face some of humanity's oldest innate fears-from drowning and sharks to snakes and gigantic spiders-in addition to human depravity within their own troop.

In the midst of terrifying life-or-death tension, Lissy's budding romance with another member of their band leads to unwarranted conflict that threatens to make their lives even more difficult. As they face daily menace from the island's nonhuman denizens-a mysteriously vicious and carnivorous species of primate-will Lissy's own panic make their worst nightmares come true?"

Stranded - scuba diving novel

Swimming with the Dead by Kathy Brandt – A Police detective mystery set in the British Virgin Islands…

Back cover: "Hannah Sampson knows terror. Unseeable, unknowable predators lurk in the deep. She’s a cop, an expert scuba diver, and leader of the Denver Underwater CSI team. For Hannah, diving is nasty business in polluted lakes and frigid reservoirs where no one is ever found alive. When a scientist is found dead under 70 feet of tropical ocean, Sampson is summoned to the sun-drenched beaches of the British Virgin Islands to investigate. She is fully prepared to face unknowable dangers beneath the crystal-clear waters of an idyllic paradise. But the possibility of murder runs deeper and darker than the sea itself. Whatever the victim was looking for, he found. Whatever he found was the death of him. Now Hannah must discover for herself what lies beneath-a secret that could take Hannah's breath away."

We hope you will enjoy some of these! If you have any other to recommend, feel free to let us know!

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