A well-written, interesting book about scuba diving can be difficult to find. Below are some recommendations for enjoyable reads for divers, as well as links to full reviews and websites which may be used to purchase the books directly. Scuba books make great presents for your diving friends.
"Diver Down -- Real-World Scuba Accidents and How to Avoid Them" addresses an under-respresented topic in scuba diving literature: accident analysis. In this well written book, Michael R. Ange examines a variety of real-life recreational scuba accidents and discusses their underlying causes. The goal of the book is not to place blame or to frighten scuba divers, but to take an unemotional look at why scuba diving accidents happen, and what steps can be taken to avoid scenarios which place divers in danger. "Diver Down" is a fascinating read, and both recreational and technical scuba divers will find it interesting. If there is one book that I could recommend every scuba diver read, it would be "Diver Down."
"Cavern's Measureless to Man" was written by Sheck Exley, one of scuba diving's great innovators. The book is a collection of Exley's autobiographical stories about the early days of cave diving and deep diving, and about the adventures and dangers he faced as one of the divers pushing the limits of scuba. Part adventure story, part survival manual, readers will learn about the development of many of cave diving's safety rules, early cave exploration in Florida and Mexico, and deep diving in the Bahamas. Although the book focuses on technical diving, it is interesting enough that novice divers, recreational divers, and even non-divers will find it an exciting read.
"Diving Into Darkness" is the result journalist Phillip Finch's exhaustive research into one of the more famous dives in scuba history. A rebreather diver made a record-breaking deep cave dive at a sinkhole known as Bosmansgat in South Africa. At the bottom of the sinkhole, he discovered the remains of a diver lost years earlier. "Diving Into Darkness" recounts the meticulous preparations made for the body recovery dive, and the hair-raising result (which did not go as planned).
"The Silent World" by Jacques Cousteau and F. Dumas is a first-hand account of the early development of scuba diving equipment and techniques. Cousteau and his team travel around the world, diving on wrecks, in caves, and over pristine coral reefs. Some of the first humans to spend significant amounts of time underwater using scuba gear, Cousteau and Dumas had the opportunity to observe aquatic life in its natural habitat as few had done before. Their observations, adventures, and misfortunes are intriguing and sometimes humourous. "The Silent World" is a wonderful read for divers of all experience levels, as well as for non-divers who are interested in learning more about the sport.
"Reef Fish Behavior" by Ned Deloach and Paul Humann is a fascinating overview of fish behavior in the Caribbean, Florida, and the Bahamas. Readers learn about the hunting, mating, and defensive behaviors of many of their favorite fish. The book is organized into sections devoted to general behaviors of all fish, as well as specific chapters about individual fish species.
Natalie L Gibb
Divers who frequent the Caribbean, Florida or the Bahamas will delight in the Reef Set, a set of reference books on the identification of underwater life. The reef set includes three books: "Reef Creature Identification," "Reef Fish Identification," and "Reef Coral Identification."