One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and really dig (pun intended) into dinosaur related books. I was trying to sit down and think of a good topic to write on this week and started scanning around my office looking for inspiration and my eyes fell across the books on my shelf above my computer. I thought to myself “Hey! Self! You should write about these”! In this list I’m not just sticking to one style of book, so in this list you will see some of my favorite works of dinosaur fiction and non-fiction alike! So let’s get started and as everyone’s favorite chain smoking system manager says, “Hold on to you butts”!
If you are familiar with paleontologists you have most likely heard the name of Jack Horner. He is the scientist that Michael Crichton based Dr. Alan Grant for the Jurassic Park novel and film off of. In this book “How to Build a Dinosaur”, Horner focuses on the only way that he believes that we will be able to see a dinosaur by reverse engineering a chicken to take on more dinosaur characteristics. This book has a lot of science theory and practices in it. I personally find it beyond fascinating and it is definitely worth a read!
On the other end of the spectrum from the previous book you have “Raptor Red”. This book is written by another world famous paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, you may know him as the older gentleman with the worn cowboy hat and long graying beard. In this novel Bakker takes a very different approach to a dinosaur novel. He uses the science and research that has been done and puts it into more of a narrative of the life of a female Utahraptor named Raptor Red. In this book you get a glimpse of what the daily life of a dinosaur would be, including relationships with others of her own species but also others. I would recommend this book maybe to some one who wants a little more story telling than scientist talk.
Sue, the largest and most complete T-Rex ever found came with a steep price for a group of Paleontologists. This book is the story of not only the discovery of Sue but also the circus that happened after she was removed form the ground. This story to me was personally heart breaking, I remember when these news stories were coming out and feeling terrible about the entire situation but after reading this novel I am even more heart broken for people that poured all of themselves into this dinosaur. Tyrannosaurus Sue gives us a great behind the scene look at what happened and I highly recommend it.
Ever wonder what Denver in the late Cretaceous period would be like? Well in this book a group of coffee shop employees and customers are some how transported 60 million years in to the past and must figure out how they got there and how the are going to get home! This book was riveting from start to finish, they went into some amazing detail on the dinosaurs. including the smell… just remembering the way they described the Hadrosaurs makes me shiver! The best part about this is that it can be for the dinosaur fan in you life or just someone who is looking for a great read.
Hands down one of my favorite podcasts of all time is “I Know Dino“. The hosts Garret and Sabrina are very entertaining and very through in their shows. So when they announced that they were going to start to writing and producing eBooks about some of the dinosaurs they talked about I was ecstatic! They have released a book each year starting in 2014 highlighting ten of the strangest and most exciting dinosaur discoveries of the year. The really cool thing that these books do is that they give you the science and facts behind all the discovery but they also give a little story about each of the dinosaurs, and it really does give the animals a lot of personality! I cannot wait for the 2017 edition to be released! I highly recommend that you download their podcast and check out their Patreon page to help them keep doing the amazing work that they do! Here are some more links to find these books! Oh and the best part, you can pick up Top 10 Dinos of 2014 now for FREE!!!
Top 10 Dinos of 2015
Top 10 Dinos of 2014
The Lost World is the follow up to the best selling novel Jurassic Park. This is Michael Crichton’s 2nd journey into the world of Dinosaurs. In this installment we follow Dr. Ian Malcolm from the first book travel with two children a doctor and a former student Sarah Harding into the infamous Site B where they actually created the dinosaurs for the main island. This book has the trademark Crichton mix of technology and adventure that really pull you in. The main reason that i tell people that they need to read this novel is to show them the giant differences between this and the major motion picture of the same name.
At the writing of this article this novel has only been out 4 days, it only took me one to fly through this adventure. This book follows the fictional character of William Johnson and his adventures during the great Bone Wars between O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope. One thing i noticed is that it really does not paint Marsh in the greatest of lights, not saying that Cope escapes unscathed but Marsh id most definitely the villain in this tale. Crichton manages to weave in historical characters as well as early paleo science all on top of a western adventure. I will be reading this again by the time this article posts, but I absolutely loved the first read through and will probably like the next.
This book was actually the first one that popped into my head when I started thinking about this list. I have this book in hard cover, paperback, and audio form, so I can safely say that I LOVE THIS BOOK! The author Brian Switek talks about his personal journey in the world of dinosaurs, as well as the journey the field of Paleontology has taken. Some of the funniest chapters are about his fascination on Dino sex and the evolution of the thought behind the Dinosauria. The fact that he now lives in my neck of the woods and strongly praises Utah’s Paleo sites does not hurt at all either.
“Welcome to Jurassic Park”, to this day this line give me chills. I remember going to the drive in theater to see the film adaptation of this book as a child and being scared as hell of the dinosaurs. But at the same time I absolutely loved it! When I grew up a little bit and found out that it was all based on a novel I knew I had to read it. I bought a used copy and read it so many times I had to replace it two times due to the wear. There are a few differences between the novel version and the film version but I actually enjoy that. Because now I have two stories that I can go back to at any time and enjoy them both!
I have so many more books that I would love to talk about here, so instead of throwing them here I will throw together another list in the future once you are all caught up on these! All of the titles contain links to Amazon where you can pick them up! What are some of your favorite Dino books? Let us know in the comments below!!