Sharks An Eponym Dictionary by Michael Watkins & Bo Beolens | hardback | 2015 |218 pages | ISBN: 978-1-907807-93-0 | Pelagic Publishing|
When I was offered the book, Sharks and Eponym Dictionary, for review, I was lucky to be one of the first. I was also lucky that I’d be able to get my copy signed (at least by one of the authors) when ever I felt like it, although I’m sure Mike will be happy to sign my copy if I ask. Yeah being related to one of the authors does give you a huge advantage in this type of thing. But, that said, I hereby promise I will give my honest assessment and be impartial (as much as I can anyway, actually if anyone knows me I’m sure they will know I can be my dads harshest critic!).
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book to review (I hope I’d have been given an authors copy otherwise though!), and am related to one of the authors Bo Beolens. But I am free to review honestly and in anyway I see fit.
Sharks An Eponym Dictionary – Review
The first thing you should know is this is the latest in a long line of Eponym dictionaries that the authors have penned together, from Birds (whose bird originally) to reptiles, Mammals to Amphibians (which I don’t have a copy of??), all of which have been fantastic books full of really interesting information about the species names.
Actually I should start by telling you what this book is about, well it is all to do with sharks that have been named (both common and scientific names are covered) after people, but rather than be about the actual sharks it is about the person that the shark is named after. For example McCains Skate (yeah I’d never heard of it either) is named after Dr John Charles McCain who co-wrote The Gulf War Aftermath: An Environmental Tragedy.
So there you can see what it is all about.
When the book arrived I must admit to a little bit of disappointment, the publishers of this book are different from previous editions in the series and it doesn’t have the same classy feel as the previous tomes. There is no luxurious dust jacket (always the sign of a classy book, no?) and the pages feel thinner to me. However the front cover of a hammer head shark looks awesome and if you had not seen previous you would be impressed I think.
Information contained within
The most important part of the book though, if we are honest (you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and all that) is the information that it contains and it is a wealth of information on the eponyms of the shark world (confession time, sharks are great but I have no clue on how many and varied they can be).
It is a fun game to play to see if there are any that share a name with you (none for me) but from an educational point of view it’s a great book, sometimes you do need to know who a species is named after and this book (as well as the others in the series) allows just that.
Once you get past the fact it isn’t of the same production quality as previous books in the series Sharks An Eponym Dictionary is a very good and useful book, as well as being fun and informative.