Author Topic: Book recommendations  (Read 73520 times)

dinotoyforum

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Book recommendations
« on: March 26, 2012, 02:34:11 AM »
I thought I'd reboot the recommended books thread from the old forum. I felt it was particularly useful and had potential to blossom into a lasting thread.  :))

I've picked out a few titles already given the stamp of approval:

Dinolord said: If you're into the Morrison Formation, then Jurassic West by John Foster is a great book.

Tyrant Queen said: My favourite is Dougal Dixon's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Artwork is good and it's not too outdated.

Gwangi said: Scott Sampson's "Dinosaur Odyssey" is a great book and only came out last year or so. It mostly discusses the ecology of the Mesozoic as opposed to "just" dinosaurs. There is also Greg Paul's "Field Guide to Dinosaurs" that was also released recently and has tons of great art work and skeletal drawings. His classifications are a bit off but otherwise it is a fairly useful book and again...up-to-date. As for art books look into "Feathered Dinosaurs" and "Dawn of the Dinosaurs". The previous one is entirely a coffee table type book with some of the best renderings I've seen of feathered dinosaurs. The later is about life in the Triassic specifically but has incredible artwork by Doug Henderson (my personal favorite).

KevTK135 said: I like - Prehistoric Life. It covers more than just dinos but what I like it includes the flora as well as fauna. Great for making a more accurate diorama.

And Zopteryx said: I would highly recommend the following:

A Field Guide to Dinosaurs - The Essential Handbook for Travelers in the Mesozoic
By Henry Gee & Luis Rey
Fascinating book with excellent illustration and interesting content.  It treats dinosaurs as if they're still alive (hence the title).

Scholastic Dinosaurs A to Z
By Don Lessem & Jan Sovak
My go-to guide before Greg Paul's came out.  Includes many fragmentary/questionable species other guides skip.  Not super up to date, but still good.  Not a ton of illustrations.

Other members recommended other titles, but I won't list them all here!

« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 02:40:02 AM by dinotoyforum »



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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 08:49:44 AM »
I didn't recommend it in the old book recommendations thread (only elsewhere) but "The Dinosauria" by David Weishampel, Peter Dodson, and Halszka Osmólska (eds.) is perhaps the most important scientific textbook on dinosaurs at the moment. It is definitely not easy reading and people with a scientific education are the main target audience. There are almost zero restorations in it, instead you would rather find drawings of individual bones. All taxa that are introduced are defined properly by a diagnosis (i.e. a definition which characters have to be present to classify a taxon within a certain group) and the characteristic osteology (one example: you want to know how many unguals Stegosaurus' hand had? Here you will actually see drawings of the bones that have been found) of every major group is described in detail as well as phylogenetic relationships. Furthermore, the book contains extensive chapters on geographical and stratigraphic distribution (all important formations are not only listed but also the dinosaur taxa that were present are given so you get an overview about which dinosaurs actually coexisted) and dinosaur phisiology. The paperback edition was released in 2007 and would need an update here and there. But you get a highly informative, stupendous book - 861 pages and approx. 2.5 Kg. Oh, and in the amazon link there's even a (commendatory) customer review by paleontologist Oliver Rauhut! While definitely not interesting for everyone here in the forum, I'm sure that some of you would consider it a very important resource you don't want to miss. :)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 10:17:00 AM by dinotoyforum »

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tyrantqueen

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 04:44:53 PM »
I was wondering if someone owns a particular book, maybe they could post one or two sample pages showing the illustrations? Illustrations are often a big factor for me in deciding whether to buy a book or not.

Sometimes books from Amazon have previews, and often it is just pages of text which isn't very helpful.

There's two books I am thinking of purchasing   
The Concise Dinosaur Encyclopedia by David Burnie
Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life by David Lambert
Are they worth getting? Any opinions?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 10:47:51 AM by dinotoyforum »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 05:11:15 PM »
Well,if your interested in skeletals and musculature of dinosaurs, like for artwork, I would tentatively suggest The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. The taxonomy in the book is horrible, and some of his science he put in the actual writing doesn't make sense. At least to me. And there's also the fact that he misspells name early on, then in the dictionary part, gets it right. It's helped me with some of my sketches at the least.
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tyrantqueen

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 08:42:40 AM »
Thanks for the recommendation. I've seen The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs on Amazon preview, I wanna get it.

I purchased Dinosaurus by Steve Parker but I am rather disappointed with it. The artwork doesn't appeal to me, and the information is so-so.

Could someone explain the controversy behind this Gregory S. Paul guy? What did he do?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 08:49:21 AM by tyrantqueen »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 10:11:13 PM »
Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life by David Lambert
Are they worth getting? Any opinions?

This one we have in our library (in translation, but I assume nothing has been changed). The information is good, the illustrations... not so much. If you're like me and bad (we're talking early 00s worse than WWD individual-scales-surfacing) CG is a turnoff, I'd be wary. That's not to say all the art is bad, but I really wish they'd release a new edition with updated illustrations.
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tyrantqueen

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 05:48:24 AM »
I'm looking for a book with good illustrations and info on marine reptiles



Is this one any good? If it's not, what do you guys recommend?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 05:48:41 AM by tyrantqueen »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 06:25:54 AM »
Could someone explain the controversy behind this Gregory S. Paul guy? What did he do?

It mainly his taxonomy that's the problem.  Primarily, he lumps lots of well established genuses as species of others. This is particularly prevelant in the hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and in a few other areas.  I'm sure in some of these cases he may be correct, but he just went a little over board is all.  There are some other classification issues, for example, he considers Guanlong (a basal tyrannosaur) to be a species of Monolophosaurus (a "carnosaur") and he includes Sapeornis (a primitive bird) as an oviraptorid.  Other issues are mostly minor: typos, repeated species, and everything is said as if it's fact.  I'm sorry if I've made this book sound terrible, because it's really not, it's excellent and well worth buying, just take all of his "facts" with a grain of salt. ;)

I suppose while I'm here I should reccommend a book, here's one:
The Pterosaurs: From Deep Time
By David Unwin
Great information and illustrations.  Lots of technical talk in parts, but well explained.  Pterosaur list is outdated
http://www.amazon.com/The-Pterosaurs-From-Deep-Time/dp/B001G7R676/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333689716&sr=1-1
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 06:28:12 AM by Zopteryx »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 07:02:02 AM »
Thank you for the explanation and recommendation.
I've ordered two books from Amazon. One is "Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Pterosaurs" by Peter Wellnhofer. This one was recommended highly by someone on the forum so I went ahead and ordered a copy.
The other is "The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dinosaurs" by David Norman. Perhaps I should post a couple of sample pages and/or my opinions when I get them both.  8)

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2012, 10:03:12 AM »
The Dinosaurs by William Stout from 1981 & 2000 are the ones I'd recommend everyone :)
These have a great way of describing on how Dino's lived from a very interesting perspective 8)

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 08:43:24 AM »
Here´s a recommendation from me of a book that means very much to me:

Robert T. Bakker - "The Dinosaur Heresies"
Very subjective view of the dinosaurs, their relationships, behavior and metabolism. Was part of the dinosaur renaissance 25 or so years ago, still a classic.
I always liked Bakker and his individual approach to palaeontology. In 1996 I was in America, and my host parents gave this book to me with a dedication!
Not from Bakker :( but from the parents!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 08:45:17 AM by Libraraptor »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 01:56:59 AM »
Is the Dinosauria a good refernce for research?

I heard someone discribe it as the Bible of dinosaurs
A true Dinosaur fan loves dinosaurs for what they are, not what he/she wants them to be.

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2012, 11:42:59 AM »
^I bought Dinosauria, and I didn't really like it. The info is good but the art style didn't really appeal to me. It's also somewhat outdated (it has the odd tail dragger here and there)
But I guess it's mostly because I am a visual kind of person. It does cover a lot of species though.

I could post a couple of sample pages, if that would help you out.  :)

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2012, 01:24:25 AM »
"Raptor Red" by Bakker was like no other. It's not exactly a reference book, but a story line revolving around a single Utahraptor, and Bakker's prehistoric world is brilliant and rich in every detail. Of course it's imagined, but it's Bakker-imagined  ;)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 10:22:14 AM by dinotoyforum »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2012, 03:49:30 AM »
I just know that folks will question why I recommend this book but I don't care. I still like it. 

'The Gilded Dinosaur: The Fossil War Between E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh and the Rise of American Science' by Mark Jaffe is a strange book. It isn't really about the bones or the dinosaurs. It's about the men behind the bones. It tries to be professional and stuffy by using the letters, journal-entries, and newspaper articles as the basis of the story. At certain parts, everything was moving so quickly I had to stop, go-back, and re-read parts.  I enjoyed this for the backstories on Marsh and Cope. It's very interesting to contrast our time and the time of their work. As someone who likes learning and reading about the history of discoveries, what they meant, and how it affected the world/science this was a perfect book for me. I will admit that while Jaffe may have fudged a few details in the interest of story-telling I can't really fault him for it because it brings a level of excitement and mystery to the book.

If you want a book that is both fun to read and a reasonably accurate account of 19th-century paleontology I would recommend this book. I sat in bed reading it late at night. I like it as it talks about the men. It paints a portrait of Cope and Marsh that I've never read about before. They seem 'real' to me in this book.

Amazon.com listing: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gilded-Dinosaur-Between-American/dp/B0001OOTPW/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2012, 08:11:35 PM »
Well, it's not a dinosaur book, but it's a paleo artist biography, so I'll recommend it. It's Charles R. knight's  autobiography. It's really good, not a lot of images, but it illustrates the life of an amazing artist. Two thumbs up.
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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2012, 09:07:05 PM »
Definitely The Dinosaur Hunters by Deborah Cadbury, which is all about Mantell, Owen, Anning and the rest, and the blossoming of palaeontology and geology in Victorian England. Also, Owen being a bit of a bastard.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 10:08:50 AM by dinotoyforum »
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Metallisuchus

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2012, 01:51:39 AM »
Anyone ever read that "Dinosaurs of the East Coast" or whatever it's called? What a bore that was...
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 10:07:17 AM by dinotoyforum »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2012, 11:33:06 PM »


“Earth before the Dinosaurs” by Sebastien Steyer is now available from
Amazon

Nearly 200 pages, the book reviews tetrapod ancestors, evolution of the limb, and Paleozoic amphibians.  Reptilomorphs and amniotes constitute only about 25% of the content.  A concluding chapter discusses working with fossils. I enjoyed the illustrations, mostly in color. If you are fascinated by weird and obscure creatures, this is a fun read. 

For a more scholarly work, the release date of Jenny Clack’s second edition of “Gaining Ground” has been delayed again until June 25.  Both of these books are published by Indiana University Press.  Coincidence?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 10:06:06 AM by dinotoyforum »

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Re: Book recommendations
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2012, 03:03:22 AM »
I know a really good Book that has over 1000 Prehistoric Animals in it:
This shop is a discount book store with free shipping, I have placed many orders on it :)
http://www.bookdepository.com/World-Encyclopedia-Dinosaurs-Prehistoric-Creatures-Dougal-Dixon/9780754817307
The World Encyclopedia Of Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Creatures by Dougal Dixon (Link to Amazon) :)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 10:04:22 AM by dinotoyforum »
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