Dr. Clark came up again during a coffee date with a new friend here in Wellington. “Can you imagine where women would be today in the shark sciences had it not been for trail blazers like her?” I posed to my friend, who agreed that female role models like Clark were crucial for younger generations.
So, in honor of Shark September (that’s a thing I just made up, so go along with it), and the amazing role model that Dr. Clark continues to be even today, we dedicate this fall reading list in her memory.
Big Shark Book
When polling Twitter for new books to read (after I had finished the Summer Reading List obviously), my friend Alisa (@divefinatic) recommended this book to me. It took me a little bit to get into the book (perhaps because the first bit were stories of Dr. Clark I already knew), but once I got through the first chapter I had a hard time putting it down. Shark Lady follows Dr. Clark from when she was nine years old, through college and into the adventures she has around the world following her passion(s).
If you didn’t think of Dr. Clark as inspirational before, or didn’t even know her before (which is okay!), this is definitely a read for you. It’s on the older side, published in 1978, but its age just makes the stories that much sweeter.
If you’re looking for an exciting read with interesting twists and turns, and the most fascinating characters, I really recommend this book. You can get it an inexpensive new copy on Amazon, and I believe Mote Marine Laboratory sells copies in their gift store? Don’t hold me to that, though.
Little Shark Book
For those little aspiring marine biologists, I also wanted to mention the cutest book I came across not too long ago.
If you don’t know, Finley has his own book about his adventures meeting someone everybody in the ocean feared -- a human! Finley’s story isn’t the first about a great white’s adventures… meet Gilbert! Gilbert has his own adventure book, called “Gilbert the Great.”
The story line isn’t a traditional story, with this shark pup terrorizing coral reefs or making friends. In fact, it’s about losing a dear friend.
“From the time Gilbert the Great White Shark was a tiny pup, Raymond the Remora stuck to him like glue. Raymond was always on Gilbert's side.' Then one day, Gilbert wakes up to discover that Raymond has gone. Mrs. Munch does everything she can to help her little shark come to terms with his loss and - slowly but surely - Gilbert learns to smile a wobbly smile through his sadness. He knows that Raymond will always be in his heart and, when mum takes Gilbert to the wreck, a chance meeting helps him find happiness once more.”
This is a great book to get the younger shark pups in your life talking not just about sharks (there’s a nice intro to great white sharks in the beginning of the book), but topics that are sometimes harder to broach (the importance of friendship, loss, moving on).
The artwork is beautifully done, too. Not going to lie, my chin quivered a few times for Gilbert. You can invite Gilbert into your family by purchasing the book via Amazon! They also ship internationally: SCORE!
Even though I’m in the middle of my Master’s coursework, I still want to continue reading (you get tired of reading articles real quick…). I'm always open to suggestions! I like walking into the bookstore with a huge list of books, so feel free to send recommendations my way.
What new books have you read recently? Any books added to your nightstand?