Notable new books
The Shark Almanac by Thomas B. Allen This natural history guide should serve to entertain, with its many drawings, photographs and descriptions of shark behavior, and also to inform the reader of all that is known about these mysterious sea creatures. Sharks are found in all waters of the world and their behavior is extremely varied, which makes an understanding of the oft-misunderstood and feared shark imperative to those who travel the sea. There is an excellent description of each species that provides their physical nature, feeding and mating habits, habitat, and world distribution. And, despite the relatively few fatal encounters with people, it is explained that certain sharks should still be considered dangerous. The book first clarifies this and then indulges in some excellent shark-attack narratives, including a fascinating mystery story that involved a man's tattooed arm found in a captured shark. The Lyons Press, New York; 212-620-9580; $35; 275 pages.