Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Florida Book Review: Bivalve Seashells Of Florida

A bivalve near and dear to my Minorcan heart. These little guys are both a source of food and building material in my hometown of St. Augustine. That they are beautiful is just icing on the cake. This photo is typical of the photography throughout "Bivalve Seashells Of Florida". The photos are clear, crisp, with no distracting background to muddle your identification process.

Recently I received a copy of "Bivalve Seashells Of Florida" in the mail. (Don't you love getting packages in the mail?)

The author, Trish Hartmann, had read Pure Florida and thought I might enjoy a copy of her new book.
She did not ask for a book review or even any mention here at PF, so I hope she doesn't mind if I discuss her book a little.

Simply put, it's excellent!

If it weren't you never would have heard about it here.

The book is reader friendly with short, clear descriptions of each species directly opposite the crystal clear photos that show several views of the shell. There's a section on bivalve/human history, habitats, regulations, and shell collecting.

The book is also the right size to pack in a beach bag or keep in a JEEP, so it's with you when you find some bodacious bivalves beyond your brain's 'bilities. Too many "field guides" make the mistake of going for the coffee table book category, which makes them pretty, but useless in the field.

Trish did not make that mistake. Instead, she's produced an excellent book that should be in your library (better yet in your beach bag or on your boat) if you are interested in knowing the name of that pretty shell you just picked up.
This book goes far beyond Florida too. Most of these species can be found all along the Gulf and Southeast coastlines.

You can find this book online at

It's a great book.
Ya' heard it here first.


Anonymous said...

It does look like the photos in that book are stylin'. Did Trish take them?

Brenda said...

Boy I wish I had that book here. Sorry, here is Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico right on the Sea of Cortes. Unfortunately it won't be available here and it is difficult/expensive to get books shipped here. I am going to put it on my NOB list though in case we ever go shopping up north.

robin andrea said...

What a beautiful and handy guide. How thoughtful of Trish to send that to you. Very cool.

ArtfulSub said...

Looks really good. Didn't know there was a Conchologist Society of America! Most guide books are too small and have more drawings than pictures. And those coffee-table books are too big and too fluffy in text.

Mute Monday is EASY this week. The theme is "SWEET".

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

It is the icing on the cake out here in blog land when a reader sends us gifts...especially books ;) I love books ;)

SophieMae said...

Definitely have to add that to my field guide pack. Must-carry's so far include Butterflies Through Binoculars (Florida edition), Dragonflies thru Bin's, Sibley Guide to Birds, and Florida Wildflowers. This one looks like it'll be right at home with the other first-rate guides.

Sharon said...

Looks really good! I do love getting packages :) I am looking for a good butterfly field guide, if anyone has any recommendations. Sophie, do you like the one you mentioned? I looked at a few at BAM the other day, but couldn't decide.

Floridacracker said...

I don't know, but they are good.

Welcome to Pure Florida!

Tres cool and kind.


Books are good.

Another good one for your stash!

I'll let Sophie or Thingfish answer that one.

Laura said...

Sounds like the perfect book for Florida1 I'll take a look at the website that you mentioned. Thanks.

Floridacracker said...

The book jacket says the author lives in Tampa, so y'all are neighbors ... sorta.

vicki said...

I think I need this book.

Floridacracker said...

Yes you do.

bivalve hunter said...

Thanks, FC, for the great review of my book! I hope it inspires your readers to explore some of our beautiful shorelines. The washed-up bivalve shells along our west coast (FL) beaches show a higher species than anywhere in the world!

- Trish

thingfish23: Thanks for the compliment. Yes, I took all the photos, and also did the design, layout, & typesetting for the book.

Brenda: There are probably some pretty interesting bivalves in Guaymas - I would love to walk the beaches there!

Robin Andrea - thanks for your kind words.

ArtfulSub: Yes - I tried to design this book so it is easy to make an identification and find out about the species. The Conchologists Society conventions are a great place to see some impressive mollusks from around the world and meet a lot of interesting people who like to explore.

Sophie Mae - I've been visiting your great blog (I found it here!) Send me an email (see the website) and I will get a book out to you.

Sharon: I used to spend a lot of time observing and photographing butterflies. Enjoy! The best thing to do is learn the larval food plants.

- Trish