The World’s Most Beautiful Seashells won the Coffee Table Book Award of the National Association of Independent Publishers for 1996. It contains 305 large format, full color photographs of rare and lovely seashells. The photographer is James H. (Pete) Carmichael, whose nature photography has appeared widely in magazines such as Audobon, National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, etc. Pete is especially well-known for his work with shells, butterflies, and rainforests. The text is by Leonard Hill, a lifetime shell enthusiast, and a biologist employed by the US government who monitors the health of the oceans. At .95 in hardcover, the book has been considered an excellent value, and makes a great acquisition to the library of shell and nature enthusiasts.As a child, I found few things more fascinating than seashells: from the age of 10 until 15, I would often stay awake all night classifying and sorting shells that friends and family had sent me from around the world, and my most joyous summers were spent on the coasts of Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, and Puerto Rico, gathering shells from the briny wrack.
As an adult, I have encountered few more beautifully illustrated volumes of seashells than this book. All of my favorites are here: the wentletraps, resembling elaborate spiral staircases (and so valued for their beauty in the 1800s that a clandestine industry of counterfeit wentletraps made of rice paste developed in China); the Venus Comb Murex, which has the beauty of a goddess’s most prized hairbrush; the humble but lavishly calligraphed Nerites; and other extraordinarily colorful or structurally elaborate homes of homely molluscs. (This book also provides good evidence for my hypothesis that indigenous architectures of a region are influenced by the architecture of indigenous organisms.) An absolutely stunning book, and sure to be a source of inspiration for children, naturalists, and artists.
List Price: $ 34.95
Price: $ 22.87