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The Poling Reader
Several days ago I was asked what books I had read to make me so
knowledgeable about dinosaurs. Being the nice guy that I am (no matter what
my mother says) I agreed to make one up.
The following is NOT a recommended reading list. It is simply a list of
books that *I* have read over the last several years. I hope you find this
1.) _Carnegie's Dinosaurs_, Helen J. McGinnis, 1982. May have been updated
since then, I dunno. It is a book specifically about the Carnegie
collection of Dinosaurs, bought at the Carnegie Museum itself when I visited
in 1982. The first book on dinos I ever read. It collected dust on the
2.) _The Dinosaur Heresies_, Dr. Robert T. Bakker, 1986. Widely credited
as shaking up the dinosaur orthodoxy and leading us down the path toward
today's views of dinos. Many criticize Dr. Bakker, but this is a good book
to get you started on a path towards serious dinosaur fandom.
3.) _Jurassic Park_, Michael Crichton, 1990. The book the movie was based
on. I read _Dinosaur Heresies_, _Jurassic Park_, and saw the movie all
within several weeks of one another. Is it no wonder I became such a
4.) _Kings of Creation_, reprinted as _Dinosaurs Rediscovered_, Don Lessem,
1992. A treatise on the current state of dinosaur study, including
discussions of the movers and shakers in dinosaur science.
5.) _Digging Dinosaurs_, John Horner, 1988. A first hand account of the
discovery, excavation and interpretation of the world famous Maiasaura
nesting sites in the American northwest.
6.) _All you need to know about dinosaurs_, Mark Norell, 1991. A book
summarizing the major aspects of dinosaur science.
7.) _On the Trail of the Dinosaurs_, Dr. Michael J. Benton, 1989. A
topnotch book summarizing the major aspects of dinosaur science with many
8.) _The Complete T-Rex_, John Horner, 1993. A first hand account of the
discovery, excavation and interpretation of the "Wankel" T-Rex, the first
T-Rex found with complete forelimbs. This is the animal that Horner found
preserved red blood cells in, and possibly DNA.
BOOKS INCOMPLETE, WILL FINISH
1.) _Dinosaur!_, David Norman, 1991. A print based version of the A&E
series on dinosaurs.
2.) _Sleuthing Fossils_, Alan M. Cvancara, 1990. A discussion of the art
BOOKS INCOMPLETE, WILL NOT FINISH
1.) _The Fate Of The Dinosaurs_, Antony Milne, 1991. Strange idea after
strange idea. When Milne described icthyosaurs and plesiosaurs as
dinosaurs, I put the book away.
2). _Quest for the African Dinosaurs_, Louis L. Jacobs, 1993. A book
purportedly about dinosaurs in Africa; a more apt title would be "My African
Adventure." I was about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through the book and he still
hadn't talked about dinosaurs yet. I gave up.
BOOKS NOT YET READ, WAITING ON THE SHELF
1.) _Dynamics of the Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Giants_, R. McNeill
Alexander, 1989. A book about the lives and lifestyles of various extinct
animals, with a focus on dinosaurs.
2.) _The Dinosaur Data Book_, David Lambert and the Diagram Group, 1990.
Basically an encyclopedia of dinosaurs. I've used it a number of times as a
BOOKS NOT READ, USED OFTEN
1.) _The Dinosauria_, David B. Weishampel, Peter Dodson and Halszka
Osmolska editors, 1990. The definitive dinosaur dictionary, crammed with
taxonomic, phylogenic and any other technical data about specific dinosaurs
you could ever want. I've never read this monster, but I use it often as a
Additionally I've watched every show I possibly could about dinosaurs
(including a NOVA that showed the excavation of the "Wankel" T-Rex talked
about in _The Complete T-Rex_), read vociferously of dinosaur related
articles (alas, confined only to those in the local _The Columbus Dispatch_)
and taken the class Zoology 305, Dynamics of the Dinosaurs.
Oh yes, and followed the dinosaur mailing list religiously!
** "A warp core breach is imminent? ** "Those who trade a little freedom **
** This calls for the handyman's secret ** for a little security will soon **
** weapon, duct tape." --- Red Green, ** find that they have none of **
** Chief Engineer, U.S.S. Voyager ** either." --- Jeff Poling **