Book Reviews: What's Been Reviewed/ Reading Recommendations

Otterwoman

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What books should I read?
It depends how much you want to learn. If you want general information, get the book by Frank Indiviglio (the first book listed below). If you really want to get into US species, get the Petranka book (the first book listed in the Intermediate section).
I put asterisks on the best books in each section, and listed the rest of the books alphabetically by author.
Read the reviews on them so you know what to expect. If you are a field herper, the Peterson Field Guide is indispensable. If you read through the reviews, you'll get an idea of which books people love by the comments people make after the reviews, and by the reviews themselves.

Where can I find these books?
Many of these books are “out-of-print” but are easy to be had online. I always start with amazon.com, but if I don’t like the price or can’t find what I want, then I go to alibris.com or powells.com. EBay is another source for books. You can also just google “used books online” or something similar.
And don’t forget to patronize used bookstores! They are filled with treasures.

BEGINNER BOOKS

*Newts and Salamanders Frank Indiviglio (1997, 128 pp.)
click here to read review
This book is the gold standard for introduction to the caudate hobby.

Firefly Encyclopedia of Vivarium David Alderton (2007, 224 pp.)
click here to read review

The Complete Encyclopedia of Terrarium Eugène Bruins (1999, 320 pp.)
click here to read review

Reptiles and Amphibians for Dummies Patricia Bartlett (2003, 342 pp.)
click here to read review

Newts and Salamanders: A Complete Guide to Caudata Devin Edmonds (2009, 128 pp.)
click here to read review

Keeping Amphibians: A Practical Guide to Caring for Frogs, Toads, Newts, and Salamanders Andrew R. Gray (2000, 64 pp.)
click here to read review

The Natural Aquarium Handbook Ines Scheurmann (2000 Barron's reprint of the 1985 German Das GU Aquarienbuch, 159 pp.)
click here to read review

Amphibians in Captivity Mark Staniszewski (1995, 544 pp.).
click here to read review

Popular Amphibians Philippe de Vosjoli (2004, 120 pp.)
click here to read review

Newts of the British Isles Patrick Wisniewski (1989, 24 pp.)
click here to read review


INTERMEDIATE BOOKS
I am including all regional field guides under a separate heading in this section.

*Salamanders of the United States and Canada James W. Petranka (1998, 587 pp.)
click here to read review
There is no better book covering US species.

*A Natural History of Amphibians Robert C. Stebbins and Nathan W. Cohen (1995, 316 pp.)
click here to read review
The title says it all. What makes amphibians tick? This book will tell you.

Life in Cold Blood David Attenborough (2008, 288 pp.)
click here to read review

Terrarium and Cage Construction and Care Richard and Patricia Bartlett (1999, 244 pp.)
click here to read review

Fresh Water Aquaria - Their Construction, Arrangement, and Management Rev. Gregory C. Bateman (1890: Reissued 2009, 326 pp.)
click here to read review

Handbook of Salamanders Sherman C. Bishop (1943; Reissued 1994, 555 pp.)
click here to read review

Swampwalker’s Journal- A Wetlands Year David M. Carroll (1999, 292 pp.)
click here to read review

The Lizard King - The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers Bryan Christy (2009, 256 pp.)
click here to read review

In Search of the Golden Frog Marty Crump (2000, 270 pp.)
click here to read review

The Reptile and Amphibian Problem Solver Robert Davies and Valerie Davies (2000, 270 pp.)
click here to read review

A Review of Marking and Individual Recognition Techniques for Amphibians and Reptiles John Ferner (1972, 72 pp.)
click here to read review

Newts in your Pond and Garden James Grundy (2006, 96 pp.)
click here to read review

The Toy Fish - A History of the Aquarium Hobby in America - The first one hundred years Albert J. Klee (2003, 204 pp.)
click here to read review

The “COOLEST” Tropical Fish in Aquarium Fish International 21(1), 26-34. Oliver Lucanus (2008) [article]
click here to read review

A Key to Amphibians and Reptiles of the United States and Canada Robert Powell et al. (1998, 131 pp.)
click here to read review

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms Amy Stewart (2004, 223 pp.)
click here to read review

CULTURING LIVE FOODS

Breeding Food Animals/Live Food for Vivarium Animals Ursula Friedrich & Werner Volland (2004, 178 pp.)
[orig German: Futtertierzucht: Lebendfutter für Vivarientiere (1981, 1992, and 1998)].
click here to read review

Culturing Live Foods Mike Hellwegg (2008, 240 pp.)
click here to read review

Culture Methods for Invertebrate Animals Frank Lutz et al. (1937, Reprinted 1959, 590 pp.)
click here to read review

Live Food Cultures for the Ornamental Aquatic Industry Alex Ploeg and Roberto Hensen, Eds. (2008, 145 pp.)
click here to read review

FIELD GUIDES

*A Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians of Eastern & Central North America Peterson Roger Conant et al. (orig 1958 with many updates; Fourth edition 1998, 640 pp.)
click here to read review
Especially helpful for differentiating between similar species.

*National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians (1979, 744 pp.)
click here to read review
Chock full of photos.

Amphibians of Wisconsin Rebecca Christoffel (2001, 44 pp.)
Published by the Endangered Resources Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
click here to read review

Guide and Reference to the Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America (North of Mexico) Richard Bartlett and Patricia Bartlett (2006, 286 pp.)
click here to read review

The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State James Gibbs et al., (2007, 422 pp.)
click here to read review

Salamanders, Frogs, and Turtles of New Jersey's Vernal Pools: a Field Guide Leo Kenney and Matthew Burne, with modifications and adaptations for New Jersey by Jason Tesauro, Kris Schantz, and Melissa Craddock. (c2001, 54 pp.)
click here to read review

Amphibians and Reptiles of South Dakota Alyssa M. Kiesow (2006, 178 pp.)
click here to read review

A Field Guide to Amphibians of Opal Creek John Villella and Adam Mims (2007, 47 pp.)
click here to read review.

(Highly) ADVANCED BOOKS
If you want the ultimate sources, here they are.

*Biology of Amphibians William E. Duellman & Linda Trueb (1986, 1994, 670 pp.)
click here to read review

The Ecology and Behavior of Amphibians Kentwood Wells (2007, 1400 pp.)
click here to read review

*Amphibian Medicine and Captive Husbandry Kevin Wright & Brent Whitaker (2001, 570 pp.)
click here to read review

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

The Moon of the Salamanders Jean Craighead George (1967 and 1992, 47 pp.) The two editions are different:
click here to read review

Red Spotted Newt Doris Gove (1994, 28 pp.)
click here to read review

Frogs Gail Gibbons (1994, 32 pp.)
click here to read review

Little Red Newt Louise Dyer Harris and Norman Dyer Harris, illustrated by Henry Bugbee Kane (1958, 57 pp.)
click here to read review.

What Newt Could Do for Turtle Jonathan London, illustrated by Louise Voce (1996, 40 pp.)
click here to read review

The Salamander Room Anne Mazer (1994, 32 pp.)
click here to read review

Salamander Rock: A Pop-Up Counting Adventure Matt Mitter, illustrated by Karen Viola (208, 12 pp.)
click here to read review

Pip's Magic Ellen Stoll Walsh (1994, 32 pp.)
click here to read review

Salamanders (Nature's Children Series, Set 2). John Woodward (2008, 52 pp.)
click here to read review

OTHER BOOKS

War with the Newts Karel Čapek (orig. 1936; many editions available, 348 pp.)
click here to read review

COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
(i.e. Pictures are the real assets of these books.)

Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians: A Comprehensive Illustrated Guide by International Experts Harold Cogger and Richard Zweifel, illustrations by David Kirshner (1998, 238 pp.)
click here to read review

Amphibians Robert Hofrichter, editor. (2000, 264 pp.)
click here to read review

The World's Most Spectacular Reptiles and Amphibians William W. Lamar, Photos by Pete Carmichael and Gail Shumway (1997, 208 pp.)
click here to read review

FOREIGN LANGUAGE BOOKS

*Les Urodèles du Monde Jean Raffaëlli (2007, 377 pp.)
Indispensable, if you read French.
click here to read review

Feuerbachmolch: Pflege und Zucht Michael Franzen & Ursula Franzen (2005, 78 pp.)
click here to read review

Reptilien und Amphibien Europas Axel Kwet (2005, 252 pp.)
click here to read review

Les Triton japonais et chinois Marie-Sophie Germain (2006, 109 pp.)
click here to read review

Anfibios y Reptiles de la Península Ibérica, Baleares y Canarias Barbadillo et al (1999)
click here to read review

Salamanders (The new name of the Dutch salamander society newsletter.)
click here to read review

The following books are still available used, but are out of date, or not highly recommended. If you’re thinking of reading any of the following, read the reviews and then decide.


Keeping Axolotls Linda Adkins (2009, 64 pp.)
click here to read review

Designer Reptiles and Amphibians R.D. Bartlett and Patricia Bartlett (2002, 95 pp.)
click here to read review


Salamanders and Newts: A Complete Introduction Byron Bjorn (1988, 96 pp.)
Salamanders and Newts as a New Pet John Coborn (1994, 63 pp.)
click here to read review

An Instant Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians Pamela Forey and Cecilia Fitzsimons (1999, 124 pp.)
click here to read review

Newts: Their Care in Captivity Jordan Patterson (1994, 49 pp.)
There is also another version of this book published by Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, in 1999.
click here to read review

Vivaria Designs from the Experts Jerry G. Walls (2007, 144 pp.)
click here to read review
 
Last edited:

Agonzalez

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This list is super impressive and useful.
My personal favorite is the children's books section.
Something to look into.
Thank you so much for sharing these great resources.
 
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