Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Best 6 Scuba Diving Books For Your Next Holiday


What better way to spend surface interval on your next dive trip than by reading a great diving book!

While most people associate diving books with a manual they had to read during their training classes, there is much more to them. Many diving books let you delve into the history of diving and expose a side of diving that many of us will never see.

For instance, one of the books on the list has a story about how it was fashionable in the early 20th century to experiment on dinner party guests by putting them in a pressure chamber and giving them narcosis. Another features a deep inside look into the logistics behind enormous deep dives and the insane intricate planning involved.

So find some great diving books to read on your next vacation!

Stars Beneath the Sea

Trevor Norton’s work delves into the work of some of the world’s greatest diving pioneers, highlighting some of the greatest (and often craziest) achievements and methods. The characters in the book truly lived life to the fullest and closest to the edge in eras when you could still do that.

Highlights include one of the godfathers of underwater explosives, who need to study the effects of explosions on humans underwater. With a lack of volunteers (not surprisingly), he used himself as a guinea pig, getting progressively closer to the blast radius. Despite his many injuries and extended hospital stays, he persisted in his mission to study underwater explosions.

Rolex presents: The Trieste's Deepest Dive (Extended)

Other stars were the first to dive to 1000m/3300ft in a bathyscape that can only be described as slightly larger than a coffin. Yet had two men inside it peering out of the tiniest porthole!

Stars Beneath the Sea is full of fun and humor, with fantastic tales of some of the most fascinating diving adventures ever!

Stars Beneath the Sea: The Pioneers of Diving Stars Beneath the Sea: The Pioneers of Diving

A series of detailed portraits, this history of the art of diving recounts the eccentric exploits and sense-defying feats of the men who turned underwater adventure into modern science.

08/14/2023 12:42 pm GMT

A Walk On The Deep Side

So what does it take to break a deep diving record? John Kean is a man that knows, having been involved with multiple deep diving world records and attempts over a long diving career in the Red Sea.

A walk on the Deep Side gives divers an inside look into the closely guarded world of extreme technical diving operations and the often mind-boggling logistics and planning involved.

Red Sea Record dive - 280 m - 918 ft (Part 1)

Whether it needs an entire boat to carry spare gas or a schedule to rotate regulators from deco cylinders, you often deal with hundreds of cylinders on these dives. A Walk on the Deep Side is full of fascinating facts and details.

Kean also provides an insight into the people involved and the dedication, determination, and passion of divers pushing the limits!


The crazy, dangerous and golden era of extreme deep scuba diving. It follows the tale of two British deep divers, Leigh Cunningham and Mark Andrews in their remarkable and near-endless uphill battle to bag one of scuba diving's greatest prizes. This is a stirring and uplifting book about one of the most fascinating and dangerous of all extreme sports. Buy it now and take the journey of a lifetime.

08/14/2023 12:56 pm GMT

The Last Dive

A true tragic tale of a father and son is told in this fascinating book. Author Bernie Chowdhury takes you deep into the fateful dive that took the lives of Chris and Chrisy Rouse.

The experienced divers and wreck fanatics became obsessed with chasing, documenting, and discovering the identity of a sunken German U-boat lying in the water close to New York Harbor.

The book explores the fate of the Rouses and the high-stakes risks involved with deep wreck diving and penetrating unknown overhead environments. The book also offers a peek into the dedicated and obsessive mindset that some divers develop over exploring and documenting unknown and mysterious wrecks.

Although tragic, this is a story it is well worth reading.

The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths

Spurred on by a fatal combination of obsession and ambition, Chris and Chrisy Rouse, an experienced father-son scuba diving team, hoped to achieve wide-spread recognition for their outstanding and controversial diving skills by solving the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented, World War II German U-boat that lay only a half day’s mission from New York Harbor.

08/14/2023 01:12 pm GMT

Neutral Buoyancy

A tour du force of diving history, facts, and culture by diver and journalist Tim Ecott. Neutral Buoyancy is one of the most famous diving books of the last 20 years and is a must-read for aspiring or accomplished divers. The book is a deep dive into humans’ relationship with the sea and how we have tried for centuries to conquer the “cruel mistress.”

Whether it is tales of rudimentary 16th-century diving bells or ancient Greek sponge divers mentioned by non-other than Aristotle, the book lets you view today’s scuba diving in a new light.

It is not just a modern form of recreation but the latest in a long list of human attempts to discover, explore and tame the oceans. The is more diving history packed into this book than you can imagine!

The Silent World

Probably the book that started it all back in 1954. The Silent World is a memoir of the legend that is Jacques Cousteau, the man who invented scuba diving. The Silent World was a huge bestseller when it was first published back in 1954. While our view and understanding of the world have dramatically changed since those early days, the book remains relevant.

The Silent World: Jacques Cousteau 1956

Reading the Silent World gives you a solid historical basis for how scuba started and the adventurous spirits of those first scuba diving pioneers. The book I also entertaining, and most divers today will find some early accepted diving practices scary!

The Silent World: The International Bestseller by the Father of Underwater Exploration The Silent World: The International Bestseller by the Father of Underwater Exploration

Before becoming the man who introduced us to the wonders of the sea through his beloved television series, Jacques Cousteau was better known as an engineer and the inventor of scuba. He chronicled his early days of underwater adventure in The Silent World—a memoir that was an instant, international bestseller upon its publication in 1954. Now, National Geographic presents a 50th anniversary edition of this remarkable book, allowing readers to once again travel under the sea with Cousteau during the turbulent days of World War II.

08/14/2023 01:22 pm GMT

Shadow Divers

The book that started it all for Acclaimed divers, explorers, and TV presenters John Chatterton and Richie Kohler. Shadow Divers is the story of their quest in 1991 to uncover the identity of a U-Boat lying off the coast of New Jersey in 230ft/70m of water.

Shadow Diver on the U869 narrated by John Chatterton

The boat had no identifying marks and was a hulk of twisted metal, cables, and human bones. No records indicated a possible boat was in the area, and this submarine’s mystery grew.

Robert Kurson’s supreme writing not only brings to life the six-year quest by a  team of divers to solve the mystery of this U-boat. But it also brings to life the relationship between Kohler and Chatterton, who started as bitter rivals but grew to be firm friends through their pursuit of the same goal!

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves. For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.

08/14/2023 01:41 pm GMT
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for