"The Book of Shells," by M.G. Harasewych and Fabio Moretzsohn (University of Chicago, $55)
Anyone who has strolled a beach is a shell collector. There they are, washed up for the picking, the discarded home-grown home of an ocean mollusk. But what are they?
Conchologists Harasewych and Moretzsohn have put together a gorgeous, if pricey, compendium of shell types, well-illustrated and superbly organized.
Hawaiian beaches are generally considered among the world’s top locations for shell-finding, especially for cowries, and this book will help you identify that mystery shell. It also contains concise information on shell taxonomy, collecting, preparation and storage, plus an enormous cross-referenced index.
"CL 2011," by Clark Little (Clark Little Photography, $15)
We don’t generally do calendars, but this one is a spinoff from Little’s massive art book of his "shorebreak" photography. The pictures work particularly well as a calendar, and he jumps the gun a bit, making a 16-month calendar that began in September. The reproduction is pretty.