Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 15th, 2006
The Top Cryptozoology Books of 2006
It is time for the annual top picks for the best cryptozoology books of 2006, with attention to each book’s individual achievements noted in recognition of its unique niche within the cryptozoological literature this year.
Since 2000, I have published my annual "best of lists" in cryptozoology. Last year’s list of the best non-fiction books can be found here. For more information on each book picked below, please click on its hyperlinked name.
Congratulations to the authors, editors, and publishers. Readers, however, are the real winners, as every one of these books are special and worthy of your personal or community library, or for giving as a gift to your favorite cryptozoologist-in-training and cryptozoology, zoology, or natural history fans.
Here are 2006’s top cryptozoology books, in the noted categories:
(1) The Best Individual Cryptid Book of 2006
The Yowie: In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper
"It is destined to become an instant cryptozoological classic." – Dean Harrison, Austalian Yowie Research, October 6, 2006.
Tony Healy and Paul Cropper have written the most compelling book this year on one specific group of cryptids. It gathers the best historical and contemporary accounts, evidence, and theories on these less-than-fully-understood (outside of Australia) and little-recognized unknown hairy hominoids. In one fell swoop, this book may stand up for years as the one to consult about these creatures. What the co-authors did for this unknown "species" – Yowies, all – was this year unmatched in any other literary treatment in cryptozoology.
The Yowie is a model of organization and completeness to be followed by future authors who wish to publish their examinations of a body of data on one cryptid. The beautiful cover picked by Anomalist Books does not lie. It is a colorful door to the wonders you will find inside these 300-plus pages.
(This book contains one of several unpaid, contributed forewords to books I wrote this year, and I deemed that no reason to disqualify this remarkable volume from the recognition it deserves internationally.)
(2) The Best General Book on Cryptozoology of 2006
Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale edited by Mark Bessire and Raechell Smith.
This book is a work of art, in illustrations, photographs, design, and words. It is the tome this year that captures the full impact of how cryptozoology is now a crossover into popular culture, and not merely the property of science any longer. For more about this book, see the editor of Crypto Craig Heinselman’s review.
(3) The Best Bigfoot Book of 2006
Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science by Jeff Meldrum.
What can I say? This most anticipated of books on the American Bigfoot is a volume people have been waiting to see, for years, from Jeff Meldrum. It does not disappoint and covers all the material that Meldrum has been studying. His sections on footprint analyses step beyond those of the late Grover Krantz.
(4) The Best Biographical Cryptozoology Book of 2006
Valley of the Skookum: Four Years of Encounters with Bigfoot by Sali Sheppard-Wolford.
How would you like to have your mother write a book to explain why you are obsessed with an interest in Bigfoot? Bigfoot researcher and television personality Autumn Williams is lucky enough to have a mother who has done exactly this. The result is a fascinating and insightful book. In an era in which some rather sketchy "close contact" books have been produced with shortcomings like bad editing, this is a wonderful, well-done, nicely-presented addition to that literature from Pine Winds Press.
(5) The Best Historical Cryptozoology Book of 2006
The Historical Bigfoot by Chad Arment
This is a book that I’ve wanted to write or read since the early 1960s. I congratulate Chad Arment for finally doing the hard work to produce such a valuable reference work in Sasquatch research. Anyone serious about Bigfoot should read this book early in your study of the hairy hominoids.
Honorable Mention: Shadows of Existence by Matthew Bille
(6) The Best Skeptical Lake Monster Book of 2006
Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World’s Most Elusive Creatures by Benjamin Radford and Joe Nickell.
(7) The Best Fortean Cryptozoology Book of 2006
Hunting the American Werewolf by Linda S. Godfrey.
Honorable Mention: The Owlman and Others (30th Anniversary Expanded Edition) by Jonathan Downes.
(8) The Best C
ryptozoological Expedition Book of 2006
CFZ Expedition Report 2006 – Gambia by Oll Lewis, Lisa Dowley, Suzi Marsh, Karl Shuker, Jonathan Downes, Chris Moiser, Richard Freeman, and Chris Clark.
(9) The Best Flying Cryptid Book of 2006
Searching For Ropens: Living Pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea by Jonathan Whitcomb.
Honorable Mention: The Carolina Parakeet: America’s Lost Parrot In Art And Memory by Carole Boston Weatherford.
(10) The Best Cryptozoology Children’s Book of 2006
Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist by Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young.
Honorable Mention: Little People And A Lost World: An Anthropological Mystery by Linda Goldenberg (Atkinson).
Honorable Mention: Searching the Abyss: A Beginners Guide to Cryptozoological Investigation by Mark A. Mihalko.
Copyright 2006 Loren Coleman.
A few notes about criteria: Books have to have been published for the first time or extensively revised, for 2006, to be on this list. They have to still be in print and be available for ordering as new books, thus out-of-print books, even if published in 2006, are not here. No e-books or online published books; these are books you can physically take with you to the beach or to the Congo.
Books have to be received to be noted at Cryptomundo, and to be read to be placed on the Top Cryptozoology Books for 2007. Please send your review copies to Loren Coleman, P. O. Box 360, Portland, ME 04112 USA, for future consideration. Thank you.
I have excluded any book on which I am officially listed as a co-author. However, I have included others, of course, in which I may be mentioned or to which I may have contributed, due to my involvement in the field. I routinely assist seekers, researchers and authors with their cryptozoology projects, freely.
The following books were taken out of possible contention in 2006, due to the fact I am a co-author of each of these three. This is fair, of course, but somewhat unfair to my four co-authors. My appreciation to each of my co-writers for these 2006 volumes: The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates co-authored with Patrick Huyghe; Unidentified & Creatures of the Other Edge with Jerome Clark; and Weird Ohio with Andy Henderson and James Willis.
Furthermore, so there would be no charges of family favoritism, a general Fortean book with some parts that are cryptozoological, More Strange Highways, written by my brother Jerry D. Coleman, has been left off the list of candidates too, but like all of the ones mentioned here, are highly recommended.
To find the master list of all links to every 2006 lists created at Cryptomundo about the top cryptozoology stories, the top Bigfoot stories, top mystery photographs, best cryptozoology books, best cryptofiction books, top creepy fossil discoveries, gifts, passings, top cryptids, and more, please click here.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.