Long after the dinosaurs toppled from the top of the food chain and into extinction, they continue to dominate pop culture. From books to movies to television shows, they range from the really good (Jurassic Park) to the really bad (Jurassic Park III) to the utterly ridiculous (Tammy and the T-Rex). But no matter how bad or ridiculous, they always draw an audience. If you know you'll leave the theater after Jurassic World is over and still want more dinosaurs, you’ll want to add these five books to your summer reading list.
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
In this classic, readers find themselves traveling down a volcano only to witness a fight between two of the large, reptilian beasts. The battle is every bit as epic as any from the Jurassic Park series even if the monsters aren’t the strict focus of the book. However, there is some debate among scholars and nerds alike over whether these creatures are dinosaurs or not, you’ll have to read it to decide for yourself.
Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey is best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, but in this lesser known book (and it’s sequel, Dinosaur Planet Survivors) she tackles a different creature. In Dinosaur Planet, a scientific team of explorers lands on a new world and while searching for new energy sources, they find themselves face to face with the large, reptilian beasts.
The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In the book that inspired Jurassic Park and it’s sequel, Doyle takes readers on a journey deep into the heart of the Amazon where Professor Challenger is quite sure the prehistoric beasts still reside. In Doyle’s world, unlike reality, dinosaurs coexist alongside prehistoric mammals, ape-like humanoids, and humans. This tangled up and unnatural existence creates a suspenseful, page-turning adventure that draws the reader in.
A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton
This short story about a cold and distant Dinosaur with a sense of humor who falls in love with a warm and free-spirited Lovely Other Dinosaur will warm your heart. Both dinosaurs notice flaws in each other, but realize they are simply a part of why they love each other. The adorable illustrations and simple dialogue deliver a this message in a sweet and poignant way.
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán
While this book doesn’t release until later this summer, it’s already earned a spot on my TBR list just based on the description and cover alone. According to the blurb from George R. R. Martin on the cover, this book is “like a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones.” And really, who doesn’t want to read a book about Knights who ride into battle on the backs of dinosaurs?
And as a bonus… All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John
This book doesn’t focus solely on dinosaurs, which is why it didn’t earn a spot in the top five. But I’d be remiss to leave such a well done, quirky book off completely. Both the dark comedy and it’s sequel, All My Friends Are Still Dead, are absolutely worth a quick read.