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Last Updated on March 28, 2022 by Jella Erhard

Read the best fiction and nonfiction books about diving that will take your breath away. Explore thrilling freediving books, books about cave diving, as well as fantasy and historical scuba diving books that will take you around the world and to its deepest, most wondrous parts.

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Top Books About Diving (1)

Best Books About Diving

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Go on epic journeys to the darkest and most mysterious parts of our planet through hair-raising and breathtaking stories. We collected some of the best books about diving that are not only great reads but will help you understand more about our underwater world’s complexity, divine beauty, and why it’s so crucial for us to keep it healthy.

You’ll find here true stories, mysteries, tales about sisterhood and fierce female divers as well as fiction and thrillers novels about scuba diving. However, you don’t always need gear to go underwater. If you’re captivated by freedivers then you’re in luck because we also added a few of the greatest and most interesting freediving books that will take you to Greece and beyond.

RELATED: Best Fantasy books that will give you serious wanderlust

These books were written by acclaimed scientists, explorers, treasure hunters, and artists to help you get to know the world of diving in detail. Learn about the intriguing history of diving, its various forms, and how it advances science, the environment, and our understanding of our planet and the human body and psyche.

Get ready for adventures around the world while reading unforgettable books about cave diving and the must-read scuba diving books that also make brilliant gifts for scuba divers. No matter if you want to relax, learn for your PADI, or if you’re looking for a dangerous action-filled novel you’ll find here something that will take your breath away. If you love fascinating stories, enjoy fun scuba diving quotes, and facts about the ocean, then keep on reading.

If you’d like to read more fiction and nonfiction books written by diverse writers from around the world check out our book nook and if you’re into fantasy books you shouldn’t miss our selection of epic book lists filled with otherworldly and magical novels and book series for adults and YA readers.

Adult Coloring Books For Divers


15| National Geographic Magnificent Ocean: A Coloring Book by Justin Poulter

National Geographic Magnificent Ocean A Coloring Book by Justin Poulter (Small)

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Are you a National Geographic fan who also loves to explore and learn more about the magical underwater world? Then go on an intricate and soothing journey through NatGeo’s ocean-inspired coloring book for adults. You’ll be able to enjoy 50 intricate black and white illustrations, printed on perforated pages that will render them collectible.

Explore and learn more about our oceans and their creatures by coloring and embellishing the scales of an ocean triggerfish, intricate anemone, and the diamond pattern of sea turtles’ shells. Go on a creativity-boosting and relaxing journey into our natural underwater world.

14| Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford

Lost Ocean An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults by Johanna Basford (Small)

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Looking for a relaxing at-home underwater-inspired experience? Then check out Johanna Basford’s enchanting underwater coloring book for adults Lost Ocean. This magical journey will take you on a breathtaking underwater adventure through intricate pen and ink illustrations you’ll have to complete, color, and embellish. You’ll meet all kinds of curious sea creatures including shoals of exotic fish, curious octopi, and delicately penned seahorses.

This coloring underwater adventure will take you to beautiful coral reefs, barnacle-studded shipwrecks, and will help you find secret pirate treasures all while soothing your soul and boosting your creativity.

Non-Fiction Books About Diving

13| The Complete Diver: History, Science, and Practice of Scuba Diving By Alex Brylske Ph.D.

The Complete Diver - History, Science, and Practice of Scuba Diving By Alex Brylske Ph.D.

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Looking for a comprehensive diving book that will help you learn more about diving history, practices, and the science behind it? Then this is the right book for you. It’s a fascinating nonfiction book about diving that is not just for beginner divers or instructors but for all who are interested in the world of scuba diving, marine science, and ocean exploration.

Thanks to The Complete Diver you’ll be able to learn about the timeline of undersea exploration as well as about the latest developments in technology that will allow men to probe deeper into the vast expanse of inner space in the future. However, the book explores other interesting things including diving physics and physiology, diving medicine, health, and safety practices for scuba divers.

If you’re getting ready for your PADI license or just want to read a really informative but still entertaining book about diving then check out The Complete Diver.

12| The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One by Sylvia A. Earle

the World Is Blue How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One by Sylvia A. Earle

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Legendary marine scientist Sylvia Earle’s fascinating and beautiful book is one of the most important ones every diver, diver wannabe, and generally, every human should read. This interesting read will help you understand more about our ocean and the delicate balance of this complex organism. You’ll learn about modern overexploitation and how many species were driven to the verge of extinction, how and why half our coral reefs have died since the mid-20th century, and how toxic pollutants afflict every level of the food chain.

The World Is Blue will help you become a more sustainable diver and to understand and love our wonderful underwater world more. It’ll also provide hope by showing us responsible, renewable strategies that safeguard the natural systems that sustain us.

If you’re looking for a fascinating and accessible book that’ll help you understand more about the current state of the ocean and how to care for and treat it better then The World Is Blue is for you.

11| A Walk On The Deep Side by John Kean

A Walk On The Deep Side by John Kean - nonfiction books about diving

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Are you looking for a diving book that’ll take your breath away and keep you on the edge of your seat? Then read this amazing story about the world’s deepest scuba divers. Go on a crazy and dangerous journey that will introduce to you the golden era of extreme deep scuba diving. 

This fascinating behind-the-scenes story is about man’s quest for the abyss. You’ll learn about the misfits and revolutionaries of the deep-diving community who redefined the possibilities of deep-diving.

This thrilling story is about two British deep divers, Leigh Cunningham and Mark Andrews and it tells their remarkable and near-endless uphill battle to bag one of scuba diving’s greatest prizes.

If you’re looking for one of the most thought-provoking and adventurous nonfiction books about deep-diving that will take your breath away then pick up A Walk On The Deep Side.

10| Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth

Into the Planet My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth - best books about diving

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This brilliant book about cave diving was written by one of the world’s most renowned cave divers and tells her firsthand account of exploring the earth’s final frontier: the hidden depths of our oceans and the sunken caves inside our planet.

Did you know that more people have died exploring underwater caves than climbing Mount Everest? Jill Heinerth is one of the very few women in her field and is the very first person in history to dive deep into an Antarctic iceberg and lead a team that discovered the ancient watery remains of Mayan civilizations.

In her captivating book Into The Planet, she blends science, adventure, and memoir to bring readers face-to-face with the terror and beauty of earth’s remaining unknowns and the extremes of human capability.

This hair-raising book will transport you to the deepest depths of our planet while showing us all the pain, danger, and the boundless beauty that comes with cave diving.

Into The Planet is one of the most intense books about cave diving that will take your breath away and help you find your inner peace and new ways to work on your fears.

9| Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves by James Nestor

Deep Freediving, Renegade Science by James Nestor - books about freediving

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Have you been always fascinated by freedivers? Then James Nestors’ Deep is the right diving book for you. This absorbing freediving book will introduce you to the little-known world and secrets of freedivers, extreme athletes, and researchers who are transforming not only our knowledge of the planet and its creatures but also our understanding of the human body and mind. 

During this adrenalin-boosting journey, you’ll be able to explore the Atlantic’s greatest depths and go as deep as some 28,000 feet below sea level. You’ll learn about the miraculous capabilities of whales, sharks, and seals. As well as the profound physiological changes humans undergo when underwater.

Some of the most illuminating parts of the books are Nestor’s own stories as he talks about his own experiences and how he went from being a journalist to becoming a freediver by improving his skills and learning about himself and the underwater world

Deep is one of the most breathtaking and informative freediving books you’ll ever read.

8| Diver Down: Real-World Scuba Accidents and How to Avoid Them by Michael R. Ange

Diver Down Real-World Scuba Accidents and How to Avoid Them by Michael R. Ange - best diving books

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Diver Down will introduce you to some of the lesser known true stories of diving and why safety is so important when it comes to diving. You’ll be reading about stories that resulted in serious injury or death mostly because of diver error. Thanks to these gripping stories you’ll get a clear idea about just how fast can things go from bad to worse when you’re underwater.

However, all the stories are also accompanied by an in-depth analysis of what went wrong and how you can recognize, avoid, and respond to similar underwater calamities. It’s really a unique survival guide that explores the gamut of diving situations, including cave and wreck diving, deep-water dives, and much more and will also show you how to prevent tragic mishaps from happening.

Diver Down is one of the most important books about diving that will convince you through real-life stories to take safety diving instructions seriously and always double-check your gear.

7| Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

Pirate Hunters Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson

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This adventurous deep-sea diving book will take you on a breathtaking and dangerous journey where you’ll learn about the hardships of finding and identifying pirate ships under the sea.

This story is about two adventurers John Chatterton and John Mattera who are willing to risk everything to find the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister’s ship the Golden Fleece. However, they soon realize that it takes more than cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything to finally positively identify the long-lost ship.

In this suspense-filled book, you’ll follow them along on their travels around the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, meet fascinating characters, face down dangerous rivals, while also battling the tides of nations and governments, and experts.

Pirate Hunters is one of the most entertaining non-fiction deep-sea diving books filled with mystery and suspense.

6| Submerged: Adventures of America’s Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team by Daniel Lenihan

Submerged Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team by Daniel Lenihan

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If you love the stories of Indiana Jones then this adventurous nonfiction diving book about underwater archeologists is the right choice for you.

Submerged is Daniel Lenihan’s remarkable story of 25 years as founder and head of the Submerged Cultural Resource Unit (SCRU). You’ll read about ancient ruins, World War II submarines, and much more that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you love history and fascinating facts then this is the book for you.

Submerged is the most fascinating book you’ll ever read about underwater archeology and diving.

Fantasy & Fiction Books About Diving

5| The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

the island of sea women - historical fiction books about diving


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Get ready for a wonderful journey that will take you to the Korean island of Jeju. This fascinating story is about Mi-ja (daughter of a Japanese collaborator) and Young-sook ( who was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers). These two girls come from very different backgrounds, but they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective who have been diving for shellfish and seaweed since at least the 17th century.

The story spans over many decades and readers get an insight into the Japanese colonialism of the 1930s and 1940s, World War II, the Korean War, as well as the era of cellphones and wet suits for the women divers while Mi-ja and Young-sook develop almost unbreakable bonds. However, even after hundreds of dives and years of friendship, their bond is tested by forces outside of their control.

This thoughtful story is about fierce female divers, an unforgettable culture, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work.

The Island of Sea Women is one of the most illuminating and thought-provoking historical fiction books about diving, sisterhood, and female empowerment that will introduce you to a little-known part of Korea.

4| The Reef by Nora Roberts

The Reef by Nora Roberts - fiction books about diving (Small)

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts will take you on an epic journey to the depths of the Caribbean filled with passion and suspense.

Tate Beaumont is a marine archaeologist who has a passion for treasure-hunting. While she manages to find most things she went after she couldn’t recover Angelique’s Curse a precious artifact that’s heavy with history, dark with legend, and tainted with blood. So, the father-daughter duo has to form a partnership with salvagers Buck and Matthew Lassiter to finally be able to recover the jeweled amulet.

The Reef is an entertaining fiction novel about diving and treasure hunting set in the Caribbean.

3| Superior Death (Anna Pigeon #2) by Nevada Barr

Superior Death (Anna Pigeon 2) by Nevada Barr - fiction books about diving

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The second book of the famous Anna Pigeon is about a deadly mysterious treasure of Lake Superior. Readers will follow Ranger Pigeon to her new post in the cold and isolated beauty of Isle Royale National Park in Michigan known for fantastic deep-water dives of wrecked sailing vessels.

Anna was just about to get used to the calmness and slowness of her new posting when a routine application for a diving permit reveals a grisly underwater murder. Ranger Pigeon will have to go 260 feet below the surface of the lake to be able to find a connection between a drowned man and an age-old cargo ship.

A Superior Death is a passionate and atmospheric mystery-fiction book about deep-diving and treasure hunting.

2| Deep Water by Watt Key

Deep Water by Watt Key - best fiction books about diving (Small)

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Deep Water is a riveting middle-grade survival scuba diving story that’s just as entertaining for adults as it is for teens. The story follows twelve-year-old Julie Sims who despite her young age has to lead two of her father’s clients (a son and father duo) on a dive miles off the coast of Alabama.

Unfortunately, neither the son or the father are willing to follow Julie’s advice and they quickly find themselves in a serious condition after surfacing and realizing that the dive boat along with Julie’s father has vanished. Julie has to find a way out before they would all die of hypothermia or become shark baits.

Deep Water is one of the most thrilling adventure fiction books about diving set on the Coast of Alabama.

1| The Girl Beneath the Sea by Andrew Mayne

The Girl Beneath the Sea (Underwater Investigation Unit) by Andrew Mayne books about diving

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Looking for a hair-raising thriller about diving? Then check out this brilliant novel about an underwater investigation unit set in Florida about Sloan McPherson who comes from the scandalous Florida treasure hunters and drug smugglers. However, Sloan is working hard to get out from under her family’s dark shadow to create a good future for herself and for her daughter.

Sloan is an auxiliary officer and the go-to diver for evidence recovery. However, she soon becomes a suspect when she finds a fresh kill whose history collides with her own. Sloan has to think twice and be extra careful since she’s watched by both the police and the killer.

The Girl Beneath The Sea is a rousing suspense/thriller book about diving and underwater investigation set in Florida.

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Fiction and Nonfiction Books About Diving