I loved Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean, a book about two friends hunting a Greenland Shark in northern Norway.
It goes into many interesting places: history, Norwegian culture, the nature of male friendship, and the immense and mysterious world that lies below the sea.
Interesting throughout and I highlighted a couple passages:
On the seaward side of the Vesterålen archipelago, they have a special word for the sound of the ocean when heard through a bedroom window on a mild summer night–the sound of water calmly lapping against the shore. The word is syjbårturn.
And this (related to Futility Closet’s “Pigs on Trial” episode):
One afternoon I describe how animals from the Middle Ages all the way up to the 1800s could be taken to court for breaking human laws. Dogs, rats, cattle, even millipedes were charged with and jailed for crimes ranging from murder to indecent behavior.
Defense attorneys were appointed, witnesses summoned, and every legal procedure of the day was followed. Sparrows were accused of twittering too loudly during a church service. Pigs that had attacked young children were sentenced to death.
In France, a pig was dressed in a suit, led to the gallows, and hanged. In 1750, a donkey was found innocent after an unfortunate incident only because a priest was able to testify that the animal had previously led a virtuous life.