Entertainment

Get hooked on these fictional and nonfictional shark stories

The Shark, nature's most fearsome predator, fears nothing, attacks anything, and devours everything. Enjoy suspenseful and gripping stories about these terrifying (albeit, misunderstood) creatures in books and DVDs from your Manatee County Public Library System.

"Jaws" by Peter Benchley is the classic thriller of man-eating terror, the suspense, the shocks and the shark. This unforgettable novel of death inspired the Steven Spielberg movie "Jaws" available on DVD. The seaside community of Amity is at the mercy of a giant shark. A small-town police chief, a marine biologist and a modern-day Ahab must try to stop it, but they are only three men, alone against the Great White Death.

"Soul Surfer" by Bethany Hamilton is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm in a shark attack. Through her sheer determination, courage and unwavering faith she overcame all odds to become a champion surfer again. his biography is also available as an eBook and on DVD through the library. The memorable movie produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment has an all-star cast, including Anna Sophia Robb, Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid and Carrie Underwood in her film debut.

"Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence" by Michael Capuzzo combines rich historical detail and pulse-pounding narrative as he brilliantly recreates the summer of 1916, when ocean swimming was just becoming popular. Americans were abruptly introduced to terror when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history. From the first attack on the son of a Philadelphia physician to the spine-tingling moment when a farm boy first feels the sandpaper-like skin of the passing shark you will be immersed is this undeniably gripping saga.

"Open Water" stars Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis. While on vacation an American couple boards a tour boat to go scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Following a series of miscommunications they are accidentally left behind in shark infested waters to fend for themselves and find their way back to shore. Based on true events, the film is starkly realistic and haunting and plunges to depths you wouldn't expect in a horror film.

"Deep Blue Sea" is a science fiction horror film starring Saffron Burrows, Michael Rapaport, LL Cool J, and Samuel L. Jackson. The movie is filled with nerve-jangling suspense and thrills that will grab you and not let go. Researchers on the undersea laboratory Aquatica have genetically altered the brains of captive sharks in the search of a potential cure for Alzheimer's. The unexpected side effect is dangerously smarter sharks which means trouble for the researchers and lunch for the sharks. When a tropical storm floods Aquatica, the crew is plunged into a harrowing battle of wits against sleek killing -- and thinking -- machines.

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. You can also access the library via mymanatee.org/library.

Cathy Habora is a staff member at the Braden River Branch Library.

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