Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman has posted his top picks for the best cryptozoology books of 2005. Remember, cryptozoology isn't just about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabras, or other celebrity "monsters." Cryptozoology is the "study of hidden animals," and Loren's list reflects that. At the top of his list is "The Lady and the Panda" by Vicki Constantine Croke. From Loren's review:
It is a wonderful old-fashioned tome on the discovery of the giant pandas – one of last century's most remarkable stories – and the relatively untold details of the woman who should get more credit for "finding" them. The search for the first live giant pandas is a fascinating but true tale of cryptozoology discovery, captured with adventure in The Lady and the Panda .
Vicki Croke's book is an exciting, warm, and intriguing volume about Ruth Harkness' personal journey to be the initial Westerner to catch and return with the first live giant pandas. This is a book I've wanted to write myself for years, and I'm glad to finally see someone, appropriately a seasoned woman writer, do a great job with this subject. The Lady and the Panda also gives due credit to Harkness' Chinese guide and eventual lover Quentin Young, who showed her how to find the giant pandas.