There are many excellent books on the subject of oysters. Here are some that we have recently read and recommend:
Brennessel, Barbara, Good Tidings - The History and Ecology of Shellfish Farming in the Northeast, University Press of New England, 2008. A summer resident of Wellfleet and Professor of Biology, the author began with a personal fascination with clams. Her scientific background and proximity to other types of shellfish apparently sparked her personal voyage into the intricacies of oysters and scallops as well. It is unique in its full presentation and explanation of New England oyster sea farming - from hatchery to recipes. It is practically a textbook for a sea farmer.
Jacobsen, Rowan, A Geography of Oysters - The Connoisseurs's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America, Bloomsbury USA, 2007. This is an excellent comprehensive reference on the subject of oysters and oyster cuisine. No one does a better job than Rowan explaining the various characteristic oyster tastes and beverage matching techniques. It is a state-of-the-art guide to oyster selection in North America.
Kurlansky, Mark, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, Ballantine Books, 2006. The story of New York is told following the trajectory of the native virginica oyster. It is worth reading if only to appreciate the scale of the trajedy of the demise of the native virginica oysters in the vicinity of New York City. If you have ever enjoyed a "Blue Point" oyster, you need to read this book.
McMurray, Patrick, Consider the Oyster - A Shucker's Field Guide, Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. Patrick is a former world champion oyster shucker who owns two raw bars in Toronto. He adds the perspective of oyster shucking techniques in great detail. His beautifully illustrated book is more international in flavor than the other books mentioned and discusses the European oyster as well as our home grown species. The text sections about oyster-related beverages are unparalleled. If you are in Toronto and love oysters, The Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill is your new home.
Walsh, Robb, Sex, Death & Oysters - A Half-Shell Lover's World Tour, Counterpoint, 2009. Fill out a wish list of all the great places in the world to enjoy an oyster and Robb Walsh will personally take you there. Laced with little known historic facts, and scientific background, this book manages to both teach and thoroughly entertain. It is unique among this selection of books in its discussion of the oyster world found in Galveston, Apalachicola, and other haunts on the Gulf of Mexico. But that is because he covers the entire Western World! His book is paired with a pictoral website that allows the reader to follow along with a pictoral counterpoint. Delicious!