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The Soul of an Octopus : A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness
by Sy Montgomery


Overview - Finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction
"New York Times "Bestseller
Sy Montgomery s "The Soul of an Octopus" does for the creature what Helen Macdonald s "H Is for Hawk" did for raptors. ("New Statesman," UK)
Starred "Booklist" and "Library Journal "Editors Spring Pick
One of the best science books of the year Science Friday, NPR
A "Huffington Post" Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year
One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads
"Library Journal "Best Sci-Tech Book of 2015
An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year
In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir "The Good Good Pig," Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.
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More About The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
 
 
 
Overview
Finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction
"New York Times "Bestseller
Sy Montgomery s "The Soul of an Octopus" does for the creature what Helen Macdonald s "H Is for Hawk" did for raptors. ("New Statesman," UK)
Starred "Booklist" and "Library Journal "Editors Spring Pick
One of the best science books of the year Science Friday, NPR
A "Huffington Post" Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year
One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads
"Library Journal "Best Sci-Tech Book of 2015
An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year
In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir "The Good Good Pig," Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.
Sy Montgomery s popular 2011 "Orion" magazine piece, Deep Intellect, about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being" know" anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?
The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, "The Soul of an Octopus "reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781451697711
  • ISBN-10: 1451697716
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: May 2015
  • Page Count: 272


Related Categories

Books > Nature > Marine Life
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Zoology - Invertebrates

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-05-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

The ever-curious Montgomery (author of Temple Grandin), a naturalist who writes books for children and adults alike, sets out on a quest to learn what it's like to be an octopus after she meets an octopus named Athena at the New England Aquarium. Upon introduction, the young octopus reached her tentacles out to her new acquaintance, winning over the immediately fascinated Montgomery. The pair developed a relationship that Montgomery charts as she relates her frequent visits to Athena. Athena's sudden death plunged Montgomery into a deep grief, but she returned to the aquarium to meet Octavia, the first in a series of octopuses—followed by Kali and Karma—that reveal to Montgomery just how brilliant these cephalopods can be. She reveals that octopuses often get bored, requiring diversions and toys to keep them occupied; that they change colors to show anger, hunger, annoyance, and pleasure; and that they are not always motivated by hunger, but often crave attention once they receive it from humans. Montgomery's deep love of these creatures often causes her to excessively anthropomorphize them, but her depictions of her intimate experiences with her cephalopod friends ring true, allowing readers to see them in an entirely new light. Agent: Sarah Jane Freymann, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary. (May)

 
BAM Customer Reviews