Forget Shark Week — what we really need is Octopus Week, the New York Post declares after reading The Soul of an Octopus. And they back up their case with videos of octopuses performing their usual amazing feats.
The Soul of an Octopus moves closer to number 8. It’s at number nine on July’s New York Times bestsellers list of books about animals.
Fourth Printing. Simon & Schuster has gone back for a fourth printing of The Soul of an Octopus.
In great company, along with Jacques Cousteau and Rachael Carson: Off the Shelf picks 11 Books to Explore the Mysteries of the Ocean Deep.
Alton Brown is a chef, host of the popular show Good Eats on the Food Network, and is busy touring the country with a live show. The website Lifehacker asked Brown all sorts of questions about his kitchen, the tools and apps he uses and:
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: Gravity’s Rainbow, James Bond novels, and Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus.
Octopuses Down Under, across the Atlantic and in the Hub (Boston). Sy talks to ABC Late Night Live in Australia to Sean Moncrieff, Ireland’s favorite radio show host, and to Modern Notion Daily. Sy also appears on WGBH’s television show, Greater Boston, at the 16:29 mark.
Booksellers love The Soul of The Octopus. That’s what three of Sy’s favorite independent booksellers told the New Hampshire weekly, The Hippo:
- Michael Herrman, owner of Gibson’s Bookstore: “A fascinating journey into the minds of creatures that are separated from us by half a billion years of evolution.”
- Holly and Willard Williams, owners of The Toadstool Bookshop: “Successfully foists her enthusiasm on all readers, even those who might not have initially shared her love.”
The latest Octo radio. While in Vancouver Sy spoke with CBC Radio One on The Early Edition about what she’s learned from octopuses: “They’ve taught me that there’s many different ways of knowing and thinking and feeling, all vivid and all important… These animals’ brains are so different from ours, their lives are so different from ours, their bodies are so different from ours… they taste with all of their skin, including their eyelids… They can know you and know you are different from this other person … and that to me expands the moral universe quite a bit.”
The story behind the book. In Sunday’s Boston Globe, Sy talks about why she wanted to write about Octopuses: “This strong sense of personality attracted her to the animals, said Montgomery, who co-writes a Globe column, Tamed and Untamed. ‘We split from our common ancestor with the octopus half a billion years ago. And yet — you can make friends with an octopus.’
“Is friendship the right word, really, or is that anthropomorphizing a set of animal reactions and responses? Montgomery rejects the question. ‘Anthropomorphism is such an interesting concept,’ she said. ‘It means projecting human thoughts and emotions onto an animal. Which implies that thoughts and feelings belong to humans alone. Of course, if you believe in evolution, or if you believe in the Bible, that’s not so. Both evolution and the Bible tell us that we’re part of a family.’ Read the rest of the short interview.
Underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen has signed copies of our book for kids, The Octopus Scientists, at New England Aquarium’s great gift shop. If you’re in the area, stop by and pick up a copy — and don’t forget to say hello to Elvira the octopus (who’s on eggs).