Amazon Adventure is a Junior Library Guild Selection

Amazon AdventureAmazon Adventure is a Junior Library Guild Selection. The Junior Library Guild is a book selection service serving many thousands of libraries, which rely on them to guide their book purchases for young readers. The Guild reviews books in advance of publication and select those they consider the best. Amazon Adventure will be published in July.

Octo Rising. That octopus book keeps swimming upward. The Soul of an Octopus is now at No. 4 on The New York Times Animals Bestseller list for January.

душа осьминога (Dusha os’minoga) – That’s Soul of an Octopus in Russian (or so says Google Translate). Sy’s Octo book will be published in Russia.

“Sy Montgomery’s books create an image of our collective ancestry,” says a review of three of Sy’s books posted by the Human Venture Community. “Why is this important? When we see humanity in all living beings we care about more than just our own species. No matter what other communities we belong to, we belong to two fundamental communities, life and humanity. Obligations to smaller communities, be it our social group or nation, can blind us to needs the greater community of life. If we connect our own process of becoming with humanity’s process of becoming, it will shift the way we prioritize and carry out our obligations. This is critical because the kind of learning and solutions we need for our civilizations greatest threats, need to be informed with all of life in mind.”

The review covers The Soul of an Octopus, Birdology, and Walking with The Great Apes. The Human Venture Community in Calgary, Alberta, is “committed to ongoing research and learning by exploring Human Learning Ecology,” which seeks to understand “the priorities, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors” that created the environmental crisis.

Octo Obama-rama. As a parting gift to President Obama, the famous Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, has sent him 10 books and it’s quite an interesting gathering, including a certain octo book. (They’ve also sent the incoming president a different set of books.)

Last December, Powell’s “invited customers to suggest books for President Obama and President-Elect Trump as they move into new roles. After hundreds of recommendations, the store chose 10 books each for the incoming and outgoing presidents ‘with a focus on informative, entertaining, and inspirational titles.’ The books are being sent in time for Inauguration Day,” says the store.

“In a note to both recipients, Powell’s CEO Miriam Sontz wrote: ‘All of us have great faith in the transformative nature of books — we are passionate about the impact reading can have on our personal lives and on the life of our country. Those of us in the book business are also optimists. We know that life will always present challenges and books will always be there to help us.’”

The 10 books for President Obama:

A Full Life by Jimmy Carter

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

My Beer Year by Lucy Burningham

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Goodbye Mr. President, we will miss you. And should you have any questions about octopuses, just pick up the Octo Hotline – you know, the phone with 8 buttons that changes colors and has tentacles – and call Sy.

Japanese title for The Soul of the OctopusMy Sweet Octopus. That will be the Japanese title for The Soul of the Octopus to be published in February 2017. Or: 愛しのオクトパス――海の賢者が誘う意識と生命の神秘の世界. The translation of the subtitle is: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness and Life, Invited by the Intelligent Creature in the Sea. A very popular Japanese cartoonist, Chiisakobe O.C., has drawn the cover.

As 2016 ends, The Soul of an Octopus is on these lists of bestsellers at independent bookstores for the week ending December 25: #7 in New England, #9 in the Pacific Northwest, #10 in Southern California, #3 in Northern California, and #10 in the Mountains & Plains.

Forbes, the business magazine, has chosen The Soul of an Octopus as one of the 10 best popular science books for 2016.

Jim Jarmusch’s new movie, PatersonAn octopus walks into a movie… Sy received this report from friend and editor Phil Pochoda, reporting from a “grand Los Angeles theater” where he was seeing Jim Jarmusch’s new movie, Paterson: “Towards the end of the movie, the hero, after a distressing event, is wandering through a bookshelf of primarily poetry books (not least, William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, which book seems to underlie much of the plot and characters in the movie). But third from the end of the shelf is … Soul of an Octopus (though it’s hard to figure out why it would have been included). In any case, it felt good to see it there.” An octopus always dresses up a movie.