Octo on the list. The end of the year is the time for reading lists. Former Congressman Steve Israel (D-N.Y. 2001 to 2017) asked his old colleagues in the House to tell him about books that they read this year for “insight, knowledge and, yes, escape.” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) enjoyed reading The Soul of an Octopus because it’s “a fun and fascinating diversion from the political stuff I usually read. It’s about a biologist’s relationship and attachment to octopuses. Amazing animals, octopuses posses powers of thinking and feeling far beyond anything I knew.”
Check out Freya on the move. “Freya,” the octopus you can now see at the New England Aquarium “seems to have strong opinions about some things. For example, she’ll grab the magnetic glass cleaner from her side of the glass when she decides it is not time to clean the glass. Her personality definitely shines through the glass,” say the folks at the aquarium. They’d love it if you’d come “meet this spunky new addition to the Olympic Coast exhibit.”
When Sy was in New York recently talking at the 92nd St. Y with Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Barbra J. King, she was treated to a tour of The Butterfly Conservatory at the Museum of Natural History. Reader and museum volunteer Sandya Satia was a gracious guide. In the photo Sy enjoys a visit from a Blue Morpho and a Magnificent Owl.
Tamed and Untamed is the number one bestselling paperback at the Concord Bookshop in Concord, Massachusetts.
Sy was delighted to be on Brendan O’Meara’s Creative Nonfiction podcast. She told Brendan: “I have never picked the safe option and I have never regretted choosing what I’ve chosen ever.” After the show Brendan said, “Frankly, I came away from this conversation feeling good, just good, and the people who make you feel that way are the people you want to surround yourself with. I know I ended that sentence with a preposition, but whatever.”
Rendezvous mit einem Oktopus is popular in Germany. The German translation has just gone back for its fifth printing.
Spanish Octo on the way. Seix Barral, an imprint of Planeta, will be bringing a translation of The Soul of an Octopus to Spain.
The Good Good Pig paperback edition is now in its 17th printing.
Tamed and Untamed has crossed the pond. The Daily Mail in London has named Tamed and Untamed as one of the Best Reads of the Year, calling it “a charming collection of short, sometimes funny and occasionally eccentric essays.”
Love of spiders. The fourth graders in Megan Popp’s and Christine Wittig’s class at PS/MS 200 in Flushing, Queens enjoyed The Tarantula Scientist. The class wrote Sy beautiful letters, and they are now pen pals with Sy. One student, Rochelle, wrote: “I really love your book and before I read it I hated spiders…Sam Marshall was a big help and taught me to learn about how important spiders are.”