Sailing out of Gloucester harbor with Captain Heath Ellis

Captain Heath Ellis and his buddy, Polly.

Captain Heath Ellis and his buddy, Polly

To celebrate Sy’s new picture book, The Seagull and the Sea Captain, the sea captain himself, Captain Heath Ellis, invited passengers on a commemorative sail out of Gloucester harbor onboard his schooner, The Lannon. Sy, along with the book’s artist Amy Schimler-Safford (who came up from Georgia!), and Sy’s BFF Heidi Bell joined a boatload of avid readers for a reading from the new book. And best of all, the book’s other star, Polly the five-toed seagull, appeared from the sky to enjoy a treat of oyster crackers, and a round of applause! Everyone got a commemorative pin and a sticker designed by Amy. All the kids got a Polly the Seagull stuffed toy, and all the books were signed by the author, the artist, the Captain – including a five-toed stamp to show that Polly had really appeared.

Hawk Watch. The Hawk’s Way is number one on the New England Independent Booksellers Association hardcover nonfiction list. And it’s number six on the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association list.

great horned owl

peregrine falcon

sawhet owl

Guess whooo joined Sy at the Odyssey Bookshop in S. Hadley, Mass., recently. Many thanks to the wonderful Tom Riccardi who shared the company of these ambassador birds from his Massachusetts Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Facility. (They are: great horned owl; peregrine, and sawhet owl.)

Q & A. The Boston Globe interviewed Sy for a short Q & A that ran in the June 22 edition. Here’s two of those questions with answers:

Q: And what did the hawks teach you?

A: The transformative value of loving someone without expecting them to love you back. That frees you as if you have grown wings. So many relationships are transactional. Getting to know hawks allows you to have another kind of love — an extremely pure, wild love that opens up your soul.

Q: You make clear in the book that falconry is dangerous. What hooked you?

A: Being so close to pure wildness. I wasn’t afraid. It was worth the risk to be so close to these birds. Any bird you’re hunting with has the option to fly away.

Octopi Not. The novelist Geraldine Brooks was recently talking to The New York Times Book Review about what’s she has enjoyed reading. The Times asked her:

What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?

Brooks answered: “That the plural of octopus is octopuses, not octopi, since you can’t put a Latin “i” ending on a Greek word. Just one of the interesting things I learned from “The Soul of an Octopus,” by Sy Montgomery.”

Octopus hooked rug by Debbie McIntosh of Littletown, Colorado

Hooked on Octos. Debbie McIntosh of Littletown, Colorado, made this octopus hooked rug after being inspired by The Soul of an Octopus. The rug is hooked in monochromatic green wools in the “steampunk style,” says McIntosh.

Thurber coaches Sy as she reads from The Hawk’s Way at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH.

Thurber coaches Sy as she reads from The Hawk’s Way at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH.

How to be a Good Creature is now out in Korea

How to be a Good Creature is now out in Korea.