The Soul of an Octopus: A Playful Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

Sy Montgomery. Atria, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9771-1
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)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 05/12/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-5011-6114-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-62231-616-8
Hardcover - 261 pages - 978-1-4711-4938-2
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-4516-9772-8
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