The best books about the ocean and its inhabitants

The Books I Picked & Why

The Sea Around Us

By Rachel Carson

The Sea Around Us

Why this book?

The Sea Around Us is, in my opinion, one of the most important classic books ever written about the oceans. This prize-winning, best-selling manuscript by late marine biologist, iconic environmentalist, and author Rachel Carlson was first published back in 1951. After many decades, it remains a powerful reading. What I like the most about this book is the ability of the author to combine scientific facts and insights with poetic prose. Today, The Sea Around us continues to remind us of the damage we are doing to our oceans.


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Song for the Blue Ocean

By Carl Safina

Song for the Blue Ocean

Why this book?

New York Times bestselling author and ecologist Carl Safina writes about the oceans and their inhabitants with beautiful and elegant prose, and this book is not different. Song for the Blue Ocean takes the readers on a passionate and intimate journey of discovery; Safina is a master in revealing the magnificence and the secrets of the ocean realm using his personal experiences in nature.


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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

By Jules Verne

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Why this book?

As a marine biologist that enjoys reading both, fiction and nonfiction, I own a copy of the classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, one of the best novels ever written about the ocean. Verne’s adventures of Captain Nemo and life inside his underwater ship, the Nautilus, can capture anyone’s imagination. 


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Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans

By Sylvia Earle

Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans

Why this book?

“Her Deepness” Sylvia Earle is an authority on ocean explorations, so this is another must-read for all ocean lovers. Sea Change recounts Earle’s decades dedicated to the discovery of the sea. With contagious enthusiasm and vivid prose, this internationally renowned author and scientist narrates her many underwater adventures while urging readers to respect the oceans and their creatures.


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The Log from the Sea of Cortez

By John Steinbeck

The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Why this book?

In this nonfiction book, American author John Steinbeck narrates the boat research expedition to collect marine specimens that he made with his friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts in the Gulf of California. As a marine biologist, I loved this book, but be careful because this extended travelogue blending adventure, science, and philosophy is not for everyone! 


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