The Sea Around Us

By Rachel Carson,

Book cover of The Sea Around Us

Book description

Originally published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most influential books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson's ability to combine scientific insight with poetic prose catapulted her book to the top of The New York Times best-seller list, where it remained for more than…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Sea Around Us as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A book about the marine world that is written for the general public which is scientifically accurate. The author’s writing style is poetic and entrancing while being scientifically correct.

She explains the basics of waves and tides and other aspects of physical oceanography, as well as focusing most of her attention on the fascinating life that inhabits the oceans. Her discussions of life forms from the tiny plankton near the surface down to the bizarre creatures that live in the deep sea, are fascinating. 

From Judith's list on the marine environment.

Although more than half a century old, Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us still reads as fresh and evocative as it did when first published.

Carson, the environmentalist writer more famous for Silent Spring, was perhaps the finest science communicator of the twentieth century. The Sea Around Us endures today through the forceful and convincing case it makes for the importance of the intimate relationship between human societies and the sea.

What is so striking about Caron’s work is her ability to offer such a highly textured account that shifts seamlessly from describing the awe-inspiring vastness of the sea to…

From Thomas' list on why the history of the ocean matters.

Carson’s 1955 book is worth revisiting in this age of sea-level rise. The second installment in her ocean trilogy, The Sea Around Us occupied the New York Times bestseller list for 86 weeks. It also won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Burroughs Medal in nature writing. Today, the book remains a model for turning science into prose. Carson’s work endures in part because she found writing difficult. For all her toil, readers are the beneficiaries. Whether describing a seashell or explaining the intricate composition of sediments, her words move across the page as nimbly as sanderlings across…

From Jack's list on placed-based nature writing.

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.

From Maddalena's list on the ocean and its inhabitants.

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