76 books like Song for the Blue Ocean

By Carl Safina,

Here are 76 books that Song for the Blue Ocean fans have personally recommended if you like Song for the Blue Ocean. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

From my list on combining fantasy and social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

My great interests have been ships and space travel, and if one takes time to consider the similarities the parallels stand out. Ships, especially submarines, travel in a medium and through an environment that is hostile to human life. In space travel, the ‘ship’ becomes the only habitat in which we can survive for any extended period, leaving it without a space suit is a fatal move. I cannot claim to be an expert in closed environments, but it's a subject that has fascinated me throughout my life. Every ‘biosphere’ is unique and incredibly complex and depends on the symbiosis of an enormous number of living creatures right down to bacteria and even viruses. 

Patrick's book list on combining fantasy and social commentary

Patrick G. Cox Why did Patrick love this book?

This is the story that first got me interested in science fiction. Of course, we now recognise some of the flaws in the science, but consider that at the time of its writing steam propulsion was still in its infancy, most ships were still built of timber, and Verne envisaged a ship capable of indefinite travel beneath the ocean surface – something not even possible until the advent of nuclear power almost a century later. Even today Verne’s vision and the story he wove around it can inspire.

By Jules Verne,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

First serialized in a French magazine from 1869-1870, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is an incredible adventure story that popularized science fiction throughout the world.

Professor Aronnax, a marine biologist, joins harpoonist Ned Land in search of a mysterious sea creature in the open ocean, only to discover that the beast is actually a submarine piloted by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. They are taken captive, thus beginning a strange undersea voyage from Antarctic ice shelves to the subterranean city of Atlantis, hunting sharks along the way.

With its sprawling, exotic plot and vivid descriptions, Jules Verne's epic underwater adventure…


Book cover of The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Jennifer Silva Redmond Author Of Honeymoon at Sea: How I Found Myself Living on a Small Boat

From my list on nonfiction Baja that can transport you there.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on Southern California beaches—Manhattan Beach, Venice Beach, Ocean Beach, La Jolla—but first experienced Baja as an adult. It was like a different world. Returning repeatedly over the next decade, I came to know the stunning shorelines and quiet bays of the peninsula’s midriff as intimately as my home state’s beaches. Swimming and diving Baja’s clear blue waters and hiking its dusty trails and palm-studded mountains, I have admired the many moods of this unique desert peninsula. A writer and editor, I have read extensively from the vast selection of books about Baja, both new and classic works.

Jennifer's book list on nonfiction Baja that can transport you there

Jennifer Silva Redmond Why did Jennifer love this book?

I first read this book long before I ever set foot south of Ensenada, and was immediately captivated by it—I loved how Steinbeck would wax deeply philosophical at times, but never lost the thread of the story of their journey.

This book is funny too! When Russel and I were sailing in the Sea of Cortez, we would pick it up and read the sections about the temperamental outboard engine Steinbeck dubbed the “Sea Cow,” and laugh out loud at his anecdotes. I am also fascinated by science and the ocean, and reading the book was like an overview class on oceanography and marine biology.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Log from the Sea of Cortez as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1940 Steinbeck sailed in a sardine boat with his great friend the marine biologist, Ed Ricketts, to collect marine invertebrates from the beaches of the Gulf of California. The expedition was described by the two men in SEA OF CORTEZ, published in 1941. The day-to-day story of the trip is told here in the Log, which combines science, philosophy and high-spirited adventure.


Book cover of The Sea Around Us

Judith Weis Author Of Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural History

From my list on the marine environment.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a marine biologist who studies salt marshes, fishes, crabs, and marine pollution. I fell in love with the ocean as a child and am interested in sharing my love and knowledge with other people. So, in addition to my scientific research, I write books for the general public. This was the first one, and I wanted a second author to help me write in a "user-friendly" way, different from technical writing. 

Judith's book list on the marine environment

Judith Weis Why did Judith love this book?

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. 

By Rachel Carson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Sea Around Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 a year and a half. Ultimately it sold well over a million copies, was translated into 28 languages, inspired an Academy Award-winning documentary, and won
both the National Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal. The Sea Around Us remains as fresh today as when it first appeared over six…


Book cover of Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans

Maddalena Bearzi Author Of Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist

From my list on the ocean and its inhabitants.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a passionate scientist, conservationist, and published author. I'm the President of the nonprofit Ocean Conservation Society and I hold a Ph.D. in Biology and a Post-Doc from UCLA. My research on dolphins off California represents one of the longest studies worldwide. I'm the co-author of Beautiful Minds: The Parallel Lives of Great Apes and Dolphins and author of Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist. As a photo-journalist, I've written for many national and international media, including National Geographic; I currently write essays for Medium and other publications. I live in Los Angeles with my husband. When I’m not writing, I can be found with dolphins out on the ocean, traveling, or walking my mutt.

Maddalena's book list on the ocean and its inhabitants

Maddalena Bearzi Why did Maddalena love 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.

By Sylvia Earle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sea Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1952, at age sixteen, Sylvia Earle - then a budding marine biologist - borrowed a friend's copper diving helmet, compressor, and pump and slipped below the waters of a Florida river. It was her first underwater dive. Since then, Earle has descended to more than 3,000 feet in a submersible and, despite beginning at a time when few women were taken seriously as marine scientists, has led or participated in expeditions totaling more than 7,000 hours underwater, and counting.

Equal parts memoir, adventure tale, and call to action, Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans has become a classic…


Book cover of The Little Black Fish

Mina Javaherbin Author Of My Grandma and Me

From my list on the magical power of our shared humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in Iran, I never thought I would one day become an author in a language other than my mother tongue, and live clear across the world from my birthplace. An eclectic assortment of literature, representing core human themes of thinking, love, laughter, and science are subjects that help me bond with my fellow humans. Books have constantly reassured me of our similarities and encouraged me to make connections. The magical threads of our shared humanity are tools which help us thrive in our global village. They remind us we are more similar to one another than we may think.

Mina's book list on the magical power of our shared humanity

Mina Javaherbin Why did Mina love this book?

In The Little Black Fish, our hero is the black fish who observes, thinks, and decides to do things his or her way. The picture book was banned in Iran because the author of the book, a beloved school teacher and thinker, spoke up passionately to advocate for children. When I lived in Iran, the country was managed by one person, the king. When one king or one idea rules with absolute power, people have minimal or no say in the way their country and lives are managed. Rulers at the top are happiest when people do not read, think, or protest the ways that their society is run. This gorgeous book encourages thinking, analyzing, speaking up, and action.

(Mina Javaherbin has read Little Black Fish in its original text, Persian. She has informed us of numerous translations of this book in English and numerous languages. This particular translation…

By Samad Behrangi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Little Black Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Little Black Fish may be small, but he has big questions about the world and the determination to find answers to them. Despite his mother's and the other fish warning him of the perils of leaving their safe haven, Little Black Fish swims over the edge of the pool, into the stream towards the river and to the sea. On his adventure Little Black Fish sees many wondrous and beautiful things, encounters danger lurking around every corner and finally is faced with his ultimate challenge...

A beautiful book about freedom, self-determination, courage and power, it's about a little fish who…


Book cover of Silver Shoals: The Five Fish That Made Britain

Amelia Dalton Author Of Pages from My Passport

From my list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I ‘fell’ into being at sea by chance, through my father’s insistence I join him on a Scottish fishing boat for a week. I discovered I adored exploring unknown islands and lonely beaches, discovering wildlife and resilient small communities. In the 1990’s a female working amongst fishermen and commercial shipping was unknown, it was a wholly male, chauvinistic world. Using these skills I found a job being paid to explore – a dream job, pioneering but frequently lonely and dangerous. It resulted in my expanding the range and world of small expedition ships into areas with no infrastructure, unexplored and uncharted, lonely, empty coasts from the Arctic to Singapore. 

Amelia's book list on the lives of those who pushed the boundaries

Amelia Dalton Why did Amelia love this book?

This is one of the most eye-opening and fascinating books I have read.

Having spent much of my life amongst the islands and coastal communities of the British Isles I was intrigued learn more about the fish and I did learn so much. We all know the fishing industry has shaped these islands, but the author delves deeper into what has created and influenced the many varied communities of coastal Britain, as well as illustrating the development of our many styles of fishing vessels.

It is a colourful and enlightening account.

By Charles Rangeley-Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Silver Shoals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On these rain-swept islands in the North Atlantic man and fish go back a long way. Fish are woven through the fabric of the country's history: we depend on them - for food, for livelihood and for fun - and now their fate depends on us in a relationship which has become more complex, passionate and precarious in the sophisticated 21st Century.

In Silver Shoals Charles Rangeley-Wilson travels north, south, east and west through the British Isles tracing the histories, living and past, of our most iconic fish - cod, carp, eels, salmon and herring - and of the fishermen…


Book cover of Anglerfish: The Seadevil of the Deep

Deb Aronson Author Of Reptiles: King Cobras

From my list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a non-fiction writer my entire career and I love learning new things and then sharing them with readers in an approachable and engaging way, as these books do. These books encourage curiosity and that kind of “Oh! I didn’t know that!” response, which can spark a young reader to dig deeper and even share their new knowledge with others.

Deb's book list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

I loved Anglerfish because you really feel like you are traveling with this particular creature on her journey to the deepest reaches of the ocean. She starts out this really cute, vulnerable baby and ends up pretty darn ferocious looking (here I should add that I think the illustrations are just outstanding!!)

We see her morph from a regular looking baby fish to one that has ferocious teeth, and more unusually, a lantern sticking out of her forehead! This has GOT to be one of the weirdest creatures on the planet! Plus to see the size difference between the female (big) and the male (teeny tiny) was amazing. I turned back to those pages several times. 

By Elaine M. Alexander, Fiona Fogg (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anglerfish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Dive thirteen thousand feet below the ocean's surface into the midnight zone, home to the anglerfish - a cunning hunter known as the Seadevil of the Deep.

Deep in the darkest part of the ocean where no ray of sunlight can reach, Anglerfish makes her home. Resources are scarce, and fellow inhabitants scarcer. Still largely a mystery to scientists, the deep-sea anglerfish is a true source of fascination and awe. This mesmerizing picture book shines a light on the fascinating fish, pairing a captivating text with stunning artwork.


Book cover of The Rainbow Fish

Tina Koopersmith Author Of What Am I?

From my list on young children to build self compassion.

Why am I passionate about this?

Children feel all their emotions, but I learned to suppress many emotions to avoid criticism. The youngest, I learned to not trust my intuition. I was taught that the mind was the path to success. In my chosen medical profession, physicians use intellect to heal bodies. The interconnection of thoughts, emotions, energy as well as interconnections between people and the environment are ignored. This separation from all of me was sapping me of the joy of living a full life. During my self healing integration journey: I uncovered limiting beliefs, reconnected with my heart, and dove deep into the source of my pleasure. Bringing this awareness to light should be healing.

Tina's book list on young children to build self compassion

Tina Koopersmith Why did Tina love this book?

Children love being unique and different. We live in a culture that celebrates beauty and shiny, glittery wealth and even “having” a lot.

The beautiful rainbow fish was indeed beautiful on the outside but this did not endear the fish to her peers. This book teaches that in gratitude and service to others, we show our love.

When we show our heart and share from the heart, this is a sign of true beauty, and this helps us better connect with others. And in this way–when we give love, we feel love. 

By Marcus Pfister,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Rainbow Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning book about a beautiful fish who finds friendship and happiness when he learns to share is now available in a board book edition for the youngest child.


Book cover of Louis the Fish

Kelly Bennett Author Of Not Norman: A Goldfish Story

From my list on “finny” picture books about fish.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love fish—to look at and read about—not to eat! Fish are unlike other pets. You can’t hold them, or pet them, and you certainly can’t “play” with them the way you can other pets. But for some reason, just looking at them makes me laugh. And because fish don’t say much besides “glug” (although some kinds sing and grunt) we need to imagine what they are thinking and feeling which makes for funny and surprising stories. And, yes, I have pet goldfish: an orange one, Norman, and a black fantail named Knot. 

Kelly's book list on “finny” picture books about fish

Kelly Bennett Why did Kelly love this book?

Looking for vegetarian options? This Reading Rainbow selection, published in 1980, is a masterpiece in story and art! Louis, who was born into a family of butchers, hates meat. But he loves watching fish! After his parents die, Louis inherits the butcher business. One night, Louis, who is miserable being a butcher, dreams he is a fish. When he wakes, he discovers he is a fish. A salmon. A very happy salmon who swims gleefully ever after. The story is a springboard for discussions on the importance of being true to yourself.

By Arthur Yorinks, Richard Egielski (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louis the Fish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

An unhappy butcher from Flatbush finally achieves happiness.


Book cover of Mediterranean Seafood: A Comprehensive Guide With Recipes

Barbara Santich Author Of The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today

From my list on gastronomic Provence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since first stepping off a train at Nice I've felt an affinity with southern France, but it was a chance encounter with the local shepherd who, speaking a version of the Provençal language, alerted me to the proud past of this region and its individual identity. (I've written about this time in my book Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries.) A serendipitous opportunity to study ancien Provençal led me down a meandering path to a PhD that eventually became The Original Mediterranean Cuisine, and on to a career researching and teaching culinary history. My next book looks at the roots of Provençal cuisine in the eighteenth century. 

Barbara's book list on gastronomic Provence

Barbara Santich Why did Barbara love this book?

Finally, a food book. But more than that, Mediterranean Seafood recounts a personal journey, as Alan Davidson learned to identify the diversity of Mediterranean catches and how best to use each species. It was an invaluable guide on my visits to the market at Sète, and as I pored over the displays I listened to conversations between sellers and buyers, exchanges of gossip and cooking tips, and marvelled at the ingenuity of these Mediterranean women in accommodating seafood in so many different ways when my palate knew only fried or grilled. Part catalogue and part cookbook, it combines the best of both. If only eighteenth-century travellers had the benefit of such a guide, they might have been more daring in their eating. 

By Alan Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mediterranean Seafood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mediterranean seafood is a topic as vast as the riches of that fabled sea itself. Written by distinguished food historian Alan Davidson (author of The Oxford Companion to Food), MEDITERRANEAN SEAFOOD is a seminal work of culinary scholarship. The new edition catalogs edible marine life and provides identifications in a dozen languages and over 100 line drawings. Davidson puts knowledge into practice with 240 skillfully presented recipes, culled from cuisines throughout the region. Davidson'¬?s work possesses the quixotic charm of the true enthusiast; his practical discussions are enlivened by touches of witty erudition that will delight those new to the…


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