The best Marine biology books

Who picked these books? Meet our 35 experts.

35 authors created a book list connected to Marine biology, and here are their favorite Marine biology books.
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By Peter Benchley,

Book cover of Jaws

Ben H. Winters Author Of The Bonus Room

From the list on malevolent beasts.

Who am I?

I’ve written across genres, including mysteries like The Last Policeman and big works of alternate history like Underground Airlines. But Bedbugs—now republished as The Bonus Room—was one of my first books, and very dear to my heart. I’ve always loved books that pit a single, relatively helpless protagonist against some inexplicable force that he or she cannot begin to fathom. A force that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with. You just have to beat it. Perhaps that’s why I love these books about man vs. beast—the natural world is our friend, and animal are subservient to us…until suddenly, terrifyingly, they’re not.   

Ben's book list on malevolent beasts

Discover why each book is one of Ben's favorite books.

Why did Ben love this book?

Jaws is one of those extremely rare cases where the movie is actually better. (Can’t think of another one? Try The Godfather.)
It’s a perfectly fun suspense novel, but in the film version Spielberg conjures up by special effects magic (and the magic of Dreyfuss and Scheider’s performances) what Benchley in his novel comes close to but never quite lands: the absolutely terrifying feelings of knowing something is there—and getting closer—and closer—but you can’t actually see

By Peter Benchley,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Jaws as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Benchley's Jaws first appeared in 1974. As well as Steven Spielberg's film adaptation, the novel has sold over twenty million copies around the world, creating a legend that refuses to die.

It's never safe to go back in the water . . .

It was just another day in the life of a small Atlantic resort until the terror from the deep came to prey on unwary holiday makers. The first sign of trouble - a warning of what was to come - took the form of a young woman's body, or what was left of it, washed up…

The Next Great Jane

By K.L. Going,

Book cover of The Next Great Jane

Jennifer Richard Jacobson Author Of Crashing in Love

From the list on middle grade about first love.

Who am I?

Although I was an avid reader of romance when I was a tween, the middle grade novels I wrote prior to Crashing in Love were about more “serious” topics. Yet, much of the mail I received from kids had pressing questions about the future of potential love interests. That’s when I realized that I’d been guilty (like many) of considering romance to be “light” fiction. What could be more important, more serious, than discovering ourselves while making genuine connections with others? Those letters changed my mind. Learning to love is essential and not to be taken lightly at all.

Jennifer's book list on middle grade about first love

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

Who can resist a heroine who climbs a tree barefoot (in growing winds) and leaps to an attic window to hear one of her favorite authors speak? Not me! I’m a big Jane Austen fan and K.L. Going was able to capture the spirit and wit of her work in this wonderfully layered and romantic tale. (No worries if you or middle grade students you know are not familiar with Austen—the story stands on its own.)  

Just like in my book, the story is set in Maine and the protagonist’s parents are divorced. There are multiple loves stories in this book, and I adored every one of them. I cried big happy tears in the end. I bet you will too.

By K.L. Going,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Next Great Jane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author K. L. Going comes a happily-ever-after story of a girl who discovers the true secret to all good writing--through an unlikely friendship, some well-intentioned matchmaking, and little bit of science.

Jane Brannen wants nothing more than to become a famous author like Jane Austen--she just needs to figure out the key to literary success! Her chance to uncover the secret arrives when bestselling author J. E. Fairfax visits her tiny town of Whickett Harbor. Unfortunately, a hurricane rolls in and Jane gets stuck with the author's snobbish son, Devon, instead. But when the skies clear, Jane realizes…

Women in Science

By Rachel Ignotofsky,

Book cover of Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

Deshan Tennekoon Author Of Mary Anning's Grewsome Beasts

From the list on kids’ reads about women in science.

Who am I?

Writing for children is the most gloriously tricky thing in the world, and I love doing it. With fiction, am I telling a story worth telling to someone who’s new to the planet and new to our way of life? With non-fiction, am I distilling complexity into a shape they can grasp quickly? Am I showing them how wonderful and strange our world is, and can I make ‘em laugh while learning? I’ve written 18 books for kids, many commissioned by Think Equal for their global SEL program and used in the national curricula of 20 countries.

Deshan's book list on kids’ reads about women in science

Discover why each book is one of Deshan's favorite books.

Why did Deshan love this book?

At two pages per scientist (one of which is an annotated portrait), this is a superb introduction to the theme.

The book covers a wide time period – from the brilliant, long-dead Hypatia (c.350 CE) to brilliant, modern-day scientist, Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–). It includes sciences your kids might be familiar with, like medicine and marine biology, to ones they might not be, like industrial engineering and crystallography.

Ignotofsky’s a dab hand at condensing a life’s work plus an introduction to a scientific discipline into the space of a page. I love how her choice of a limited colour palette works in her subjects’ favour, reinforcing similarities and themes across the portraits. This is a gorgeous book that repays repeated reading.

By Rachel Ignotofsky,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Women in Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perfect introduction for learning about women throughout history who dared to do the extraordinary! Inspire our new generation of women to explore, discover, persist, succeed, and fight like a girl! A great gift for girls 9-12!
Women have been doing amazing, daring, and dangerous things for years, but they're rarely mentioned in our history books as adventurers, daredevils, or rebels. This new compilation of brief biographies features women throughout history who have risked their lives for adventure-many of whom you may not know, but all of whom you'll WANT to know, such as:
Annie Edson Taylor, the first person…


By James Nestor,

Book cover of Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves

Nicholas Harvey Author Of Twelve Mile Bank

From the list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries.

Who am I?

My wife suggested we try scuba diving while on holiday in Grand Cayman. We were already falling in love with the island, and the incredible experience underwater opened a whole new world to us. From that moment on, our yearly travels changed completely. Our destination choices were now based upon diving opportunities. That was twenty years ago. Today, I’m a certified divemaster with dives all over the US (including Hawaii), the Caribbean (including Cuba), Australia, and even Iceland. Throw in my sense of adventure as a former race car driver, motorcycle rider, and outdoor adventurer, and I had plenty of personal experiences to create the AJ Bailey series.

Nicholas' book list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries

Discover why each book is one of Nicholas' favorite books.

Why did Nicholas love this book?

Okay, so Deep isn’t specifically about women, or scuba diving – it tackles freediving – but includes females and anyone who loves diving in any form should read this book. The meticulous research into the physiology and psychology of human beings underwater is simply fascinating. Nestor ventures off into all kinds of territory, from octopus intelligence; to whales conversing; to humans holding a single breath for an inhuman amount of time.

Freediving is the common theme in the book, but it is far more than that. This is an in-depth study of life beneath the waves from an intriguing perspective.

By James Nestor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the author of the international Bestseller Breath

Covering a diving championship in Greece on a hot and sticky assignment for Outside magazine, James Nestor discovered free diving. He had stumbled on one of the most extreme sports in existence: a quest to extend the frontiers of human experience, in which divers descend without breathing equipment, for hundreds of feet below the water, for minutes after they should have died from lack of oxygen. Sometimes they emerge unconscious, or bleeding from the nose and ears, and sometimes they don't come up at all.

The free divers were Nestor's way into…

A Natural Passion

By Tammy Mannersly,

Book cover of A Natural Passion

Mark Love Author Of Devious

From the list on contemporary cozy mysteries.

Who am I?

I’m a contemporary mystery junkie. Realistic tales always grab my attention. A touch of romance never hurts. In college, one professor suggested the old ‘write what you know’ approach. I don’t know everything, but I know what I like. Mysteries! I thrive on distinctive characters, those who are willing to put every effort into getting to the bottom of the situation. Sharp, tight dialogue and descriptions are essential. Give me that, and I’ll be back for more. This is my passion. Come along if you want a thrill and a surprise or two. 

Mark's book list on contemporary cozy mysteries

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

This book has all the ingredients for an engaging story. I loved the way Mannersly sets the stage, with Dylan, the slightly older supervisor, who’s obviously smitten with the lovely Kyra and the boss’s spoiled son, Max, who seems to have caught her eye as well. 

Using the marine science center in Australia as the setting works perfectly. Identifying and stopping poachers from stealing turtle eggs from their nests puts a nice twist on the usual crime-related stories. Mannersly does a wonderful job of creating realistic and believable characters. Great dialogue and descriptive passages tie this story together.

By Tammy Mannersly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Natural Passion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dylan O’Day has been an exemplary marine biologist for years, constantly devoted to the protection and preservation of the natural world. Yet lately, he has a new passion, one that’s distracting his once focused thoughts. Though a decade older than her and her trusted mentor, Dylan hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the new intern. He’s never met a person quite like Kyra before, someone so genuine and caring, and who understands his love of environmental conservation. It’s just too bad his age and situation put him in an ethical dilemma. Should he risk it all for a chance…

Cannery Row

By John Steinbeck,

Book cover of Cannery Row

Connie Kronlokken Author Of So Are You to My Thoughts

From the list on deepening your understanding of California history.

Who am I?

As a transplant to California, albeit more than 50 years ago, I am still fascinated by what makes this place at the edge of the Pacific so unique. It has accepted so many people, from so many places over a fairly recent period. I always feel I can deduce more history from well rendered characters set in specific times and places. Their wholeness and their meaning, as well as that of their culture, are to be found in literature.

Connie's book list on deepening your understanding of California history

Discover why each book is one of Connie's favorite books.

Why did Connie love this book?

A street at the edge of the Pacific in Monterey where sardines are brought in to be canned, is the setting for a collection of colorful characters Steinbeck knew.

Chief among them is Doc, based on Steinbeck’s friend Ed Ricketts, who operated a lab that collected and prepared aquatic specimens for schools and museums. The lab is still there, next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The canneries closed by the 1970’s and today Cannery Row is a thumping tourist trap. But I loved the book because of Doc, a gentleman, and a scholar if there ever was one.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Cannery Row as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the din and stink that is Cannery Row a colourful blend of misfits - gamblers, whores, drunks, bums and artists - survive side by side in a jumble of adventure and mischief. Lee Chong, the astute owner of the well-stocked grocery store, is also the proprietor of the Palace Flophouse that Mack and his troupe of good-natured 'boys' call home. Dora runs the brothel with clockwork efficiency and a generous heart, and Doc is the fount of all wisdom. Packed with invention and joie de vivre CANNERY ROW is Steinbeck's high-spirited tribute to his native California.

The Book of Eels

By Patrik Svensson,

Book cover of The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World

Linda Olsson Author Of Astrid & Veronika

From the list on understanding the moody people of Nordic countries.

Who am I?

I am an accidental emigrant now living in Auckland, New Zealand. I arrived with my then husband and our three sons in 1990 for a three-year spell. And here I am with two sons now settled in New Zealand and one in Sweden and me in a very awkward split position between the two. I am also an accidental author as my first career was in law and finance. I am presently working on my seventh novel. My novels are what my publishers call literary fiction and they often involve characters who, like me, have no fixed abode. 

Linda's book list on understanding the moody people of Nordic countries

Discover why each book is one of Linda's favorite books.

Why did Linda love this book?

I met Patrik Svensson at a book event in 2019, just as his novel was released and came away with a signed copy when I left. I brought it home and put it aside for a later read. When I finally picked it up, I was fascinated. This is another autobiographical story, this one about a little boy growing up in the southern part of Sweden. The father and son only really come together when they go eel fishing. The father teaches the son the elaborate technique of setting the eel traps and through this they establish a silent bond. Interspersed throughout the narrative are chapters with facts about the mysterious life cycle of eels. It is an extraordinary novel, unlike any other I have read. 

By Patrik Svensson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Part H Is for Hawk, part The Soul of an Octopus, The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world’s most elusive fish—the eel—and a reflection on the human condition

Remarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the “eel question”: Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth,…

Shark Lady

By Jess Keating, Marta Álvarez Miguéns (illustrator),

Book cover of Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist

Debbie Dadey Author Of Never Give Up: Dr. Kati Kariko and the Race for the Future of Vaccines

From the list on women who wouldn’t give up.

Who am I?

As a writer, I’ve been tempted many times to stop writing. After all, it’s hard. Will anyone ever read this? Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing after all. Then I read stories like the ones I’ve mentioned here. Four of them are about real women who would not give up, even in the face of much adversity. I admire people who have that conviction and strength. It gives me the courage to keep trying-just like they did.

Debbie's book list on women who wouldn’t give up

Discover why each book is one of Debbie's favorite books.

Why did Debbie love this book?

Who doesn’t love a story about a woman brave enough to swim with sharks?

In a time when women weren’t supposed to be scientists, Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks. She devoted her life to learning about them and taught the world that sharks aren’t bad and have a special place in our world.

As the author of the Mermaid Tales series, I have studied about many different ocean creatures and love quizzing kids about them. One of my questions: Are sharks bad is almost always answered with a yes. I tell students the truth, just like Eugenie Clark did.

By Jess Keating, Marta Álvarez Miguéns (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Shark Lady as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of New York Times' Twelve Books for Feminist Boys and Girls!
This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Shark Lady. One of the best science picture books for children, Shark Lady is a must for both teachers and parents alike!
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
Named a Best Children's Book of 2017 by Parents magazine
Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But…

The Mortal Sea

By W. Jeffrey Bolster,

Book cover of The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail

Thomas Blake Earle Author Of The Liberty to Take Fish: Atlantic Fisheries and Federal Power in Nineteenth-Century America

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

Who am I?

I think about the ocean a lot. Teaching in Galveston, Texas, at a university less than a mile from the ocean means it's on my mind most of the time. And it's not just the fish! I’m fascinated by all things ocean and have spent my career trying to understand the place of the watery world in the history of the United States. From fishing in the North Atlantic, to the history of the U.S. Navy, and even surfing on the Gulf Coast my writing, not to mention reading, usually points to the coast and beyond.

Thomas' book list on why the history of the ocean matters

Discover why each book is one of Thomas' favorite books.

Why did Thomas love this book?

It would have been impossible to write my book without Jeff Boslter’s The Mortal Sea.

With evocative prose and argumentative verve, Bolster’s book relates the deep, centuries-long history of overfishing while probing the depths of the interdependent relationship between humanity and the ocean. The Mortal Sea is one of the finest exemplars of environmental history by bringing together the narrative skill and argumentation of the historian with the insights of the ecologist and marine biologist.

Bolster reminds us that some of the most important connections existed not just across the sea, but with it.  

By W. Jeffrey Bolster,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since the Viking ascendancy in the Middle Ages, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend upon it for survival. And just as surely, people have shaped the Atlantic. In his innovative account of this interdependency, W. Jeffrey Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.

While overfishing is often thought of as a contemporary problem, Bolster reveals that humans were transforming the sea long before factory trawlers turned fishing from a handliner's art into an industrial enterprise. The western Atlantic's…

Life in the Ocean

By Claire A. Nivola,

Book cover of Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Into the Sea

From the list on that spark a lifetime of investigation.

Who am I?

I'm an award-winning, best-selling children’s author who writes about unexpected “wow” moments that stick with me. I look for books and articIes that take me on a deep journey into unknown environments. I aim for nonfiction that reads like a story with an emotional connection to new creatures with fascinating lifestyles. As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research. The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for those struggling to survive on our changing plant.  

Brenda's book list on that spark a lifetime of investigation

Discover why each book is one of Brenda's favorite books.

Why did Brenda love this book?

This book follows the accomplishments of Sylvia Earle who “lost her heart to the water” as a child. She snorkeled, then learned scuba diving. She kept on, joining an ocean expedition as the only woman among 70 men, lived underwater for 2 weeks, designed a deep sea diving bubble, and more. “Wow!” I love that she stayed so long to learn that each individual fish is different from another, that whales swim like ballerinas, and every spoonful of ocean is full of tiny, and sometimes sparkly, creatures. Most important she learned how vital the ocean is to the health of our planet and better ways to take care of it.        

By Claire A. Nivola,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life in the Ocean as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sylvia Earle first lost her heart to the ocean as a young girl when she discovered the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico in her backyard. As an adult, she dives even deeper. Whether she's designing submersibles, swimming with the whales, or taking deep-water walks, Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to learning more about what she calls "the blue heart of the planet." With stunningly detailed pictures of the wonders of the sea, Life in the Ocean tells the story of Sylvia's growing passion and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world. This…

Sea Change

By Gina Chung,

Book cover of Sea Change

Alison B. Hart Author Of The Work Wife

From the list on women’s ambition and battle for our souls at work.

Who am I?

I’ll tell you a secret. I’m obsessed with money—not fast cars, designer labels, and McMansions, but the accumulation of capital: who has it, how they got it, and what lengths they’re willing to go to to keep it. So I’ve always loved novels about work. They cut right to the heart of a character’s true motivations, revealing what they’ll fight for and who they’ll love. Don’t show me what a person looks like, show me how they earn (or don’t earn) their living, and I’ll remember them forever.

Alison's book list on women’s ambition and battle for our souls at work

Discover why each book is one of Alison's favorite books.

Why did Alison love this book?

Do you have to be captivated by aquariums and otherworldly travel to enjoy this book? No, but if, like me, you’ve always wondered what it would be like to have an octopus for a work wife or a boyfriend who’s moving to Mars, you’ll love Sea Change.

Come for the reality-bending critique of life on Earth; stay for the achingly true-to-life portrait of a daughter of Korean immigrants who’s just trying to make her way in the world.

By Gina Chung,

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?

A NEW YORK TIMES MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK • An enchanting novel about Ro, a woman tossed overboard by heartbreak and loss, who has to find her way back to stable shores with the help of a giant Pacific octopus at the mall aquarium where she works.

“Immersively beautiful.... A kaleidoscope of originality." —Weike Wang, acclaimed author of Joan is Okay

Ro is stuck. She's just entered her thirties, she's estranged from her mother, and her boyfriend has just left her to join a mission to Mars. Her days are spent dragging herself to her menial job at the aquarium, and…

Wave Rider

By Michelle Diener,

Book cover of Wave Rider

Greta van der Rol Author Of Conspiracy

From the list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars.

Who am I?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

Greta's book list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars

Discover why each book is one of Greta's favorite books.

Why did Greta love this book?

What drew me into this story was the leviathans, a local species on a watery moon. I'm a sucker for whales and these beasts reminded me of orcas. The heroine, a marine biologist, is in danger for reasons unknown. A ranger with a connection to the leviathans helps her to escape and that's just the start of a fascinating adventure in a very different environment. Once again, the romance evolves in a natural way and does not overshadow the rest of the plot.

By Michelle Diener,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

About WAVE RIDER: Book 5 in the Verdant String Series

Isolated . . . Verdant String scientist, Anja Farucci, is frightened. Her calls for help from her remote coastal research station have been going unanswered and strange things are happening with the leviathan pod she's studying. She's only been on Fynian for four months, but she knows the three day trip to Fynian's only city, Rinc, is her best option for finding out what is going on.

Stranded . . . Cal is a wave rider, and if anyone understands leviathans, it's him, but when Kada, a young leviathan, grabs…

Book cover of Last Song of the Whales

Judith Simon Prager Author Of What the Dolphin Said: On the Future of Humankind

From the list on consciousness, dolphins, and wise humans.

Who am I?

Years of teaching Verbal First Aid™, hypnotic language for healing, only whet my curiosity for Non-Verbal First Aid. I love mysticism and magic, and I love science and evidence. When the two work together to illuminate profound understandings, I am such a fan. Just imagine this if you can: Dolphins’ visual and aural nerves connect so that when they send out sound beams of echolocation, it comes back as an ultra-sound-looking picture, which they can send to other dolphins! Magic and science are used by them for healing, as well. How could one NOT investigate further and be passionate about this subject?

Judith's book list on consciousness, dolphins, and wise humans

Discover why each book is one of Judith's favorite books.

Why did Judith love this book?

It is a fiction based on facts about whales and about what Four Arrows believes they are trying to tell us regarding the pollution of the Oceans that threatens us all. A whale captures a marine biologist and his encounter, feeling almost biblical but very current, reveals their important message to humanity. In this very dramatic story, you’ll also find an ecological treatise, and a call to action so needed at this time.

By Four Arrows,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Song of the Whales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A humpback whale mysteriously takes a mixed-blood American Indian professor to sea. While struggling to survive, the man begins to reclaim his indigenous roots, and in the process discovers thousands of whales on a suicide mission in the North Pacific. When he theorizes the dire effects the whale's action could have for all of life on earth, he and a sympathetic woman marine biologist, influenced by a Hawaiian shaman's dream, against all odds, try to warn the world in time.

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 the list on combining fantasy and social commentary.

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Patrick's favorite books.

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.

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…

Under the Sea-Wind

By Rachel Carson,

Book cover of Under the Sea-Wind

William Stolzenburg Author Of Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators

From the list on nature by naturalists.

Who am I?

Will Stolzenburg writes about wild things, with particular focus on great predators and the vanishing places they inhabit. A wildlife biologist and magazine editor in former lives, he has since written three non-fiction books concerning those irreplaceable predators, plus a children’s story about a dog with a magically happy tail that's pretty close to true.

William's book list on nature by naturalists

Discover why each book is one of William's favorite books.

Why did William love this book?

Rachel Carson will forever be known for Silent Spring, her courageous, farsighted warning of our pesticidal poisoning of the world. But it was her three ocean-oriented books preceding Silent Spring that best showcase her artistic melding of meticulous research with her wide-eyed sense of wonder. And none more so than Under The Sea Wind, her first and most intimate work, tracing the seasonal travails of fish and shorebirds—living, heroic creatures we come to know by name—through their inspiring, interlocking circles of life.

By Rachel Carson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Under the Sea-Wind" presents a naturalist's picture of ocean life. This book is her breathtaking canvas of the fierce, competitive struggle for life takes place along the shore, in the open sea, and along the sea bottom.