The best starfish book

Who picked these books? Meet our 4 experts.

4 authors created a book list connected to starfish, and here are their favorite starfish books.
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By Heide Goody, Iain Grant,

Book cover of Oddjobs

Kim M. Watt Author Of Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries

From the list on UK urban fantasy that aren’t set in London.

Who am I?

Although I’m from New Zealand, Europe has been home for a lot of my adult life, and that has included a lot of time in North Yorkshire. It always seems to me that there’s potential for magic around every corner, in the deep sinkholes and high fells of the Dales, or the cobbled charm of the York Shambles and the loom of the Abbey over Whitby harbour. So I do feel that the fact so many stories are set in London is a waste of so many delightfully different settings, and I make a point of hunting out as many alternatives as I can. I hope you enjoy this selection!

Kim's book list on UK urban fantasy that aren’t set in London

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

Why did Kim love this book?

Heide Goody and Iain Grant do a great line in funny, inventive stories, both non-fantastical and urban fantasy, but Oddjobs is a favourite for me. Lovecraftian monsters are due to break through into our world at any moment, and Morag works in a top-secret government department in Birmingham that’s tasked with making sure the apocalypse goes as smoothly as possible. Which sounds a lot darker and less entertaining than the story actually is. It’s full of delightfully sharp humour, and a fantastic blend of office drudgery and otherworldly terrors.

By Heide Goody, Iain Grant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It’s the end of the world as we know it, but someone still needs to do the paperwork.Incomprehensible horrors from beyond are going to devour our world but that’s no excuse to get all emotional about it. Morag Murray works for the secret government organisation responsible for making sure the apocalypse goes as smoothly and as quietly as possible. In her first week on the job, Morag has to hunt down a man-eating starfish, solve a supernatural murder and, if she’s got time, prevent her own inevitable death.The first book in a new comedy series by the creators of ‘Clovenhoof’,…

Always Remember

By Cece Meng, Jago (illustrator),

Book cover of Always Remember

Jolene Gutiérrez Author Of Bionic Beasts: Saving Animal Lives with Artificial Flippers, Legs, and Beaks

From the list on picture books about death.

Who am I?

As a teacher-librarian, I’m often asked for books on difficult topics, including death. When I was young, a close family member died and I struggled with grief. I didn’t know how to honor my loved one or how to begin healing from the loss. The books I’m sharing are books I wish I’d had as a child and books that I’m grateful to be able to hand to children and families when needed. If you’re an emotional person like I am, you may want tissues nearby when you read them. I hope they’re as helpful and therapeutic for you as they have been for me!

Jolene's book list on picture books about death

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

Why did Jolene love this book?

Some picture books about death spend the majority of their pages leading up to the death of a character, but in this colorfully illustrated and powerfully written story, Old Turtle dies on the first page. The remainder of the book is spent reflecting on all the ways Old Turtle impacted the ocean creatures around him: he helped a whale find her pod, he saved a starfish, and he rescued a manatee tangled in fishing net. 

Throughout the story, the reader is reminded that turtle “made his world a better place” and that each of these animals impacted by turtle will always remember him. This story helps readers understand the importance of their actions and the connections we all have.

By Cece Meng, Jago (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After Old Turtle swims his last swim and breathes his last breath, and the waves gently take him away, his friends lovingly remember how he impacted each and every one of them. As the sea animals think back on how much better Old Turtle made their lives and their world, they realise that he is not truly gone, because his memory and legacy will last forever. Jago's gorgeous illustrations accompany Cece Meng's serene text in a book that will help children understand and cope with the death of a loved one.

The Starfish and the Spider

By Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom,

Book cover of The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

Larry Osborne Author Of Sticky Teams: Keeping Your Leadership Team and Staff on the Same Page

From the list on for leaders seeking to build effective teams.

Who am I?

Dr. Larry Osborne is a leadership mentor and practitioner with a rare mix of both theological and leadership expertise. He's been a mentor and major influencer for many of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the US while providing leadership to North Coast Church as it grew from 125 to over 13,000 in weekend attendance.

Larry's book list on for leaders seeking to build effective teams

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

Why did Larry love this book?

The value of this book is not in advocating for leaderless organizations. It's in understanding the inherent power of decentralized leadership to foster greater innovation, powerfully respond to crisis, and continually morph in the face of rapidly changing culture and environments.

By Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you cut off a spider's head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish's leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world.

What's the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women's rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths?

Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have discovered some unexpected answers,…

Ocean Outbreak

By Drew Harvell,

Book cover of Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease

Peter F. Sale Author Of Coral Reefs: Majestic Realms Under the Sea

From the list on on being a coral reef scientist.

Who am I?

Peter Sale has managed to spend an entire career exploring coral reefs, perhaps the most fascinating ecosystem on this planet.  From 1964 when he commenced a Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii, through faculty positions in Australia, the USA, and Canada, and with a final stint with the United Nations University, he has been able to explore the wonders of coral reef systems in many places around the world.  His life has been rewarding, because of the new science he did, the students and colleagues he worked with, and the sheer joy he experienced diving on reefs. His many technical writings include the 1991 book, The Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs, which became a classic among reef researchers, students, and some sport divers.

Peter's book list on on being a coral reef scientist

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

Why did Peter love this book?

Dr. C. Drew Harvell is an American marine biologist who has worked extensively on the diseases of corals and other marine organisms. She starts this book with an urgent e-mail in December 2013 – sea stars were dying in Monterey, California, and Drew dropped everything to race off to find out what she could.  That is not an exaggeration. In recent years, her life has been like that. While the book deals with serious diseases having huge consequences for various marine organisms, it also reveals the way in which marine biologists can be immersed in their work yet love every minute and find ways to marvel at the mystery that is life on this planet. 

An outstanding teacher as well as researcher, Drew’s ability to captivate, then skillfully mentor students, comes through loud and clear. She captivates us too, making the subject of marine diseases (of organisms most of us…

By Drew Harvell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Sustainability Science Award 2020, Ecological Society of America
Winner of the PROSE Award (Biological Sciences category) 2020, Association of American Publishers

There is a growing crisis in our oceans: mysterious outbreaks of infectious disease are on the rise. Marine epidemics can cause mass die-offs of wildlife from the bottom to the top of food chains, impacting the health of ocean ecosystems as well as lives on land. Portending global environmental disaster, ocean outbreaks are fueled by warming seas, sewage dumping, unregulated aquaculture, and drifting plastic.

Ocean Outbreak follows renowned scientist Drew Harvell and her colleagues into the…