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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising…

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of… (original 2015; edition 2016)

by Sy Montgomery (Author)

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9186014,499 (3.91)89
Title:The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
Authors:Sy Montgomery (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery (2015)


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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
I picked up this book because one of my goodreads friends had read it and her review made it sound very interesting. I wasn't disappointed. This was a fascinating book.

I don't read much nonfiction. Maybe I worry that it will be too technical and dry. This book was definitely not like that. I was interested from the start, and excited to keep reading to find out what was going to happen.

The author volunteers at a large, public aquarium. She takes a special interest in the octopuses, and is offered an amazing opportunity to become close to them. Over the course of the book, a few octopuses come and go at the aquarium, and each of them has their own unique personality. The author really makes you feel for the octopuses, and I know if I ever see one in person, I will have a great appreciation for it. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
This book is partly an explanation of octopodes -- physically and scientifically -- but is mostly a story of the author's relationship with four octopodes she comes to know at a local aquarium. I would have liked more information on studies of octopus intelligence and social behaviour, but I still found myself fascinated by the author's descriptions of her interactions with them.

By the way, she is wrong about the plural of octopus being octopi: Although it is often supposed that octopi is the ‘correct’ plural of octopus, and it has been in use for longer than the usual Anglicized plural octopuses, it in fact originates as an error. Octopus is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinized form of the Greek word oktopous, and its ‘correct’ plural would logically be octopodes. ( )
  LynnB | Apr 22, 2019 |
memoir sort of novel about the author's time at the New England Aquarium working with a few of their octopuses (and not octopi, as I had thought the plural was before I read the book)... as is a part of life, so is death and birth. Various stages of the octopus life are told as they come into the NEA's tanks. The struggles with the GOT's (Great Ocean Tank's) renovation and trying to make sure that all of the animals are safe and secure. Mostly secure. Octopuses can get into some serious mischief.
  EBassett | Mar 20, 2019 |
Summary: The author got to know a few octopuses in a New England aquarium in order to study and write about the intelligence of octopuses. But her story ended up so much more than just a description of intelligence. It was one of friendship and grief as well.

My thoughts: Loved this book. The author was so heartfelt in all she said – it was obvious that she really loved her friends, the octopuses. There was a good mixture of facts about octopuses and her personal experiences with them, making the book both intellectually engaging and personal. ( )
  The_Hibernator | Mar 1, 2019 |
This is a fantastic an enjoyable book. It is a deep exploration of the complexity of the octopus. It is also an exploration of love, of human and animal interaction, of the mind, The soul, aquarium communities, and a myriad of other facets. I learned quite a lot and enjoyed myself very much listening to this audiobook. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
"This book's big reveal may be up front in the title, but that doesn't detract from the delight of discovering just what, exactly, an octopus's soul might look like. ...Anyone captivated by the natural world, from interested middle school readers and up, will be engrossed by this account of a strange - and unexpectedly beautiful - animal."
added by KoobieKitten | editLibrary Journal | June 2015 | Vol. 140 No. 10, Lisa Peet (Jun 1, 2015)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sy Montgomeryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dippolito, PaulDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kwan, LaywanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On a rare, warm day in mid-March, when the snow was melting into mud in New Hampshire, I traveled to Boston, where everyone was strolling along the harbor or sitting on benches licking ice cream cones.
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Book description
In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus--a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature--and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect," about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures.

Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds. An investigation of the emotional and physical world of the octopus. [Provided by publisher]
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"This book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature and the remarkable connections it makes with humans"--

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