Monday, November 30, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the mind of a mollusk by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Keith Ellenbogen

I usually really enjoy Sy Montgomery's writing and I am a big fan of octopuses, so I was surprised that I didn't get into this more.

Montgomery follows a group of scientists beginning a research project on octopuses on the island of Moorea. Some of them are researching the animals' feeding habits, some of them are investigating their personalities and psychological makeup, and they are all working towards collecting enough data to analyze whether octopuses are threatened as a species or not.

The text is interspersed with stunning underwater photographs, lots of octopuses, and other shots of the island and research materials, like the shells and bits from the octopuses garbage piles. There are sections explaining different facets of the animals' biology, like how they change color and their influence in history and culture. Interviews with the various scientists are interspersed with the story of their research. There's a sum of the team's research and questions still to be answered at the end of the book, as well as a bibliography and index.

Verdict: So, I like this series, this author, and this animal. But somehow the book just didn't engage me and I kept comparing it to Montgomery's stunning Tapir Scientists. I didn't feel as interested in the various scientists and the story of their research seemed cut short. I wouldn't not recommend this, but I was disappointed that I didn't get into it as much as I wanted to. I may be feeling a little wishy-washy today.

ISBN: 9780544232709; Published 2015 by Houghton Mifflin; Purchased for the library

1 comment:

Annette said...

I love series books, like the Sy Montgomery, but I totally know what you mean about some books just speaking more to me than others in the very same series. I always wonder if the author was less interested in it than the others but still had to write it to fit the series.
Or, like you said, maybe it's all in my reading.