BOOK OF THE MONTH

For each month during the years 2006-2012, The Ocean Project highlighted a book focused on our blue planet. Books for all age groups were covered, non-fiction and fiction, prose and poetry. As of 2013, our esteemed friends are taking over the honors as announced here:

From: Kelly Drinnen — NOAA Federal <kelly.drinnen@noaa.gov>
To: The Ocean Project Staff

The National Marine Sanctuaries Southeast Region is starting an online book club, in 2013, in an effort to share the ocean and its wonders with people throughout the country, not just those on the coastlines. Education & Outreach staff from Florida Keys, Gray's Reef, and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuaries will moderate the discussion, offering conversation ideas, questions, and sanctuary connections to the topics at hand. Guest "commentators" may include sanctuary researchers and other topic experts.

Each of the books selected for discussion will have some connection to ocean science, conservation, exploration, or recreation. Discussions about each book will take place in an online forum where guests may post their thoughts at any time, allowing for flexibility in the reading schedule and interaction with other readers. Plans are to include posting areas for related educational activities, resources, and even recipes. Do contact Kelly if you want to participate.

2012

Fixing Climate

December

Worldchanging:
A User's Guide for the 21st Century

Edited by Alex Steffen


  • Non-fiction Guidebook
  • Subject: Optimistic view of change for the better through personal action
  • Synopsis: A highly thoughtful collection of author voices to provide ideas and suggested implementations for world changing.
Fixing Climate

November

Fixing Climate:
What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat—and How to Counter It

by Wallace S. Broecker and Robert Kunzig


  • Non-fiction Biography
  • Subject: Unconventional approach to global warming
  • Synopsis: A highly thoughtful biography which suggests how scientists gain perspective on climate change through a well-lived life.
What Are People For

October

What Are People For?
by Wendell Berry


  • Non-fiction Short Stories
  • Subject: Speaking up against over-consumption
  • Synopsis: A highly thoughtful collection of stories for considering the effect of consumption on our ocean ecosystem.
World Without Fish

September

World Without Fish
by Mark Kurlansky


  • Family-suitable Non-fiction
  • Subject: Speaking up for the fish
  • Synopsis: A highly accessible primer on the systematic destruction of the ocean ecosystem.
Food Not Lawns

August

Food Not Lawns:
How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood into a Community

by Heather Coburn Flores


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Environmentally Sustainable Environment Decisions
  • Synopsis: Read a deeper, darker manifesto discussing the reasons to replace your lawn with a food-producing garden now rather than later.
Ocean Babies

July

Ocean Soul
By: Brian Skerry


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A book of underwater photography with narrative.
  • Synopsis: By investigating photography from the eyes of a lifelong admirer, we further develop our own affection for the sea.
Ocean Babies

June

Ocean Babies
By: Deborah Lee Rose


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A picture book of ocean babies.
  • Synopsis: By investigating pictures of the babies of the ocean, we bond with our affection for the sea.
What's Gotten into Us

May

What's Gotten Into Us?:
Staying Healthy in a Toxic World

By: Mckay Jenkins


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: An investigation of environmental chemical effects on personal health.
  • Synopsis: By considering the over use of chemicals in our lives, we gain insight into yet another risk for the ocean.
Moby-Duck

April

Moby-Duck
By: Donovan Hohn


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: An investigatory look into the ways of our ocean.
  • Synopsis: By following along on one journalist's emerging awareness, we improve our own on behalf of the ocean.
Fierce Green Fire

March

Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire
By: Marybeth Lorbiecki


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A biography of one of the most beloved conservation personalities.
  • Synopsis: By reliving the life of a proven proponent for nature and man's place in it, we gain motivation to conserve.
Eaarth

February

Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet
By: Bill McKibben


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A primer on the evidence for global climate change and potential futures.
  • Synopsis: Getting to know more about aspects of climate change, and appreciation for, likely effects on the eco-systems on our planet can help you help the ocean.
Demon Fish

January

Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks
By: Juliet Eilperin


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A primer on sharks and their contribution to a healthy ocean.
  • Synopsis: Getting to know more about sharks will add to your knowledge of, and appreciation for, the predators that manage eco-systems on our planet.

2011

Kraken

December

Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places
By: Bill Streever


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A primer on cold and its effect on life on land and in the sea.
  • Synopsis: Getting to know those who study the effects of cold add to your knowledge of, and appreciation for, climate change ramifications.
Kraken

November

Kraken
By: Wendy Williams


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A primer on squid and their place among the cephalopods.
  • Synopsis: Exploring the ocean from the perspective of another creature adds to your knowledge of, and appreciation for, the ocean.
Thinking in Systems

October

Thinking in Systems: A Primer
By: Donella Meadows


  • Non-Fiction
  • Subject: A primer on systems thinking for a different perspective on the world's issues.
  • Synopsis: Exploring successful solutions from systems thinking helps you consider providing your own for issues that confront our ocean.
Rainbow Fish

September

The Rainbow Fish
By: Marcus Pfister


  • Fiction
  • Subject: A beautiful fish learns a lesson about sharing with others in the ocean.
  • Synopsis: Children's story with insights into how human culture can benefit from sharing its best resources.
Wave

August

The Coming Transformation:
Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities

Edited by: Stephen R. Kellert and James Gustave Speth


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Is a human cultural transformation necessary/possible on behalf of our ocean?
  • Synopsis: Insights into how human culture arrived at our current state and where we might go from here.
Wave

July

The Wave:
In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

By: Susan Casey


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Investigation of large waves brings surfers and scientists together.
  • Synopsis: Insights into the surfing community and their recent addiction with large wave surfing.
Dove

June

Dove
By: Robin L. Graham (author) Derek L. T. Gill (contributor)


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: True story of a California boy who sails around the world by himself.
  • Synopsis: 16-year-old Robin Graham embarks on the journey of a lifetime when he sails out of his home port in Southern California headed for the open sea.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

May

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
By Barbara Kingsolver


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Consideration of the many benefits of home-grown food.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you appreciate the connection between growing your own food and a healthy lifestyle.
Ocean Seasons

April

SeaSick:
The Global Ocean in Crisis

By Alanna Mitchell


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Journalistic look at the state of the world ocean.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you appreciate the interconnectedness of many different issues associated with attaining a healthy ocean.
Ocean Seasons

March

The Cyclist's Manifesto
By Robert Hurst


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Motivation for living a cycling lifestyle.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you appreciate the benefits to mental and physical health when commuting by bicycle.
Ocean Seasons

February

Ocean Seasons
By Ron Hirschi (author) and Kirsten Carlson (illustrator)


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Colorful and imaginative picture book.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you appreciate the power of books as aids for teaching children.
Nature and Walking

January

Nature and Walking
By Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Perspectives on being out with nature from two favorite writers.
  • Synopsis: This book should motivate you to walk in nature more often to gain a personal connection with your world.

2010

Leaky Tent

December

Homemade:
How-to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally

By Readers Digest Editors


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Do it yourself guide for homemade products.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you consider making things yourself so you can manage their contents to be ocean-friendly.
Leaky Tent

November

The Unnatural History of the Sea
By Callum Roberts


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Reflection on the last five hundred years of human-ocean interaction.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you set a better baseline of what the ocean could provide humanity when healthy.
Leaky Tent

October

A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise:
20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World

Edited by Bonnie Tsui


  • Non-fiction Stories
  • Subject: Next generation of writers reflect on integrating nature into their lives.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you consider the relationship of tomorrow's leaders to the natural world.
Beyond Ecophobia

September

Beyond Ecophobia:
Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education

by David Sobel


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Consideration of the need for children to embrace nature to benefit their development.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you consider the advantages gained through a healthy relationship with the natural world.
Menhaden

August

The Most Important Fish in the Sea:
Menhaden and America

by H. Bruce Franklin


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Interconnections between components of the food web and fish consumption.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you consider complexities in the food web on which we rely for nourishment.
Entanglements

July

Entanglements:
The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen

by Tora Johnson


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Interconnections among those who depend on the ocean for survival.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you consider complexities among ocean life and human actions.
Ray Troll Art

June

Rapture of the Deep: The Art of Ray Troll
by Ray Troll


  • Art book
  • Subject: Zany, irreverent, and often surreal art.
  • Synopsis: This book provides you a unique way to celebrate the ocean before, during, and after World Oceans Day on June 8th.
On Guerilla Gardening

May

On Guerrilla Gardening:
A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries

by Richard Reynolds


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Seeing the full potential for gardens in your community.
  • Synopsis: This book provides you an extensive discussion of gardens and the opportunity for them to improve community health.
Community Guide

April

A Community Guide to Environmental Health
by Jeff Conant and Pam Fadem


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Working towards community health.
  • Synopsis: This book provides you an extensive checklist of concerns and solutions to issues to consider for creating or maintaining community health.
Thousand-Mile Walk

March

Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf
by John Muir


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Appreciation for nature as a pasttime.
  • Synopsis: This book should introduce you to more natural environments to inspire you to walk and explore your surroundings.
Fight Global Warming

February

Fight Global Warming Now:
The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community

by Bill McKibben


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Taking action against global warming.
  • Synopsis: This book presents the "Step It Up" community action case study for you to consider.
Outermost House

January

The Outermost House:
A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod

by Henry Beston


  • Non-fiction
  • Subject: Historical lives in ocean communities.
  • Synopsis: This book should introduce you to more natural times to inspire you to reconsider the ocean.

2009

Sense of Wonder

December

A Sense of Wonder
by Rachel Carson


  • Family friendly
  • Subject: Love for the outdoors.
  • Synopsis: This book should remind you of childhood memories that inspire you to get back to nature.
Low Carbon Diet

November

Low Carbon Diet:
A 30 day program to lose 5000 pounds

by David Gershon


  • Adult, Do-it-yourself
  • Subject: Practical primer on reducing personal carbon output.
  • Synopsis: This book should educate and give you a hopeful outlook on the power of one person to reduce carbon output.
Sea Change

October

Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans
by Sylvia Earle


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: The life and insights of an ocean researcher.
  • Synopsis: This book should educate and give you a hopeful perspective on the power of one person's work on behalf of the world's ocean.
Sea of Slaughter

September

Sea of Slaughter
by Farley Mowat


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Historical perspective on the North Atlantic coast from Cape Cod up to Labrador.
  • Synopsis: This book should give you a historical basis for becoming more mindful on behalf of the world's ocean.
Planet Ocean

August

Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World
by Deborah Cramer


  • Family Friendly, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Developing a personal, family, and community ethic for the ocean.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you appreciate and become more mindful on behalf of the world's ocean.
Planet Ocean

July

Soil Not Oil:
Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis

by Vendana Shiva


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Connecting critical issues from food security to peak oil to global warming.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you consider and adapt your food choices to be a better world citizen.
Planet Ocean

June

Chicken Soup for the Ocean Lover's Soul:
Amazing Sea Stories and Wyland Artwork to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit

by Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, and Wyland


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Celebrating our world ocean through stories and pictures that inspire.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you see and re-connect with the wonders of our world ocean.
Planet Ocean

May

Planet Ocean:
Photo Stories from the 'Defending Our Oceans' Voyage

by Sara Holden


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Considering our ocean and its need for protection.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you see and connect with the work others have done to bring the plight of our world ocean into our awareness.
Souls in the Sea

April

Souls in the Sea:
Dolphins, Whales, and Human Destiny

by Scott Taylor


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Considering our large mammal cousins of the sea.
  • Synopsis: This book should help you see and investigate the lives of whales and dolphins as relevant to our consideration of the ocean and the environment.
At the Ends of the Earth

March

Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future
by Mark Hertsgaard


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Considering the effect of poverty on the environment
  • Synopsis: This book should help you better ponder the effect dire poverty has on the ocean and the environment.
At the Ends of the Earth

February

Trust Us We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future
by Sheldon Rampton


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Questioning independent science and reporting
  • Synopsis: This book should help you better consider the sources of information you turn to when trying to find truth regarding safe and dangerous phenomena in the environment.
At the Ends of the Earth

January

At the Ends of the Earth
by Kieran Mulvaney


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Plight of the water at our poles
  • Synopsis: This book should help you better consider the current beauty of our Arctic and Antarctic regions and how their water properties are changing over time.

2008

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

December

Last Child in the Woods:
Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

by Richard Louv


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Awareness of the Looming Nature-Deficit crisis
  • Synopsis: This book should help you better consider "the nature-deficit problem" and consider diverse efforts to confront it.
Confronting Consumption

November

Confronting Consumption
Edited by Thomas Princen, Michael F. Maniates and Ken Conca


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Conservation Through Mindful Consumption
  • Synopsis: This book should help you better conceptualize "the consumption problem" and consider diverse efforts to confront it.
The Great Gulf

October

The Great Gulf:
Fishermen, Scientists, and the Struggle to Revive the World's Greatest Fishery

by David Dobbs


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subjects: Fisherman/ Fish/ Northern Atlantic Ocean
  • Synopsis: This book should help you solidify your understanding of the fish crisis from many different stakeholder perspectives.
The Whale Warriors

September

The Whale Warriors:
The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals

by Peter Heller


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subjects: Whales/ Conservation/ Antarctic Ocean
  • Synopsis: This book may yet again give you an appreciation for the world's largest mammals and interest in their plight.
Two Garden Books

August

Edible Estates:
Attack on the Front Lawn

Edited by Fritz Haeg


  • All Ages, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Environmentally Sustainable Environment Decisions
  • Synopsis: Inspire yourself to get rid of all that water hungry lawn with pictures, letters, interviews from people who have made the switch regionally in the US.

Reef

July

Hope's Edge:
The Next Diet for a Small Planet

by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Environmentally Sustainable Food Decisions
  • Synopsis: This book may change the way you look at the world and how you eat, motivating you to smarter personal action when you make your food choices.
Reef

June

Reef
by Scubazoo


  • All Ages, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Marine Conservation and Ocean Photography
  • Synopsis: This book powerfully demonstrates the beauty and diversity of reefs found around the world while helping to educate us about this year’s World Ocean Day theme: "helping our climate – helping our ocean" with a focus on coral reefs.
The Edge of the Sea

May

From Eco-Cities to Living Machines:
Principles of Ecological Design

by John Todd and Nancy Todd


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Ecological Design
  • Synopsis: John and Nancy lay out the precepts of ecological design and map out how we can apply them to re-design our communities and economies into healthy sustainable systems.
The Edge of the Sea

April

The Edge of the Sea
by Rachel Carson


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Coastal ecosystems
  • Synopsis: Carson explores rocky shores, sandy beaches, and coral reefs, leading us into unknown worlds to catch the evanescent beauty of a tide pool and tell the story of a grain of sand.
How to Live Well Without Owning a Car

March

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car
by Chris Balish


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Green Living / transportation
  • Synopsis: The first practical, accessible, and sensible guide to living in North America without owning a car.
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming

February

Blessed Unrest:
How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming

by Paul Hawken


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: Environmental / Social activism
  • Synopsis: A leading environmentalist and social activist's examination of the worldwide movement for social and environmental change.
  • Watch the video
Ignition: What You Can Do To Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement

January

Ignition: What You Can Do To Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement
Edited by Jonathan Isham and Sissel Waage


  • Adult, Non-fiction
  • Subject: climate change advocacy
  • Synopsis: For anyone who feels compelled to do more about climate change than change their light bulbs or occasionally carpool, Ignition is an essential guide.

2007

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

December

Deep Economy:
The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
:
by Bill McKibben

Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound

November

Cape Wind:
Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound
:
by Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb

The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish Green Living

October

The Lazy Environmentalist:
Your Guide to Easy, Stylish Green Living
:
by Josh Dorfman

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash

September

Garbage Land:
On the Secret Trail of Trash

by Elizabeth Royte

Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish

August

Hooked:
Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish

by G. Bruce Knecht

Gaia Girls Way of Water

July

Gaia Girls:
Way of Water

by Lee Welles

Kon-Tiki

June

Kon-Tiki
by Thor Heyerdahl

Swimming in Circles

May

Swimming in Circles:
Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans

by Paul Molyneaux

The Monkey Wrench Gang

April

The Monkey Wrench Gang
by Edward Abbey

Silent Spring

March

Silent Spring
by Rachel Carson

Ocean Life A to Z

February

Ocean Life From A to Z
by Cynthia Stierle and Annie Crawley

Cradle to Cradle

January

The National Geographic
Atlas of the Ocean: The Deep Frontiers

By Sylvia Earle

 

2006

Cradle to Cradle

December

Island of the Aunts
By Eva Ibbotson

Cradle to Cradle

November

Creating a Climate for Change:
Communicating Climate Change
and Facilitating Social Change

Edited by Susanne C. Moser and Lisa Dilling

Cradle to Cradle

October

Cradle to Cradle:
Remaking the Way We Make Things

by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart

Grayson

September

Grayson
by Lynne Cox

Ocean's End

August

Ocean's End
by Colin Woodward

Voyage of the Turtle

July

Voyage of the Turtle:
In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur

by Carl Safina

Values at Sea

June

Values at Sea:
Ethics for the Marine Environment

by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer

May

Striper Wars:
An American Fish Story

by Dick Russell

April

The Big Oyster:
History on the Half Shell

by Mark Kurlansky

Our Stolen Future

March

Our Stolen Future
by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski,
and John Peterson Myers

An Unreasonable Woman

February

An Unreasonable Woman
by Diane Wilson

Paddle to the Sea

January

Paddle To The Sea
by Holling Clancy Holling

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