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“The Soul of an Octopus”

October 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Title: The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

Author: Sy Montgomery (2016)

Date: October 29, 2019 (note: fifth Tuesday), 4 PM – 5:30 PM

Meeting Location: Dungeness River Audubon Center

Cost: Free

Click here to read Discussion Questions (provided by NOLS).

In October, we will join other Clallam County book discussion groups in reading The Soul of an Octopus in preparation for a visit by author Sy Montgomery to the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) Sequim branch at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 7. Another opportunity to meet the author will take place at the NOLS Port Angeles branch at 6:30 p.m. on November 8. Details of the author’s visit to Sequim and Port Angeles can be viewed on the NOLS website.

NOLS will provide 10 free lending copies of this acclaimed book to the OPAS discussion group.  Pick up your copy at the September 24 OPAS Book Discussion Group meeting or by contacting Lori Moilanen at lori_moilanen@wavecable.com if you are unable to attend.  If demand exceeds supply, you may request a lending copy from NOLS starting on October 1. In addition, NOLS will provide discussion questions and a librarian to participate in the discussion as part of their outreach event.  Lori Moilanen will be the OPAS discussion leader.

From the publisher:

Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” (Daily Beast) 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.

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.


  • Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Starred Booklist and Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick
  • Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year
  • One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads
  • Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year
  • An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year
  • “Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” —New Statesman, UK
  • “One of the best science books of the year.” —Science Friday, NPR


Book Availability 

Ten free paperback lending copies will be provided to our group by NOLS.  Additional copies in various formats will be available directly from NOLS.  The book can be ordered in multiple formats from Amazon Smiles (https://smile.amazon.com/; select Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society or Dungeness River Audubon Center as supported charity). 

[Learn more about the Book Discussion Group and upcoming book selections]


October 29
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Dungeness River Audubon Center
Railroad Bridge Park
Sequim, WA 98382 United States
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