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.
"Eight legs and so much more!"
A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish.
"Stunningly great reading of great writing"
When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. It wasn’t until years later that she was diagnosed with autism, a brain disorder that makes communication difficult. Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her career has revolutionized the livestock industry - each year, half the cattle in the United States are handled in cruelty-free facilities she designed. She is also a passionate advocate for autism, using her experience to prove that people with this disorder can have “normal” lives.
"Insightful and educational"
On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last 91 kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds - the largest and most unusual parrots on earth - have suffered devastating population loss. Now, on an island refuge with the last of the species, New Zealand’s National Kakapo Recovery Team is working to restore the kakapo population. With the help of 14 humans who share a single hut and a passion for saving these odd ground-dwelling birds, the kakapo are making a comeback in New Zealand.