Monday, October 22, 2007

The Deep

Author: Claire Nouvian

First line: In 2001, after watching a stunningly beautiful film at the Monteray bay Aquarium in California, I took my first dive into the deep.

Why you should read this book: In the deep ocean, the sunless zone beginning two hundred meters from the surface and stretching down as far as eleven thousand meters, explorers have discovered an uncounted wealth of biodiversity in myriad astounding forms seemingly ripped from the pages of science fiction. This book, with huge, glossy, full-color illustrations on almost every page, brings to light a massive, yet still partial catalog of surprising benthic and pelagic organisms in all their alien splendor, accompanied by short (under fifteen hundred word) essays by scientists covering a broad overview of deep sea life. Giant squids, bioluminescent jellies, fanged anglerfish, and creatures that beggar description and have yet to be named or classified: every page of this book is like a mind-blowing birthday present from your favorite eccentric uncle.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You fear sea monsters.