The Blue Wonder: Why the Sea Glows, Fish Sing, and Other Astonishing Insights from the Ocean

Greystone. Jun. 2021. 304p. tr. from German by Jamie McIntosh. ISBN 9781771646048. $28.95. NAT HIST
Marine biologist Bagusche says she wants to make the ocean “accessible to a worldwide audience.” While this book, translated from German, frequently refers to research or experts, the author’s casual, friendly writing style makes it approachable to readers with the barest knowledge of marine life and oceans. Bagusche keeps the story moving with brief bursts of information and humorous insights. The chapter “Sex and the Sea” is particularly funny, although animals such as sea otters and penguins sometimes appear less than endearing. Conservation is mentioned throughout the book, and its final chapter focuses on the dangers threatening the oceans, such as drilling, overfishing, and inundations of plastics and other waste. The narrative continues with moving chapters on the history and future of coral reefs, complete with stories of the creatures that survive and thrive in and around them. Bagusche makes the case that humanity’s future is linked with the ocean’s wellbeing, so she offers practical guidance for ocean-conscious consumption. There’s also an extensive list of resources for those wishing to learn more.
VERDICT Readers who want an upbeat, yet thoughtful overview of all things marine wildlife will appreciate this fun, quick dive into the ocean.
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