The Narrative Nonfiction Book Club has a theme for this six-month session called “Give Two Hoots.” The first two months we read books about sea creatures. For June and July we will read books about wars and in August and September, books about female computers. So this week the discussion was all about the good, the bad and the ugly side of dolphins and their interactions with humans, based on what we learned from Voices in the Ocean, a journey into the wild and haunting world of dolphins by Susan Casey.
Casey, the New York Times best-selling author of The Devil’s Teeth (about sharks), and The Wave, describes the variety of ways that humans throughout history have regarded dolphins, from the Ancient peace – loving Minoans who revered them, to contemporary Japanese in the town of Taiji who hunt, slaughter and traffic them. “In recent decades, we have learned that dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, grieve, adorn themselves, rescue one another (and humans), deduce, infer, seduce, form cliques, throw tantrums, and call themselves by name.” “Yet there is a dark side to our relationship with dolphins. They are the stars of a global multi-million dollar captivity industry, whose money has fueled a sinister and lucrative trade in which dolphins are captured violently, then shipped and kept in brutal conditions.” (Excerpted from the inner flap.)
Filled with facts that range from beautiful descriptions of their nature to disturbing accounts of inhumane treatment, Voices in the Ocean will inform, alarm and charm you. You can find this book on our shelves with call number 599.53 CAS.
If you would like to join us on Thursday, June 6 to read Confederates in the Attic: dispatches from the unfinished Civil War by Martha’s Vineyard author, Tony Horwitz, come to the reference desk to get a copy of the book or spoken CD. We have one of each as I write this, but more will be coming in the next two weeks. Hope to see you there!