Harbor History Museum and the Gig Harbor branch of the Pierce County Library invite you to join the Gig Harbor Literary Society, dedicated to exploring the literary world of historical fiction, nonfiction, and other works of interest.
Due to inclement weather, the February meeting will now be held on Tuesday, February 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the Harbor History Museum. The book for our February meeting is The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.
In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir, The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.
Sy Montgomery’s popular 2011 ORION magazine piece, “Deep Intellect,” about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and grief at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then she has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to Mexico and French Polynesia, pursuing these solitary shape-shifters. With a central brain the size of that of an African grey parrot and neural matter in each of its eight arms, octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to get food and escape enclosures; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading their caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?
The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing scientific appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus ultimately reveals what octopuses can teach us about the nature and consciousness of the mind.
Attendees are welcome to bring an appetizer or dish to share with fellow bibliophiles. The Museum will provide complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy a drink while you talk books? You are welcome to BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine). Library and Museum staff will lead the discussion. Materials will be available for checkout at the Gig Harbor Library, as well as for purchase online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.
This event is FREE and open to the public. Seats are limited; RSVPs are encouraged. To RSVP or for questions, please contact Zachary Sokolik, Marketing & Events Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-858-6722.