Photo Credit: Birds on a Wire by Flickr.com user Kiwi Flickr

Island Press Staff Picks

This week's staff pick is from Island Press's publicity manager, Jaime Jennings. She writes: In my almost six years at Island Press, I’ve had the opportunity to work on more than 90 titles ranging from conservation to the built environment. Of those titles, my favorite has been The Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts. I enjoyed it for many reasons but chief among them was the writing and the story. I’ve always been most drawn and inspired by stories about our oceans and Callum’s vast narrative illuminates a history of how we’ve destroyed them with centuries of disregard and overfishing. I came away from the book both deeply disappointed in human behavior and yet inspired by recent steps to protect the oceans. From chapter 1, he takes the reader on a time-traveling journey where I was immersed in fish markets, stood on the bowels of ships and dove under the frothy ocean surface to discover treasures below. What makes this book special is how Callum’s own voice along with photos paint an illuminating picture of what the oceans once were and what they could be again. With such a prized book, it was rewarding to see this book’s unique qualities recognized when the Washington Post named it one of the ten best books of 2007 saying, “passionate and immensely important…Callum Roberts has issued a powerful, galvanizing call to arms.” Enjoy the excerpt below!