Animals, Best Books, Education, Nonfiction, Science & Nature

The 21 Best Books About The Ocean

“What are the best ocean books?” We looked at 13 articles and 193 different books in an attempt to answer that very question. Below you will find an aggregated list of the 21 top books about the Ocean of all-time. Click here to see the methodology used.

What Can be Found in a Best Ocean Books Listicle
  • The color blue
  • Mentions of “Summer”, “The Beach”, “Salt”, “Conservation”
  • Whales
The Top 21 Books About The Ocean


21.) A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle

Appears On: 2 Lists
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A House For Hermit Crab by Eric Carle, Eric Carie


20.) American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood By Paul Greenburg

Appears On: 2 Lists
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American Catch- The Fight for Our Local Seafood by Paul Greenberg

19.) Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Cod- A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky


18.) Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Commotion in the Ocean (Picture Books) by Giles Andreae, David Wojtowycz


17.) Deep by James Nestor

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Deep by James Nestor Freediving, Renegade Science, and what the ocean tells us about ourselves


16.) Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks By Juliet Eilperin

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Demon Fish- Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks by Juliet Eilperin


15.) Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl


14.) Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle

13.) Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Over in the Ocean- In a Coral Reef (Over In ... series) by Marianne Berkes, Jeanette Canyon (Illustrator)

12.) Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Sailing Alone Around The World ,by Captain Joshua Slocum by Joshua Scolum

11.) Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by Sylvia Earle

Appears On: 2 Lists
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Sea Change- A Message of the Oceans by Sylvia A. Earle

10.) The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston

Appears On: 2 Lists
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The Outermost House- A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston

9.) The Reef by Iain McCalman

Appears On: 2 Lists
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The Reef- A Passionate History- The Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change by Iain McCalman

8.) The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau

Appears On: 2 Lists
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The Silent World by Jacques-Yves Cousteau

7.) The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Appears On: 2 Lists
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The Soul of an Octopus- A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

6.) War of the Whales: A True Story By Joshua Horwitz

Appears On: 2 Lists
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War of the Whales- A True Story by Joshua Horwitz

5.) Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid by Wendy Williams

Appears On: 3 Lists
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Kraken- The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid by Wendy Williams

4.) Log by the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

Appears On: 3 Lists
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The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

3.) Moby Dick By Herman Melville

Appears On: 3 Lists
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Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville

2.) The Old Man and the Sea By Ernest Hemingway

Appears On: 3 Lists
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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway


1.) The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson

Appears On: 4 Lists
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The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson


The 172 Other Books Listed in Ocean Articles

  • A Community Guide to Environmental Health by Jeff Conant and Pam Fadem
  • A Leaky Tent is a Piece of Paradise: 20 Young Writers on Finding a Place in the Natural World Edited by Bonnie Tsui
  • A Pattern of Islands,” by Arthur Grimble
  • A Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson
  • Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire By: Marybeth Lorbiecki
  • Among Giants By K. M. Kostyal
  • Amos & Boris by William Steig
  • An Island Out of Time: A Memoir of Smith Island in the Chesapeake,” by Tom Horton
  • An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed” By Josie Iselin
  • An Unreasonable Woman by Diane Wilson
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle By Barbara Kingsolver
  • Animorphs, The Message – K.A. Applegate
  • Aquagenesis by Richard Ellis
  • Art of Floating – Kristin Bair O’Keefe
  • At the Ends of the Earth by Kieran Mulvaney
  • Baby Beluga by Raffi
  • Baghdad Without a Map: And Other Misadventures in Arabia (1991) by Tony Horwitz.
  • Barrow’s Boys: A Stirring Story of Daring, Fortitude, and Outright Lunacy by Fergus Fleming
  • Barry the Fish with Fingers by Sue Hendra
  • Beach Day
  • Beach House –James Patterson and Peter de Jonge
  • Beach Trip – Cathy Holton
  • Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education by David Sobel
  • Billy Budd, by Herman Melville
  • Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming by Paul Hawken
  • Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz
  • Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier,
    More Connected, and Better at What You Do” By Wallace J. Nichols
  • Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound: by Wendy
    Williams and Robert Whitcomb
  • Captain Cook: A Legacy Under Fire by Vanessa Collingridge
  • Chicken Soup for the Ocean Lover’s Soul: Amazing Sea Stories and Wyland Artwork to Open the Heart and Rekindle the
    Spirit by Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, and Wyland
  • Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places By: Bill Streever
  • Confronting Consumption Edited by Thomas Princen, Michael F. Maniates and Ken Conca
  • Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Thingsby Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart
  • Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change Edited by Susanne C.
    Moser and Lisa Dilling
  • Curious George Goes to the Beach
  • Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future: by Bill McKibben
  • Diving Dolphin by Karen Wallace
  • Dove By: Robin L. Graham
  • Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet By: Bill McKibben
  • Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future by Mark Hertsgaard
  • Eastern Approaches. By Fitzroy MacLean
  • Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn Edited by Fritz Haeg
  • English Passengers – Matthew Kneale
  • Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen by Tora Johnson
  • Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community by Bill McKibben
  • Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Elhert
  • Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni
  • Fish School by Nancy Poydar
  • Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat—and How to Counter It by Wallace S. Broecker
    and Robert Kunzig
  • Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood into a Community by Heather Coburn Flores
  • Four Fish By Paul Greenberg
  • From Eco-Cities to Living Machines: Principles of Ecological Design by John Todd and Nancy Todd
  • Gaia Girls: Way of Water by Lee Welles
  • Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte
  • Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • Grayson by Lynne Cox
  • Great White Shark By Alexandrine Civard-Racinais
  • Hello Ocean
  • Homemade: How-to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally By Readers Digest Editors
  • Hooked: Pirates, Poaching, and the Perfect Fish by G. Bruce Knecht
  • Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
  • Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé
  • How to Hide an Octopus
  • How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish
  • I Love Whales & Dolphins by Steve Parker
  • Ignition: What You Can Do To Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement Edited by Jonathan Isham and Sissel Waage
  • In Hazard by Richard Hughes
  • In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon. By Redmond O’Hanlon
  • Into the Heart of Borneo. By Redmond O’Hanlon
  • Island of the Aunts By Eva Ibbotson
  • Jaws – Peter Benchley
  • Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • Little Shark by Anne Rockwell
  • Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • Low Carbon Diet: A 30 day program to lose 5000 pounds by David Gershon
  • Message in a Bottle – Nicholas Sparks
  • Moby-Duck By: Donovan Hohn
  • Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World” By Todd McLeish
  • Nature and Walking By Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau
  • No Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo. By Redmond O’Hanlon
  • O Is for Orca: An Alphabet Book by Andrea Helman
  • Ocean by Miranda MacQuitty
  • Ocean Babies By: Deborah Lee Rose
  • Ocean Life From A to Z by Cynthia Stierle and Annie Crawley
  • Ocean Passages for the World: First Edition by the Hydrographer of the British Navy
  • Ocean Seasons By Ron Hirschi (author) and Kirsten Carlson (illustrator)
  • Ocean Soul By: Brian Skerry
  • Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas by Sylvia Earle and Linda Glover
  • Ocean’s End by Colin Woodward
  • Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea” By Katherine Harmon Courage
  • On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries by Richard Reynolds
  • One for the Road: An Outback Adventure by Tony Horwitz.
  • Ordinary Amos and the Amazing Fish by Eugenie and Henry Fernandes
  • Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski,
  • Paddle To The Sea by Holling Clancy Holling
  • Planet Earth: Deep Ocean Creatures by Lisa-Ryan Herndon
  • Planet Ocean: Photo Stories from the ‘Defending Our Oceans’ Voyage by Sara Holden
  • Rapture of the Deep: The Art of Ray Troll by Ray Troll
  • Reef by Scubazoo
  • Reef Fish Identification (series) by Paul Humann
  • Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
  • Robinson crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  • Sailing In The Wake of the Ancestors: Reviving Polynesian Voyaging,” by Ben R. Finney
  • Sea of Slaughter by Farley Mowat
  • SeaSick: The Global Ocean in Crisis By Alanna Mitchell
  • Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone
  • Sensuous Seas by Eugene H. Kaplan
  • Sharks & Other Ocean Predators Sticker Book by Gordon Volke
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water, Our World by Deborah Cramer
  • Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis by Vendana Shiva
  • Song for the Blue Ocean by Carl Safina
  • Souls in the Sea: Dolphins, Whales, and Human Destiny by Scott Taylor
  • Soundings by Hali Felt
  • Sticker Encyclopedia: Ocean by DK Publishing
  • Striper Wars: An American Fish Story by Dick Russell
  • Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean” By Lisa-ann Gershwin
  • Swimming in Circles: Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans by Paul Molyneaux
  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni
  • Ten Little Fish by Audrey and Bruce Wood
  • The Beach – Alex Garland
  • The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky
  • The Cay – Theodore Taylor
  • The Coming Transformation: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities Edited by: Stephen R. Kellert and James
    Gustave Speth
  • The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
  • The Cyclist’s Manifesto By Robert Hurst
  • The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival
  • The Deep by Claire Nouvian
  • The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson
  • The Extreme Life of the Sea” By Stephen R. Palumbi
  • The Great Deep by James Hamilton-Paterson
  • The Great Gulf: Fishermen, Scientists, and the Struggle to Revive the World’s Greatest Fishery by David Dobbs
  • The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish Green Living: by Josh Dorfman
  • The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
  • The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America by H. Bruce Franklin
  • The National Geographic Atlas of the Ocean: The Deep Frontiers By Sylvia Earle
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
  • The Ocean World by Jacques Cousteau
  • The Octonauts Explore the Great Big Ocean by Meomi
  • The Perfect Storm By Sebastian Junger
  • The Physical Geography of the Sea by Matthew Fontaine Maury
  • The Rainbow Fish By: Marcus Pfister
  • The River Cottage Fish Book: The Definitive Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Fish and Shellfish” By Hugh
  • The Sea – John Banville
  • The Seashore Book
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction,” by David Quammen
  • The Unnatural History of the Sea By Callum Roberts
  • The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
  • The Water in Between: A Journey at Sea by Kevin Patterson
  • The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean By: Susan Casey
  • The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet’s Largest Mammals by Peter Heller
  • The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea,” by Philip Hoare
  • The Wonder Book of the Seashore by Cynthia Iliff Koehler
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer By: Donella Meadows
  • Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf by John Muir
  • To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  • Trout, Trout, Trout!: A Fish Chant by April Pulley Sayre
  • Trust Us We’re Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future by Sheldon Rampton
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea – Jules Verne
  • Values at Sea: Ethics for the Marine Environment by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer
  • Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
  • Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth’s Last Dinosaur by Carl Safina
  • Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck
  • What Are People For? by Wendell Berry
  • What Lives in a Shell?
  • What’s Gotten Into Us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World By: Mckay Jenkins
  • Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: The Epic Story of Early Naturalist Georg Steller and the Russian Exploration of Alaska by
    Corey Ford, Lois Darling (Illustrator).
  • Wild Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
  • World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky
  • Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century Edited by Alex Steffen

The Article Sources Arranged by Publish Date