Explore a New World: Dive Into The Gulf

Diving into The Gulf immerses you into a whole new world of marine biology, native cultures, unique ecosystems, colonial trade, sea birds, an endless list of fascinating delights.

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A few months ago we fielded a survey to people who love to read. We asked: "What is it about reading that you love?"

Across age, gender, everyday readers and vay-cay readers, the results came back with surprising uniformity. Just a handful of themes emerged.

And if you love to read too, the answers will make you nod along. The top responses were:

learning something new, being transported to another world, using imagination, exploring different POV, exploring in general, growing, gaining knowledge, gaining empathy, a way to focus and concentrate.

Which brings us to this month's Book Experience recommendation -- The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis.

Dive in to discover a weird, wonderful, wild new world!

Length: 530 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, American History, Natural History

Published: 2017

What is it about?

Davis investigates the Gulf of Mexico from its origins 150 million years ago to the present day, covering the early Native Americans who made their homes on the Florida coast as well as those who lost theirs in Hurricane Katrina. The book deals with geology, history, biology, big business, popular culture and more. Famous figures show up in a new light; Juan Ponce de León and Thomas Jefferson make their appearances, as do Walt Whitman, Jimmy Stewart, and the inventor of Tabasco hot sauce.

The result is a wide-ranging biography of the Gulf of Mexico that reflects its immense influence in nearly all aspects of history. The final chapters serve as a rallying cry to preserve the Gulf, which has been harmed by centuries of pollution, oil spills, overfishing and climate change.

Why do we love it?

A work of non-fiction which won the Pulitzer Prize in History last year, The Gulf strives to uncover what has been lost in the pages of American history - and in the process checks most of the "love to read" boxes.

Diving into The Gulf immerses you into a whole new world of marine biology, native cultures, unique ecosystems, colonial trade, sport fishing, sea birds, an endless list of surprising and fascinating delights.

Beyond the Book

An Ocean Highway of Global Trade

In 1513 Spanish explorers discovered the magic of the Gulf Stream current, and in 1519 used its power to push heavily laden vessels of New World treasure back to Spain. Sailing the Stream shaved at least a week off of the travel time, reducing shipping costs and ocean risks. It became nothing short of a "life line of empire."

Get into a Gulf Stream wiki hole

Midwest Rains Projected to Record Dead Zone in the Gulf

An area in the Gulf the size of the State of Massachusetts is projected to suffocate all marine life with an algae bloom explosion. A natural phenomenon that occurs annually, this year is projected to be the worst yet due to massive fertilizer runoff from the Mississippi River from the record rains in the Midwest.

We're all in this together.

File Under: Random Things You Learn From Books

Tarpon are MASSIVE fish native to the Gulf and are the iconic sport fishing prize. They have thousands of little bones in their bodies which make them very much unsuitable for human consumption, but are prized for their size and the difficulty of the catch.

Megalops atlanticus. Yes.


When Reading Inspiration Strikes, Don't Let It Go!

We are awash in information, flying at us from all angles all day, every day.And this includes book recommendations too! You might hear an author on NPR in the morning and think, "I should really read that book" - or maybe your favorite podcast spotlights a recommendation that sets off your "want to read" radar.

With Italic Type, the next time your ears perk up at the sound of a new book, you'll be able to easily capture the title in your "queue" list, label it for some more context, and make sure you never lose your ideas for what to read next.


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