Loading...

It appears that your cart is currently empty!

Empty bag iconContinue Shopping

2x1 SWIMWEAR limited time only!

{property.name}: {property.value}
  • {property.value}

5 Must-Read Books That’ll Deepen Your Love Of The Ocean

6 min read

5 Must-Read Books That’ll Deepen Your Love Of The Ocean

You’ve probably noticed that we are really quite fond of the ocean at TWOTHIRDS! Our love of the beautiful blue is what drives us to keep improving our footprint and our clothing, so that it has less of an impact on the habitats we are passionate about.

But this post isn’t about us. It’s about you, and bolstering your summer reading list with some of the best ocean reads out there. From the lyrical words of Rachel Carson to the science of whales, you’re guaranteed to leave each book seeing the sea in a new light. 

We’re the Blue Company, and this is our selection of Blue Books, aka: The 5 Best Books About The Ocean

1. Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson


“The distant voice of the sea was hushed almost to a sigh, a sort of rhythmic exhalation as though the sea, too, were asleep.” 


We start with one of the most influential environmental writers of all-time. Rachel Carson changed the course of American history when she penned the anti-pesticide ode to nature, Silent Spring, but here she turns her poetic gaze towards the ocean. It’s the imagination of this book that makes it so unforgettable: how the author teases out the beauty in every sea creature’s life, while also showing you how quickly predators can become prey. 

In Carson’s capable hands, the reader becomes the mackerel, the tern, the eel, following them on their dangerous journey through the ocean’s depths. They emerge with a broadened understanding of what it takes to survive in the unforgiving ocean.

According to biographer Linda Lear, Under The Sea-Wind (1941) “was [Carson’s] favourite of all her books, recalling a rare, peaceful time in her life.” 

It’s our favourite too. 

2. Pod by Laline Paull


“To spin like everyone else was the key to fitting in, and if she could only hear the music of the ocean like everyone else, she too would be able to tune in and do it.”


In what might be the perfect compliment to Under the Sea-Wind, author Laline Paull, explores the lives of Spinner Dolphins - named after their mid-air acrobatics in which they spin several times as they leap out of the water. This proves challenging for our protagonist, who is deaf and therefore struggles to follow the rules of what is, essentially, a form of acoustic communication. Shamed, she breaks away from the pod and sets out on an outsider epic that is not short on twists, or emotive suckerpunches. If a book about a dolphin sounds too twee for you, consider that readers often come away devastated by the story’s profundity - and implications for a planet that is changing fast.

Pod was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize For Fiction 2023. 

3. Blue Mind by Dr. Wallace J Nichols


“We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.”


Blue Mind (2014) will confirm what you already knew: that being by the ocean makes human beings happier, healthier and more at ease with themselves. But why is that? If anyone has the answer, it’s Dr. Wallace J Nichols, a marine biologist who was nicknamed “keeper of the sea” by GQ magazine. His book deals with the neuroscience of why water moves us, and which parts of the brain it activates. For instance, there’s “drift”: a state of mind where we recognise that sea “change is subtle and slow” (Guardian).. This, the book argues, is the antithesis of technological change, which ruptures attention spans and sends the mind scrambling for cover. 

Somewhere between self-help and scientific essay, this book was made for anyone who sees themself a little clearer when reflected in the mirror of the sea. Usually found on surfer’s bookshelves.

4. Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson


“We sent whalesong into interstellar space because the creatures that sing these songs are superlative beings that fill us with awe, terror, and affection. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched them into our mythologies and iconography. Their bones frame the archways of medieval castles. They’re so compelling that we imagine aliens might find them interesting — or perhaps understand their otherworldly, ethereal song.”


Who in their right mind would want to spy on a whale? Well, some scientists do it all the time! Nick Pyenson is a marine palaeontologist (bloke who looks at cool ocean fossils), with a knack for writing excellent prose. In Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures (2018), Pyenson gives fascinating insights into the last remaining giants on our blue planet. Whales can live for 200 years and weigh up to 300,000 pounds, statistics that fail to express their underwater elegance. Pyenson does a good job of fixing that.

If it doesn't look like you’ll be diving with whales anytime soon (and even then…), read this book instead. 

Did you know? TWOTHIRDS is so obsessed with whales we even use them as a symbol on our clothing. You know it was made by us because it features our playful whale icon. 

5. An Atlas of Disappearing Places by Cristina Conklin and Marina Psaros


“Reading the book from beginning to end offers an allegory of health and illness, challenge and renewal. Whatever your path, we hope that you find inspiration for how we can collectively write the next chapter in the history of our home.”


The kind of book that will get you on your feet and in the street to start fighting for a new cause, An Atlas Of Disappearing Places shows how the slow creep of sea-level rise could soon get out of control, with places like New York and Shanghai, China all but lost to the waves. Artist Cristina Conklin turns data into a thing of beauty, having hauled pound upon pound of sea lettuce into her studio in San Francisco where she used ink-based dyes to produce the maps that give this book its name. 

Packed full of solutions and stories of devastation, each chapter ends with a short speculative fiction in which future generations learn to adapt or mitigate the issues faced. One for the would-be ocean activists, and anyone keen to know about how climate change is affecting our oceans at the molecular level. 

We interviewed the wonderful Cristina and Marina back in 2021, when the book was released. 

Conclusion: From Page To Wave

This selection of ocean epics is designed to immerse you in habitats that are so different and yet so similar to our own. Whether it’s through the power of fiction, or the force of fact, these ocean-friendly reads may even set you in good stead to alter the course of your own impact on the ocean

This is ultimately what TWOTHIRDS is about - drawing attention to the wonders of the ocean, while fighting for a more sustainable world. And making eco-friendly clothing that aligns with our deepest values. 

You can surf our latest collection of organic, recycled, or botanic garments by consulting New In Men and New In Women. Happy reading!