18 water-themed books to dive into this month

Consider this your end-of-summer reading list.

shelf of books
The Popular Science display at Strand Book Store.Strand Book Store

It's August, the last full month before Labor Day, which means (despite the back-to-school sales and public longing for fall), there are still plenty of long, hot summer days left for reading. August also marks the beginning of a new partnership for us: Popular Science has teamed up with Strand bookstore to provide monthly book lists to fill your brain with science.

If you're in the NYC area, be sure to check out the PopSci-branded display they've setup in the Science section. If you're anywhere else, you can catch the recommendations right here online.

This month we’re featuring books about a substance that defines life on Earth more than any other: water. Did you know that 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water? Whether you look at the glass as half-full or half-empty, salty or fresh, home to sea creatures, or frontier for exploration, there’s something for everyone.

Two books on shelf
Books about moving water.Strand Book Store

Shifting Waters

Water itself exerts a powerful pull on the psyche, and on all aspects of life. Explore changing tides, rising waters, and shifting seas in this selection:

books on a shelf.
Books about adventures and expeditions.Strand Book Store

Ocean Adventures

Next to a raging sea, humans seem small and insignificant. We test ourselves against this force of nature, whether to harvest riches, explore the depths, or push the limits of human endurance and understanding. Pick up one of these true tales of adventure and set off on your own voyage of discovery.

books on a shelf
Books about food that comes from the sea.Strand Book Store

'Sea' Food

In these reads, explore ways to cook seaweed, shuck your way into the entwined history of New York City and the humble oyster, or dive into the world of fish-oil supplements.

books on a shelf
Books for kids about the ocean.Strand Book Store

Kiddie Pool

It is never too early to encourage a love of the water that's all around us. In these charming titles, kids can gain a deeper appreciation of H2O, as well as the animals and plants that call it home.

books on a shelf
Books about animals that live in or near the ocean.Strand Book Store

Marine Biology

There’s a whole world of creatures living under (and over) the sea. Explore the lives of some of the amazing animals that we share a planet with, from intelligent cephalopods to adventurous seabirds, from whales to sharks.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Bonus fiction!Strand Book Store

Watery Fiction

  • Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne—Fiction bonus! Sometimes science imitates art, and Twenty Thousand Leagues is a classic that's inspired both art and science, and was first mentioned in Popular Science back in October of 1925 when Jules Verne's detailed descriptions cost an inventor his chance at a periscope patent.