I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
First thing's first: Take a moment to check out that cover. That's Huggins! With star billing right at the top, how could I not buy this book when I saw it at the shops?
Hird is a marine biologist trying to spread his love of the ocean without sounding dull or dry. That's not hard to do when you're talking about the ocean because you don't have to go far to find weird and wonderful and freaky life that defies dullness. (Grouper are dull. Delicious, but dull. Grouper do not make an appearance in this book.)
The Chapters are broken down by the distinctions used by marine biologists: Shore, Coastal Seas, Coral Reef, Open Ocean, Deep Ocean, Frozen Seas, and a final chapter I like to call "How mankind if f*cking it all up" but he more tactfully names Threats to the Ocean. In each chapter he choses a variety of life found in these areas and talks about their weirdness and wonderfulness and contribution to the chain of life.
Some of the animals in the ocean are far beyond weird and blaze right on into 'omg that's freaky'. I knew this on a certain level already, but it turns out that was just the top of the iceberg. So to speak. Many, many of the entries got read out loud. MT was particularly amused by the arctic bird that pukes on its predators (northern fulmar). I spent a lot of time on google images; there's a center section of full color photographs in the hard cover edition, and they're gorgeous, but no where near comprehensive enough.
I liked his writing style, and needless to say, I learned heaps; I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone who's interested in the oceans. But there was just some small thing missing that kept me from really loving it; something ephemeral that I can't point to. It's a very good read and worth the time; just not awesome.
Although, bonus points for Huggins!!