June 8th is World Oceans Day,  and Books & Books invites you to join us as we celebrate the planet’s oceans and consider the impact we have on their ecological health. The immense beauty of the marine world and the ongoing struggle to protect it continues to galvanize authors and advocates around the world.

Today’s reading list is compiled in collaboration with Reading Miami, an exciting campaign to foster a reading culture and promote community engagement through shared book recommendations.  We invite you to explore the books that inspire Miami’s environmental advocates. Dive into the literary favorites!

Dr. Shireen Rahimi, Founder of LightPalace Productions, Recommends…

I Want A Better Catastrophe by Andrew Boyd

“This isn’t an ocean book, it’s a climate book, but our climate and ocean are inextricably linked, and we have to transform our relationships with each if we’re to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. I love this book because it offers a new way forward in this age of great transformation, one that moves between hope and despair that feels more true, more convincing, and somehow even more motivating.”

– Shireen Rahimi

The Unnatural Sea by Dr. Callum Roberts

“This is one of the first nonfiction books I ever read about the ocean, and so it set the foundation for my understanding of ocean ecosystems–as interconnected, dynamic, and changing faster than our human minds are capable of comprehending. For someone who wants to learn more about the ocean in a general, but thorough way, from the (kinda) present day back to the original formation of the oceans themselves, Unnatural History of the Sea is a great place to start.”

Shireen Rahimi

Shley Burgos, Program Coordinator of Latino Outdoors, Recommends…

Sex in the Sea by Marah J. Hardt

“I am obsessed with this book. This is the stuff I wish I would have learned about in biology and zoology class. Reading this showed me the variety of personalities, genders, and rituals the animals in our backyard have that help their populations to continue in existence. I grew up thinking lobsters are this expensive, delicious food source that makes Miami people go crazy on their boats during the open season. But lobsters are actually aggressive creatures with a week-long kink-focused mating ritual to reproduce without killing one another. It makes connecting to the ocean fun and weird outside traditional standards.”

– Shley Burgos

Undrowned by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

“It shows connections of historical issues that marginalized communities have faced that co-relate to the existence of marine animals and how humans have imposed their ways of existing or being into their world. It’s like social Justice meets biology meets poetry.”

– Shley Burgos


Amalia Fernandez, of Miami Waterkeepers, Recommends…

The Swamp by Michael Grunwald

“A must-read book to understand how a magnificent ecosystem was drained and developed from the early 19th century and the urgent need today to restore its natural flow, allowing more freshwater to replenish our aquifers.”

Amalia Fernandez

All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson

“This book is a compilation of female voices and their messages in an environmental crusade to help reshape our society and its relation with our environment, a society where all are welcome.”

Amalia Fernandez


Andrew Otazo, author of The Miami Creation Myth, Recommends…

Disposable City by Mario Ariza

“It describes how the ocean is going to keep rising and kick Miami’s ass if we continue being complacent about climate change.”

Andrew Otazo