Baked by the Book: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Starting off the new year I wanted to begin a project that could blend my love for baking with my other lifelong passion: reading. Baked by the Book is my way of sharing everything I love about what I'm reading each month with a visual (and delicious) rendition of the book. I love making custom baked goods for people that know exactly what they want, but it's such a rewarding feeling to create your own designs and have them turn out just as you imagined.

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

My husband, Tyler, and I had been running errands when he suddenly said, "Close your eyes! We're going somewhere special!" He loves a surprise. Sometimes I think he gets more out of surprising than I get out of being surprised. I love it. When I was allowed to open them again we were parked in front of the book lover's mothership - Barnes & Noble.

I discovered this book while browsing the stacks of bestsellers that greet you as you walk into the store. I was immediately drawn to it for two reasons: I'm fascinated by everything that lives underwater and from what I gathered the author had spent the majority of her life writing about and researching the secret lives of animals. I decided we would like each other and bought the book.

I was not disappointed! Montgomery begins her exploration of these creatures by befriending one of the octopuses (yes, that is the correct plural) at the New England Aquarium. Her book takes readers on an exploration of science blended with heartwarming tales of love, loss, and wonder. We're introduced to the many characters that care for these animals and get an inside look at their devotion to them.

I gained an admiration for this author through her passionate writing and her insatiable need to understand the creatures that share our world. There are more living things under the sea than we even know and having grown up on the beach I learned to both be fascinated and a little too afraid of them.

The octopus, as I learned in this book, is one of the unfortunate creatures that earned a bad rap. Often portrayed as the villainous monsters in centuries-old tales, pictures swallowing whole ships and dragging sailors to their tragic deaths. In reality, the octopus is a brilliant, resourceful creature that can solve puzzles, camouflage, build relationships with caretakers, and even trick them.

The Soul of an Octopus was a beautiful tale of one woman's adventures researching an animal that she didn't understand but wanted to. This book surprised me, made me cry, delighted me, and educated me. Sy Montgomery is full of curiosity and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone that loves wildlife and the unknown!

m Chloe Sexton, a home baker from Memphis, TN who loves to make cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more. Contact me at or on insta @bluffcakes if you have baking, blogging or other questions. You can order BluffCakes right here on the website!