Meet Sy Montgomery, Author of Of Time and Turtles

San Mateo County Libraries welcomes Sy Montgomery on Tuesday, October 24 at 6:00 PM at the Foster City Library as she discusses her newest book OF TIME AND TURTLES: Mending the World Shell by Shattered Shell. Copies of  Of Time and Turtles will be available for purchase and signing at the event, thanks to the support of The Reading Bug, opens a new window

Why Turtles? 

What is it about turtles that inspires such devotion? Ancient and unhurried, long-lived and majestic, their lineage stretches back to the time of the dinosaurs. Some live for two hundred years or longer. Others spend months buried under cold winter water. National Book Award, opens a new window finalist Sy Montgomery turns to these little-understood yet endlessly surprising creatures to probe the eternal question: How can we make peace with our time?  

In the basement of an otherwise ordinary suburban house, two women care for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of sick and injured turtles. When Sy Montgomery and wildlife artist Matt Patterson joined as volunteers at Turtle Rescue League, they participated in heart-pounding dramas and breathtaking miracles, changing their lives in ways they never could have expected. During the pandemic era when the clock and calendar seemed to stall, turtles—ancient, long-lived, shell-covered beings—proved to be unexpected guides to probing the mysteries of time itself. Hopeful and deeply researched, warm and astonishing, this book invites you to slip into turtle time—not the tick-tock hurry of human hustle, but the sacred, eternal time of daylight, darkness, and seasons. 

Get to Know Sy Montgomery 

“I found in my work getting to know individual animals really kind of cracks your own soul open. And you’re able to share far more with your readers. As a writer, as a person, I want to bring everything to my books and I want to bring everything to my relationships. And so I bring my heart along.” - Sy Montgomery

Researching articles, films and her 34 books for adults and children, nationally bestselling author Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Rwanda, hunted by a tiger in India and swum with piranhas, electric eels and pink dolphins in the Amazon. Her work has taken her from the cloud forest of Papua New Guinea (for a book on tree kangaroos) to the Altai Mountains of the Gobi (for another on snow leopards.) For The Soul of an Octopus (a National Book Award finalist), she befriended octopuses at the New England Aquarium, scuba-dived, and snorkeled with wild octopuses in Mexico and French Polynesia. Sy writes for print and broadcast in America and overseas to reach as broad an audience as possible at what she considers a critical turning point in human history. Sy lives in New Hampshire. 

Praise for Of Time and Turtles and Sy Montgomery 

“Writing from the height of her powers, Sy Montgomery shows us in magnificent and essential ways how much we are connected, even with the most unlikely of animals.”—Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders

“A celebration of a magnificent species. Besides conveying the turtle’s amazing longevity and capacity for healing, Montgomery offers vivid portraits of the distinct personalities of patients under the care of the heroic TRL staff. An engaging, informative and colorful journey into the world of turtles.”—Kirkus Reviews , opens a new window

“In this moving outing, Montgomery captures the joy in the team’s successes and the sorrow in their losses and Patterson’s sketches of spotted and painted turtles in their natural habitats delight. An enjoyable account of the everyday travails of dedicated conservationists.”—Publisher’s Weekly 

“Sweet moments are at the heart of Montgomery’s compassionate, wise and tender [The Soul of an Octopus]…Only a writer of her talent could make readers care about octopuses as individuals…Joins a growing body of literature that asks us to rethink our connection to nonhumans who may be more like us than we had supposed.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press