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Library News

"Remarkably Bright Creatures" Announced as the 2024 One Read Book

Charming, witty and deceptively sensitive, Shelby Van Pelt's "Remarkably Bright Creatures" follows an unlikely connection between a widow and a Giant Pacific Octopus residing at the local aquarium. 

Written through the lives of this unexpected pair, "Remarkably Bright Creatures" offers a gentle reminder that sometimes, taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible. Come together in this annual community read event to hear the author discuss her acclaimed novel — a story of friendship, reckoning and hope. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

About “Remarkably Bright Creatures”: After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at an aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son mysteriously vanished on a boat over thirty years ago.

Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors – until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.

Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late. 

Shelby Van Pelt’s debut-novel “Remarkably Bright Creature” became an instant New York Times bestseller. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she's now missing the mountains in the Chicago area with her husband and children.

Plan to join us for a conversation with Shelby Van Pelt on March 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Library Center.  To see all the One Read activities visit

Vickie Hicks is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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