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Join the 2024 One Read
"Remarkably Bright Creatures," by Shelby Van Pelt.

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.

Available at the library for checkout in book, large type, digital audiobook, e-book Playaway audiobook, and audiobook CD formats.

Download the Discussion Guide/Read-alikes (pdf).

Between the Lines: "Remarkably Bright Creatures"

An exhibition inspired by the 2024 One Read book selection.

March 1–30, 2024

Join us for First Friday Art Walk and the opening of the new exhibit featuring works of art by Springfield Regional Arts Council members and submissions from the public from 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the Park Central Branch Library.

“Remarkably Bright Creatures"”:
A Conversation with Shelby Van Pelt

Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m.
For adults
Library Center main floor

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.


Death Valley : A Novel
Gravity Is the Thing : A Novel
Miss Benson's Beetle : A Novel
Octopus, Seahorse, Jellyfish
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett : A Novel
The Dolphin House
The Lonely Hearts Book Club
The Shell Collector : A Novel
The Underworld : Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean
Underwater Wild : My Octopus Teacher's Extraordinary World
West With Giraffes : A Novel