Not sure what book to pick up next? K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library’s Assistant Director Cara Perrion has got you covered. Whether you’re an avid reader or picking up a book for the first time in years, these picks will help readers of all ages find the next adventure to get lost in.


Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

58733693Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt needs to be on everyone’s summer reading list. This work of literary fiction takes on tough topics such as grief, consequences, abandonment, aging, and unlikely friendships all the while a giant Pacific octopus unravels the mystery of a young man’s death. A few of the brighter themes are exploration, humor, and hope. For a first-time author, I am impressed with the beautiful use of language, making every sentence something to savor. Hidden meanings and humor layered among the pages make this story engaging to so many people and on many levels. If you want to just skim and grace over the pages, you will still be entertained by an amazing story. If you are looking to dip more than your toe into this deep pool of imagery, you will be left pondering some of life’s mysteries. You will probably question whether animals and humans can communicate with each other, or which are the remarkably bright creatures. Van Pelt has created a variety of complex, yet relatable characters that you will miss long after the last page is read. The story unfolds through each character’s eyes. Even the octopus shares his observations of the world from the aquarium he calls home. This fast-paced story has a few plot twists and turns accompanied by the perfect amount of wit, wisdom, and emotion that will make you smile and bring a tear to your eye. This is a great read for the beach or audio book for those long summer road trips.



The Girl in the Thistles: a Novel of the Dakota Homeland by S.K. Sandvig

79634796S.K. Sandvig has created a thought-provoking story that brings to light the realities of a time when cultures were colliding as the land of the Dakota prairies quickly became a hot commodity. Little is written about the US-Dakota War of 1862, and yet, it had a huge impact on the people of this region for generations. This beautifully crafted story, inspired by true events and people, does not read as if it has an agenda, but merely educates the reader on the realities of the time. Sandvig reveals the complexities of the issues and their impact on everyday people. The Girls in the Thistles is not only educational but entertaining at its core. It is filled with a variety of well-developed characters, corruption, greed, mystery, and heartache. The story unfolds through the eyes of the main character, Emilie, the feisty daughter of a Sioux mother and Scottish father. The artful descriptions in this book will transport the reader to the prairies of the 1800s and feel nestled in a buffalo hide tipi. It is evident that the author has a love for the Dakota prairies. The Girl in the Thistles: a Novel of the Dakota Homeland is an engaging story and the perfect summer read. This book has become one of my favorite reads of 2023.

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