Read-A-Likes: Where the Crawdads Sing

Hello readers! Do you ever find yourself loving a book so much that when it’s over you feel like you’ve lost a friend? All other books seem to pale in comparison, and you find yourself bewildered at the thought of, “what do I read next?!” Your Marshall-Lyon County Library staff are here to help! We love “talking books” and welcome the challenge of finding your next great read. As part of our reader’s advisory campaign, we will be sharing blog posts to help you navigate our collection and find your next book to love.

Let’s start with the ever popular Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Where the Crawdads Sing was such a hot commodity in 2019-2020, we could barely keep our hands on it! It spent 124 weeks on the best seller list as of January 2021. If you loved Crawdads and have been searching for a new book to fill the North Carolina sized hole in your heart ever since, here are my top read-a-like picks.

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister is my number one pick for Where the Crawdads Sing read-a-likes. The Scent Keeper is equal parts a coming-of-age novel, a love story, and a tale of the magic of childhood that fades as we grow up. It is also a story about family and what happens when we keep secrets from those we love the most. A completely unique plot line filled with all the natural beauty and mystery of Crawdads, but topped off with a feeling of enchantment.

My second pick for those Crawdads vibes is Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton. Also set in a rural expanse of nature, Waiting for the Night Song hits all the high points of Crawdads; nature conservation, a murder mystery, and the ties that bind us to home. It shares the magic of the natural world with both The Scent Keeper and Where the Crawdads Sing while exploring difficult present-day themes of racism and climate change. Beautifully juxtaposed between an idyllic summer shared by two friends and a life changing secret shared by the two women they become, Julie Carrick Dalton shares what it means to have deep bonds tested by even deeper secrets.

The last title on our list is perhaps the grittiest and most mysterious of the previously mentioned reads. For those of you looking for a Crawdads read-a-like that is also set in Minnesota, Leave No Trace fits that order. Set in the beautiful boundary waters area Mindy Mejia explores what it means to connected to nature and connected to others while wrapping it all up in a mystery about a missing boy, declared dead in the wilderness, who reappears a decade later. This is not a love story, but it is a story about the sacrifices we make for those we love. It is compulsively readable until the very end.

I hope you will check out some of these titles. Happy reading!