Sir Ballister Blackheart is the resident villain. And like all resident villains, he has a backstory that totally explains how he went from a promising knight in training to a mad scientist. And like all resident villains, he often finds his brilliant plans foiled by the resident hero, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin.
That is, until the mysterious Nimona shows up. Nimona is a shapeshifter and an agent of chaos who dramatically increases Blackheart’s effectiveness while also ramping up the destruction factor. As Nimona and Blackheart tag-team to defeat his archnemesis, the shadowy Institution that runs everything, it soon becomes clear that they might not be the most villainous characters in the land after all. . . .
Continue reading “Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona”
Charlie Rizzo has spent his life thinking his father was blinded in a hunting accident as a child. Not that it has stopped his dad from living his life or enjoying one of his greatest hobbies — studying poetic masterpieces of world literature. It’s an unusual hobby to have in their 1960s working-class Chicago neighborhood, but Charlie never suspects anything out-of-the-ordinary with his dad. That is, until Charlie finds himself in trouble with the law. He then learns that his mild-mannered father was blinded in a botched robbery and did time for it in the Illinois State Penitentiary, where he was cellmates with Nathan Leopold. As in, Nathan Leopold of Leopold and Loeb thrill-killing infamy.
I had this book (a nonfiction graphic novel that combines true crime and poetry appreciation) recommended to me recently by one of my undergraduate English professors. I always enjoyed the books I read in her classes, so her suggestions are ones I always try to follow up on. And I was not disappointed. Thanks so much for the great suggestion, Leslie!
Continue reading “David Carlson’s The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry”
To manga or not to manga. For me, it was a big NEVER, until last week. I know this may be an inflammatory statement on my part, for some of you. But it is the truth. I had never read any manga and had never really wanted to read it.
However, a few months ago when I was at Books in Bloom, some of our teen volunteers were taking a break at my table, and I made them give me reading suggestions. Bradley told me I needed to read Death Note, and Dustin recommended Shaman King to me. I finally got around to reading their suggestions, and I’m happy to report that my introduction to manga was an enjoyable experience. (Thanks for the great recommendations, guys!)
Continue reading “Ask the Blogger: Death Note/Shaman King”
For our last challenge, we stayed close to home, exploring books with Carroll County settings. I figured for this edition, we’d venture away from Arkansas and, indeed, the United States to do a literary tour of all seven continents.
These suggestions are specifically designed to meet the 2016 Library Challenge of reading a book set in a different country, but these recommendations are also perfect even if you’re not participating in the challenge. I selected 3 books for each continent and also tried to include a nice range of genres, everything from literary fiction to mysteries to nonfiction to romance. As always, if you’re interested in learning more about any of these books, just follow this link to our online catalog. From there, you can read more information, as well as check availability and place holds.
Continue reading “2016 Library Challenge: A Book Set in a Different Country”