Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona

Nimona

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. . . .

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Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible

Eligible

Channeling my inner Jane Austen here: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a reader in possession of a retelling of a classic story has one of two reactions, joy at revisiting a tale that is both familiar and new or complete, unmitigated horror at the desecration of a favorite book.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate just a little, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that people tend to either really like contemporary updated versions of old favorites or the very idea is repellent to them. Personally, I like when a classic is effectively brought into a different time and place because I like spotting all of the allusions and seeing what the author changed and what he or she didn’t and pondering why. With all of that in mind,  I approached Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest book Eligible with a great deal of curiosity.

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2016 Library Challenge: An Author’s First Book

For the month of May, we’re going to be focusing on authors–we’ll be looking at the various author-specific challenges from the 2016 Library Challenge, we’re highlighting authors who’ll be at Books in Bloom later this month, and we even have a display set up at the front of the library to spotlight author’s first novels. So, it only makes sense for us to kick off our focus on authors with a post about reading an author’s first book. I must confess, while I was researching this post, I was really startled to learn some of these books were these authors’ debuts because they already possess such polish.

As always, if you’re interested in any of the books featured in the post, you can learn more about them on our online library catalog.

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