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Assassin’s Apprentice: the Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb

Picture of book cover for Life: The First Four Billion Years25 years ago, when I sat down to read Assassin’s Apprentice, I had no idea that I was about to start a series that would become one of my all time favorites. While it has elements common to many fantasy novels I’ve enjoyed (e.g., coming of age story, great world building), it is much slower and less plot driven than  the type of fantasy I usually like. Hobb’s strength is writing great characters and relationships and I simply fell in love with characters like Fitz, The Fool, Burrich and Molly (and developed a really strong hatred for Galen and Regal!)

This special anniversary edition is beautifully bound and contains 10 full color illustrations. Hobb  wrote a new foreword, the last line of which reads “But most of all, I thank you for offering my characters a home in your heart.” It’s funny – I know that writing is a craft and a profession and that authors rely on the sale of their works to make a living. But books have always seemed to me to simultaneously be a gift from the author to the reader. So I would say back to Ms. Hobb that her characters have indeed found a home in my heart and I am incredibly grateful she chose to share them.

Spectacular Saturday!

This Saturday, Feb. 15, is going to be a HUGE day at the library. Not only do we have a 10:30 AM visit from the the folks (and creatures!) from the always wildly popular RAD (Reptile and Amphibian Discovery) Zoo, we also have a couple events for Red Wing Reads month. First, every person that comes to the library on Saturday will receive a free book! (but please note that this is while supplies last, and we have a lot more books for kids than adults). Second, thanks to the generosity of City Council members Erin Buss and Laurel Stinson, we will be waiving up to $1000 worth of fines on Saturday. It’s first come, first serve and only applies to late fees, not charges for lost or damaged books, copying charges, etc. The RAD Zoo is free and open to all ages. You won’t need a ticket but it wouldn’t hurt to get here a little early if you’d like a free book and some fine waiving!

Best books of 2019 – staff picks edition

It’s an annual semi-tradition (semi meaning I did it in 2017, forgot about it in 2018 and decided to do it again this year) that we who work at the library compile a list of the favorite books we read during the past year (2019, in this case). Each staff person picked 2 to 4 books (except for Megan!). The only rules were that it had to be either published or read in 2019 and it had to be one of our favorites. I’ve included either a review or staff comments. Hope you find something you like! I would note that an impartial determination, verified through Science™, found that my books are the best. You should ignore any comments by Kari and Megan to the contrary.