“Julie Lefkowitz is accustomed to public embarrassment: ‘When your best friend goes around town dressed in armor constructed from cookware, eyes naturally turn your way.’ Julie's best friend is Ashleigh, and Ashleigh is an enthusiast: she gets obsessed—way, over-the-top obsessed—with things like King Arthur or ballet or juggling. Ashleigh's latest craze is Jane Austen, and in addition to dressing in gowns and talking in period English, she persuades long-suffering Julie to crash a dance at a fancy all-boys private school, hoping to meet a Mr. Darcy, or at least a Mr. Bingley. Winsome and witty, loaded with lunatic junior-high aperçus (‘Juliet's not even 14 yet,’ a young Shakespeare scholar remarks. ‘He's going to kill himself over an eighth-grader?’), Enthusiasm has the makings of an instant classic.”
—Lev Grossman, Time Magazine
The books take place in the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out objects—everything from tea sets and hockey sticks to Marie Antoinette’s everyday wig. If you’re thinking about learning to play an instrument and can’t decide between a tuba and a piccolo, you can borrow both and try them out; if you’re planning a masquerade party, you can borrow enough masks for all your guests.
But the most exciting part of the Repository is hidden away in the basement. That’s where the librarians keep the Special Collections of powerful objects straight out of fiction. There are magical objects from fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces food at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror. There are speculative objects from science fiction: robots, rockets, submarines, a shrink ray, and time machines. And there are haunted objects from horror and ghost stories: everything from witches’ brooms and haunted mirrors to entire haunted houses and estates. A different collection lies at the heart of each novel. The three novels share the repository setting and some overlap characters, but each story takes place a few years after the previous one and has a stand-alone story, so the books can be read in any order.
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