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Monday, October 20, 2014

Hot This Week: October 20

This week's movie listing remains mostly the same, with Brick Mansions, starring the late Paul Walker, being the only newcomer at #4. The music chart, on the other hand, has six new titles, led by country star Jason Aldean's new release. John Sandford edges out James Patterson to take over the fiction list, while five new titles shake up this week's non-fiction group.

DVD
  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  2. Blended
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  4. Brick Mansions
  5. Think Like a Man Too
  6. The Other Woman
  7. Divergent
  8. Moms' Night Out
  9. Draft Day
  10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
CD
  1. Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
  2. Hozier, Hozier
  3. Barbra Streisand, Partners
  4. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek
  5. Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright in the End
  6. Blake Shelton, Bringing Back the Sunshine
  7. Stevie Nicks, 24 Karat Gold
  8. Alex & Sierra, It's About Us
  9. Keyshia Cole, Point of No Return
  10. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
Fiction
  1. Deadline, John Sandford
  2. Burn, James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  3. Edge of Eternity, Ken Follett
  4. Lila, Marilynne Robinson
  5. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Jan Karon
  6. Personal, Lee Child
  7. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  8. Some Luck, Jane Smiley
  9. Paris Match, Stuart Woods
  10. The Children Act, Ian McEwen
Non-Fiction
  1. Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  2. Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham
  3. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
  4. The Innovators, Walter Isaacson
  5. Stop the Coming Civil War, Michael Savage
  6. Worthy Fights, Leon Panetta
  7. What If?, Randall Munroe
  8. Rocks, Joe Perry and David Ritz
  9. Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh
  10. 13 Hours, Mitchell Zuckoff

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beyond Gone Girl

Written by Jon Williams

After being released into theaters on October 3, Gone Girl has won the domestic box office for two consecutive weekends. The story of a wife who disappears on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary and the possible guilt or innocence of her husband, the film has struck a chord with moviegoers, who have spent upwards of $80 million to see it so far. When it is released on DVD and Blu-ray in the coming months, it will no doubt prove to be just as popular with library patrons as its source material, the book by Gillian Flynn.

Flynn adapted the screenplay of Gone Girl from her own novel, which was then brought to the screen by acclaimed director David Fincher, known for Seven and The Social Network, among many others. The ill-fated husband and wife are played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Everyone knows all about Affleck, of course; Pike is probably best known for her role as a villain in the 2002 Bond film Die Another Day, and has also appeared in such movies as Pride and Prejudice and The World’s End. The cast of Gone Girl also benefits from performances by such well-known actors as Neil Patrick Harris (who recently published his autobiography) and Tyler Perry (of Madea fame).

While Gone Girl is Flynn’s third and most recent novel, it is the only one of her works to be adapted for film so far. That will not be the case for long, however. Coming to theaters in 2015 will be Dark Places, adapted from Flynn’s second novel by writer/director Gilles Paquet-Brenner (who also adapted Tatiana de Rosney’s Sarah’s Key). It tells the story of Libby Day, who survives a massacre and testifies against her younger brother, and then, years later, must face suspicion that he wasn’t the culprit after all. Charlize Theron will star as Libby in this dark thriller.

Flynn’s first novel, published in 2006, was Sharp Objects, the tale of a troubled journalist charged with covering a series of brutal murders in her old hometown, and then must deal with ghosts from her own past. Previous attempts to adapt this novel have not panned out, but it was announced recently that it is being turned into a limited TV series. Not many details have been announced, such as casting or networks, but the showrunner will be Marti Noxon, who has worked on such series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Glee.

Make sure you have all three of Gillian Flynn’s audiobooks on your shelves for your patrons as they wait for Gone Girl and her other adaptations. In the meantime, what have you been recommending to patrons who enjoyed Gone Girl and are looking for something similar? Let us know in the comments section.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hot This Week: October 13

The summer blockbuster that was Transformers - the fourth movie in the giant robot franchise - takes over this week's DVD list. It's a big week for country music on the charts, with new titles by Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum debuting at 1 and 2; both new Prince discs show up as well. The fiction list is largely familiar, with the latest thriller by James Patterson jumping to the top. In non-fiction, Lena Dunham's memoir can't quite leap over Bill O'Reilly for the #1 spot.

DVD
  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  2. Blended
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  4. The Other Woman
  5. Think Like a Man Too
  6. Moms' Night Out
  7. Divergent
  8. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 
  9. Draft Day
  10. Transcendence
CD
  1. Blake Shelton, Bringing Back the Sunshine
  2. Lady Antebellum, 747
  3. Barbra Streisand, Partners
  4. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek
  5. Prince, Art Official Age
  6. Kenny Chesney, The Big Revival
  7. Maroon 5, V
  8. Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM
  9. Chris Brown, X
  10. The Script, No Sound Without Silence 
Fiction
  1. Burn, James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  2. Edge of Eternity, Ken Follett
  3. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Jan Karon
  4. Personal, Lee Child
  5. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr 
  6. The Children Act, Ian McEwen
  7. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell
  8. The Lost Key, Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison
  9. The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters
  10. Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty
Non-Fiction
  1. Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  2. Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham
  3. What If?, Randall Munroe
  4. How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson
  5. The Sense of Style, Steven Pinker
  6. 13 Hours, Mitchell Zuckoff
  7. Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh
  8. World Order, Henry Kissinger
  9. This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein
  10. Rebel Yell, S.C. Gwynne 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hot This Week: October 6

The unlikely-seeming duets album from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga wins this week's music chart, with quite a few other debut titles making the grade as well. The top three fiction titles remain the same from last week, with Kathy Reichs taking the honor of the top debut at #4. In non-fiction, the latest Killing title from Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, this one taking on the death of General George S. Patton, takes the top spot.

DVD
  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  2. The Other Woman
  3. Think Like a Man Too
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 
  5. Draft Day
  6. Divergent
  7. Moms' Night Out
  8. Transcendence
  9. Oculus
  10. Noah
CD
  1. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek
  2. Kenny Chesney, The Big Revival
  3. Barbra Streisand, Partners
  4. Alt-J, This Is All Yours
  5. Pentatonix, PTX: Vol. III EP
  6. Chris Brown, X
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1
  8. Joe Bonamassa, Different Shades of Blue
  9. Maroon 5, V
  10. Jennifer Hudson, JHud
Fiction
  1. Edge of Eternity, Ken Follett
  2. Personal, Lee Child
  3. Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Jan Karon
  4. Bones Never Lie, Kathy Reichs
  5. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  6. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell
  7. The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters
  8. The Children Act, Ian McEwen
  9. The Secret Place, Tana French
  10. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
Non-Fiction
  1. Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  2. 13 Hours, Mitchell Zuckoff
  3. What If?, Randall Munroe
  4. World Order, Henry Kissinger
  5. Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh
  6. This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein
  7. A Path Appears, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  8. One Nation, Ben and Candy Carson
  9. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs
  10. Waking Up, Sam Harris

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Roosevelts Rule PBS

Written by Jon Williams

The latest film series from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History takes an intimate, in-depth look at one of the most prominent political families in American history. It entwines the tale of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, with his cousin Franklin, 32nd President of the United States, and Franklin’s First Lady, Eleanor. Airing over seven nights in September, it proved to be one of PBS’s most popular series, and is already available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has become known over the years for this sort of penetrating looks at various aspects of Americana. His first such film was 1981’s Brooklyn Bridge, an adaptation of David McCullough’s book The Great Bridge. That film earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, a feat Burns would repeat in 1985 with another film about a New York City landmark, Statue of Liberty. While neither film won the Oscar, Burns has won a number of Emmy Awards for his work over the years, with the first coming for The Civil War, one of his best-known and best-loved documentary works. He has also tackled such subjects as Baseball, Jazz, and The National Parks, among many others.

Of course, even aside from the documentaries produced by Burns, PBS is known for its quality programming. NOVA, for instance, is a science-focused show that has been in production for 40 years, with close to 800 episodes to its credit. The current season tackles such newsworthy issues as vaccines and computer/device hacking. Frontline is another long-running PBS show (31 years) taking on any number of current events and public interest topics, while Nature (32 years) is known, of course, for its documentaries on various aspects of nature. While shows like these give PBS an analytical, non-fictional bent, the channel is also well-known for its classic Masterpiece dramas and its educational children’s programming, such as Sesame Street. And this is just a small sampling of everything PBS has to offer.

With The Roosevelts airing so recently and garnering so much attention, it’s likely to spurn even further interest in these towering historical figures. Fortunately, there is no shortage of resources you can offer your patrons, particularly on audiobook. Wilderness Warrior by Douglas Brinkley examines at Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation efforts as president, while Lion in the White House looks at his life overall. Young Mr. Roosevelt takes on FDR’s early influences, while No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin portrays his relationship with Eleanor. And the First Lady’s story, fascinating in its own right, is told in her own words in The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt.

For more, visit our website and search using terms such as ‘Roosevelt’ and ‘FDR.’ You’ll find plenty of materials, both audio and video, to satisfy the interests of history buffs young and old. And remind your patrons that, beyond your shelves, a great deal of PBS and Ken Burns programming can be found on hoopla.