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Friday, December 14, 2018

George R.R. Martin Goes Back in Time

Written by Jon Williams

For the past two weeks, a new book from George R.R. Martin has been at or near the top of the bestseller lists. No, it’s not the one that fans have been so eagerly anticipating: The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth installment in his Song of Ice and Fire series. It is set in the same world, however. While the books of the series itself concern themselves with the aftermath of the rebellion that toppled the reign of the Targaryen dynasty in the fictional realm of Westeros, Fire and Blood tells the earliest history of those Targaryen kings.

A Song of Ice and Fire is probably more popularly known by the title of its first volume, A Game of Thrones. Published in 1996, it was the first book of what was originally planned as a trilogy. The next two installments, 1998’s A Clash of Kings and 2000’s A Storm of Swords, did not come close to finishing the story, as Martin’s expansive style and an increasingly involved plot necessitated expanding the series to seven books. Those plot complications have also slowed down the writing. The fourth book, A Feast for Crows, came in 2005, and the fifth, A Dance with Dragons, in 2011.

And that’s where the series stands at the moment. A vocal segment of fans has grown increasingly dismayed at the long wait for the next book, with some even speculating that Martin wouldn’t even finish the series. On a recent blog post, however, he assured fans that The Winds of Winter is still forthcoming, and that he would indeed finish the series. In the meantime, there has been plenty to keep everyone occupied. The HBO series Game of Thrones debuted its first season in 2011 and has gone on to establish itself as a television phenomenon. It surpassed the source material from the novels with its sixth season, and the eighth and final season will premiere in April of 2019. Those who are really into the books and show can learn the Dothraki language used by the fierce horse lords (including Khal Drogo, played by Aquaman's Jason Mamoa). And readers/listeners looking for more Westeros backstory will enjoy A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, detailing the adventures of hedge knight Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, the future king Aegon V Targaryen.

In a related but (at least supposedly) not connected vein, Martin also offers The Ice Dragon, a tale aimed at children and young adults, a sharp contrast with the gritty and bloodthirsty mode of A Song of Ice and Fire. These fantasy worlds are what Martin is most known for, but he’s equally at home in other settings. The Wild Cards series he edits and compiles is a sci-fi alternate history of the post-WWII U.S. that has been infected with an alien virus. And while it’s currently unavailable on audiobook, his novella Nightflyers is the basis for a ten-episode TV series currently airing on Syfy.

So for your patrons who are watching Nightflyers or gearing up for the final season of Game of Thrones, or even just patiently waiting for The Winds of Winter (not to mention A Dream of Spring, the final volume), there is plenty of material from George R.R. Martin to keep them entertained. Check out the titles listed above, and be sure to visit our website to find music from Game of Thrones as well as other related materials.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hot This Week: December 10

Just one new movie makes this week's list: the innovative thriller Searching. The 1975 take over the music chart with their new album, while popular Christmas tunes make their first appearance of the season. In fiction, Louise Penny lands her latest at #1, while one new political examination makes the list in non-fiction.

Movies 
  1. Crazy Rich Asians (Blu-ray)
  2. The Meg (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Searching (Blu-ray)
  4. Mile 22 (Blu-ray)
  5. Incredibles 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Alpha (Blu-ray)
  7. Kin (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Christopher Robin (Blu-ray)
  9. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Skyscraper (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. The 1975, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
  2. Michael Buble, Christmas
  3. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born Soundtrack
  4. Travis Scott, Astroworld
  5. Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack
  6. Pentatonix, Christmas Is Here!
  7. Drake, Scorpion
  8. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  9. Pentatonix, A Pentatonix Christmas
  10. Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys
Fiction
  1. Kingdom of the Blind, Louise Penny
  2. Fire and Blood, George R.R. Martin
  3. The Reckoning, John Grisham
  4. Target: Alex Cross, James Patterson
  5. Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks
  6. Past Tense, Lee Child
  7. Long Road to Mercy, David Baldacci
  8. Look Alive Twenty-Five, Janet Evanovich
  9. Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
  10. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
Non-Fiction
  1. Becoming, Michelle Obama
  2. Killing the SS, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. Ship of Fools, Tucker Carlson
  5. Leadership, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  6. Fear, Bob Woodward
  7. Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Stephen Hawking
  8. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  9. Trump's Enemies, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie
  10. The Library Book, Susan Orlean

Monday, December 3, 2018

Hot This Week: December 3

The smash hit movie Crazy Rich Asians makes its debut atop this week's movie list. Six new albums on the music chart are led by the latest from Mumford & Sons. While it's not the title everyone is waiting for, the new release from George R.R. Martin detailing the history of House Targaryen takes the top spot in fiction, while last week's top titles in non-fiction hold strong.


Movies 
  1. Crazy Rich Asians (Blu-ray)
  2. The Meg (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Mile 22 (Blu-ray)
  4. Incredibles 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Alpha (Blu-ray)
  6. Kin (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Christopher Robin (Blu-ray)
  8. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Skyscraper (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Mumford & Sons, Delta
  2. Michael Buble, Love
  3. The Greatest Showman: Reimagined
  4. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born Soundtrack
  5. Mariah Carey, Caution
  6. Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack
  7. Travis Scott, Astroworld
  8. Drake, Scorpion
  9. Anderson .Paak, Oxnard
  10. Lil Baby & Gunna, Drip Harder
Fiction
  1. Fire and Blood, George R.R. Martin
  2. Target: Alex Cross, James Patterson
  3. The Reckoning, John Grisham
  4. Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks
  5. Look Alive Twenty-Five, Janet Evanovich
  6. Past Tense, Lee Child
  7. Long Road to Mercy, David Baldacci
  8. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
  9. Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
  10. Elevation, Stephen King
Non-Fiction
  1. Becoming, Michelle Obama
  2. Killing the SS, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. Ship of Fools, Tucker Carlson
  4. Educated, Tara Westover
  5. Leadership, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  6. Fear, Bob Woodward
  7. In Pieces, Sally Field
  8. Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Stephen Hawking
  9. The Library Book, Susan Orlean
  10. Almost Everything, Anne Lamott

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Lion King Trailer Excites Movie Fans

Written by Jon Williams

When Disney released The Lion King into theaters in 1994, it was an instant hit. Using animation to bring the classic tale of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to the animal kingdom, the movie featured a star-studded voice cast including James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg, and Matthew Broderick, to name just a few. It made more than $300 million during its initial theatrical run, won Academy Awards for its music, and spawned two direct-to-video sequels, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride and The Lion King 1½, not to mention a Broadway play.

Now, as we approach the movie’s 25th anniversary, Disney is preparing to release a live-action (or photorealistic CGI, at least) remake of The Lion King. Coming in July of 2019, it is set to feature even more famous voices, if that’s possible, than the original. James Earl Jones will once again lend his iconic voice to Mufasa, and he’ll be joined by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Alfre Woodard, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, and John Oliver. Oh, and Beyoncé. The first teaser trailer for the movie dropped last week during the NFL games on Thanksgiving Day and has already been viewed hundreds of millions of times online.

The new movie is being directed by Jon Favreau, who is no stranger to this type of project, having brought the 2016 live-action version of The Jungle Book following the 1967 animated classic, which is currently in Disney’s Vault. Other recent live-action updates of Disney’s animated classics include 2017’s Beauty and the Beast (from 1991’s animated version), 2015’s Cinderella (1950’s animated version, currently in the Vault), and 2010’s Alice in Wonderland (from 1951’s animated version). Lest anyone think this is a new concept, however, please recall the 1996 live-action version of 101 Dalmatians, adapted from the 1961 animated original (both of which are currently unavailable).

Of course, Disney’s lineup of animated classics is a rich vein to mine, and there are a number of other live-action adaptations in the works. 2019 will be a big year for them, with Dumbo (from director Tim Burton, who also did Alice in Wonderland) in March and Aladdin (starring Will Smith as the Genie) in May. Lady and the Tramp is also on the agenda for some point during the year, while 2020 will see an adaptation of Mulan. A remake of Pinocchio is still further out on the horizon, but has been in the news in the past couple of days due to the possibility of Tom Hanks joining the cast in the key role of Geppetto.

These live-action remakes have proved to be incredibly popular, and the original animated versions have proven to be all-time classics for generations. Make sure you have both versions of all these wonderful movies on your shelves for patrons to enjoy.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Hot This Week: November 26

There are plenty of new titles your patrons will be looking for as they come off their long holiday weekend. Three are on the movie list, led by the giant shark thriller The Meg. Five albums debut on the music chart, with the 50th anniversary reissue of the White Album landing the Beatles on the list. In fiction, the top two titles are new, while in non-fiction, the enlightening new memoir from former First Lady Michelle Obama takes over the top spot.

Movies 
  1. The Meg (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Mile 22 (Blu-ray)
  3. Incredibles 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Alpha (Blu-ray)
  5. The Spy Who Dumped Me (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Christopher Robin (Blu-ray)
  7. Ant-Man and the Wasp (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Skyscraper (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Hotel Transylvania 3 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Blackkklansman (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Kane Brown, Experiment
  2. Imagine Dragons, Origins
  3. Lil Pepp, Come Over When You're Sober, Part 2
  4. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born Soundtrack
  5. The Beatles, The Beatles
  6. Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack
  7. Drake, Scorpion
  8. Travis Scott, Astroworld
  9. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter V
  10. Muse, Simulation Theory
Fiction
  1. Look Alive Twenty-Five, Janet Evanovich
  2. Long Road to Mercy, David Baldacci
  3. The Reckoning, John Grisham
  4. Past Tense, Lee Child
  5. Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
  6. Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks
  7. Dark Sacred Night, Michael Connelly
  8. Elevation, Stephen King
  9. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
  10. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
Non-Fiction
  1. Becoming, Michelle Obama
  2. Killing the SS, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. Ship of Fools, Tucker Carlson
  4. Fear, Bob Woodward
  5. Educated, Tara Westover
  6. Leadership, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  7. Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Stephen Hawking
  8. Almost Everything, Anne Lamott
  9. The Library Book, Susan Orlean
  10. I Might Regret This, Abbi Jacobson