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Monday, October 16, 2017

Hot This Week: October 16

It's a big week for new titles. In movies, the latest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise joins the other blockbusters at the top of the list. Shania Twain's long-awaited new album tops the music chart, followed by a compilation of the late Tom Petty's greatest hits. In fiction, the new Robert Langdon tale from bestseller Dan Brown comes in at #1, while a new book from Ta-Nehisi Coates leads five new non-fiction titles.

Movies
  1. Wonder Woman (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Transformers: The Last Knight (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. 47 Meters Down (Blu-ray)
  5. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Cult of Chucky (Blu-ray)
  7. Baywatch (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Rough Night (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Shania Twain, Now
  2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Greatest Hits
  3. Demi Lovato, Tell Me You Love Me
  4. Miley Cyrus, Younger Now
  5. Post Malone, Stoney
  6. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  7. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  8. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  9. Khalid, American Teen
  10. SZA, Ctrl
Fiction
  1. Origin, Dan Brown
  2. Sleeping Beauties, Stephen and Owen King
  3. Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
  4. A Column of Fire, Ken Follett
  5. Don't Let Go, Harlan Coben
  6. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, David Lagercrantz
  7. The Cuban Affair, Nelson DeMille
  8. Merry and Bright, Debbie Macomber
  9. Haunted, James Patterson and James O. Born
  10. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
Non-Fiction
  1. Killing England, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  2. We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  5. The Four, Scott Galloway
  6. Unbelievable, Katy Tur
  7. Martin Luther, Eric Metaxas
  8. The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, Bandy X. Lee
  9. Recovery, Russell Brand
  10. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hot This Week: October 9

Four new movies top this week's list, led by the blockbuster hit of the summer, Wonder Woman. There are also four new CDs on the chart, with rockers the Killers taking the coveted top spot. Stephen King's haunting collaboration with his son Owen takes over the fiction list, while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's exploration of technological innovation joins in non-fiction.

Movies
  1. Wonder Woman (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Transformers: The Last Knight (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. 47 Meters Down (Blu-ray)
  4. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Baywatch (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. The Big Sick (Blu-ray)
  8. Rough Night (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. First Kill (Blu-ray)
  10. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. The Killers, Wonderful Wonderful
  2. Macklemore, Gemini
  3. Jhene Aiko, Trip
  4. Post Malone, Stoney
  5. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  6. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  7. Khalid, American Teen
  8. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  9. Lecrae, All Things Work Together
  10. Thomas Rhett, Life Changes
Fiction
  1. Sleeping Beauties, Stephen and Owen King
  2. Don't Let Go, Harlan Coben
  3. A Column of Fire, Ken Follett
  4. The Cuban Affair, Nelson DeMille
  5. Haunted, James Patterson and James O. Born
  6. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, David Lagercrantz
  7. To Be Where You Are, Jan Karon
  8. A Legacy of Spies, John le Carre
  9. Enemy of the State, Kyle Mills
  10. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
Non-Fiction
  1. Killing England, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  2. What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  3. Unbelievable, Katy Tur
  4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  5. Hit Refresh, Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw, and Jill Tracie Nichols
  6. The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin
  7. The Paradigm, Jonathan Cahn
  8. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  9. The Vietnam War, Geoffrey C. Ward
  10. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In Memoriam: Tom Petty

Written by Jon Williams

On a day already darkened by sadness, music lovers everywhere were shocked Monday by the news of rocker Tom Petty’s passing. He was 66.

Born in 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, Petty overcame a rough childhood to find fame in the music industry. With early influences including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, and guitar lessons from Don Felder of the Eagles, he first formed a band that eventually became known as Mudcrutch. After that band struggled to find success, some lineup shuffling eventually resulted in the Heartbreakers, the band which Petty was associated with for most of his music career. In 1976, their self-titled debut album hit the charts first in Great Britain, and then spread to the U.S. Containing the classic hits “Breakdown” and “American Girl,” it kicked off a musical legacy that would grow to legendary status over the course of the next 41 years.

The band’s first taste of success soon led to more. You’re Gonna Get It!, released in 1978, was their first album to chart in America, and 1979’s Damn the Torpedoes (currently unavailable on CD, although patrons can stream it on hoopla) gained multiplatinum status. The ‘80s were a very productive time for the band, spawning albums including Long After Dark (1982) and Southern Accents (1985). Petty’s greatest success came on 1989’s Full Moon Fever, technically a solo album, although members of the Heartbreakers did contribute.

Full Moon Fever also benefitted from the presence of a number of other musical legends: Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and ELO’s Jeff Lynne. The five of them had gotten together in 1988 for a single (“Handle with Care”), and ended up recording an entire album as the Traveling Wilburys. Although Orbison passed away late that year, the remaining members put together a second album, joking titled Volume 3, which was released in 1990. Of course, Petty was no stranger to high-profile collaborations. His duet with Stevie Nicks, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” appeared on her debut solo album, while another duet, “Insider,” was released on his album Hard Promises. He and the Heartbreakers also backed Johnny Cash on the country icon’s 1996 album Unchained.

In 2007, Petty reunited his first band, Mudcrutch, and together they recorded two albums: their eponymous “debut,” released in 2008, and 2, released in 2016, which would be Petty’s final recording. Through it all, though, Petty never stopped working with the Heartbreakers. Their two most recent albums, Mojo and Hypnotic Eye, were released in 2010 and 2014. The band had just finished their 40th anniversary tour, with the final performance coming September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl.

Tom Petty is sadly gone, but his classic rock hits will endure. Make sure you have his music on your shelves for patrons to check out and enjoy again and again. You can SmartBrowse his name on our website to find all the albums listed above and more.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hot This Week: October 2

October brings few changes to the movie list, with the romantic comedy The Big Sick being the only new addition. In music, powerhouse rock band Foo Fighters top the chart, with country favorites Big & Rich debuting a new album as well. Three new novels make the fiction list, led by the latest thriller from Nelson DeMille. The non-fiction list sees three new titles make it this week as well.

Movies
  1. Baywatch (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. The Big Sick (Blu-ray)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Rough Night (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. It Comes at Night (Blu-ray)
  6. First Kill (Blu-ray)
  7. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. All Eyez on Me (Blu-ray)
  10. Going in Style (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Foo Fighters, Concrete and Gold
  2. Thomas Rhett, Life Changes
  3. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  4. Khalid, American Teen
  5. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  6. Big & Rich, Did It for the Party
  7. Post Malone, Stoney
  8. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  9. Logic, Everybody
  10. SZA, Ctrl
Fiction
  1. The Cuban Affair, Nelson DeMille
  2. To Be Where You Are, Jan Karon
  3. A Column of Fire, Ken Follett
  4. Haunted, James Patterson and James O. Born
  5. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, David Lagercrantz
  6. A Legacy of Spies, John le Carre
  7. Enemy of the State, Kyle Mills
  8. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  9. The Romanov Ransom, Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
  10. Y Is for Yesterday, Sue Grafton
Non-Fiction
  1. What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  2. Killing England, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. Unbelievable, Katy Tur
  4. The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin
  5. The Paradigm, Jonathan Cahn
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  8. The Vietnam War, Geoffrey C. Ward
  9. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  10. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Written by Jon Williams

It’s no secret that libraries broaden minds. All too often, the public library is—through the wealth of material on its shelves—the only place a person might have a chance to encounter and explore viewpoints and stories of people utterly unlike themselves. For that reason, it is essential that each library should be free to choose that material themselves. Since 1982, the American Library Association has proclaimed the last week of September as Banned Books Week, with libraries across the country celebrating the right of patrons to read freely.

Concerns about what young people are learning means that children’s and young adult literature is a sore spot for censorship. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are the bestselling series of all time; they also faced the most challenges for the decade 2000-2009. More recently, in 2015-2016, popular YA author John Green’s Looking for Alaska came under fire, as did such popular works as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, and Glass by Ellen Hopkins.

Some of the most beloved and classic books of all time are also on the list of most challenged. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, frequently lauded as perhaps the greatest American novel ever written, is a frequent target for challenges. Other classics that are frequently flagged for challenges include Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, The Color Purple by Alice Walker (currently available on audiobook), Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and Beloved by Toni Morrison.

These books and so many others that have been challenged make the world (not to mention high school English class) a much richer place, and we owe a debt of gratitude to librarians, teachers, and others who have fought to keep them on bookshelves and in classrooms. Check out our website for a full collection of wonderful audiobooks that are perfect for Banned Books Week.