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Friday, September 21, 2018

American Horror Story Brings the Chills

Written by Jon Williams

Fall begins this weekend. As we close the book on summer and inch closer to October and the spooky season, it’s entirely fitting that the new season of American Horror Story is now in full swing. Subtitled Apocalypse, the acclaimed show’s eighth season began with a widespread nuclear attack wiping out much of the world’s population, and then focused in on a small group of survivors brought together by a mysterious “Cooperative.”

Praise for American Horror Story began in 2011 with its first season. Murder House dealt with a troubled family trying to make a new start by moving to the West Coast; unfortunately, the house they bought for a steal had a troubled history of its own, with its victims (both old and new) being quite a bit livelier than you might expect. The star-studded cast featured Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, and Kate Mara, as well as Jessica Lange, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, Alexandra Breckenridge, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, and Lily Rabe.

Although each season tells its own self-contained story, many of these stars (and others) would become familiar faces in different roles as the show progressed. The second season, Asylum, added Chloe Sevigny into the mix, and also featured James Cromwell (who won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor) and Joseph Fiennes. The third season, Coven, added Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Emma Roberts to the rotation of regulars, and starred Gabourey Sidibe as well, as it detailed the exploits surrounding a school for young witches. Freak Show took on a circus sideshow act, adding Finn Wittrock and John Carroll Lynch (in a memorable role as Twisty the Clown), as well as Michael Chiklis. Then came Hotel, about a group of vampires living in a haunted hotel, led by Lady Gaga’s Countess, and starring Wes Bentley, Alexandra Daddario, and Cheyenne Jackson. The sixth season, Roanoke, tells of a reality show and documentary taking place on the site of a famous mass disappearance, and adds Andre Holland and Cuba Gooding Jr. to the cast. Then last season, Cult, took on the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, with Alison Pill joining the fray.

With Apocalpyse, American Horror Story creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are in the midst of their eighth season of acclaimed, award-winning television, and the show has already been renewed to run at least through its tenth season. Even outside of this show, they are no stranger to good, popular television. Murphy created the show Nip/Tuck in 2003, and met Falchuk while working on it. When it ended, they joined forces to create the musical sensation Glee, which ran for six seasons. They created the two-season series Scream Queens, and they also serve as executive producers for another anthology series, American Crime Story, whose first season focused on the O.J. Simpson trial and whose second season, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, took home five trophies at this week’s Emmy Awards. They also created the series 9-1-1 focusing on first responders, currently in its second season.

Television lovers are always looking for good new shows to binge-watch, and with Halloween right around the corner, American Horror Story is a can’t-miss. The varied storylines and incredible performances are sure to keep viewers coming back for more. Find all previous seasons on our website so your patrons can get caught up with all the horrific happenings that have led into this season as well as whatever the show has in store for the future.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hot This Week: September 17

Last week's top two movies hold onto their spots, followed by the two new movies on this week's list. Eminem's new album release may have been a surprise, but its position atop the chart is not. In fiction, new novels from J.D. Robb and Danielle Steel top the list, while four new titles in non-fiction are headlined by a new book from Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Sapiens and Homo Deus.

Movies
  1. Deadpool 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Tag (Blu-ray)
  3. Hereditary (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Adrift (Blu-ray)
  5. Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Book Club (Blu-ray)
  7. Life of the Party (Blu-ray)
  8. Rampage (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Breaking In (Blu-ray)
  10. Overboard (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Eminem, Kamikaze
  2. Drake, Scorpion
  3. Troye Sivan, Bloom
  4. Ariana Grande, Sweetener
  5. Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys
  6. Nicki Minaj, Queen
  7. BTS, Love Yourself: Answer
  8. Why Don't We, 8 Letters
  9. XXXTENTACION, ?
  10. Luke Combs, This One's for You
Fiction
  1. Leverage in Death, J.D. Robb
  2. In His Father's Footsteps, Danielle Steel
  3. The President Is Missing, James Patterson and Bill Clinton
  4. Texas Ranger, James Patterson and Andrew Bourelle
  5. Depth of Winter, Craig Johnson
  6. The Outsider, Stephen King
  7. Dark Sentinel, Christine Feehan
  8. Tailspin, Sandra Brown
  9. Pieces of Her, Karin Slaughter
  10. There There, Tommy Orange
Non-Fiction 
  1. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari
  2. The Restless Wave, John McCain and Mark Salter
  3. The Russia Hoax, Gregg Jarrett
  4. Educated, Tara Westover
  5. Every Day Is Extra, John Kerry
  6. Small Fry, Lisa Brennan-Jobs
  7. Unhinged, Omarosa Manigault Newman
  8. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  9. Liars, Leakers, and Liberals, Jeanine Pirro
  10. The Good Neighbor, Maxwell King

Friday, September 14, 2018

Jack Ryan Returns to the Screen

Written by Jon Williams

On August 31, the entire eight-episode first season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan became available for streaming. This new iteration brings the character to life for the first time since 2014, and to the small screen for the first time ever. Positive critical and viewer reactions are already rolling in, and the series has already been renewed for a second season.

This time around Ryan is played by John Krasinski, as the series focuses on the early days of the burgeoning CIA agent’s career. Krasinski has been in the pop culture spotlight lately as the star, director, and co-writer of the hit horror flick A Quiet Place, which came out earlier this year. He is probably even better known for his breakout role as Jim Halpert on The Office, which he played for the entirety of the comedy series’ nine-season run. The rest of Jack Ryan’s main cast is rounded out by Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, Ali Suliman, and Dina Shihabi.

The show may be new, but the character of Jack Ryan is anything but. He originally came to be in Tom Clancy’s 1984 The Hunt for Red October. The novel tells how Jack Ryan, at this point a young CIA analyst, helps to ensure the defection of a grizzled Soviet navy captain with a devastating new submarine. The book became a bestseller following huge critical reaction, including an endorsement from President Ronald Reagan. Ryan has since featured in more than twenty novels, including such titles as Clear and Present Danger, Executive Orders, Command Authority, the recently released Line of Sight, and the forthcoming Oath of Office. Sadly, author Tom Clancy passed away in 2013, but the mantle of writing the Ryan character has been taken on by fellow authors Mark Greaney, Mike Maden, and Marc Cameron.

Jack Ryan remained as words on a page until 1990. That was the year The Hunt for Red October made him a big-screen sensation as well, bringing in over $120 million at the domestic box office. The movie featured a star-studded cast that included Sean Connery, Sam Neill, and James Earl Jones, as well as Alec Baldwin as Ryan himself. It was followed in 1992 with Patriot Games, with Harrison Ford taking over as Jack Ryan, a role he reprised in 1994’s Clear and Present Danger. The series was rebooted with 2002’s The Sum of All Fears, with Ben Affleck in the main character’s role. That movie took Clancy’s novel of the same name from 1991 and updated it for a 2002 setting. The series was then rebooted again in 2014 with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, an original origin story not based on any specific Clancy book, this time with Chris Pine starring.

And that’s where Jack Ryan’s screen presence left off, until the new streaming series debuted two weeks ago. As more and more people discover the show, Tom Clancy’s audiobooks and the past movies are sure to be in demand. Use the links above to find the materials, or SmartBrowse ‘Jack Ryan’ on our website for a full list of audiobooks we carry in the series.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hot This Week: September 10

With Infinity War still going strong, Marvel lands atop the movie list once again, with the highly anticipated Deadpool sequel providing a lighter alternative. The highly popular K-pop group BTS takes over the music chart again with their new album. New fantasy novels from Sherrilyn Kenyon and Ilona Andrews debut in fiction, while the funeral of Senator John McCain brings his recent memoir The Restless Wave back to the forefront in non-fiction.

Movies
  1. Deadpool 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Tag (Blu-ray)
  3. Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Book Club (Blu-ray)
  5. Life of the Party (Blu-ray)
  6. Upgrade (Blu-ray)
  7. Breaking In (Blu-ray)
  8. Rampage (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Overboard (Blu-ray)
  10. Ready Player One (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. BTS, Love Yourself: Answer
  2. Drake, Scorpion
  3. Ariana Grande, Sweetener
  4. Nicki Minaj, Queen
  5. Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys
  6. XXXTENTACION, ?
  7. Alice in Chains, Rainier Fog
  8. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  9. Luke Combs, This One's for You
  10. Ed Sheeran, Divide
Fiction
  1. Texas Ranger, James Patterson and Andrew Bourelle
  2. The President Is Missing, James Patterson and Bill Clinton
  3. The Outsider, Stephen King
  4. Tailspin, Sandra Brown
  5. Pieces of Her, Karin Slaughter
  6. Circe, Madeline Miller
  7. Stygian, Sherrilyn Kenyon
  8. There There, Tommy Orange
  9. Magic Triumphs, Ilona Andrews
  10. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
Non-Fiction 
  1. The Restless Wave, John McCain and Mark Salter
  2. The Russia Hoax, Gregg Jarrett
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. Unhinged, Omarosa Manigault Newman
  5. Liars, Leakers, and Liberals, Jeanine Pirro
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger
  8. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
  9. Dopesick, Beth Macy
  10. Indianapolis, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hot This Week: September 4

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Labor Day weekend! We come back to the daily grind with three new movies, all on the lower half of the list. Pop sensation Ariana Grande's new album tops the week's music chart, with new music from Cole Swindell and Death Cab for Cutie also debuting. In fiction, a new thriller from Karin Slaughter comes in behind two James Pattersons, while a political guide from a popular podcast joins the non-fiction list.

Movies
  1. Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Life of the Party (Blu-ray)
  3. Breaking In (Blu-ray)
  4. Overboard (Blu-ray)
  5. Rampage (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Show Dogs (Blu-ray)
  7. Ready Player One (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Bleeding Steel (Blu-ray)
  9. I Feel Pretty (Blu-ray)
  10. Action Point
CD
  1. Ariana Grande, Sweetener
  2. Nicki Minaj, Queen
  3. Drake, Scorpion
  4. Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys
  5. Cole Swindell, All of It
  6. XXXTENTACION, ?
  7. Death Cab for Cutie, Thank You for Today
  8. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  9. Luke Combs, This One's for You
  10. Ed Sheeran, Divide
Fiction
  1. Texas Ranger, James Patterson and Andrew Bourelle
  2. The President Is Missing, James Patterson and Bill Clinton
  3. Pieces of Her, Karin Slaughter
  4. Tailspin, Sandra Brown
  5. The Outsider, Stephen King
  6. The Other Woman, Daniel Silva
  7. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  8. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  9. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  10. Feared, Lisa Scottoline
Non-Fiction 
  1. Unhinged, Omarosa Manigault Newman
  2. The Russia Hoax, Gregg Jarrett
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger
  5. Liars, Leakers, and Liberals, Jeanine Pirro
  6. The Chapo Guide to Revolution, Various Authors
  7. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  8. Dopesick, Beth Macy
  9. The Soul of America, Jon Meacham
  10. Everything Trump Touches Dies, Rick Wilson