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Monday, January 26, 2015

Hot This Week: January 26

There's plenty of action on top of this week's DVD list, with The Maze Runner and A Walk Among the Tombstones coming in ahead of last week's #1, The Equalizer. In music, it's all about that bass, with Meghan Trainor's debut album bumping Miss Swift to the two-spot. Anthony Doerr retains fiction's top spot, with four debut titles on the list, including the latest (and last) Odd Thomas adventure from Dean Koontz. In non-fiction, Atul Gawande's Being Mortal jumps to the top for the first time, leading a host of popular titles.

DVD
  1. The Maze Runner
  2. A Walk Among the Tombstones
  3. The Equalizer
  4. This Is Where I Leave You
  5. No Good Deed 
  6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  7. Boyhood
  8. Let's Be Cops
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy
  10. Tammy
CD
  1. Meghan Trainor, Title
  2. Taylor Swift, 1989
  3. Kidz Bop Kids, Kidz Bop 27
  4. Ed Sheeran, X
  5. Mark Ronson, Uptown Special
  6. Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
  7. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
  8. Maroon 5, V
  9. Hozier, Hozier
  10. J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Fiction
  1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  2. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  3. Saint Odd, Dean Koontz
  4. Gray Mountain, John Grisham
  5. Cold Cold Heart, Tami Hoag
  6. The First Bad Man, Miranda July
  7. The Escape, David Baldacci
  8. Hope to Die, James Patterson
  9. The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant
  10. Insatiable Appetites, Stuart Woods
Non-Fiction
  1. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
  2. Yes Please, Amy Poehler
  3. Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  4. What If?, Randall Munroe
  5. Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham
  6. 41, George W. Bush
  7. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
  8. It Was Me All Along, Andie Mitchell
  9. Deep Down Dark, Hector Tobar
  10. I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Collection Takes Aim at Bullying

Written by Jon Williams

It’s one of the hottest topics of today, a conundrum that unfortunately has no easy solutions and isn’t even easy to discuss. The topic is bullying, and it’s a situation that occurs far too often. Teachers, school administrators, parents, and students themselves often deal with it on a daily basis. That was the case for Carrie Goldman, for whom the bullying of her daughter led her to write a book that lays out ways to help deal with bullying situations, hopefully before they start. That book is Bullied, and it’s an essential guide for anyone who deal with children on a day-to-day basis.

The one bright spot is that there are any number of resources, both fiction and non-fiction, that deal with bullying. The fiction titles can help students—and adults—think about bullying from different perspectives and perhaps come to terms with its causes and effects. The non-fiction titles offer anyone who might find themselves dealing with a bullying situation (from any angle) with practical advice on how to get through it as peacefully as possible and prevent it from happening again.

To that end, Midwest Tape has put together a collection of these audiobook resources that libraries can put on their shelves for those who need them. Kids & Bullying: Audiobooks for Conversation can be found via a panel on our homepage. In the coming weeks, you can look for a number of audiobook collections like this on a variety of topics. We hope you find them useful, and that they expose you to some great titles you may have missed. You can let us know what you think here in the comments.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hot This Week: January 19

Denzel's turn as The Equalizer stays at #1 for another week, joined on the list by newcomers No Good Deed and Boyhood, fresh off its big night at the Golden Globes. In music, the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd bursts onto the scene at #5. It was a big week for new fiction, with five titles making the list for the first time. In non-fiction, memoirs by Andie Mitchell and comedian Patton Oswalt make their debuts.

DVD
  1. The Equalizer
  2. No Good Deed 
  3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  4. Let's Be Cops
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. Boyhood
  7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  8. If I Stay
  9. Tammy
  10. Left Behind
CD
  1. Taylor Swift, 1989
  2. Ed Sheeran, X
  3. Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
  4. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
  5. Rae Sremmurd, Sremmlife
  6. Hozier, Hozier
  7. J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1
  9. One Direction, Four
  10. Ariana Grande, My Everything
Fiction
  1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  2. Gray Mountain, John Grisham
  3. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust, Alan Bradley
  4. Insatiable Appetites, Stuart Woods
  5. The Empty Throne, Bernard Cornwell
  6. Hope to Die, James Patterson
  7. The Escape, David Baldacci
  8. The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant
  9. Revival, Stephen King
  10. Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty 
Non-Fiction
  1. Yes Please, Amy Poehler
  2. Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
  4. What If?, Randall Munroe
  5. Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham
  6. 41, George W. Bush
  7. Deep Down Dark, Hector Tobar
  8. It Was Me All Along, Andie Mitchell
  9. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
  10. Silver Screen Fiend, Patton Oswalt

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Golden Globes Reflect Changing Face of Television

Written by Jon Williams

If you watched the Golden Globe awards ceremony on Sunday night—or even if you just perused the list of winners on Monday morning—you may have noticed something a little odd on the television side. Despite garnering a fair number of nominations, the major over-the-air networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) did not take home a single award. Instead, the shows celebrated for their excellence were all from non-traditional, premium cable, or streaming services.

Non-network stations did quite well for themselves. In fact, the CW, jointly operated by CBS and Time Warner, was the closest thing to a major network to come away with the win. The channel, which is generally aimed at a young adult audience, earned its first major award nomination and win, with Gina Rodriguez taking home Best Actress in a TV Comedy for her portrayal of the title character on Jane the Virgin (which is not yet available on DVD/Blu-ray). Also winning awards were Downton Abbey (Best Supporting Actress Joanne Froggatt) and The Honorable Woman (Best Actress in a Miniseries Maggie Gyllenhaal); both were produced for British television and aired on this side of the pond via PBS and SundanceTV, respectively. Finally, FX’s television reboot of Fargo won two awards: Best Miniseries and Best Actor in a Miniseries Billy Bob Thornton.

The streaming services also won big on the night. Kevin Spacey, star of Netflix’s powerhouse political show House of Cards, won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Actor just ahead of the release of Season 3 on February 27. Following in Netflix’s footsteps of developing original programming, Amazon had a winner on its hands this year with Transparent (not yet available), which took two awards: Best TV Comedy and Best Actor Jeffrey Tambor. The show’s full first season was made available to users in September, and it was recently renewed for a second season that will be released later this year.

The premium cable outlets also came away with three awards. With fifteen nominations, it seemed like something of an upset for HBO to end the evening with just one win, but that’s the way it went down. Their award was for Matt Bomer’s Best Supporting Actor turn in The Normal Heart. Also in something of a surprise, the award for Best TV Drama went to Showtime’s The Affair (not yet available), which also featured the night’s Best Drama Actress, Ruth Wilson.

This shift in where the best shows call home is indicative of a shift in the way viewers watch television. Fading are the days of being in front of a television at a certain time on a certain day to catch the latest episode of a favorite show. More and more, it seems that viewers prefer the freedom of watching episodes at their leisure, or being able to watch multiple episodes at once, as soon as the season “starts,” and these non-network outlets are capitalizing on that. Along those lines, this column on the Huffington Post has an interesting (if non-scientific) note on most-recommended series for binge watching, including a breakdown along gender lines (which, apparently, do not diverge as much as you might expect).

The takeaway? It’s true: non-network shows are the hottest right now. In addition to this year’s crop of Golden Globe winners, make sure you’re stocking seasons of shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, and The Wire for your patrons who just can’t get enough, as well as for those who don’t have access to those channels or services.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hot This Week: January 12

The action on this week's movie list comes fast and furious, with The Equalizer and the latest Apes film leaping to the top. Taylor Swift continues her dominance of the music chart, with the soundtrack for the musical Into the Woods making its first appearance. Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See tops the fiction list for the first time, with three new titles down the list. Last night's Golden Globes co-host, Amy Poehler, takes the top non-fiction spot, with three new titles squeaking in as well.

DVD
  1. The Equalizer
  2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy
  4. Let's Be Cops
  5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  6. Tammy
  7. The November Man
  8. If I Stay
  9. Into the Storm
  10. Dolphin Tale 2
CD
  1. Taylor Swift, 1989
  2. Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
  3. Ed Sheeran, X
  4. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1
  6. Hozier, Hozier
  7. J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
  8. Into the Woods Soundtrack
  9. One Direction, Four
  10. Ariana Grande, My Everything
Fiction
  1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
  2. Gray Mountain, John Grisham
  3. Hope to Die, James Patterson
  4. The Escape, David Baldacci
  5. Die Again, Tess Gerritsen
  6. Revival, Stephen King
  7. The Assassination Option, W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV
  8. Tom Clancy's Full Force and Effect, Mark Greaney
  9. Rain on the Dead, Jack Higgins
  10. Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult
Non-Fiction
  1. Yes Please, Amy Poehler
  2. Killing Patton, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. What If?, Randall Munroe
  4. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande
  5. 41, George W. Bush
  6. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
  7. Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham
  8. Deep Down Dark, Hector Tobar
  9. Don't Give Up, Don't Give In, Louis Zamperini and David Rensin
  10. Small Victories, Anne Lamott