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Monday, April 24, 2017

Hot This Week: April 24

Five new movies crack this week's hot list, led by the first standalone Star Wars film in the top spot. In music, the Chainsmokers' new release bumps Ed Sheeran from the top spot, with three other albums also debuting. Star Wars shows up again on the fiction list, with the long-awaited backstory of Grand Admiral Thrawn placing author Timothy Zahn at #2. In non-fiction, two new titles explore the divinity of Jesus Christ and the state of the American healthcare system.

DVD
  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  2. Collateral Beauty
  3. Office Christmas Party
  4. Monster Trucks
  5. Lion
  6. Patriots Day
  7. Moana
  8. Passengers 
  9. War on Everyone
  10. Trolls
CD
  1. The Chainsmokers, Memories...Do Not Open
  2. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  3. Pentatonix, PTX Vol. IV
  4. Joey Bada$$, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$
  5. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  6. Moana Soundtrack
  7. Father John Misty, Pure Comedy
  8. Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack
  9. Migos, Culture
  10. The Weeknd, Starboy
Fiction
  1. The Black Book, James Patterson and David Ellis
  2. Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn
  3. All by Myself, Alone, Mary Higgins Clark
  4. One Perfect Lie, Lisa Scottoline
  5. The Burial Hour, Jeffery Deaver
  6. Two from the Heart, James Patterson, Frank Constantini, Emily Raymond, and Brian Sitts
  7. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
  8. Song of the Lion, Anne Hillerman
  9. The Lost Order, Steve Berry
  10. Mississippi Blood, Greg Iles
Non-Fiction
  1. Old School, Bill O'Reilly and Bruce Feirstein
  2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  3. Hallelujah Anyway, Anne Lamott
  4. The True Jesus, David Limbaugh
  5. Killing the Rising Sun, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  6. An American Sickness, Elisabeth Rosenthal
  7. The Most Beautiful, Mayte Garcia
  8. The Book of Joy, Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
  9. When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
  10. The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hot This Week: April 17

We may have just passed the Easter weekend, but it's a Christmas-themed movie atop this week's movie list with the ensemble comedy Office Christmas Party. Heavy metal masters Mastodon land their new album at #5 on the music chart while Ed Sheeran spends another week at #1. Four new novels debut this week in fiction, and that number is topped by the five new titles in non-fiction.

DVD
  1. Office Christmas Party
  2. Patriots Day
  3. Moana
  4. Passengers
  5. Trolls
  6. Doctor Strange
  7. Jackie
  8. Hacksaw Ridge
  9. Fences
  10. Shut In
CD
  1. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  2. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  3. Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack
  4. Moana Soundtrack
  5. Mastodon, Emperor of Sand
  6. Migos, Culture
  7. MercyMe, Lifer
  8. The Weeknd, Starboy
  9. Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings
  10. Keith Urban, Ripcord
Fiction
  1. The Black Book, James Patterson and David Ellis
  2. All by Myself, Alone, Mary Higgins Clark
  3. The Chosen, J.R. Ward
  4. The Lost Order, Steve Berry
  5. Mississippi Blood, Greg Iles
  6. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
  7. The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck
  8. If Not for You, Debbie Macomber
  9. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  10. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See
Non-Fiction
  1. Old School, Bill O'Reilly and Bruce Feirstein
  2. Hallelujah Anyway, Anne Lamott
  3. The Most Beautiful, Mayte Garcia
  4. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  5. Nevertheless, Alec Baldwin
  6. Ballplayer, Chipper Jones and Carroll R. Walton
  7. Killing the Rising Sun, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  8. Prince Charles, Sally Bedell Smith
  9. The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines
  10. When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hot This Week: April 10

Two new movies make this week's list, led by the Peter Berg-directed depiction of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath. Trey Songz brings his latest album to the music chart, where it debuts at #2. Perennial bestseller James Patterson's latest collaborative novel tops the fiction list, while in non-fiction, a new title from Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claims the top spot.

DVD
  1. Patriots Day
  2. Passengers
  3. Moana
  4. Trolls
  5. Doctor Strange
  6. Shut In
  7. Hacksaw Ridge
  8. Fences
  9. Nocturnal Animals
  10. Masterminds
CD
  1. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  2. Trey Songz, Tremaine the Album
  3. Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack
  4. Metallica, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
  5. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  6. Moana Soundtrack
  7. Rick Ross, Rather You Than Me
  8. The Weeknd, Starboy
  9. Migos, Culture
  10. Khalid, American Teen
Fiction
  1. The Black Book, James Patterson and David Ellis
  2. Mississippi Blood, Greg Iles
  3. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
  4. Vicious Circle, C.J. Box
  5. If Not for You, Debbie Macomber
  6. The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck
  7. Dangerous Games, Danielle Steel
  8. The Cutthroat, Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
  9. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  10. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
Non-Fiction
  1. Old School, Bill O'Reilly and Bruce Feirstein
  2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  3. Killing the Rising Sun, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  4. A Colony in a Nation, Chris Hayes
  5. The Cubs Way, Tom Verducci
  6. Portraits of Courage, George W. Bush
  7. The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines
  8. Big Agenda, David Horowitz
  9. Trump's War, Michael Savage
  10. Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hot This Week: April 3

Two new movies make this week's list, led by Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in Passengers, which can't quite overtake Moana for #1. It's another week for Ed Sheeran atop the music chart, where he's followed by the new release from Rick Ross. There's a lot for audiobook lovers to be excited about as six new novels make their debuts on the fiction list, and two fascinating accounts make the list in non-fiction.

DVD
  1. Moana
  2. Passengers
  3. Trolls
  4. Doctor Strange
  5. Nocturnal Animals
  6. Solace
  7. Hacksaw Ridge
  8. Fences
  9. Masterminds
  10. Arrival
CD
  1. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  2. Rick Ross, Rather You Than Me
  3. Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack
  4. Depeche Mode, Spirit
  5. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  6. Moana Soundtrack
  7. The Weeknd, Starboy
  8. Elevation Worship, There Is a Cloud
  9. Trolls Soundtrack
  10. Big Sean, I Decided.
Fiction
  1. Mississippi Blood, Greg Iles
  2. Vicious Circle, C.J. Box
  3. If Not for You, Debbie Macomber
  4. Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
  5. The Cutthroat, Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
  6. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See
  7. Dangerous Games, Danielle Steel
  8. Mangrove Lightning, Randy Wayne White
  9. The Devil's Triangle, Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison
  10. Man Overboard, J.A. Jance
Non-Fiction
  1. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  2. A Colony in a Nation, Chris Hayes
  3. Trump's War, Michael Savage
  4. Killing the Rising Sun, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  5. Portraits of Courage, George W. Bush
  6. Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari
  7. The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines
  8. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
  9. The Book of Joy, Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
  10. When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What’s the Deal with James Patterson?

Written by Jon Williams

First off, a happy belated birthday to the author, who turned 70 last week.  As a librarian, you are no doubt aware of Patterson’s prolific nature and his constant presence on the bestseller lists. Have you ever wondered, though, exactly how he manages to put out so many books?

Patterson published his first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, in 1976, before he turned 30, but it wasn’t an easy road. He had a full-time job in advertising as he wrote it, and the novel was rejected 31 times before it finally found a home. It won the 1977 Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, but did not sell many copies. Nevertheless, his career path was set. For the next twenty years, he continued to work in advertising as he wrote novels, including two of his best known: Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls.

Those two novels introduced detective Alex Cross, one of Patterson’s most lucrative creations. As of now, there are 25 Cross novels, the most recent of which, Cross the Line, was published in November. The character has also made the jump to the big screen: Kiss the Girls (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001) starred Morgan Freeman; then, in 2013, the character was rebooted in Alex Cross, with Tyler Perry in the title role. That movie was based on Patterson’s 2006 novel Cross, and a second movie starring Perry is in production based on 2007’s Double Cross.

For twenty years after The Thomas Berryman Number was published, Patterson continued to work full-time as he wrote. He retired from advertising in 1996 (although he continues to be involved in campaigns for his own work). In those twenty years, he published eight novels. Following his retirement, his publication pace really picked up. In 1996 alone, he released three novels: Hide & Seek, Miracle on the 17th Green, and Jack & Jill. Since then, not a year has passed without the publication of at least one Patterson book, and most years have featured several.

How does he do it? For one thing, the writing in Patterson’s books is relatively simple, streamlined for maximum readability. Secondly, he has turned his books into a cottage industry, collaborating with a number of other writers to produce many of them. This 2015 article in Vanity Fair describes the process, in which Patterson provides his collaborator with an extensive outline that details the plot from beginning to end, and then revises and rewrites the manuscript to his specifications once it is fleshed out. Some of his collaborators have included Richard DiLallo, Mark Sullivan, Michael Ledwidge, Liza Marklund, and Maxine Paetro. Patterson’s most recent novel, Black Book, published earlier this week, is a collaboration with David Ellis.

Part of the strategy behind Patterson’s writing style is his intention to appeal to an audience that may not otherwise be interested in reading, as a way of promoting literacy. When he noticed that his own son Jack was a reluctant reader, Patterson decided to jump into the arena of young adult literature. Thus, in 2005, the Maximum Ride series was born with the first book, The Angel Experiment. Now his involvement in the genre has grown to include seven more series (including Middle School, which led to the recent feature film) as well as quite a few standalones. Lately, Patterson has turned his attention to adults as well, launching a series of Bookshots: short, exciting reads that can be easily consumed in one sitting (and although he’s not as involved in the writing process, there’s also a line of Bookshots Flames aimed at romance readers).

So that’s the “secret” behind how James Patterson writes to many books. Needless to say, such a large share of the market has made him quite a wealthy man, and he has put a substantial amount of that money where his mouth is, donating large sums to fund scholarships and literacy programs, in addition to launching ReadKiddoRead, a website devoted to providing resources to parents in the effort to pass the joy of reading to their kids. That being the case, there’s really not much else to say, other than: Go, James, go! To share more of his impressive oeuvre with your patrons, SmartBrowse his name on our website, and point them toward our collection of his audiobooks on hoopla digital.