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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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hot This Week: September 25

Most of last week's hot movies stand strong through this week as well, with the top newcomer, the horror movie It Comes at Night, at #4. It's a different story for the other media formats, though. In music, an impressive seven new titles grace the chart, led by Thomas Rhett, the National, and the up-and-coming electronica duo Odesza. Five new novels make the fiction list, including Ken Follett's new Kingsbridge story we told you about last week. Even the normally stable non-fiction list sees three new additions, with Hillary Clinton and Katy Tur's takes on the presidential election in the top two spots.

Movies
  1. Baywatch (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Rough Night (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. It Comes at Night (Blu-ray)
  5. First Kill (Blu-ray)
  6. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. All Eyez on Me (Blu-ray)
  8. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Megan Leavey (Blu-ray)
  10. Going in Style (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Thomas Rhett, Life Changes
  2. The National, Sleep Well Beast
  3. Odesza, A Moment Apart
  4. Jack Johnson, All the Light Above It Too
  5. Dustin Lynch, Current Mood
  6. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  7. Khalid, American Teen
  8. Kep Moore, Slowheart
  9. Gregg Allman, Southern Blood
  10. Logic, Everybody
Fiction
  1. A Column of Fire, Ken Follett
  2. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, David Lagercrantz
  3. Enemy of the State, Kyle Mills
  4. The Romanov Ransom, Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
  5. A Legacy of Spies, John le Carre
  6. Secrets in Death, J.D. Robb
  7. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  8. Enigma, Catherine Coulter
  9. Y Is for Yesterday, Sue Grafton
  10. Camino Island, John Grisham
Non-Fiction
  1. What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton
  2. Unbelievable, Katy Tur
  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  4. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  5. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  6. Unstoppable, Maria Sharapova and Rich Cohen
  7. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright
  8. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  9. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates
  10. The Book of Joy, The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams

Friday, September 22, 2017

Follett Adds to Kingsbridge Series

Written by Jon Williams

Like so many authors, Ken Follett didn’t originally have his heart set on a career writing fiction. Born in Wales before moving as a child to London, he studied philosophy in college, he started out working in journalism. The tide began to turn a few years later when he moved into a publishing career and began writing fiction of his own. After a number of novels were released under pen names, Follett finally found success under his own name with Eye of the Needle in 1978. A World War II spy thriller, it won the Edgar Award for Best Novel, and it set Follett on the path of an internationally bestselling author.

He followed that novel up in 1979 with Triple, another spy novel, this time set in the Middle East of the late 1960s. Indeed, Follett would become known primarily as a purveyor of fast-paced spy novels full of action and intrigue. Novels in this vein include 1985’s Lie Down with Lions, 1991’s Night Over Water, and 2001’s Jackdaws. And although it’s actually a true story, 1983’s On Wings of Eagles fits into much the same mold, as it explores a daring rescue mission to liberate two men being held in an Iranian prison. It was adapted into a miniseries in 1986.

However, this type of action thriller is not all that Follett writes. Although many of his novels were based around various points of 20th century history, in 1989 he planted his feet more firmly in the realm of historical fiction with The Pillars of the Earth, which explores the building of a cathedral in a fictional English village in the Middle Ages. It became his bestselling work to that point. After a long layoff, Follett finally followed up The Pillars of the Earth in 2007: World Without End revisits Kingsbridge Cathedral more than 150 years later, during the time of the Black Death, through the eyes of the descendants of characters from the original novel. And now, at long last, there is a third installment in the series. A Column of Fire, which came out last week, brings the cathedral and its surroundings into the Elizabethan era.

With that novel just coming out, hold lists may be long, for the initial installments as well as the latest release. However, you can direct impatient patrons to check out another series of historical novels from Follett. This trilogy began with Fall of Giants in 2010, following a number of characters through such events as the Russian Revolution and World War I. Follett wrote the novels in this series much more quickly than the Kingsbridge novels; the second, Winter of the World, was released just two years later, in 2012 and deals primarily with World War II. The third, Edge of Eternity, came out in 2014, and carries the families through the Cold War, from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Whatever he’s writing—whether it’s spy thrillers, historical fiction, or even non-fiction—Ken Follett’s work is always popular with patrons. Make sure you have his latest hit novel on your shelves for them to enjoy, and SmartBrowse his name on our website to find all we have to offer.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hot This Week: September 18

Baywatch stands strong for a second week at #1, with the comedy Rough Night, the top newcomer, at #2. LCD Soundsystem's long-awaited album makes its debut atop the music chart. It's a big week for new fiction, led by John le Carre and including new additions to the Mitch Rapp and Walt Longmire series. In non-fiction, the companion audiobook for the Ken Burns PBS documentary The Vietnam War joins the list.

Movies
  1. Baywatch (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Rough Night (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. All Eyez on Me (Blu-ray)
  5. First Kill (Blu-ray)
  6. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Megan Leavey (Blu-ray)
  8. Alien: Covenant (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
  2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  3. Khalid, American Teen
  4. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  5. Logic, Everybody
  6. SZA, Ctrl
  7. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  8. Post Malone, Stoney
  9. Kesha, Rainbow
  10. DJ Khaled, Grateful
Fiction
  1. A Legacy of Spies, John le Carre
  2. Secrets in Death, J.D. Robb
  3. Enemy of the State, Kyle Mills
  4. Y Is for Yesterday, Sue Grafton
  5. Glass Houses, Louise Penny
  6. The Right Time, Danielle Steel
  7. The Western Star, Craig Johnson
  8. Camino Island, John Grisham
  9. Dark Legacy, Christine Feehan
  10. The Store, James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
Non-Fiction
  1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  4. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright
  5. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates
  6. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  7. The Vietnam War, Geoffrey C. Ward
  8. It Takes Two, Jonathan and Drew Scott
  9. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  10. The Book of Joy, The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hot This Week: September 11

The big-screen action/comedy reboot of Baywatch takes over this week's movie list. Half of the music chart is new, led by Queens of the Stone Age and Fifth Harmony in the top two spots. The new Armand Gamache mystery from Louise Penny heads up the fiction list, while the non-fiction list remains largely the same.

Movies
  1. Baywatch (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Alien: Covenant (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Going in Style (Blu-ray)
  8. The Fate of the Furious (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Kong: Skull Island (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Inconceivable (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Queens of the Stone Age, Villains
  2. Fifth Harmony, Fifth Harmony
  3. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  4. Old Dominions, Happy Endings
  5. Khalid, American Teen
  6. The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
  7. Logic, Everybody
  8. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  9. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  10. SZA, Ctrl
Fiction
  1. Glass Houses, Louise Penny
  2. Y Is for Yesterday, Sue Grafton
  3. The Right Time, Danielle Steel
  4. The Store, James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
  5. Camino Island, John Grisham
  6. My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent
  7. Seeing Red, Sandra Brown
  8. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
  9. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  10. Star Wars: Phasma, Delilah S. Dawson
Non-Fiction
  1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  3. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright
  4. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  5. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates
  6. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  7. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  8. The Big Lie, Dinesh D'Souza
  9. The Book of Joy, The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams
  10. Grit, Angela Duckworth

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hot This Week: September 5

We hope everyone had a wonderful long Labor Day weekend! The latest film in Ridley Scott's Alien franchise tops this week's movie list. New York rock outfit Brand New debuts their new album at #1 on the music chart. In fiction, Sue Grafton's 25th and penultimate alphabet mystery wins the week, while in non-fiction, a couple of old favorites resurface.

Movies
  1. Alien: Covenant (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Going in Style (Blu-ray)
  7. The Fate of the Furious (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Everything, Everything (Blu-ray)
  9. How to Be a Latin Lover (Blu-ray)
  10. Kong: Skull Island (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Brand New, Science Fiction
  2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  3. Neck Deep, The Peace and the Panic
  4. Kesha, Rainbow
  5. Khalid, American Teen
  6. DJ Khaled, Grateful
  7. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  8. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  9. SZA, Ctrl
  10. Post Malone, Stoney
Fiction
  1. Y Is for Yesterday, Sue Grafton
  2. The Store, James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
  3. Seeing Red, Sandra Brown
  4. Camino Island, John Grisham
  5. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
  6. Any Dream Will Do, Debbie Macomber
  7. The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
  8. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  9. Exposed, Lisa Scottoline
  10. A Stranger in the House, Shari Lapena
Non-Fiction
  1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  4. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright
  5. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  6. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates
  7. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  8. The Book of Joy, The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams
  9. The Big Lie, Dinesh D'Souza
  10. Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari

Friday, September 1, 2017

In Memoriam: Tobe Hooper

Written by Jon Williams

Acclaimed horror director Tobe Hooper passed away last weekend at the age of 74. He was considered an incredibly influential filmmaker—a quick Internet search will return a number of articles praising his work—and looking over his body of work, it’s easy to see why.

Growing up in Texas with parents who owned a theater, Hooper came by his love of movies naturally. He took that love with him to film school at the University of Texas in Austin, and he jumped into his career with his first film in 1969, at the age of 26. Eggshells, a low-budget horror/sci-fi movie, barely made a ripple as it came into the world. The same could not be said for his next feature. In 1974, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre terrified audiences and revivified a flagging horror genre. Filmmakers including Wes Craven, Guillermo del Toro, William Friedkin, and Ridley Scott have cited this seminal film as an influence in their work. He followed it up with a sequel in 1986, and the original was remade in 2003, with Hooper serving as co-producer.

Then, in 1982, came Poltergeist. Written by Steven Spielberg, who was unable to direct while he worked on E.T., the film was instead directed by Hooper. It was a critical and commercial success, and is still considered a classic 35 years later. Despite some confusion over Hooper’s role in the film, he pressed on, following it up with a pair of horror/sci-fi mashups: Lifeforce in 1985, and Invaders from Mars (a remake of a 1953 movie) in 1986. In 1995 he directed The Mangler, based on a short story by Stephen King and starring horror icon Robert Englund. His final film was 2003’s Djinn, about an apartment that is haunted by demons.

However, the silver screen was only part of Tobe Hooper’s career; he also did quite a bit of work for the small screen. That began in 1979 with his first Stephen King collaboration: the miniseries adaptation of the vampire novel Salem’s Lot. Over the years he would contribute to a number of anthology shows like Amazing Stories, Body Bags, Tales from the Crypt, and Masters of Horror. He also directed individual for a number of other shows, such as The Equalizer, Dark Skies, and Taken.

Tobe Hooper loomed large in the world of horror filmmaking, and his absence will be sorely felt. With Halloween right around the corner, now is a perfect time to stock your shelves with his classic films and lesser-known gems. You can SmartBrowse his name on our website to find all the titles listed above and more.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hot This Week: August 28

The last week of August sees five new movies on the list, led by the Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn vacation comedy Snatched. In music, the new release from Kesha leads debuts at #1. And in fiction, a new thriller from Sandra Brown beats out the latest collaborative novel from James Patterson to take the top spot.

Movies
  1. Snatched (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. The Fate of the Furious (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Going in Style (Blu-ray)
  6. How to Be a Latin Lover (Blu-ray)
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Blu-ray)
  8. Kong: Skull Island (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. The Wall (Blu-ray)
  10. The Circle (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Kesha, Rainbow
  2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  3. DJ Khaled, Grateful
  4. Khalid, American Teen
  5. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  6. SZA, Ctrl
  7. Imagine Dragons, Evolve 
  8. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  9. Post Malone, Stoney
  10. Meek Mill, Wins and Losses
Fiction
  1. Seeing Red, Sandra Brown
  2. The Store, James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
  3. Camino Island, John Grisham
  4. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
  5. Any Dream Will Do, Debbie Macomber
  6. Exposed, Lisa Scottoline
  7. The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
  8. I Know a Secret, Tess Gerritsen
  9. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  10. A Stranger in the House, Shari Lapena
Non-Fiction
  1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  4. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  5. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright
  6. The Big Lie, Dinesh D'Souza
  7. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates
  8. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  9. Grit, Angela Duckworth
  10. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin

Friday, August 25, 2017

Princess Diana, 20 Years Later

Written by Jon Williams

Lady Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961, into a prominent family of the British nobility, and she came to the attention of the world when she married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, shortly after her 20th birthday. Their wedding drew a television audience of 750 million people worldwide. Initially shy, Diana would grow into her role in the spotlight over the course of their 15-year marriage, making a number of international visits both with the prince and on her own.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s marriage could best be described as “tumultuous,” and the couple divorced in July of 1996. Diana retained her title of Princess of Wales, and rededicated herself to a number of charities, including AIDS research and landmine elimination, using her status to highlight causes that were near and dear to her. Her signature style during her time in the spotlight also made her a fashion icon. She was a beloved figure worldwide who transformed the way so many people viewed the royal family.

Princess Diana was killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997, sending shockwaves around the world. Her funeral procession drew an estimated 2.5 billion viewers globally. Elton John, a close friend of the princess, performed a version of his hit song “Candle in the Wind” with the lyrics revised to honor Diana’s life. While that song is one of the highest-selling singles of all time (with proceeds benefitting Diana’s charities), it has never been included on any of his albums or compilations, and Sir Elton has stated that he would only perform it again live if asked to do so by her sons, Princes William and Harry.

Next week will mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely passing. With so many still fascinated by her life and enduring legacy, you’ll want to have plenty of material on your shelves for them to check out. SmartBrowse Princess Diana on our website for a collection of materials put together by our media experts in commemoration of this melancholy milestone.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Hot This Week: August 21

The latest installment in the highly popular Fast and Furious franchise takes over this week's movie listing, where you'll notice a change: links to Blu-ray and 4K editions, if available, in addition to the DVD. Kendrick Lamar jumps to the top of the music chart, with country star Brett Eldredge's new album debuting at #2. The latest romance from Debbie Macomber wins the week in fiction, while a treatise on the benefits of Buddhist practice is the top newcomer in non-fiction.

Movies
  1. The Fate of the Furious (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Going in Style (Blu-ray)
  3. The Boss Baby (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Kong: Skull Island (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. The Circle (Blu-ray)
  6. Gifted (Blu-ray)
  7. Ghost in the Shell (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Unforgettable (Blu-ray)
  9. The Dinner (Blu-ray)
  10. CHiPs (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  2. Brett Eldredge, Brett Eldredge
  3. DJ Khaled, Grateful
  4. Meek Mill, Wins and Losses
  5. NOW That's What I Call Music 63
  6. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  7. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  8. SZA, Ctrl
  9. Khalid, American Teen
  10. Jay-Z, 4:44
Fiction
  1. Any Dream Will Do, Debbie Macomber
  2. Camino Island, John Grisham
  3. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
  4. The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
  5. Barely Legal, Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall
  6. The Last Tudor, Philippa Gregory
  7. The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter
  8. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  9. House of Spies, Daniel Silva
  10. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
Non-Fiction
  1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  2. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  3. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  4. Why Buddhism Is True, Robert Wright
  5. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  6. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  7. The Big Lie, Dinesh D'Souza
  8. Grit, Angela Duckworth
  9. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart
  10. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Lion King Roars Out of Disney’s Vault

Written by Jon Williams

Disney’s The Lion King was released in theaters in June of 1994 and immediately became a smash success. It would go on to be the second-highest earning film of the year (behind Forrest Gump), and its domestic box office gross of more than $420 million is currently good for #18 of all time. It won Academy Awards for Best Score and Best Original Song, and it was also awarded the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Now the original animated movie hit is being released from the Disney vault in new DVD and Blu-ray editions, and it’s not coming alone. Capitalizing on the success of the film, Disney released The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride as a direct-to-video offering in 1998 with most of the voice cast returning. It was followed in 2004 by The Lion King 1 1/2, a “sequel” that takes place at the same time as the original film, but from the perspectives of Timon and Pumbaa, the movie’s popular meerkat and warthog sidekicks. All three movies will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 29, the first time they’ve been available since 2011.

More than twenty-three years since the film’s original release, fans are still enthralled by the timeless story and characters of The Lion King. In 1997, it was adapted into a musical that has enjoyed a very long run and is the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time. It has also been kept alive on television, starting with an animated series featuring Timon and Pumbaa that aired from 1995 through 1999. In 2015, the TV movie Return of the Roar kicked off a new series called The Lion Guard that centers on the cub Kion and a new group of friends that protect the pridelands. In addition, Timon and Pumbaa star in a number of Wild About Safety shorts that aim to teach young viewers about how to be safe in a variety of situations. And all of this will culminate in 2019 with a new live-action version, much like what Disney did with Beauty and the Beast earlier this year.

With The Lion King and its sequels being released on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time since 2011, make sure you get copies now. When it goes back into the vault, it will be several years before it’s available again. If you have questions about the Disney vault’s origins or which Disney movies are subject to the process, make sure you revisit our blog post on the topic.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hot This Week: August 14

The movie list sees the most changes this week with four new titles, led by the hit animated comedy The Boss Baby. The latest album from indie rockers Arcade Fire debuts atop the music chart. Tom Perrotta lands his new novel on the fiction list, as do father and son Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman. In non-fiction, the lone new title is from Dinesh D'Souza, while a couple of popular classics make a return.

DVD
  1. The Boss Baby
  2. Kong: Skull Island
  3. The Circle
  4. Gifted
  5. Ghost in the Shell
  6. Unforgettable
  7. CHiPs
  8. The Belko Experiment
  9. Smurfs: The Lost Village
  10. Logan
CD
  1. Arcade Fire, Everything Now
  2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  3. Meek Mill, Wins and Losses
  4. DJ Khaled, Grateful
  5. Jay-Z, 4:44
  6. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  7. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  8. Descendants 2 Soundtrack
  9. Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life
  10. Khalid, American Teen
Fiction
  1. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
  2. Camino Island, John Grisham
  3. The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
  4. House of Spies, Daniel Silva
  5. Paradise Valley, C.J. Box
  6. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
  7. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
  8. Mrs. Fletcher, Tom Perrotta
  9. Crime Scene, Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman
  10. Murder Games, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Non-Fiction
  1. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
  2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  3. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
  4. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  5. The Big Lie, Dinesh D'Souza
  6. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin
  7. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
  8. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  9. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nahesi Coates 
  10. When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi