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Monday, April 23, 2018

Hot This Week: April 23

New week, new hot titles! Last week's top two movies hold their positions, with three new ones coming in behind them. Four new CDs make the chart, led by a new album from rockers Thirty Seconds to Mars and also featuring an album of Elton John covers by some of today's most popular artists. In fiction, a new novel by Madeline Miller set in the mythology of ancient Greece headlines five new additions, while in non-fiction an exploration of fascism from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright leads the way.

Movies
  1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Father Figures (Blu-ray)
  3. Proud Mary (Blu-ray)
  4. All the Money in the World (Blu-ray)
  5. Molly's Game (Blu-ray)
  6. Justice League (Blu-ray)
  7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Insidious: The Last Key (Blu-ray)
  9. Ferdinand (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Thor: Ragnarok (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Thirty Seconds to Mars, America
  2. The Weeknd, My Dear Melancholy
  3. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  4. Migos, Culture II
  5. Black Panther: The Album
  6. Rich the Kid, The World Is Yours
  7. Post Malone, Stoney
  8. Lil Xan, Total Xanarchy
  9. Flatbush Zombies, Vacation in Hell
  10. Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin
Fiction
  1. Circe, Madeline Miller
  2. After Anna, Lisa Scottoline
  3. I've Got My Eyes on You, Mary Higgins Clark
  4. The Thief, J.R. Ward
  5. Shoot First, Stuart Woods
  6. The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer
  7. The Sixth Day, Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison
  8. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  9. Red Alert, James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  10. The Disappeared, C.J. Box
Non-Fiction 
  1. Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright and Bill Woodward
  2. Russian Roulette, Michael Isikoff and David Corn
  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  4. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  5. Educated, Tara Westover
  6. Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenreich
  7. Secret Empires, Peter Schweitzer
  8. Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
  9. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  10. This Is Me, Chrissy Metz

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hot This Week: April 16

The comedy Father Figures leads this week's two movie newcomers, but can't quite overtake Jumanji for the top spot. The Weeknd's surprise six-song EP tops the music chart. The fiction list sees four new titles make the list, the top two and bottom two, headlined by the latest from the always-popular Mary Higgins Clark, while two new titles make the list in non-fiction as well.

Movies
  1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Father Figures (Blu-ray)
  3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Justice League (Blu-ray)
  5. Insidious: The Last Key (Blu-ray)
  6. Ferdinand (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Pitch Perfect 3 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Thor: Ragnarok (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Downsizing (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Coco (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. The Weeknd, My Dear Melancholy
  2. Rich the Kid, The World Is Yours
  3. Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
  4. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  5. Black Panther: The Album
  6. Migos, Culture II
  7. Post Malone, Stoney
  8. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  9. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  10. Hayley Kiyoko, Expectations
Fiction
  1. I've Got My Eyes on You, Mary Higgins Clark
  2. The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer
  3. The Disappeared, C.J. Box
  4. Red Alert, James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  5. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  6. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  7. Accidental Heroes, Danielle Steel
  8. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  9. Varina, Charles Frazier
  10. Cave of Bones, Anne Hillerman
Non-Fiction 
  1. Dear Madam President, Jennifer Palmieri
  2. Russian Roulette, Michael Isikoff and David Corn
  3. Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
  4. Make Trouble, Cecile Richards and Lauren Peterson
  5. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Our 50-State Border Crisis, Howard Buffett
  8. This Is Me, Chrissy Metz
  9. Educated, Tara Westover
  10. Faith, Jimmy Carter

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hot This Week: April 9

The top newcomer in movies this week is the latest installment in the long-awaited Star Wars sequel trilogy. In music, Jack White's new album tops the chart. A new thriller from C.J. Box tops three new novels on the fiction list, while four new non-fiction titles include a biography of Tiger Woods and a rumination on faith from former President Jimmy Carter.

Movies
  1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Justice League (Blu-ray)
  3. Ferdinand (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Pitch Perfect 3 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Thor: Ragnarok (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Downsizing (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. The Shape of Water (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Coco (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Acts of Violence (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Jack White, Boarding House Reach
  2. Black Panther: The Album
  3. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  4. Migos, Culture II
  5. Post Malone, Stoney
  6. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  7. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  8. Camila Cabello, Camila
  9. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  10. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
Fiction
  1. The Disappeared, C.J. Box
  2. Red Alert, James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  3. Accidental Heroes, Danielle Steel
  4. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  5. To Die But Once, Jacqueline Winspear
  6. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  7. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  8. The Punishment She Deserves, Elizabeth George
  9. The Escape Artist, Brad Meltzer
  10. The Rising Sea, Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
Non-Fiction
  1. Russian Roulette, Michael Isikoff and David Corn
  2. This Is Me, Chrissy Metz
  3. Dear Madam President, Jennifer Palmieri
  4. Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
  5. Educated, Tara Westover
  6. Faith, Jimmy Carter
  7. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  8. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  9. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  10. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker

Friday, April 6, 2018

April Is National Poetry Month

Written by Jon Williams

Each year since 1996, April has been designated as National Poetry Month in the United States. The Academy of American Poets was inspired by such successful and inspirational celebrations like Black History Month and Women’s History Month, and set up their own month-long event to encourage poetry appreciation. In one sense, poetry is something of a universal art form—who hasn’t tried their hand at writing a few lines of verse, or even just appreciated the lyrics of a good song? And yet, somehow, it has grown neglected: a 2012 survey indicated that less than 7% of Americans had read a poem in the past year, down from 17% in 1992.

National Poetry Month aims to change that, and while the next survey from the National Endowment for the Arts is still a few years away, there’s some hope that the trend is turning the opposite direction. One of the drivers has been social media, where the popular poet Rupi Kaur began working before publishing her debut collection, milk and honey, in 2014. It’s a similar story for Amanda Lovelace, who debuted with 2016’s The Princess Saves Herself in This One and followed it up earlier this year with The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One. These women have placed their books on national bestseller lists and amassed millions of followers, following a trail blazed in part by Lang Leav, who published Love & Misadventure in 2013 and has followed it up with several more collections and a novel.

There are plenty of other contemporary poets your patrons might like to sample. Why not start with the U.S. Poet Laureate? Tracy K. Smith took over that post in September of 2017, and her latest collection, Wade in the Water, was published this week. She took over for Juan Felipe Herrera, who had held the post since 2015. Other current poets of note include Claudia Rankine, Eileen Myles, and Kwame Alexander, to name just a very few.

For those patrons who prefer the classics, well, where do we begin? Possibly with Homer, and The Iliad and The Odyssey. Beowulf. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Shakespeare’s sonnets. Milton’s Paradise Lost. The works of Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, and T.S. Eliot. Jack Kerouac and the Beat poets. Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni. How’s that for running the gamut? This mere handful of names should illustrate just how fine and varied poetry is as an art form, the legacy that the contemporary poets named above are carrying on.

We know there are a ton of wonderful poets and poems that we had to leave out, so please, let us know some of your favorites and what’s popular at your library. In the meantime, be sure to stock up on plenty of poetry audiobooks for your patrons to enjoy this month and all year long. Also, if your library is a hoopla partner, make sure your patrons know about the collections our team has put together to celebrate National Poetry Month, in both audiobook and eBook formats. Those titles, like all titles on hoopla, are available to library cardholders 24/7, with no holds and no late fees.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Hot This Week: April 2

Welcome to April! The new month brings with it a slew of new movies to the hot list, led by the blockbuster Jumanji follow-up and including the Academy Award-winning The Shape of Water. New albums from the Decemberists and Scotty McCreery break onto the music chart, while Metallica's tour brings their most recent album back into the spotlight. Bestselling author Danielle Steel's new novel wins the week in fiction alongside three other new titles, while a new title from religious scholar Bart D. Ehrman joins the non-fiction list.

Movies
  1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Justice League (Blu-ray)
  3. Pitch Perfect 3 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Ferdinand (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Thor: Ragnarok (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Downsizing (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. The Shape of Water (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. Coco (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. Daddy's Home 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. I, Tonya (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Metallica, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
  2. Black Panther: The Album
  3. Migos, Culture II
  4. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  5. Scotty McCreery, Seasons Change
  6. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  7. The Decemberists, I'll Be Your Girl
  8. Post Malone, Stoney
  9. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  10. Camila Cabello, Camila
Fiction
  1. Accidental Heroes, Danielle Steel
  2. The Punishment She Deserves, Elizabeth George
  3. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  4. The Rising Sea, Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
  5. The Bishop's Pawn, Steve Berry
  6. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  7. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  8. The Escape Artist, Brad Meltzer
  9. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  10. Covert Game, Christine Feehan
Non-Fiction
  1. Russian Roulette, Michael Isikoff and David Corn
  2. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  5. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  6. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker
  7. The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany Haddish
  8. The Triumph of Christianity, Bart D. Ehrman
  9. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  10. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson

Monday, March 26, 2018

Hot This Week: March 26

A couple of acclaimed movies join this week's list in I, Tonya and The Disaster Artist. A new solo album from Talking Heads frontman David Byrne tops the music chart with new albums from classic artists Judas Priest and Jimi Hendrix as well. A new NUMA adventure from Clive Cussler and Graham Brown tops the fiction list, while a new investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 U.S. election edges Fire & Fury down to #2 in non-fiction.


Movies
  1. Thor: Ragnarok (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Coco (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. I, Tonya (Blu-ray)
  4. Murder on the Orient Express (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Daddy's Home 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Wonder (Blu-ray | 4K)
  8. The Disaster Artist (Blu-ray)
  9. Lady Bird (Blu-ray)
  10. Darkest Hour (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. David Byrne, American Utopia
  2. Black Panther: The Album
  3. Judas Priest, Firepower
  4. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  5. Migos, Culture II
  6. Jimi Hendrix, Both Sides of the Sky
  7. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  8. Post Malone, Stoney
  9. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Tearing at the Seams
  10. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
Fiction
  1. The Rising Sea, Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
  2. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  3. The Escape Artist, Brad Meltzer
  4. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  5. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  6. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  7. The Flight Attendant, Chris Bohjalian
  8. Caribbean Rim, Randy Wayne White
  9. Fifty Fifty, James Patterson and Candice Fox
  10. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jason Fry
Non-Fiction
  1. Russian Roulette, Michael Isikoff and David Corn
  2. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  6. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker
  7. The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany Haddish
  8. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  9. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson
  10. Born a Crime, Trevor Noah

Friday, March 23, 2018

TV Revivals Are All the Rage

Written by Jon Williams

Next week, on Tuesday, March 27, Roseanne will return to television screens. The beloved sitcom originally ran for nine seasons from 1988 through 1997. Now it’s coming back with a nine-episode season that will feature the show’s original cast—which creates some interesting dilemmas, since two actresses played the character of Becky (the second, Sarah Chalke, will appear as a different character) and Dan, played by John Goodman, died in the original final season of the show (he’s back). Other familiar faces returning to the show include Laurie Metcalf, fresh off her Academy Award nomination for Lady Bird, Sandra Bernhard, Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki, and, of course, Roseanne Barr herself.

Television is widely considered to be in a new golden age, with an incredible amount of high-quality content being created. With the rise of streaming services producing shows of their own in addition to more traditional cable and broadcast channels, competition for viewers is at an all-time high, and the television industry is frequently looking to the past to fill its slate. Everything old is new again as reboots and revivals, like Roseanne, are popping up everywhere. Another popular sitcom that has returned is Will & Grace, which originally aired from 1998 through 2006. After a ten-minute one-off proved to be wildly popular in 2016, the show was brought back to series in the fall of 2017. The first revival season will come to a close next week, and the show has already been renewed for a second and third season. Likewise, Full House, which ran from 1987 through 1995, has been brought back as Fuller House, following the adult lives of the characters who were children in the original show. The new show is three seasons in and going strong.

The phenomenon isn’t limited to sitcoms. Earlier this week, the second revival season of The X-Files came to a close. Originally running from 1993 to 2002, the sci-fi series about a pair of FBI agents tracking down leads on alien visitation was brought back for a six-episode limited event series in 2016 before this year’s ten-episode set. With Gillian Anderson bowing out and David Duchovny open to returning, it’s unclear if the show will continue further. In the drama category, Twin Peaks was also revived for a limited event series in 2017 following two seasons in 1990-91 and the movie Fire Walk with Me in 1992. And the dramedy series Gilmore Girls was brought back for the four-episode miniseries A Year in the Life in 2016 following its original seven-season run from 2000 through 2007.

And there are more revivals in the works. It was recently announced that Murphy Brown will be back on television later this year, with Candice Bergen and the show’s original cast returning to explore the state of television journalism in the current climate. Although nothing has been finalized, Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt are in talks to team back up for new episodes of Mad About You, nineteen years after that show’s seeming end. And don’t forget about reboots, in which series concepts are reused in different, usually updated circumstances, starting with a new cast. Some of those we can look forward to include Cagney & Lacey, Magnum P.I., Charmed, The Greatest American Hero, and Lost in Space, not to mention recent rumors about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

With all of these classic shows returning to small screens in one form or another, and more sure to follow, patrons will be looking for the original shows to catch up or just to relive old favorites. You can find them on our website, and count on us to bring you the revivals and reboots as they become available. Are there any other series no longer on the air that you’d like to see brought back? If so, keep the faith—it just might happen!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hot This Week: March 19

There are some huge new movies on this week's list, which also sees the animated hit Coco jump into the number one spot. In music, the Black Panther soundtrack reigns supreme again, with a new album from Tory Lanez making its debut. Brad Meltzer's latest thriller leads the way in non-fiction, with a couple of blockbuster movie novelizations joining as well. And in non-fiction, a memoir from theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber comes in at #7.

Movies
  1. Coco (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Thor: Ragnarok (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Murder on the Orient Express (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Blu-ray | 4K)
  5. Daddy's Home 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  6. Wonder (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Lady Bird (Blu-ray)
  8. Darkest Hour (Blu-ray)
  9. A Bad Moms Christmas (Blu-ray)
  10. Just Getting Started (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Black Panther: The Album
  2. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  3. Tory Lanez, Memories Don't Die
  4. Migos, Culture II
  5. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  6. Post Malone, Stoney
  7. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  8. Camila Cabello, Camila
  9. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  10. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
Fiction
  1. The Escape Artist, Brad Meltzer
  2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Jason Fry
  3. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  4. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  5. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  6. Fifty Fifty, James Patterson and Candice Fox
  7. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  8. Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs
  9. Still Me, Jojo Moyes
  10. The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus
Non-Fiction
  1. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  2. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker
  5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  6. The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany Haddish
  7. Unmasked, Andrew Lloyd Webber
  8. The Future of Humanity, Michio Kaku
  9. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  10. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Come See Us at PLA!

Next week we’ll be at the PLA 2018 Conference in Philadelphia, and we’d love to see you there! You can find us at Booth #837 from March 20-24. Here’s what you can expect when you come by our booth.

Golden Ticket Giveaway

Free candy AND a chance to win…who can resist? Stop by our booth anytime to pick up a chocolate bar and a chance to win a great prize! This offer is only good while supplies last, so come early to make sure you don’t miss out.

Author Signings

Three popular authors will be making appearances at our booth. Visit our booth during the times listed below to get a book signed, and spread the word about their incredible work to your patrons!

Wednesday, March 21
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
LAURIE MORRISON
Co-author of the middle-grade novel Every Shiny Thing

Thursday, March 22
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
CLAIRE LEGRAND
Author of the YA fantasy novel Furyborn

Thursday, March 22
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
BEATRIZ WILLIAMS
Author of the historical novel The Summer Wives

Champagne Toast

We’re looking forward to celebrating hoopla’s five-year anniversary with our library partners. We’ll be hosting a champagne toast at our booth on Thursday, March 22, at 3:00 p.m. Join us!

Alexa, Meet hoopla!

We’re excited to announce a cool new bit of hoopla functionality—integration with Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa! We’ll have a number of devices at our booth, so be sure to come get a full demonstration of all the ways Alexa will allow patrons to interact with hoopla just with their voice.

Come by our booth for any or all of these events, or to learn more about all the ways Midwest Tape and hoopla can benefit your library. We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hot This Week: March 12

What's hot this week is movies! There are four new ones, led by the latest Disney-Pixar blockbuster, the Academy Award-winning Coco. A new tour announcement helps to land Bon Jovi's latest album back on the chart well over a year after its release. A pair of new novels make the list in fiction, while the late Michelle McNamara's final true-crime exploration makes its debut in non-fiction.

Movies
  1. Daddy's Home 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Coco (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. Wonder (Blu-ray | 4K)
  4. Darkest Hour (Blu-ray)
  5. Just Getting Started (Blu-ray)
  6. A Bad Moms Christmas (Blu-ray)
  7. Hangman (Blu-ray)
  8. Geostorm (Blu-ray)
  9. The Star (Blu-ray)
  10. Only the Brave (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Bon Jovi, This House Is Not for Sale
  2. Black Panther: The Album
  3. Migos, Culture II
  4. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  5. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  6. Post Malone, Stoney
  7. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
  8. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  9. Vance Joy, Nation of Two
  10. Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods
Fiction
  1. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  2. Fifty Fifty, James Patterson and Candice Fox
  3. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  4. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  5. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  6. Raspberry Danish Murder, Joanne Fluke
  7. Still Me, Jojo Moyes
  8. The Hush, John Hart
  9. Origin, Dan Brown
  10. The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Non-Fiction
  1. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  2. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
  3. Educated, Tara Westover
  4. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker
  5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  6. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  7. The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany Haddish
  8. Born a Crime, Trevor Noah
  9. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson
  10. The Future of Humanity, Michio Kaku

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hot This Week: March 5

The Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy sequel Daddy's Home 2 comes in atop this week's movie list. The Black Panther soundtrack has another strong week in music to match the movie's strong showing at the box office, while Nipsey Hussle and Brandi Carlile land new albums on the chart. James Patterson's new collaborative novel with Candice Fox is the top newcomer in fiction, while new audiobooks from Tara Westover and Michio Kaku make their non-fiction debut.

Movies
  1. Daddy's Home 2 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. Wonder (Blu-ray | 4K)
  3. A Bad Moms Christmas (Blu-ray)
  4. The Star (Blu-ray)
  5. Geostorm (Blu-ray)
  6. Only the Brave (Blu-ray)
  7. Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Blu-ray)
  8. Blade Runner 2049 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. It (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (Blu-ray)
CD
  1. Black Panther: The Album
  2. Migos, Culture II
  3. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  4. Nipsey Hussle, Victory Lap
  5. Brandi Carlile, By the Way, I Forgive You
  6. Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods
  7. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  8. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  9. Post Malone, Stoney
  10. Fifty Shades Freed Soundtrack
Fiction
  1. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  2. Fifty Fifty, James Patterson and Candice Fox
  3. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  4. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  5. Still Me, Jojo Moyes
  6. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  7. Look for Me, Lisa Gardner
  8. Origin, Dan Brown
  9. The Rooster Bar, John Grisham
  10. Dark in Death, J.D. Robb
Non-Fiction
  1. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  2. Educated, Tara Westover
  3. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker
  4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  5. The Future of Humanity, Michio Kaku
  6. All-American Murder, James Patterson, Alex Abramovich, and Mike Harvkey
  7. The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany Haddish
  8. When, Daniel H. Pink
  9. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  10. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson

Friday, March 2, 2018

Joan Baez Takes a Bow

Written by Jon Williams

Iconic folk singer Joan Baez has had a long and illustrious career, commemorated with her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. Now she’s ready for her swan song. The legendary artist has a new album out today, Whistle Down the Wind, her first in ten years. To go along with it, she has embarked on an extensive world tour, starting today in Stockholm and running through November in California. Aptly named the Fare Thee Well tour, it will be her final time going out on the road.

Baez was interested in music from an early age, and was set on her path young when she attended a Pete Seeger concert in 1954. She gave her own first performance in 1958, and a pair of duets with Bob Gibson at the Newport Music Festival in 1959 led to a record deal. Her self-titled debut album was released the following year. She followed it up with Joan Baez, Vol. 2 in 1961. Those albums both attained gold status, as did her 1962 live album, Joan Baez in Concert. Other albums to reach this sales mark are Any Day Now (1968), Blessed Are… (1971), and Diamonds and Rust (1975).

Throughout her career, Baez was influenced by such artists as Pete Seeger and Odetta, and she passed that influence on to a number of other musicians. Her performances with and recording of songs by Bob Dylan were a major factor in his career taking off, and she has been cited as an influence by such artists as Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, and Emmylou Harris. Although Baez is a songwriter, she is quite well known for songs written by others, including the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and Phil Ochs’s “There but for Fortune.”

She experienced her peak popularity during the tumultuous 1960s, when her music was associated with the civil rights movement and protest of the Vietnam War. Although she slowed down some as the years went on, Baez has continued to record and perform in the intervening years, releasing a total of 25 studio albums, as well as a number of live albums, compilations, and soundtracks. Her previous most recent, Day After Tomorrow, came out in 2008. What has not slowed down is her involvement with a number of causes and issues, including LGBT rights, the environment, and opposition to the death penalty. In 2011, she was honored by Amnesty International with the naming of the annual Joan Baez Award, recognizing artists in any media who “contribute to the advancement of human rights.”

With her work being so closely associated with protest, it is certainly fitting for her to be in the limelight one final time in our current environment. Make sure you have Whistle Down the Wind on your shelves for longtime Joan Baez fans to check out and enjoy, and shed light on her illustrious career with copies of her previous albums as well. SmartBrowse her name on our website to find more, and make sure your patrons know that her new album and her extensive discography are available 24/7 with no waiting on hoopla!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Hot This Week: February 26

The adaptation of the hit kids' book Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the hottest of this week's movies. In music, a pair of soundtracks join the chart, with the music from Black Panther looking like the same type of smash success as the movie that spawned it. In fiction, a new thriller from Jonathan Kellerman makes its debut, while in non-fiction, Steven Pinker's argument against rampant pessimism is a welcome addition.

Movies
  1. Wonder (Blu-ray | 4K)
  2. A Bad Moms Christmas (Blu-ray)
  3. Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Blu-ray)
  4. Only the Brave (Blu-ray)
  5. Geostorm (Blu-ray)
  6. Blade Runner 2049 (Blu-ray | 4K)
  7. Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (Blu-ray)
  8. It (Blu-ray | 4K)
  9. American Made (Blu-ray | 4K)
  10. Jigsaw (Blu-ray | 4K)
CD
  1. Black Panther: The Album
  2. Justin Timberlake, Man of the Woods
  3. The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
  4. Migos, Culture II
  5. Fifty Shades Freed Soundtrack
  6. Ed Sheeran, Divide
  7. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
  8. Post Malone, Stoney
  9. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  10. Camila Cabello, Camila
Fiction
  1. The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
  2. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
  3. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn
  4. Still Me, Jojo Moyes
  5. Look for Me, Lisa Gardner
  6. Night Moves, Jonathan Kellerman
  7. Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  8. Origin, Dan Brown
  9. Dark in Death, J.D. Robb
  10. The Rooster Bar, John Grisham
Non-Fiction
  1. Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
  2. Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker
  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  4. All-American Murder, James Patterson, Alex Abramovich, and Mike Harvkey
  5. The Last Black Unicorn, Tiffany Haddish
  6. Leonardo da Vinci, Walter Isaacson
  7. When, Daniel H. Pink
  8. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
  9. Trumpocracy, David Frum
  10. Grant, Ron Chernow

Friday, February 23, 2018

Black Panther Lives Up to the Hype

Written by Jon Williams

The superhero character Black Panther first appeared in Marvel comics in 1966, gracing the pages of a Fantastic Four adventure. He later appeared in comics featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and Daredevil, before finally scoring a comic of his own in 1973. Likewise, in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther first came to the screen as part of the massive ensemble in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. The electrifying performance by Chadwick Boseman made audiences very excited for the character’s first standalone adventure, which finally made its way into theaters last week—with a bang. Along with rave reviews from critics and fans, it owned the box office in its first weekend with over $200 million in North America, and it looks to stay on top in its second week.

That huge opening weekend put Black Panther in some heady company, as it became just the fifth film to crack the $200M mark. The first was another Marvel movie, The Avengers, in 2012. It was done twice in 2015, first in the summer by Jurassic World. Then, toward the end of the year, The Force Awakens brought the Star Wars saga back into theaters for the first time since 2005 to the tune of nearly $250 million, the biggest opening of all time to date. Then, just a couple of short months ago, that film’s follow-up, The Last Jedi, joined this blockbuster list as well. Black Panther is certain to dominate the box office again; the only question is whether it can become just the fourth film to follow a $200+M opening with a $100+M weekend (FWIW, our crystal ball says it will—easily).

So what’s behind the film’s runaway success? First off, you can’t overstate how the thrill of finally seeing a black superhero has resonated with fans, both longtime Black Panther fans and just moviegoers in general. And while that is a critical factor, it wouldn’t matter nearly as much if the movie weren’t outstanding in its own right. It begins with 31-year-old wunderkind director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. He has just two previous films to his name, but they’re good ones: the 2013 Sundance darling Fruitvale Station and the 2015 Rocky reboot Creed. Both of those films starred Michael B. Jordan, and he features in Black Panther as Killmonger, the primary foil to Boseman’s hero. Those two are part of an incredible cast that includes Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Lupita Nyong’o, as well as Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya from Get Out, and Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead, to name just a few. Add in a killer soundtrack curated by hip-hop superstar Kendrick Lamar and you can see the primary elements that have come together to create the phenomenon this movie has become.

With Black Panther just going into its second week in theaters and expected to continue raking in the cash, it will be a while before it becomes available on DVD and Blu-ray. In the meantime, though, there’s plenty of material to satisfy those who just can’t get enough. In addition to everything listed above, you can SmartBrowse on our website to find all the Marvel movies and plenty of other superhero content. And if your library is signed up with hoopla, there are a number of Black Panther comics available for patrons to explore, all with no waiting!