This months new DVDs include summer block-buster film adaptations (and reboots) of Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Markus Zusak, and Martin Sixsmith books. There’s even a crowd-sourced gem for Marshmallows. An ever-eclectic selection of the latest song books and CDs to join the collection are also included. Enjoy!
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New DVDs from May include the acclaimed Biography pick Philomena with Dame Judi Dench & Steve Coogan; adaptations of popular YA novels like The Book Thief; new Foreign hits with French romantic-comedy Populaire; and the return of cult-TV favourite Veronica Mars.
The book thief.
“Skillfully pared down from Markus Zusak’s celebrated young adult novel, The Book Thief presents a somewhat sanitized glimpse of Nazi Germany and the war from the uniquely innocent view of an adolescent girl. At first the perspective seems to be from the narrator, a bored, yet amused voice we learn is Death, presumably taking a brief holiday to comment on the experience of young Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) and the evolving disruptions around her. After Liesel is separated from her brother and mother in sharp and unsettling fashion, she lands at the home of protective, penurious foster parents Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) in a small village somewhere in the picturesque German countryside. When she’s teased at school for being illiterate, the kindly Hans makes a fun project of teaching her to read. Rosa is a persnickety presence for both of them, but it’s mainly a façade as the couple embrace Liesel tighter even as the situation around them grows more dire. At a Nazi book burning a horrified Liesel surreptitiously snatches a random volume from the flames. The wife of the local Bürgermeister is the only one who notices, and she compassionately allows Liesel to visit her dead son’s library, where she soon earns the movie’s title moniker. Liesel’s newfound love of literature begins informing her actions as more is revealed about the Hubermanns and the toll of wartime village life becomes more desperate.” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)
“In 1958, the young Rose Pamphyle dreams on leaving the small village in the countryside of France where she lives with her grumpy father Jean Pamphyle, who is a widower that runs a store and wishes that Rose get married to the son of the local mechanic. Rose learns by herself how to type using only two fingers and when she sees an advertisement for a secretary for the insurance agent Louis Échard in Lisieux, Lower Normandy, she immediately travels to city. Rose has a bad interview but she impresses Louis typing at very high speed. Louis decides to hire her for a short period of experience and Rose shows that she is a clumsy secretary. But Louis is a former sportsman and he decides to train Rose how to type correctly to dispute a speed typing competition. He brings Rose to his home and she learns how to play piano to help her typing with Louis’s childhood friend Marie Taylor that is married with the American Bob Taylor. She becomes close to his friends and family. Rose becomes the fastest typist in France and now she needs to train to compete in the world title in USA. But Louis, who has fallen in love with her, believes that he is not enough to help her and decides to sacrifice his love to make Rose’s dream come true.” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
August: Osage County.
“Academy Award-nominated drama directed by John Wells. Members of the Weston family reunite at their family home in Osage County, Oklahoma when their troubled poet father Beverly (Sam Shepard) goes missing. It isn’t long before they find that he has commited suicide and the rest of the family then come to pay their last regards at the funeral. Leaving his outspoken and drug-addicted wife Violet (Meryl Streep) behind, the rest of the family feel obligated to stay with her while she grieves for her husband. But living in such close proximity is a test for any grown family, and it isn’t long before cracks in their relationships begin to appear. The ensemble cast includes Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch. Both Streep and Roberts received Oscar nominations for their performances in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, respectively.” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
“On the eve of graduating law school, Veronica Mars has put Neptune and her amateur sleuthing days behind her. While interviewing at high-end New York law firms, Veronica Mars gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan who has been accused of murder. Veronica heads back to Neptune just to help Logan find an attorney, but when things don’t seem right with how Logan’s case is perceived and handled, Veronica finds herself being pulled back into a life she thought she had left behind.” (Publishers description from Syndetics summary)
“Judi Dench stars in the story of Philomena Lee, mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock and given up for adoption. Nearly 50 years later, Philomena meets Martin Sixsmith, a former BBC reporter looking for his next big story. Together, they embark on a journey to locate her long lost son. As the pieces of the puzzle come together, the unlikely travel companions form a comic and heartwarming friendship. Based on the 2009 investigative book by Martin Sixsmith.” (Publishers description from Syndetics summary)
“Chloe Grace Moretz and Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore star in this exhilarating reimagining of Stephen King’s iconic best seller. After merciless taunting from classmates and abuse at the hand of her religious fanatic mother (Moore), Carrie’s (Mortez) anger – and her telekinetic powers – are unleashed. And when a prom prank goes horribly wrong, events spiral out of control until the terrifying conclusion of this powerful, pulse-quickening horror story.” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)
“Based on the popular series of books by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game is aimed at the same young adult crowd that gobbled up franchises like Twilight and The Hunger Games, but it has plenty to satisfy older audiences too. Ender Wiggin is a pubescent genius selected for training in an elite battle school some 70 years after an apocalyptic global attack by the insectlike Formics that killed tens of millions. The Formics were defeated, but the threat of their return remains and it’s up to children like Ender to become strategic commanders who will take up the mantle of defending Earth. The martial sensibility of a child army is crisp and believable in the scenes of boot camp on space stations and distant planet outposts. Asa Butterfield (Hugo) makes Ender the scrawny, brilliant misfit who really may be a savior to end the Formic threat forever. He’s bullied and alienated, a theme that recurs throughout the story in many ways and comes full circle in the brutal, beautiful finale. His mentor and tormentor is Colonel Graff, the grizzled commander who believes Ender is “the one,” but must hide some essential truths as a measure of control. Harrison Ford makes a bang-up return to stardom as Graff with barely dimmed wattage that pays more than a little homage to Han Solo…” (Abridged from Amazon.com review)
Popular Music Books
Want to be Lorde? More songbooks have arrived including Lorde’s Pure Heroine. Wonderful instruction books for the ever popular ukulele are included as are classics from Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Alicia Keys. It’s playtime again.
Pure heroine / Lorde.
“17-year-old New Zealand newcomer Lorde released this, her debut album, in September 2013. It reached the top of the modern rock/alternative and rock albums charts, and the lead single “Royals” won the 2014 Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. Our folio features this break-out hit plus nine other tunes: Buzzcut Season * 400 Lux * Ribs * Still Sane * Team * Tennis Court * and more.” (Adapted from amazon.com)
Complete, so far / Joni Mitchell ; transcriptions by Joel Bernstein, Daniel Libertino, and Andrew DuBrock.
“After decades of waiting, the definitive Joni Mitchell guitar songbook is here! Joni Mitchell Complete So Far contains 167 songs spanning her entire career, transcribed accurately and including the authentic tunings Joni explored throughout her artistic development. To make it easier to navigate the tunings—absolutely integral to any student of Joni Mitchell’s guitar work—this book also includes a very clear and easy-to-use tuning index, and an in-depth article on Joni’s evolution as a guitarist. Hardcover and featuring an impressive all-color photo section, the songbook culls the best work from the following albums: Song to a Seagull, Clouds, Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, For the Roses, Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Hejira, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, Mingus, Wild Things Run Fast, Dog Eat Dog, Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, Night Ride Home, Turbulent Indigo, Hits, Taming the Tiger, and Shine.” (adapted from amazon.com)
The element of freedom / Alicia Keys.
“The 2009 CD by this soulful R&B songstress features 13 songs, including her hit duet with Jay-Z “Empire State of Mind” and another duet with Beyonce, “Put It in a Love Song.” Our matching songbook features these songs, plus: Distance and Time * Doesn’t Mean Anything * How It Feels to Fly * Like the Sea * Love Is Blind * Love Is My Disease * That’s How Strong My Love Is * This Bed * Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart * Un-thinkable (I’m Ready) * Wait Til You See My Smile.” (Syndetics summary)
After the gold rush / Neil Young ; music transcriptions by Jeff Jacobson and Kevin Langan.
“Released in 1970, Neil Young’s third CD is hailed as a masterpiece. Here are note-for-note transcriptions with tab for all 11 songs: After the Gold Rush * Birds * Cripple Creek Ferry * Don’t Let It Bring You Down * I Believe in You * Oh, Lonesome Me * Only Love Can Break Your Heart * Southern Man * Tell Me Why * Till the Morning Comes * When You Dance, I Can Really Love.” (adapted from amazon.com)
Ukulele aerobics / by Chad Johnson.
“A 40-week, one-lick-per-day workout program for developing, improving, and maintaining ukulele technique.” (Book Cover)
A mix of old-faithfuls and a few extras to experiment with in this months newest CDs.
The take off and landing of everything.
“As they release their sixth studio album, The Take Off and Landing of Everything, it is fair to say that elbow are in a rare position within the music world. Few bands can lay claim to a career that encompasses over twenty years, even fewer can make that claim without changes to personnel and yet, elbow in 2014 are the same as elbow in 1992, Guy Garvey on vocals, Mark Potter on guitar, Pete Turner on bass, Craig Potter on keyboards and Richard Jupp on drums. That isn’t to suggest elbow are rigid in their musical approach. For The Take Off and Landing of Everything the band subtly changed their previous working practices to great effect. Where previously the vast majority of elbow songs had been the creation of the band in total, a sketch from one member being developed by the band in rehearsal, this time around a conscious decision was made to try a new approach. So, ‘Honey Sun’ is the musical creation of Mark Potter, ‘Colour Fields’ was mostly written by Pete Turner using iPad apps and ‘Fly Boy Blue / Lunette’, the track that unveiled the new album with its accompanying film in January, was initially created by a core group of Pete Turner, Mark Potter and Richard Jupp…” (Publishers description from Real Groovy)
Out among the stars.
“Out Among The Stars is a remarkable new album comprised of 12 recently discovered Johnny Cash studio recordings. The tracks were originally recorded in Nashville in 1981 and 1984 and produced by Billy Sherrill. The album features duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings plus songs penned by Cash himself. The recordings, which have never been released in any form, are not demos, outtakes or alternate versions. They remained in the vaults during the years Columbia Records released Johnny Cash’s last albums for the label and were subsequently forgotten. The recordings first surfaced in 2012, when John Carter Cash was cataloging his father’s and mother’s exhaustive archives. “When my parents passed away, it became necessary to go through this material,” he says. “We found these recordings that were produced by Billy Sherrill in the early 1980s…they were beautiful.” Out Among The Stars is a great lost Johnny Cash album connecting the revolutionary rockabilly of his Sun Records years to the epochal final albums he made for American Recordings. Thirty years in the making, Out Among The Stars is a classic Johnny Cash album, about to be heard for the very first time…” (Publishers description from Amazon.co.uk)
“Liam Finn returns with his third solo album The Nihilist, recorded in Greenpoint Studios in Brooklyn, New York, where Liam is based. Produced by Liam himself and recorded by Andrew Everding, (Dave Fridmann’s (Tame Impala, MGMT etc.) protégé). Featuring Finn on 67 instruments and collaborations from his bandmates Eliza Jane Barnes (vocals), his brother Elroy (drums), Andrew Keoghan on violin & Jol Mulholland (bass) in sessions entirely between the hours of sunset and sunrise.The album opens with “Ocean Emmanuelle,” a dreamy, collaborative effort with Mulholland that sets a tone of troubled beauty.”Snug As F*ck,” a melodic and fantastical duet with frequent collaborator Barnes, bridges the gap between Finn’s work as a teenager in the acclaimed New Zealand band Betchadupa and his current solo career, while “Burn Up The Road” is an infectious fuzzed up rocker. “4 Track Stomper” builds a distorted beat on an old four-track tape recorder into an off-kilter masterpiece, and the album’s eerie, percussive title track was actually born as an acapella arrangement during a jam with Elroy…” (Publishers description from Real Groovy)
“Joan Wasser returns with her fourth album with her Joan As Policewoman project, The Classic following on her from her critically acclaimed album The Deep Field in 2011. The new album showcases her intimate and uplifting brand of soul combined with her unique torch-singing temperament, with a more liberated feel than ever before. Featuring guests artists like comedian & musician Reggie Watts, Joseph Arthur as well as her usual Joan As Police Woman cohorts, Tyler Wood (keyboards), Oren Bloedow (bass and sharing guitar parts with Joan) & Parker Kindred, Jeff Buckley’s former drummer.Trained as a classical violinist, Joan graduated to playing in Antony Hegarty’s Johnsons and Rufus Wainwright’s band, whose combined piano balladry inspired her own music, while infusing it with her individual stripped-down-soul and torch-song approach. This new album features influences from soul, street corner doo-wop, classic fifties & sixties pop while creating its own unique sound…” (Publishers description from Real Groovy)
Lost in the dream / The War on Drugs.
“The War On Drugs, the Philadelphia-based project of Adam Granduciel, presents their third full-length album, the beautifully sweeping Lost In The Dream, via Secretly Canadian. Written and recorded over two-plus years in Philadelphia, North Carolina, New York and New Jersey, following almost two years of nonstop touring in support of 2011′s Slave Ambient, Lost In The Dream is the outstanding presentation of Granduciel’s progression and growth as a songwriter, performer, and producer. It is an immense listen to be absorbed and discovered now and for decades to come…” (Publishers description from Amazon.com)
Up and comings our buyer is looking forward to:
Best thing that never happened to me
On a competely different note is this lovely new romantic comedy about Holly. She let go of her first love Alex, but now has a second chance of rekindling their relationship when he moves back to her city for a new job. It has been described as similar to Notting Hill and Love Actually. Which may or may not be your thing, but it sounds good nonetheless and has recommendations from fellow chick-lit writer Paige Toon.
Hen who dreamed she could fly
This is by bestselling and award winning Korean writer Sun-Mi Hwang and is one the few novels of hers translated into English (the only one our library has). It’s a fable about motherhood, morality and life in general. And it is actually about a hen called Sprout (and a collection of other barnyard animals). The hen, described by Publisher’s Weekly as “philosophically restless” (how great is that?!) yearns to be a mother and to hatch one of her eggs which unfortunately are collected each day by the farmer. Eventually she escapes her cage and meets a duck, Straggler, who helps her hatch and nurture an egg they find, both discovering the joys of parenthood. How brilliant!
St Kilda blues
This novel is set in 1967 Melbourne and follows detective Charlie Berlin as he investigates the disappearance of a teenage girl, the daughter of a wealthy and prominent city figure. This is the third installment by Geoffrey McGeachin about detective Berlin, the first two installments won Australia’s Ned Kelly award for crime fiction.