New Releases 8/23

Movieshardcore henry
Hardcore Henry
The Nice Guys
Maggie’s Plan
The Man Who Knew Infinity

T.V. Series
Endeavour, Season 3
The Walking Dead, Season 6 FOX O-RING_091808.qxd:Layout 1
Castle, Season 8
Scandal, Season 5
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 3
Superstore, Season 1
Elementary, Season 4
NCIS, Season 13

Music brave enough
Brave Enough by Lindsey Stirling
Spark by Drake White
Freetown Sound by Blood Orange
Beulah by John Paul White
Down in a Hole by Kiefer Sutherland
Pure & Simple by Dolly Parton
Amnesty (I) by Crystal Castles
Spirit by Amos Lee

Audiobooks first star i see tongiht
First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The One Man by Andrew Gross

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New Releases 8/16

Movies angry birds
The Angry Birds Movie
Business of Disaster

T.V. Series
Once Upon a Time, Season 5
Hell on Wheels, Season 5 Vol. 1
The Vampire Diaries, Season 7
The Affair, Season 2 once

Kinda Don’t Care by Justin Moore
Home of the Strange by Young the Giant
Legacy, Vol. 2 by Celtic Thunder
Zone by Jeff the Brotherhood
Innocence Reaches by Of Montreal
Major Key by DJ Khaled sting

Sting by Sandra Brown
Damaged by Lisa Scottoline
A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

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Audiobooks Fit for Your Hogwarts House

hogwarts crest

It seems as though the Harry Potter fandom has been revived, especially since the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the upcoming cinematic premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you’re like me and you welcome the seeming revival with open arms, you might be tired (although, to be honest, I could never be tired) of re-reading the Harry Potter series. I’ve compiled a list of audiobooks that are perfect for the Hogwarts House in which you are sorted.

Hufflepuff; for the just and loyal

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell– Feeling cast off when her best friend outgrows their shared love for a favorite celebrity, Cath, a dedicated fan-fiction writer, struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky– Most people think 15-year-old Charlie is a freak. The only friend he had killed himself, forcing him to face high school alone. But then seniors, Patrick and his beautiful stepsister, Sam, take Charlie under their wings and introduce him to their eclectic, open-minded, hard-partying friends. It is from these older kids that Charlie learns to live and love, until a repressed secret from his past threatens to destroy his newfound happiness.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kahling– Mindy Kahling’s philosophy of friendship echoes the characteristics of a typical Hufflepuff. In this work, Mindy Kaling shares her observations, fears, and opinions about a wide-ranging list of the topics she thinks about the most – from her favorite types of guys to life in the Office writers’ room to her leisure pursuit of dieting and how much she loves romantic comedies.

Gryffindor; for the brave at heart

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman– A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things, but when he gets there he learns that nothing is as he remembered.

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult– About a sister’s bravery, love, and self-sacrifice.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler– I like to think that Amy Poehler is a Gryffindor, so her autobiography will entertain Gryffindors alike. She offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious.

Ravenclaw; for the clever and wise

Bone Clocks by David Mitchell– David Mitchell is certainly a clever writer, and his novels seem almost like large unsolvable riddles– perfect for any Ravenclaw. Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as ‘the radio people,’ Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris– Main character Clarice Stirling, is, no doubt, a Ravenclaw. As a novice FBI agent she profiles the maniac cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, using one genius psychopath’s mind to track down another elusive killer, and risking her life in the process.

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare– Bassanio, with the help of merchant, Antonio, borrows money from Shylock, a wealthy Jew, in order to woo Portia. Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and foils Shylock’s ability to exact retribution from Bassanio for failing to repay the debt.

Slytherin; for the cunning and ambitious

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn– On the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick’s wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald– Amidst the decadence of wealthy Jazz Age society, an enigmatic millionaire is obsessed with an elusive, spoiled young woman.

The Prince by Machiavelli– Using as his model Cesare Borgia, a Florentine price who stopped at nothing to achieve and hold political position, it still has the power to shock. Machiavelli states what most governments do (but few admit) to keep ‘corrupt’ human nature in check. He suggests that leaders must be ruthlessly despotic as well as cunningly magnanimous – that cruelty is sometimes mercy in disguise – and that it is safer to be feared than to be loved.


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Jamie’s Staff Picks for August

Here are my picks for August:

More AdventurousRilo_Kiley_-_More_Adventurous
by Rilo Kiley

This is my favorite of Rilo Kiley’s albums– there isn’t a single song on it that I don’t love. Jenny Lewis’s voice adds a sultry and sad dimension to their rocks songs that have influences from blues, country, pop, and punk. If I did have to pick favorites, those tracks would be “Portion for Foxes,” (excellent for rocking out) “Does He Love You?” and “A Man/Me/Then Jim.”

Hello Ladieshello ladies

“A nerdy guy from England comes to L.A. in hopes of finding a woman.”

The humor on this show is a particular kind of awkward humor that fans of The Office will recognize (Stephen Merchant wrote for both the UK and US versions of that show). For the right person, it can be very funny. This show also does a great job of depicting the main character, Stuart, as the very lonely and painfully desperate man that he really is deep down. Rather than being a caricature, he is humanized. The show’s setting in LA also reflects his sadness: it’s a city full of hope and possibility and yet, most people have trouble achieving the dreams for which they came. Stuart is definitely one of those people. He attempts to reinvent himself in order to have the social life that he’d always wanted but he always comes up short. It’s not all doom and gloom, though– the Hall & Oates inspired soundtrack keeps the mood upbeat. I found myself singing along every time the title track, “Alone Too Long,” played at the beginning of an episode. Give this show (and Stuart) a shot!

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Free YA Audiobooks Week Fifteen

It’s Week Fifteen, the final week of SYNC’s YA audiobook giveaway!

SYNC is providing two YA audiobook downloads per week until August 17th. The current titles are available until August 18th, and while the title availability is time-limited, your listening time is not. Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, the audiobook is yours to listen to at your leisure.

Download this week’s pairing of free YA audiobooks!

Bone Gap
By Laura Ruby
Read by Dan Bittner
Published by HarperAudio

Summary: Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps–gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years ago, their mother hightailed it to Oregon for a brand-new guy, a brand-new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame? Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turn up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.


Classic American Short Stories
By O. Henry, Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Kate Chopin, and James Fenimore Cooper
Read by William Roberts, Garrick Hagon, Liza Ross
Published by Naxos Audiobooks

Summary: A special bundle just for SYNC listeners. Represented here are 16 short stories by seven great American writers, dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Different in atmosphere and writing style, they nevertheless caught the mood and concerns of the day in a way that was distinctly American. Kate Chopin’s Regret is a reflective moment in the life of a woman without children, forced to look after children; Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridgeleaves echoes in the imagination; the stories by Crane and London recall the themes of the Civil War and the Klondike for which they are well known. Twain’s humor is to the fore inThe Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and O. Henry’s sharp observation makes his neat tales a joy to listen to. There is even an elegiac description of an eclipse by James Fenimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans.

Downloading Tips:
The OverDrive Media Console will deliver SYNC summer audiobooks to you via Overdrive Media Software installed on your computer (compatible with Windows and Mac) or through an Overdrive App on your mobile device (compatible with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7).
Visit our OverDrive website to download the App or Software.

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New Releases 8/9

Movies hologram for the king
A Hologram for the King
A Monster with a Thousand Heads
The Secret History of Isis

T.V. Series
The Tunnel, Season 1
Halt and Catch Fire, Season 2
Code Black, Season 1
NCIS New Orleans, Season 2
Supergirl, Season 1

Way Down in the Jungle Room by Elvis Presley
Unleashed by Skillet
Hurricane by Nick Fradiani suicide squad
Episodic by Field Mouse 
Girl Problems by Chris Lane
Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not by Dinosaur Jr.
Boyish Girl Interrupted by Tig Notaro
Suicide Squad: The Soundtrack
Encore by DJ Snake
Now That’s What I Call Music 59
Now That’s What I Call Party Anthems Vol. 3 three sisters three queens

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory
Insidious by Catherine Coulter
Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

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Book Review: Movie Star Chronicles

Ian Haydn Smith’s Movie Star Chronicles:  A Visual History of the World’s Greatest Movie Stars (Buffalo, NY:  Firefly Books, 2015.) is a beautifully illustrated,  576-page, pseudo-film reference book reminiscent of Joel Finler’s 1988 coffee-table tome, The Hollywood Story.

Categories such asmovie star chronicles “The Musical Star,” “Stars of the Martial Arts World,” “The Star as Superhero,” “Movie Clowns,” and “Screen Sirens” are interspersed with one or two-page biographies of international stars from Amy Adams to Zhag Ziyi.  At the bottom of each star’s page is a timeline identifying key movies, awards and genres in which the star appeared.  At the top of the page are grosses for select films and color-coded bars that identify the star’s oeuvre(s), e.g., femme fatale, superhero, girl next door, charmer, clown, dancer.  In short, there are plenty of facts as well as insight into a particular star’s career.  The oft-neglected Joseph Cotten and Richard Widmark get their due.  Janet Leigh, usually identified only with Psycho, receives a comprehensive career evaluation.

However, even though the author notes in his introduction that this “is not an exhaustive encyclopedia of every star that has graced the screen,” rather a tapestry, there are mind-boggling omissions.  Many of the stars left out should replace those who are included.  Robert Pattinson but not Robert Taylor?  Claudia Cardinale but not Gina Lollobrigida?  Also missing are Irene Dunne, Susan Hayward, Ronald Colman, Jean Arthur, Myrna Loy, Gene Tierney, Ray Milland, Randolph Scott, Greer Garson, Leslie Howard, Wallace Beery, Alice Faye, William Powell, Fredric March, Joel McCrea, Jennifer Jones, Jeff Chandler, Victor Mature, Rex Harrison, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Tyrone Power, Norma Shearer, and this is positively astonishing—Elizabeth Taylor!  Doesn’t Liz, like Marilyn, embody the concept, “movie star”?  Joan Fontaine gets a page, but her double-Academy Award-winning sister Olivia de Havilland is only identified as her sibling.  Merely noted in passing are Glenn Ford and Dana Andrews.  Character actors get a nod, but the greatest character and supporting actor (3 Academy Awards; a decades-long career) is not mentioned at all:  Walter Brennan.

Although older, an alternative, large, and engrossing history of film is Chronicle of the Cinema (Dorling Kindersley, 1995, rev. ed. 1997).  Even though The American Film Institute’s rankings of stars and the best of particular genres have been suspect, The American Film Institute Desk Reference (Dorling Kindersley, 2002) is an admirable survey.

By Kim

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Free YA Audiobooks Week Fourteen

It’s Week Fourteen of SYNC’s YA audiobook giveaway!

SYNC is providing two YA audiobook downloads per week until August 17th. The current titles are available until August 11th, and while the title availability is time-limited, your listening time is not. Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, the audiobook is yours to listen to at your leisure.

Download this week’s pairing of free YA audiobooks!

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
By Steve Sheinkin
Read by Ray Porter
Published by Listening Library

Summary: On June 13, 1971, the front page of the New York Times announced the existence of a 7,000-page collection of documents containing a secret history of the Vietnam War. Known as The Pentagon Papers, these documents had been commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Chronicling every action the government had taken in the Vietnam War, they revealed a pattern of deception spanning over twenty years and four presidencies, and forever changed the relationship between American citizens and the politicians claiming to represent their interests.


The Book of Unknown Americans
By Cristina Henriquez
Read by Yareli Arizmendi, Christine Avila, Jesse Corti, Gustavo Res, Ozzie Rodriguez, and Gabriel Romero
Published by Random House Audio

Summary: A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl: teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant families like their own. After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave Mexico and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in Delaware, they discover that Maribel’s recovery-the piece of the American Dream on which they’ve pinned all their hopes-will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles. At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panama fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and beneath the damage she’s sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America. Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be an American. An instant classic is born.

Downloading Tips:
The OverDrive Media Console will deliver SYNC summer audiobooks to you via Overdrive Media Software installed on your computer (compatible with Windows and Mac) or through an Overdrive App on your mobile device (compatible with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7).
Visit our OverDrive website to download the App or Software.

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New Releases 8/2

Movies mothers day
Meet the Blacks
Lazer Team
Mother’s Day
The Lobster
Careful What You Wish For
Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery
The Trust
9 Months That Made You
Yellow Stars of Tolerance

T.V. Seriesmurdoch mysteries s9
Murdoch Mysteries, Season 9
The Girlfriend Experience, Season 1
The Blindspot, Season 1
The Knick, Season 2
The Blacklist, Season 3

The Definition of by Fantasia
American Love by Jake Owen
Bottomless Pit by Death Grips
Afraid of Heights by Billy Talent
The Bird & The Rifle by Lori McKenna
Love Remains by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family the swarm

Bullseye by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
The Swarm by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

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If You Enjoyed…

This CD cover image released by Atlantic Records shows the Broadway cast album for "Hamilton: An American Musical." Atlantic Records said last week that “Hamilton” has so far sold over 54,000 albums, had more than 16 million songs streamed and become the highest debuting cast recording on the Billboard Top 200 in over 50 years _ not typical numbers for Broadway. (Atlantic Records via AP)

The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton has been flying off the shelf, no doubt, due to the musical’s record breaking award nominations and wins. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tie-in book for the musical, Hamilton: The Revolution, is just as equally popular. If you’ve listened all you could, and read all you could about Hamilton, then you’re probably wondering where to go next as you wait for the first U.S. tour in 2017. I’ve compiled a list of Music, Audiobooks, Movies, and even T.V. Shows that can keep your Hamilton binge going.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow– Creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Mirandawas inspired by Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. Go back to Lin-Mauel’s inspiration and learn more about one of this country’s Founding Fathers. In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz– Although the popular YA fiction isn’t related to Alexander Hamilton or Broadway, Lin-Mauel narrated the audiobook. Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

In the Heights: Original Broadway Cast Recording– Lin-Manuel was inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton while taking a break from his hit Broadway musical In the Heights. If you enjoyed his composition and writing in Hamilton give In the Heights a shot. The Broadway musical follows an ensemble cast of, mostly, Dominican-Americans in the NYC neighborhood of Washington Heights.

17761776 is a delightful musical celebration of the founding of The United States of America. The story centers around the familiar historical characters as they organize a movement for independence from Mother England. All events lead up to that most significant date, July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Les Misérables– In early 19th century France, the paroled prisoner Jean Valjean seeks redemption, regains his social standing, and rises to the rank of mayor. He encounters a beautiful but desperately ill woman named Fantine and cares for her daughter, Cosette, after her death. All the while he is obsessively pursued by the policeman Javert, who vows to make him pay for the crimes of his past.

T.V. Shows
John Adams– While our new nation was suffering attacks from both within and without, John Adams had a vision of a nation of liberty and justice for all. He guided his peers–General George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson–in setting the values and agenda for a glorious, free America. Adams and his wife Abigail refined these ambitious democratic ideals, and their partnership became one of the most moving love stories in American history.

Turn: Washington Spies– A historical thriller set during the Revolutionary War. Abe Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island who bands together with his friends to from the Culper Ring, an unlikely team of secret agents who not only went on to help George Washington turn the tide of the war, but also gave birth to modern spycraft.


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