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Innovative and Immersive Library Experiences | Professional Reading Reviews

Best Audiobooks and DVDs of 2018

Archival Futures, Digital Assistants, Information Literacy, Short-Term Employment Opportunities | Professional Reading Reviews

PREMIUM

The Lost Carousel of Provence

There's something for everyone: history, romance, and a touch of mystery. ["Highlighting various perspectives throughout the last century…Blackwell successfully crafts multiple mysteries in several time periods, all surrounding one family": LJ 8/18 review of the Berkley hc.]
PREMIUM

When Calls the Heart: Year Five

Recommended especially for family viewing.
PREMIUM

Eternity Is Now in Session: A Radical Rediscovery of What Jesus Really Taught About Salvation, Eternity, and Getting to the Good Place

Dean Gallagher presents this message in a conversational tone that will appeal to a general audience of seekers as well as Christian readers.

The White Darkness

Grann's vivid, descriptive writing together with the passionate reading by Will Patton make this an outstanding listen. A modern-day hero dedicated to a goal is much needed in today's society. ["Solidifies Worsley as one of the great leaders and explorers of the modern age who has pushed the limits of human achievement, while also providing a fresh narrative of Shackleton's accomplishments": LJ 11/15/18 review of the Doubleday hc.]
PREMIUM

What Will People Say

Inspired by her own experience, writer-director Iram Haq's (I Am Yours) second feature deals with a Norwegian-Pakistani teenager (Maria Mozhdah) whose strict father (Adil Hussain) forces her to live with relatives in Islamabad after catching her making out with a boyfriend...
PREMIUM

Impossible Owls

Recommended for fans of NPR's Driveway Moments, short-form history, and highbrow periodicals. ["Phillips's essays are not only fascinating and thoroughly researched but written in a distinctive voice that conveys humor, awareness, and vulnerability": LJ 7/18 review of the Farrar hc.]
PREMIUM

Shakespeare Uncovered: Series 3

This engaging, entertaining, and erudite exploration of some of the works of literature's greatest playwright has across-the-board appeal for both Shakespeare newbies as well as serious students of the Bard's theatrical oeuvre.

G Is for Gun: The Arming of Teachers in America

This film will spark much discussion especially if it were shown to combined groups of school personnel and parents or school staff and law enforcement agents. Highly recommended as a tool for beginning a rational discourse about this measure to keep schools safe.
PREMIUM

When We Were Young

Fans of Christian fiction espousing traditional values will appreciate both the artfulness of Kingsbury's nod to A Christmas Carol and her advocacy for nurturing faith and marriage. Plan to purchase this latest entry in the popular "Baxter Family" series, which also stands alone, for Kingsbury's legions of followers.

Go to My Grave

The suspense builds to an almost unbearable crescendo with a wholly satisfying and upsetting denouement, all flawlessly rendered by Hewitt. McPherson has created a truly haunting version of a revenge thriller that will be appreciated by any mystery reader. ["McPherson's deliciously gothic country house mystery with a contemporary twist is devious and suspenseful and keeps readers guessing to the shocking end": LJ 8/18 starred review of the Minotaur: St. Martin's hc.]
PREMIUM

Abominable

With genre veterans such as Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henriksen on board as local hunters, Abominable delivers a fun, low-budget horror excursion in the vein of Rear Window, only with more carnage-reveling Yeti action than the Hitchcock classic.
PREMIUM

Mr. Capra Goes To War: Frank Capra's World War II Documentaries

Far from the "Capra-corn" features (It's a Wonderful Life; Mr...
PREMIUM

Insurrecto

Veteran narrator Justine Eyre gamely and enjoyably relates the vignettes, but only the most diligent listeners and serious experimental fiction fans will have the patience to piece together the hopscotching, though ultimately rewarding, narrative. ["Worthy of a place in collections strong in postcolonial and experimental fiction": LJ 10/15/18 review of the Soho hc.]
PREMIUM

A Spark of Light

Turpin's narration enhances the complex story. Picoult herself presents the author's note in which she relates the history of abortion in America, including many statistics, and concludes with her hopes for the future. ["Excellent for book clubs, this should also be considered for discussions in critical thinking and political debate": LJ 10/1/18 starred review of the Ballantine hc.]
PREMIUM

Becoming

The audiobook may seem daunting with 19 hours of listening, but Obama's narration moves the story quickly as it captivates. Her familiar voice personalizes the story and emotionally draws listeners deeper. The only negative for the audiobook is that it omits the photos in the print version.
PREMIUM

One Day in December

Although the events in this story span all times of the year, the centrality of December and Christmas would make this a nice addition to collections featuring holiday romances. ["Readers who enjoy contemporary romance will root for Laurie and Jack as they work through laughter-through-tears experiences and toward a happily-ever-after worth fighting for": LJ 9/15/18 review of the Crown hc.]
PREMIUM

Sisters

A Staten Island, NY, reporter (Jennifer Salt) observes a murder in an adjacent apartment building, leading to an investigation that reveals a separated Siamese twin (Margot Kidder) and her former husband (William Finley) hiding a lot more than a dead body...
PREMIUM

We, the Jury

A pleasure for anyone who enjoys legal drama.
PREMIUM

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

The documentary will be enjoyed by fans of Jones and the director.
PREMIUM

A Tale of Two Murders: Guilt, Innocence, and the Execution of Edith Thompson

This audio is highly recommended for adult crime collections. Macabre but a lot of fun.—Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OHDavid Faucheux, Lafayette, LAI'm thrilled to honor David Faucheux as the 2018 Audiobook Reviewer of the Year. David has an incredible enthusiasm for a wide range of genres and topics and never ceases to want to learn more and improve his writing. In addition, as LJ's only visually impaired audiobook reviewer, David's feedback on the user experience of various platforms, formats, and recordings is unique and invaluable.
PREMIUM

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment

Those who relish learning about the American prison system, especially private prisons, will appreciate this audiobook. Fans of investigative journalism and embedded explorations in dangerous occupations will find this valuable. ["This informative book will surely find many passionate readers": LJ 10/15/18 review of the Penguin hc.]
PREMIUM

Transcription

Recommended for fans of Atkinson, Tana French, and Emily St. John Mandel. ["With a fascinating cast of characters, careful plotting, and lyrical language in turns comical and tragic, Atkinson's complex story carefully unveils the outer demands and inner conflicts that war inflicts": LJ 6/15/18 starred review of the Little, Brown hc.]
PREMIUM

Revival: The Sam Bush Story

Some may prefer to see footage of Bush's past bands (New Grass Revival) and collaborations (with Leon Russell, John Hartford, Harris) instead of quite so many talking heads, but fans of bluegrass, Newgrass, and Bush will enjoy this tribute.
PREMIUM

No Offence: Series 1

This smartly written police procedural with its cast of quirky main and supporting characters is a cut above standard genre fare.
PREMIUM

Sundance Film Festival: Shorts Collection 2017

A fine addition to academic libraries with film studies curricula.
PREMIUM

The Children Act

Family-law judge Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) routinely makes life-or-death decisions for minors under British law without it becoming personal—until she visits a hospitalized teen (Fionn Whitehead) before ordering a blood transfusion against his religious faith...
PREMIUM

La Belle Noiseuse ("The Beautiful Troublemaker")

A late-middle-aged painter (Michel Piccoli) takes up a long-abandoned work after given fresh inspiration by a new model (Emmanuel Beart) in lieu of his wife (Jane Birkin)...
PREMIUM

The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce

This compelling story combines with flashy visuals, a cool sound track, and lots of heart. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Nellie Bly Makes the News

This animated documentary examines the delicate line that all journalists walk as they try to combine investigative reporting with storytelling. As Lane shows here, sometimes the story is as much about the teller as it is about anything else. Recommended. [The Lifetime movie Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story premieres in January.—Ed.]
PREMIUM

Our Library

A love letter to the history and importance of the Louisville Free Public Library community and all libraries. Recommended to libraries in Kentucky and libraries that want to add something positive about the profession to their holdings.

Disturbed in Their Nests: A Journey from Sudan's Dinkaland to San Diego's City Heights

Fans of Deng and Bernstein's previous work, the story of the Lost Boys, and of refugees and their incredible courage and willingness to embrace a new culture will find much to ponder.
PREMIUM

Firefly

Recommended to listeners interested in fiction based on true events. ["Naji's and Samson's interlaced histories will appeal to readers who enjoy thrillers enriched with social and political issues and driven by suspenseful episodes of flight and pursuit": LJ 7/18 review of the Mysterious hc.]

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

An excellent addition to most library collections. ["Highly recommended for all readers interested in Alcott and her masterpiece's legacy": LJ 8/18 starred review of the Norton hc.]
PREMIUM

Jesus Meets the Gay Man

While both productions try to make the same point, their approach is decidedly different. Jesus Meets would appeal to the more radical element of the gay (and gay-friendly) Christian population, while Love the Sinner could be used as a conversation starter even in a relatively conservative congregation that is open to significant dialog.
PREMIUM

Revolution: New Art for a New World

Art enthusiasts and those interested in art and politics will look upon this chronicle as an exciting opportunity to see artistic works that have not been available outside of Russia for nearly a century.
PREMIUM

Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Separating the cast in Home diminishes the normal Station House 4 camaraderie but presents viewers with two mysteries to enjoy along with some spectacular British Columbia location footage. As Season 11 opens with the resolution of Season 10's cliff-hanger and there is a lot of backstory to know, new viewers may want to start earlier in the series.
PREMIUM

A Quest for Meaning

Both the quest and the responses often seem nebulous here. If there is a common theme to the advice, it's that everyone must examine and change their thinking in order to live sustainably.
PREMIUM

The King

Sure to be a popular addition to any library.
PREMIUM

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

A small-town California doctor (Kevin McCarthy) leads the fight against an alien invasion of pod people replacing humans in Don Siegel's allegorical sf/horror classic...
PREMIUM

Anna Karenina

Fans of the book and viewers who enjoy weepy costume dramas will revel in the well-wrought pathos of this smartly executed presentation.
PREMIUM

Poldark: The Complete Fourth Season

Very highly recommended for all video collections. [See Trailers, LJ 10/1/18.]
PREMIUM

Love, Cecil

Friends and collaborators recall the many sides of the man and artist, his enduring legacy, and his singular pursuit of beauty. Recommended.
PREMIUM

Streets of Vengeance

Spirited homage to the 1980s-era action movie style, this empowering gut-punch offers emotional resonance and promotes agency for marginalized women delivered beneath the neon pop culture glow of the revenge adventure film.
PREMIUM

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

A worthy edition to most audio collections. Give this to mystery and horror lovers ready for a challenge and open to an innovative plot construction. ["Turton's debut is skillfully done. He expertly manages the many moving parts...while taking readers ever deeper into the story": LJ 7/18 starred review of the Sourcebooks Landmark hc.]
PREMIUM

Striking Out: Series 2

Thought-provoking legal issues and complex characters; recommended for public library patrons.
PREMIUM

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

An essential listen for spy genre fans and anyone interested in the Cold War. ["Fans of narrative nonfiction, the Cold War, spy stories...and Macintyre's previous works will greatly enjoy this incredible true account": LJ 9/1/18 starred review of the Crown hc.]
PREMIUM

The Complete Guide to RFPs for Libraries

This volume should be read by every library vendor and every librarian in the process of contracting for a large purchase for their organization.
PREMIUM

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

An audiobook you'll want to listen to in one sitting; recommended for all collections. ["Led by an earnestly flawed, bisexual heroine with direction and commitment issues, coupled with an abundant generosity of spirit, this read is timely and sorely needed": LJ 7/18 starred review of the Dutton hc.]
PREMIUM

Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage

Ten years in the evolving relationship of a couple (Erland Josephson, Liv Ullman) from volatile matrimony to infidelity-triggered breakup to post-divorce resolution is presented in its original form as a six-part Swedish television miniseries, as well as a heavily edited theatrical cut shown abroad—both making their high-def debut...
PREMIUM

The Catcher Was a Spy

Recruited by the U...
PREMIUM

Playing with Matches

Recommended for large public libraries and for leisure collections in university libraries. ["With an ending twist that will hit readers like a splash of vodka and tonic in the face of their blind date, this novel is one to pack in your beach bag": LJ 6/1/18 review of the Touchstone hc.]
PREMIUM

Shadow Girl

While neither pathetic nor bathetic, this look at the impact of blindness isn't insightful or inspiring enough to stand on its own. An optional purchase for general audiences as a supplement to factual information about the condition.
PREMIUM

Mile Marker: 8000 Miles on the Road to Recovery

This excellent film includes vital information on PTSD, opioid painkillers, and medical marijuana that can be put to use in most communities. A must-purchase for adult collections.
PREMIUM

Between Land and Sea

Filmed among stunning scenery of rugged shores, sandy beaches, powerful (and likely bone chilling) waves, and verdant fields, the movie is sure to capture even those who have only a modest interest in the sport of surfing.
PREMIUM

The Savvy Academic Librarian's Guide to Technological Innovation: Moving Beyond the Wow Factor

Of interest to academic librarians and administrators alike.
PREMIUM

Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight To Exonerate an Innocent Man

A realistic look into the lives of military personnel who lived in constant fear of being killed. Highly recommended for all libraries. ["Recommended for readers interested in the final days of World War II, particularly naval activity in the Pacific theater": LJ 6/15/18 review of the S. & S. hc.]
PREMIUM

Pushing the Margins: Women of Color and Intersectionality in LIS

An important addition to librarianship. Recommended reading for all librarians, particularly library administrators.
PREMIUM

The Day of the Jackal

Remastered in high-definition with an interesting mix of bonus features, Arrow's diverse trio of Universal Pictures catalog titles outshine their prior home video incarnations. Add or upgrade where budgets permit.
PREMIUM

The Mayo Clinic: Faith Hope Science

Testimonials bring the organization's importance into human focus and take this historical document to the level of life-affirming inspiration. A must-purchase for most libraries.
PREMIUM

Distant Voices, Still Lives

Written and directed by Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea; Sunset Song; A Quiet Passion), this demanding autobiographical drama portrays a working-class family in postwar Liverpool terrorized by an abusive dad (Pete Postlethwaite) sometimes given to moments of tenderness...
PREMIUM

Custody

After a tense hearing at which a judge rules against Miriam (Léa Drucker) for sole custody of her young son (Thomas Gioria) and teen daughter (Mathilde Auneveux), sharing instead with her ex-spouse Antoine (Denis Ménochet) becomes the new front in their ongoing war...

Collaborative Design, Ethics & Records Management, Born Digital Content | Professional Reading Reviews

PREMIUM

The Mandela Plot

Highly recommended for all public libraries. ["At times, this story reads like a YA adventure novel, with many brawls, harrowing escapes, outrageous plot twists, and some graphic violence. Martin's voice, replete with South African and Yiddish slang (a helpful glossary is included), rings authentic": LJ 4/15/18 review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]—Ilka Gordon, Beachwood, OH
PREMIUM

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

This thrilling title should have wide appeal, especially to those interested in gender equality, history, and aviation. ["Highly recommended for readers with an interest in aviation history, women's history, cultural history, and 20th-century history": LJ 6/15/18 starred review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]—Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib.
PREMIUM

The Politics of Hate

Viewers who follow modern political and social movements will find this documentary worthwhile.—Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib.
PREMIUM

Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most

Highly recommended for all public libraries.—Gretchen Pruett, New Braunfels P.L., TX
PREMIUM

The No-Nonsense Guide to Born Digital Content

With little else on the subject, this superb work fills a gap. Especially helpful to new librarians and/or archivists, educators, and students interested in managing born-digital content.—Susan E. Ketcham, Long Island Univ. Post Lib., Brookville, NY
PREMIUM

The Miniaturist

Spellbindingly spooky, sometimes unsettling, but absolutely unforgettable.—John Charles, formerly with Scottsdale P.L., AZ
PREMIUM

The Trip to Bountiful

Oscar winner Geraldine Page delivers a heartfelt performance as a feisty old gal unhappily living with her son (John Heard) and daughter-in-law (Carlin Glynn) in mid-1940s Houston, TX, who desperately wants to visit her hometown before she dies...
PREMIUM

Ethics for Records and Information Management

Managers, records management staff, and personnel evaluation committees will find this book of value when creating policies and procedures and developing training programs for fair and responsible information management.—Betty J. Glass, emerita, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
PREMIUM

Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)

If recent events have got you down, Solnit's latest essays will lift you up.—Gladys Alcedo, Wallingford CT
PREMIUM

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

If you cherish the life of ideas you owe yourself some time with this audiobook. ["Readers of Harari's previous works will find this volume uniquely engaging in its application of those larger contours of history and future to contemporary society. Highly recommended for general readers and academics alike": LJ 9/1/18 review of the Spiegel & Grau hc.]—Denis Frias, Mississauga Lib. Syst., Ont.
PREMIUM

Redefining Prosperity: The Gold Rushes of Nevada City

Viewers looking to simplify their own existence will welcome this view of alternate paths to a prosperous life.—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA
PREMIUM

Filmworker

More than four decades after appearing in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975) as the title character's spiteful stepson, Lord Bullingdon, Leon Vitali remains the selfless keeper of the director's flame...
PREMIUM

Bound

A cynical female ex-con (Gina Gershon) with serious trust issues hooks up with a gangster's moll (Jennifer Tilly) before scheming to steal $2 million of mob money...
PREMIUM

sex, lies, and videotape

Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or prize and on the National Film Registry, Steven Soderbergh's seminal indie film remains provocative after three decades...
PREMIUM

The Homecoming

Fans of English village fiction and love stories will relish this well-written title.—Denise Garofalo, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY
PREMIUM

No Dress Code Required

An engaging look at how people can overcome injustice by action and perseverance, this film offers hope in the face of cultural opposition.—Phillip Oliver, formerly with Univ. of North Alabama, Florence
PREMIUM

A Death in Eden

Despite the title's shortcomings, this may be enjoyed by some fans of mysteries that take place in natural settings. ["Fans of C.J. Box and Craig Johnson will relish this page-turner": LJ Xpress Reviews 5/25/18 review of the Viking hc.]—I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Technical Coll., Boone, IA
PREMIUM

Collaborative Library Design: From Planning to Impact

A solid starting point for those considering a library renovation or shopping for design services—or simply imagining the possibilities.—Lisa Peet, Library Journal
PREMIUM

My Coffee with Jewish Friends

Highly recommended for general audiences and essential for anyone interested in Jewish culture and history. None who appreciate open, respectful, substantive discourse should miss this coffee talk.—J. Osicki, Saint John Free P.L., NB
PREMIUM

Menace and Murder: A Lynda La Plante Collection

North American fans of La Plante's many other works may enjoy this collection of previously unseen miniseries.—Linda Frederiksen, Washington State Univ. Vancouver Lib.
PREMIUM

An Unwanted Guest

Recommended for mystery fans, especially on a winter's night when the wind howls. ["A great whodunit, with a delicious Christie-like vibe. Fans of the author's first novel will want this, and anyone who savors a well-crafted murder mystery will gobble it up!": LJ 8/18 starred review of the Viking hc.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
PREMIUM

Deep Rising

A ripping horror adventure with gore and wit in equal measure, this is a wonderful example of the Hollywood thrill machine at the cusp of the CGI revolution.—Douglas Rednour, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta
PREMIUM

Black Swan Rising

Listeners will enjoy this story of smart, capable women standing up for themselves. It's thrilling, suspenseful, and thought provoking. Highly recommended.—Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. Lib. Syst., Temperance, MI
PREMIUM

The Dreamed Ones

The stripped-down style of the film can either entice viewers deeper into the re-created world of these artists, or it can come across as a bit boring. The unusual relationship, considering their family histories, is only a small part of the story. Not for everyone.—Ellen Druda, formerly with Half Hollow Hills Community Lib., Dix Hills, NY
PREMIUM

Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer

This is a story of a woman as fierce as her animals. Libraries with collections supporting women's studies should find a place for this.—Ellen Druda, formerly with Half Hollow Hills Community Lib., Dix Hills, NY
PREMIUM

The US Festival: 1982; The US Generation

This excellent documentary would pair perfectly with concert videos from the Us Festival, Woodstock, Monterey Pop, and similar events.—Jason L. Steagall, formerly with Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI
PREMIUM

SEAL Team: Season One

Excellent TV drama and very highly recommended, these 22 episodes are appropriate for binge watching. [See Trailers, LJ 7/18.]—Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH
PREMIUM

The Heart Guy: Series 2

Heart Guy fans will enjoy catching up with the likable characters in this fast-paced comedy-drama. For public libraries.—Joan Greenberg, Warminster, PA
PREMIUM

The Body's Question

Read by the poet, this collection speaks clearly and forcefully with an original and compelling voice. Highly recommended. ["This is a rewarding book for any reader": LJ 9/15/03 review of the Graywolf hc.]—Wendy Galgan, St. Joseph's Coll., Standish, ME
PREMIUM

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

Burton's nuanced, lively inflection and pacing keep listeners' attention and many will come away from the production with a new personal hero in Mr. Rogers. Highly recommended for all collections. ["Grown-up fans, pop culture enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the history of educational television and child development will be inspired. An excellent and timely addition to most collections": LJ 8/18 starred review of the Abrams hc.]—B. Allison Gray, Goleta P.L., CA
PREMIUM

The Unfinished Palazzo: Life, Love, and Art in Venice

Recommended for biography fans interested in a gossipy look at Venetian society and three of its most unconventional personalities. ["This work skillfully weaves historical details into absorbing biographical profiles while also capturing the charm of Venice": LJ 9/1/17 review of the Thames & Hudson hc.]—Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
PREMIUM

Quaker Oaths

This program combines superficial characters with an unbelievable plot and is unlikely to satisfy either adult viewers (at whom it is aimed) or any teens and tweens who see it. Not recommended.—Sheila S. Intner, Professor Emerita, Simmons GSLIS at Mt. Holyoke Coll., South Hadley, MA
PREMIUM

Serenade for Haiti

Exquisitely filmed and optimistic, this production finds the delight in the midst of turmoil and chaos. It is a wonder to watch the students find the right notes and to see teachers, parents, and children reach a place of harmony.—Bill Baars, formerly with Lake Oswego P.L., OR
PREMIUM

Has Anyone Seen the President?

A conversation starter and useful for government/current events teachers; also recommended for public libraries.—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Coll., Mt. Carmel
PREMIUM

The Tree of Life

A 1950s-era rural Texas family—prototypically strict dad (Brad Pitt), doting mom (Jessica Chastain), and three sons—are the focus of Terrence Malick's existential meditation on life as a duel between nature and grace...
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