Caveat–Please continue to verify requests using Amazon.   The post below describes how to determine if a DVD listing may be a bootleg copy, so that you can assist patrons who come asking why their request was rejected.    Amazon is a very reliable source for verifying title and author information so Collection Development can pursue purchasing.  Bootleg listings are rare exceptions.  If you have questions about listings like these I am happy to come speak with staff about them.   Call me if you want to set something up.   Jim.

We’ve been receiving customer requests for the Netflix series, Longmire and The Crown for weeks now.   Netflix released the entire season of both shows late last year, and not long after that DVD and Blu-ray copies started appearing on Amazon.   After searching Midwest Tapes and not finding them listed, we wrote to them to see what’s what.  They told us, that these were not available to them, and to check back later.

The Crown Season 2 (DVD 2018) NEW Fans of The Crown…

So what’s going on?  Why doesn’t Sno-Isle have these shows as soon consumers can purchase them?

Let’s look for season 2 of The Crown  and see if we can find an explanation.

I searched  for “the crown season 2” in Amazon without specifying a department and voila!   There are a few things that look a little odd about the listings.

  1. The first clue is that Amazon has them when we can’t get ’em.
  2. The seller name is not a major distributor.   One of the listings I found was  from The BestForYou.
  3. The listing may be a “Sponsored Link” that takes you out of Amazon to a different website.
  4. The listing is there one day, and gone later.  This actually happened to me with The Crown while I was writing this post.
  5. Lastly, the listing may appear in an odd department like Toys and Games, rather than Movies & TV.

Past release dates are generally a good guide to when the next season will be released.   Distributors are pretty consistent from year to year, so season 2 should be coming next November.

I intentionally haven’t said anything about Longmire.   I’ll leave it to you to investigate and leave a comment about why those listings are fishy.


Recently I got intrigued in the developing cross-discipline discipline of “big history.”After listening to Craig Benjamin’s The Big History of Civilizations Great Course on CD (also available on video in Hoopla), like a lot of customers I was hooked, though irritated with myself because I had designated only 5 copies to start of David Christian’s Origin Story, the summary of which I’ll reproduce below but unfortunately I have no ARCs.  This book, a bit too new for NYT NF bestseller list though #2 on Amazon’s Natural History rankings, is a moderate hit here already – 10 copies now of the print with 45 holds and rising and 23 holds on the ebook.  Those probably won’t be the last copies we pursue.  Big history is also a concept that’s caught the eye of  Bill Gates.  The approach kind of makes you feel infinitesimal and fleeting, yet uniquely special at the same time.

Origin Story

Little Brown Summary: A captivating history of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we’ve come to know as “history.” By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together — from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond.

With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.

Shin, Kyung-Sook.  The Court Dancer. Pegasus, August 7th.

The Court Dancer

Set during the dramatic final years of the Korean Empire, the new novel from Man Asian Literary Prize winner Kyung-Sook Shin features a mysterious dancer caught up in the dizzying sweep of history. Based on a remarkable true story, the New York Times bestselling author of Please Look After Mom brilliantly images the life of Yi Jin, an orphan who would fall under the affections of the Empress and become a jewel in the late Joseon Court. When a novice French diplomat arrives for an audience with the Emperor, he is enraptured by the Joseon Dynasty’s magnificent culture, then at its zenith. But all fades away when he sees Yi Jin perform the delicate traditional Dance of the Spring Oriole. Though well aware that women of the court belong to the palace, the young diplomat confesses his love to the Emperor, and gains permission for Yi Jin to accompany him back to France. A world away in Belle Epoque Paris, Yi Jin lives a free, independent life, away from the gilded cage of the court, and begins translating and publishing Joseon literature into French with another Korean student. But even in this new world, great sorrow awaits her. Yi Jin’s grieving and suffering is only amplified by homesickness and a longing for her oldest friend. But her homecoming was not a happy one. Betrayal, jealousy, and intrigue abound, culminating with the tragic assassination of the last Joseon empress—and the poisoned pages of a book. Rich with historic detail and filled with luminous characters, Korea’s most beloved novelist brings a lost era to life in a story that will resonate long after the final page.

Hurley, Blair. The Devoted. Norton, August.

book cover

A spellbinding confession of what it means to abandon one life for another, The Devoted asks what it takes, and what you’ll sacrifice, to find enlightenment.

Nicole Hennessy’s life revolves around her Zen practice at the Boston Zendo, seeking solace in the tenets of Buddhism to the chagrin of her Irish Catholic family. After a decade of grueling spiritual practice under her Master’s tutelage, living on a shoestring budget as a shop clerk, Nicole has become dangerously entangled with her mentor. As Nicole confronts her past—a drug-fueled year spent fleeing her family’s loaded silences and guilt-laden “Our Fathers”—and reinvents herself in New York City, her Master’s intoxicating voice pursues her, an electrifying whisper on the other end of the phone. Somehow, he knows everything.

In deft, soaring prose that bristles with psychological and erotic tension, Blair Hurley crafts a thrilling exploration of Nicole’s ecstatic quest for spirituality.

Summary from Baen: Something weird is happening to the Los Angeles freeways—phantom cars, lanes from nowhere, and sometimes unmarked offramps that give glimpses of a desolate desert highway—and Sebastian Vickery, disgraced ex-Secret Service agent, is a driver for a covert supernatural-evasion car service. But another government agency is using and perhaps causing the freeway anomalies, and their chief is determined to have Vickery killed because of something he learned years ago at a halted Presidential motorcade.

Reluctantly aided by Ingrid Castine, a member of that agency, and a homeless Mexican boy, and a woman who makes her living costumed as Supergirl on the sidewalk in front of the Chinese Theater, Vickery learns what legendary hell it is that the desert highway leads to—and when Castine deliberately drives into it to save him from capture, he must enter it himself to get her out.

Alternate Routes is a fast-paced supernatural adventure story that sweeps from the sun-blinded streets and labyrinthine freeways of Los Angeles to a horrifying other world out of Greek mythology, and Vickery and Castine must learn to abandon old loyalties and learn loyalty to each other in order to survive as the world goes mad around them.

Cover Art by Todd Lockwood

Non-Fiction ARCs

May 21, 2018

An ARC of Jill Lepore’s These Truths, coming in September from Norton.  I will try to get additional ARC’s at an upcoming event, but in the meantime Nancy is parting with this one.  Lepore’s 2013 biography of Benjamin Franklin’s sister, Book of Ages, circulated over 250 times here.

The other title on offer is Founding Martyr by Christian Di Spigna, due for publication in August.  Five copies will soon be in the catalog. It might be a good new author for Philbrick and Ellis readers.

These Truths

Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself–a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence–at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas–“these truths,” Jefferson called them–political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?

These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News.

Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism.

Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. “A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history,” Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. “The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden,” These Truths observes. “It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it.”


Founding MartyrA rich and illuminating biography of America’s forgotten Founding Father, the man who fomented rebellion and died heroically at Bunker Hill on the brink of revolution Little has been known of one of the most important figures in early American history, Dr. Joseph Warren, one of the architects of the colonial rebellion, and a man who might one day have led the country like Washington or Jefferson had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775. After his death, his life and legend faded, leaving his contemporaries to rise to fame in his place and obscuring his essential role in bringing America to independence. Christian Di Spigna’s definitive new biography of Warren is a loving work of historical excavation, the product of over a decade of research and scores of newly unearthed primary source documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. Following Warren from his farming childhood and years at Harvard through his professional success and political radicalization, to his role in sparking the rebellion, Di Spigna’s thoughtful, judicious retelling not only restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats, it gloriously complicates our understanding of the nation’s dramatic beginnings.



Comment to claim. Some great non-fiction coming soon.

Bischof, Joanne. Sons of Blackbird Mountain. Thomas Nelson, July 3rd.

Sons of Blackbird Mountain

A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family. But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength. As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world? A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

Vikings: Season 5, Part 1

We will be purchasing many copies of this series when it become available on our vendor, Midwest Tape’s.  We’ve been rejecting RINCs for Vikings because at the moment it isn’t  even in the MWT database.

We know customers are anxious to get their hands on this show, so I thought it would be helpful to know our process when forthcoming titles aren’t listed in Midwest Tape.

  1. Verify — MWT adds new titles all the time, so we check frequently for popular titles .
  2. Contact MWT to ask if the title can be added to their stock.   MWT researches availability and responds to our request, usually within a week to ten days.
  3. Reject if unavailable.
  4. Keep if the title will be added soon.

We also check release dates of previous seasons of tv series to see when the next season might become available.     Vikings is a good example of how consistent the release dates can be from year to year.

  • Season 1            October 15, 2013
  • Season 2            October  7, 2014
  • Season 3            October   6, 2015
  • Season 4 pt 1     October 3, 2016
  • Season 4  pt 2    October 4, 2017

We held on to requests for this title for a couple months because at least one site had part 1 of season 5 as an estimated May 2018 release, and Amazon listed it as available for “pre-order”.   Personally at this point May seems unlikely to me, and my estimated arrival based on previous seasons  is Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

Next week we’ll look at season 2 of The Crown and season 6 of Longmire.

Crown, the - Season 01Longmire Season 6(dvd 2018 3-Discs set)US Seller