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A TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire was never a sure thing. While Martin stated in an interview that thanks to his television experience he could envision the lighting and blocking in his head when he was writing a scene, adapting a fantasy franchise to film or television can be risky, and while he’d received some expressions of interest from producers, nobody seemed quite sure of what they wanted to do with it. That is until novelists/screenwriters David Benioff and DB Weiss approached Martin and correctly answered a challenging trivia question from the book. Even then, there were still no guarantees that it would ever see a screen.

 

game of thrones by george rr martin / the hilt of a sword against a blue fieldHBO, the network that eventually aired the adaptation wasn’t sure if a fantasy series would fit with their typical fair of prestige drama, and although the books had a following, they weren’t sure if anybody would watch it. The Peter Jackson film adaptations of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings  proved that it could work as films, but would the same principle work on television?

 

Fast forward 10 years later, to 2011. By then HBO had signed on, and the pilot had been shot and re-shot, and something else occurred that led HBO to believe that they had made the right choice - the passion of Martin’s online fandom. Fans of the series loved to talk about every little detail of the books in online forums, and the network was smart enough to market the show directly to those fans in their space.

 

One year later, Vulture Magazine declared the series fan base one of the most devoted fan bases of all time, and by 2013, the books and the show could boast 5.5 million registered fans on social media from all around the world. The show ran for 8 seasons, and while there have been other adaptations of popular fantasy series, such as Outlander and The Witcher, no other epic fantasy series has been able to match the success or popularity that GoT experienced. Even HBO has faulted in trying to repeat their success, having announced multiple Game of Thrones spin-offs only to most of them fall apart before production. 

 

Amazon Prime is hoping to catch lightning in their streaming bottle again, not once but twice. In 2017, they bought the rights to the remainder to the Tolkien estate, and commissioned what was then called a Lord of the Rings TV series. It is now know that the series will be set in the Second Age of Middle Earth, before the One Ring was forged, before wizards roamed the wilds, and when Hobbits were just starting to peak out of their hills. Peter Jackson is not involved. Written by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, whose credits include Star Trek Beyond, Godzilla vs King Kong, and Jungle Cruise, Amazon will be bringing the New Zealand-shot, billion dollar series to the platform in September of 2022. 

 

eye of the world by robert jordan / a cloaked figure stands between two pillars, before a sunrise, with a large stone clock floating above themMiddle Earth though is well known to audiences. Less well known to the general population is Amazon Prime's next venture: a highly anticipated forthcoming adaptation of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. If you aren’t familiar with it, Wheel of Time is a high fantasy series that spans 14 books, plus a prequel and a couple of companion novels. The first book was published in January 1990, and the final three books were completed by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death in 2007. Luckily, the author had enough time to prepare detailed notes about how he wanted it finished, and there ended up being enough material for 3 more books instead of one.

 

Unlike Game of Thrones which draws inspiration from European history and politics, Wheel of Time was inspired more by European and Asian mythology - a "wheel of time" as a concept is present in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The books have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most popular fantasy series of all time. Since each paperback averages 800+ pages and is far too complex to explain in any detail, I’ll try giving you the Coles Notes version of the series.

 

The core premise is that the story has happened over and over again. The wheel of time turns, ages pass, memories become legend, and legend becomes myth, and eventually the myth is forgotten when a new age dawns. An easter egg in both the books and TV show of Game of Thrones referenced an Archmaester who believed that history is a wheel, Martin's friendly tribute to his friend and fellow writer. Martin also included in his genealogies a "Trebor Jordayne, Lord of Tor", referencing both the author and his publisher, Tor Books. 

 

Like so much fantasy, the series is incredibly lore-dense. Much like Game of Thrones, the world is not officially named in the books, but fans like to call it Randland after the hero of the series, Rand al'Thor. There are though 14 nations in this world, so it’s good to have a map handy to keep track. In total, the books actually contain 100,000 characters, and fans recommend using the glossary at the back to keep track of who everybody is.

 

wheel of time companion by robert jordan and harriet mcdougal / three interlinked circled, two of gold and one of stone, against a black field

Because of the repetition inherent to the series, there are a lot of prophecies in this series, the most important of which are the "Prophecies of the Dragon".  The Dragon Reborn will be the champion of the Light in the battle against the Dark One - isn't that always the way? - and Rand al’Thor is prophesied to be that guy. Much like the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, and most "Chosen One" narratives, Rand has grown up as a shepherd in a village and has very little knowledge about his destiny.

 

The first season of the TV show will reportedly air 8 episodes, but whether the entire season focuses on one book or a few books hasn’t been confirmed. As we all know, adapting fantasy, especially one that’s as intricate and complex as this one is a challenge, and it would be unreasonable to expect that it will be word-for-word faithful to the source material.

 

Regardless of which plot elements and characters make it into the TV show, one thing that is guaranteed is that Wheel of Time will be visually stunning, full of action, magic, and contains strong male and female characters. Whether or not it will reach the levels of popularity that Game of Thrones did remains to be seen, but judging by the advance buzz, it certainly has a chance. It premieres on November 22nd, 2021.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

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In light of the many industry-wide supply chain issues impacting publishing and libraries, both LSC and the publishers are advocating for early ordering as much as possible. We thought it made sense to give a bit of space to why early ordering is important, and how LSC's catalogue and ARPs make it easy.

 

Early Ordering refers to ordering books before they are published. LSC considers anything ordered more than three weeks before publication an Early Order. Once we know an item will be published, sometimes up to 18 months in advance, it is available to order. This includes DVDs, which are available to order the day the movie is released in theaters.

 

For many collections, a fair amount of the materials your patrons will want won’t depend on what they are about, but who they are by. As an example: we know that James Patterson will release many new books this year. Often the items will be known by a placeholder title, like James Patterson Chef Detective #5. This item will go into our ordering catalogue, at which point you can pre-order it straight away, and get that On-Order MARC into your system and generating holds. If you have an ARP, the Selectors will be aware of the item and might order it for your account immediately, depending on the instructions in your ARP profile. 

 

A few months before publication, the publisher officially updates the title to James Patterson’s Five Star Murder. We update the title information in the record, and include the item in selection lists, catalogues, etc. which are available digitally via Issuu and within the ordering catalogue. For Best and Solid Seller titles, these will be listed in our Notables catalogues, which list all the items that will be published in the coming quarter, not the previous. Meaning, anything ordered from these lists when they are released will be an Early Order.

 

Part of the process of ordering books from vendors is shipping time from the publisher. This is because library vendors, unlike commercial vendors, do not keep a standing inventory of items in house. Items post-publication are shipped to us as they are ordered. This adds time to when a library will receive an item. If everyone orders James Patterson’s Five Star Murder in advance, we know that we need to bring in x number of copies straight away. With the industry delays affecting shipping times, both from manufacturing centers overseas, and from distribution centers once they have arrived, publishers are already seeing delays by weeks or months past the initial street date, and are warning buyers that reprints will be effectively non-existent for the next while. Meaning, once the original print run is gone, it's gone. They have said that they will increase initial print runs based on pre-orders.

 

Normally, LSC would receive pre-pub items a few weeks before the street date. Our cataloguers and processors then set to work on the copies that need such things (taking a couple days for priority items), and the item moves to shipping, where it awaits each library's shipping day, to arrive before street date. If you wait to order the book until the date you could also buy it at Chapters or Costco, we have to wait for the item to come from publisher, then also go through our processes. Time that was saved by other libraries pre-ordering the item.

 

In the midst of these delays, we receive items when the publisher is able to get them to us. We push the items through our internal processes at the same rate as before (due to our internal efficiencies, we're largely moving as fast as we can already). And the items arrive at the library with their next shipment. As of the date of this publication, publisher's haven't officially moved any pub dates, which means the majority of items won't be meeting street date. This is a reality for everyone. If publisher's start moving street dates, we'll keep you updated via our Weekly Newsletter

 

Delays or not, by taking advantage of early ordering, you guarantee your number of copies for your patrons, and save yourself weeks or months of additional delays, or worse, the announcement that the title has already gone out of print.

 

Finding items available for early ordering is easy. Aside from the ones listed in the Bestseller Catalogues, you can search for items via the Advanced Search Screen within the catalogue. Searching Author is the best way to find materials pre-publication, then limit your search via "publication date" to either “Next 30 Days”, “Next 90 days”, or choose a date range in the future. Ordering is otherwise normal. Additionally, our Selection Lists allow you to access specific content relevant to you and order directly from the list.

 

Unique to LSC is our Budget Management system, which allows you to identify your annual budget by collection type, track what you’ve spent and are committed to spend within the calendar year. The remainder that you are committed to within this report would fall into a future budget, and therefore if you are doing early ordering well in advance, you are able to simply and accurately track that budget. And you’ll always know exactly how much you have left to spend.

 

LSC's Selectors are here to help with any Ordering assistance they can provide. All our Selection Services come without charge. You don't have to be on an ARP to have our Selector build your library lists or even carts. They are also happy to work with you to identify specific authors that are high interest that you should keep a regular eye out for. And those libraries that are on ARP, if you want to change any instructions in your profile to promote early ordering, you can do so at any time. Please contact Jamie Quinn for all your Selection assistance.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

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There is just over a month left in the MLB season, and it’s been a tough one. Between COVID protocols and a “sticky stuff” scandal that prompted league-wide changes to prevent cheating, there’s been a lot to consider. That said, baseball is always a great summer pastime, and seeing the Blue Jays come home this season was heart-warming. Baseball is a game steeped in rules, stats and tradition, all of which extend beyond the game in fascinating ways. There is a bottomless supply of lore to discover. With the offseason approaching, there’s no better time to get exploring!

 

the big 50: toronto blue jays / the words of the title in blue, taking up the whole of the space, with a blue Blue Jays baseball cap with the bluejay head and Canadian maple leaf logoBlue Jays admirers of any stripe will find plenty to take away from The Big 50: Toronto Blue Jays, a compilation of fifty notable watershed moments spanning the franchise’s history. Enthusiasts can pore over the latest prospectus for the team, Toronto Blue Jays 2021: A Baseball Companion. More than just a collection of stats, Baseball Prospectus has their very own team of analysts that give unique insight into not just the Blue Jays, but how the statistic economy of baseball is driven.

 

Baseball history buffs have an essential new tome to read coming soon. Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, making history as the first Black player in the majors and launching one of the most successful MLB careers. After Jackie: Fifteen Pioneers Who Helped Change the Face of Baseball explores the stories of the first black players for the other fifteen teams in the league of that era, a decades-long campaign against inequality that can feel all-too-familiar today.

 

With the news of MLB dropping Topps for their cards beginning in 2026, you might also appreciate the annually published Beckett Baseball Card Price Guide, the newest edition #43 helps you to price your card collection.

 

Anyone with an up-and-coming little baseball fan at home may consider The Thing Lenny Loves Most About Baseball. It’s a heartfelt picture book about not just the value of practice, but also of casting your anxieties about perfection aside.

 

the bad news bears movie posters, with a caricature of Walter Matheu and Tatum O'Neil in baseball uniforms in the centreLastly, one of the most exciting baseball moments of this season was the Field of Dreams game held in Iowa. Have yourself a binge fest on some classic baseball movies like Field of Dreams, Bull Durham and The Bad News Bears collection.

 

Chances are slim our Blue Jays make it to the playoffs, but the distraction has been nice, and we always stand by ‘em. Hopefully some of these selections will get you through a dire time in any baseball fan’s life: the offseason.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Play on!

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LSC wraps up its year tomorrow, and we decided to look back at a messy, unpredictable year that was and present the second annual LSC Awards for Performance. The following items were compiled using our internal sales data based on number of units purchased collectively by our client libraries between July 2020 and June 2021. All the material listed here is available for your convenience in Slist 45438, in case you missed any of these hits.

 

a time for mercy by john grisham / space and a sunrise at the end of a long country road with a large tree at the end.The first award is for Adult Fiction. John Grisham’s Time for Mercy topped our charts this year. This is a sequel to both his first novel, A Time to Kill, published 32 years ago, as well as 2013’s Sycamore Row. It appears that his return to southern courtrooms was well anticipated. Don’t worry though, he released another two novels this past year. He’s not going anywhere.

 

The top selling Adult Non-Fiction was the memoir of former US President Barack Obama, Promised Land. I can’t possibly think why in 2020 there would have been such an interest and nostalgia for Obama’s hopeful terms of office. Must have been a coincidence.

 

salma the syrian chef by ahmad danny ramadan and illustrated by Anna Bron / an illustration of a young girl holding a bowl and wearing a chef's hat, with nine people of various ethnicities behind herThe prize for Picture Book is the delightful Salma the Syrian Chef, by Ahmad Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron. This delightful book follows a recent newcomer and refugee to Canada as she tries to cheer up her mother by making food from home. A wonderful message of community and hope, and a subject that is seemingly evergreen.

 

Marking our first repeat winner at the LSC Awards, following a similar performance in the category of Juvenile Fiction is Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Deep End by Jeff Kinney. Yes, the adventures of Greg continue in the 15th(!) installment of the series. This one follows directly on from last year’s winner Wrecking Ball, and will continue in Big Shot, coming in October of 2021.

 

Best Young Adult Fiction goes to Cousins by Karen M. McManus. This mystery thriller following three cousins as they unravel the web of family secrets left behind by their mysterious grandmother was a hit, perhaps reminding people of the twists and dark turns of VC Andrews.

 

This Place: 150 years told / an illustrated half face of a young indigenous child standing before the world, with north america centredTop selling Adult Graphic Novel this year was the exquisite This Place: 150 Years Retold, an anthology of stories by 11 Indigenous authors and illustrators, telling diverse stories of Indigenous peoples across Canada, and what they have experienced in the time since Contact. An essential component of any library collection.

 

Our second repeat winner runs the table yet again in Juvenile Graphic Novel, as Dav Pilkey defends the title with Dog-man: Grime and Punishment. The ninth in the series, though far from the last as a tenth book has also been released and an eleventh is on the way. Will Pilkey retain this position for a third year? Only you can determine that.

 

With this past year being one of the stranger for the film industry, with no master blockbusters having been released, it is nice to see that the top selling DVD this year was the winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards, Nomadland. Directed by Chloe Zhao and starring Frances McDormand, this quiet film about the modern nomads of America stuck a cord in a year where there were fewer CGI explosions to drown it out.

 

super mario 3d world plus bowser's fury / a busy picture centred on the title, with mario, luigi, princess peach, mario in a cat suit, princess in a cat suit, and mario and bowser junior staring at a giant volcano BowserTop Selling Video Game was a wider field this year, as there were two generations of Playstation and two generations of Xbox on the market. And yet, winner of this category goes to Super Mario: 3D World and Bowser's Fury on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, everyone’s favourite plumber – who turned 35th this year – jumped over the turtles and mushrooms of the competition and landed on the flag pole at the top of the charts.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

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June is National Indigenous Peoples History month and today, June 21st, is National Indigenous Peoples History Day. As Settlers, we are educating ourselves on the history and heritage of Indigenous Peoples, and reflecting on how we can contribute to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Today, we present without commentary several resources that can be used to aid others in their journeys of education and reflection.

 

LSC operates on the traditional territory of ‎the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Attawandaron, on the Haldimand Tract. On October 25, 1784, Sir Frederick Haldimand, the governor of Québec, “granted” this tract of 950,000 acres, - of which only 5% remains - to the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Six Nations, for their service during the American Revolution. The Haldimand Tract extends 10 kilometers on both sides of the Grand River, from Dundalk Township to Lake Erie.

 

To find out whose land you are located on, the interactive map Native-Land.ca allows you to search by address and see who called this home first. It also allows you to toggle between territories, languages, and treaties. The map’s creators are quick to point out that this map is not meant to be definitive, but an educational tool that is meant to start how we think about where we live. They also provide a quick form to be alerted of errors or required updates.

 

The Residential School System in Canada is a long-standing tragedy that many Canadians are only just discovering. The CBC has developed a map that allows you to enter an address and identify the nearest residential school to that location. It also provides the years the school was operational , and can be a good starting point in your research and learning. Additionally, the Government of Canada has set up a 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, for those experiencing trauma from the Residential School system. Callers can access emotional and crisis referral services at 1-866-925-4419. 

 

Critical resources in our reconciliation journey are the reports and materials generated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. These reports include the 94 Calls to Action that were delivered in 2015, but include a wide array of valuable, educational, historical materials that uncover the full scope and impact of colonization on the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island.

 

For some library focused material, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations has its own report, delivered in February 2017 and endorsed by 33 library associations and organizations across Canada. This report contains 10 calls to actions for libraries to aid in decolonization and indigenization efforts.

 

Looking to add some educational credentials to your experience? The University of Alberta offers both a credited and an audited primer course in Indigenous Canada through their Faculty of Native Studies. This 12-week beginner course is a primer for any stage of your journey. 

 

If you are looking for book and film recommendations for either your own learning, or to aid in your educating of children, teens, and other adults, educator Megan Tipler has compiled a massive list of materials across all ages and collection types, all of which are by Indigenous authors. She also has a small list of works by non-Indigenous authors that are of particular note and value. She makes notes where some works may be problematic and includes a short list of authors to actively avoid. You can follow her on Instagram @tiplerteaches where she has links to her resources, including book displays and posters.

 

IMBD has a list of films on the subject of Residential Schools for your reference, and NFB has curated a collection of shorts by Indigenous filmmakers and allies on the impact of the Residential School System. CBC Gem also has a selection of documentaries, including Inendi and We Were Children, to watch.

 

This is far from an exhaustive list of resources. It does, however, provide a starting point for those seeking to learn more, re-educate themselves, and be a better - and better informed - ally moving forward.

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Everyone knows that the Junos are basically Canada’s version of the Grammy’s, but did you know how the Junos came to be? Back in 1964, RPM Magazine started to poll Canadians to see who their favorite music groups and artists were. These results would then get announced each December in the magazine. Sometime after this started, Stan Klees, who owned record labels such as Tamarac Records and Red Leaf Records in the 1960s, got together with the founder of RPM, Walt Grealis, and the two of them decided to plan a formal ceremony for the music industry.

 

This first ceremony was called the “Gold Leaf Awards” and took place in 1970, in Toronto Ontario. After its success, RPM Magazine polled its readers again, this time to come up with an official name for the ceremony. The winning name was “Juneau”, after the first president of the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), Pierre Juneau. The name was shortened to Juno, and in 1975 it was aired on Canadian television for the first time.   

 

After Hours by The Weekend / The Weekend stands with his head tilted back, a smile on his face, with a cut on his nose and blood running down his face, his teeth bloody, his lip bruised After previously being postponed twice this year, the 2021 Juno Awards aired on Sunday, June 6th, marking the 50th anniversary of the awards show. For the second year in a row the awards ceremony was held virtually, featuring pre-recorded performances from Canadian superstars Justin Bieber, Shania Twain, Celine Dion and more. While Toronto Native Abel Tesfaye (A.K.A. The Weeknd) took home the most wins for his album After Hours – including Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year – he did not make an appearance. Shawn Mendes - also a no-show - won the Juno Fan Choice for Wonder. Justin Bieber won best Pop Album for his album Changes and while he didn’t show up to accept the award, he did pre-record a performance of his song “Somebody”.

 

Dangerous Levels of Introspection by jp saxe / jp saxe sits on a brown leather sofa staring neutrally into the middle distanceAnother Toronto native - and boyfriend to pop star Julia Michaels - JP Saxe, took home the award for Breakthrough Artist. Saxe rose to fame after his collaboration with girlfriend Michaels, for the Grammy nominated song titled “If The World Was Ending”.  The song was produced by Finneas, brother of pop sensation Billie Eilish. The original video for the song currently has over 140 million views on YouTube. Another video was made for the song and released on April 30th 2020, with proceeds going to the Doctors Without Borders charity. This version of "If The World Was Ending" features 25 different artists recording themselves singing clips of the song, including Keith Urban, Noah Cyrus, Finneas, Lindsey Stirling, Alessia Cara, Niall Horan, and so many other talented artists. It truly is a beautiful song, and will be part of JP Saxe’s upcoming album Dangerous Levels of Introspection which will release on June 25.

 

Pray for it by July Talk / a black and white photo of a parking garage, with a shirtless male swan diving off the edgeBest Alternative Album went to yet another Toronto music act, July Talk, for their album Pray For It. Band members Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis appeared through webcam to accept this award. While winners aren’t given much time for their acceptance speeches, they took the time to acknowledge the recent tragic discovery at a Kamloops Residential school, telling Canadians we need to “show up and be honest with each other” finishing with Leah telling saying, “Thank you to the internet, even though you’re mean sometimes.” This is the third time the band has one for Best Alternative Album.

 

reckless by jj wilde / an overhead shot of a dining room table that is in chaos. Photographs, used dishes, drugs, roses, books, booze and dying house pants contribute to the mess.Kitchener native JJ Wilde – real name Jillian Dowding - took home the award for Rock Album of the Year, for her album Ruthless. Wilde is the first woman in 25 years to win this award. The previous winner was Alanis Morrisette, for her album Jagged Little Pill. (Morrisette also won this year, this time winning Best Adult Contemporary Album for the album Such Pretty Forks in the Road). Before her musical success, Wilde worked at local Waterloo music venue Maxwell’s, starting off in coat check and then bartending, where she would get inspired watching the other acts perform. Wilde also performed at her place of work with her former band “The Royal Streets” in 2015, to an almost sold-out crowd.

 

saskadelphia by the tragically hip / on a steel grey field is a photograph of a man walking a dog on a leash through a trailer park. Beneath the photo, in scrabble tiles, the word Saskadelphia is spelled outFor the first time since the death of frontman Gord Downie in 2017, The Tragically Hip performed together, featuring Leslie “Feist” on lead vocal. The moving performance took place inside Massey Hall and was introduced by Gordon Lightfoot. The band was presented the Humanitarian Award by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, surviving members of the classic Canadian rock band Rush. Throughout their career, the members of The Tragically Hip have raised millions of dollars for many different Canadian charities, with Downie also helping to bring to attention the history and hardships faced by Canadian Indigenous people. Gord Downie was an incredible person and extremely talented musician who will always be missed and remembered by his fellow Canadians. The Hip also have a new album out, Saskadelphia, featuring never before heard songs records back in 1991 when the band was working on the classic album Road Apples.

 

For the complete list of winners, you can take a look at Slist 45122.  

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy listening!

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The 93rd annual Academy Awards ceremony took place on Sunday, April 25th. Normally the ceremony takes place in February, but was postponed due to the pandemic. The setting this year was much more intimate than the usual awards show, with a scaled back red carpet, and a ‘casual’ outdoors pre-party for nominees to mingle amongst each other. This year, both the Dolby Theatre and Union Station were the backdrops for the show, along with several other locations across the globe to accommodate those with travel restrictions.

 

This year’s show was the lowest rated broadcast since it began airing in 1953 (with numbers adjusted). It was also the third time in the show’s history that there was no host, as the awards struggle to remain relevant both during a pandemic and to a generation who appear apathetic to the glitz and glamour. However, due in part to the reduced number of eligible films released in 2020, this year’s nominees were the most diverse for inclusion for women and people of color both in front of, and behind, the camera.

 

Promising Young Woman poster / a woman lays on her back, her legs raised and crossed to the sky. She lays inside a pair of bright pink lips, dripping lipstick as though bloodFor the first time in its history, two women were nominated for Best Director. Emerald Fennell did not win for directing Promising Young Woman but she did win Best Original Screenplay for the feminist revenge satire-thriller, starring Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan. Chloe Zhao’s director win made her only the second woman to win this catagory in the history of the award, as well as the first Chinese woman and the first woman of colour to win this award.

 

 

 

Nomadland poster / Francis McDormand sitting in a lawn chair beside a mobile home with a line of laundry in the foreground, with the sprawling prairie behind herZhao won for the film Nomadland, which is based on the non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. Following a woman who loses her job to automation, she travels across the US in a van and experiences the collapse of the American Dream firsthand. Frances McDormand won Best Actress in a Leading Role for her role in the film, her third Oscar in this category. McDormand has previously won for the films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the 1997 Coen Bros. classic film Fargo. Nomadland also took home the most wins of the night, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing.

 

Minari poster / a South Korean family - a grand mother, a father, mother, and two small children - standing in front of a cornfieldAnother first of the night was Steven Yeun’s nomination as the first Asian American for Best Actor, in the Korean-American drama Minari, about a Korean-American family in 1980s America. While Yeun did not win, his co-star Yuh-jung Youn did win the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film had 6 nominations, but this was the only win. While she may be a new face for many, Youn has had a career in South Korean film and television for over the last 50 years. This win made her the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award. 

 

Judas and the Black Messiah poster / extreme closeups of Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya, under a red filterBest Actor in a Supporting Role went to one of my personal favorites, Daniel Kaluuya. Kaluuya became known for his role in the British television show Skins, and then blew up after his incredible performance in the Jordan Peele film Get Out, for which he was nominated Best Actor in a Leading Role. His incredible portrayal of American Activist Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah was what got him this well-deserved win. This film also received the award for Best Original Song, for the song “Fight for You” by H.E.R.

 

 

The Father poster / greyscale closeups of Anthony Hopkins and Olivia ColemanBest Actor in a Leading Role went to Sir Anthony Hopkins, for his role in the film The Father. In the film, Hopkins plays a man suffering from dementia, while his daughter (played by Best Actress-nominated Olivia Coleman) struggles to get help. This is the second Oscar for Hopkins, whose previous win was for his portrayal of serial killer Hannibal Lector in the 1992 movie Silence of the Lambs. While Hopkins could not be at the ceremony due to him being in his home country of Wales, he did send out a message the following day on his social media, paying tribute to his competitor in the category, Chadwick Boseman. This win makes Hopkins is the oldest-ever acting Oscar winner.

 

Another Round poster / Mads Mikkelsen in profile, drinking directly from a Champaign bottleBest International Feature Film went to the Danish film, Another Round. This film stars Mads Mikkelsen as the leading character, and is about a group of teachers who decide to test out a theory that drinking daily will help them have a more enjoyable life. The film’s world premiere was last year, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

 

Best Documentary Feature went to “My Octopus Teacher”, which, in my opinion, is a film everyone should see. While not yet available on Blu-ray or DVD, the film is streaming on Netflix, and it’s one that shouldn’t be missed. The relationship between the filmmaker and this ocean creature is really just incredible. Definitely a well-deserved win for these filmmakers from South Africa.

 

Soul poster / an animated blackman wearing a fedora and glasses stands in front of a black-navy field, with a small cat beside him. Emerging from his chest is a blue ghost-like being.Disney Pixar’s Soul, about a New York jazz musician (voiced by Jamie Foxx) who gets stuck in the after-life, took home the win for Best Animated Feature Film. This is the first time a film has ever won this award without ever playing in U.S. movie theatres. The film also won for Best Original Score, composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from the band Nine Inch Nails, with several of the films songs written by Jon Batiste. This is the second win in this category for the members of the band.

 

 

Sound of Metal poster / Riz Amed stands in profile against a black field, with a wave form behind himSound of Metal was the winner for Best Film Editing and Best Sound, and was nominated for four other categories: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. The film also made history when its star Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim actor to be nominated for the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role. While Ahmed didn’t win, his portrayal of a drummer on the verge of becoming deaf was astounding. This film will be available on Blu-ray & DVD sometime in 2022, where it will be released as part of the Criterion Collection.

 

With theatres poised to reopening the US later this year, and the major film studios intent on releasing their major films either in theatres or on streaming, it is unlikely that 2021 will be as irregular as 2020 in terms of what is eligible. What remains to be seen is if the Academy will consider a streaming release enough to be considered. What also remains to been see is if they will continue to recognize the contributions of under represented filmmakers, or will they slip back to their old ways as they struggle to remain relevant as they quickly approach their 100th anniversary in 2029.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy watching!

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Well, the show must go on. Without an in-person audience aside from the artists themselves, the 63rd annual Grammy Awards took place on Sunday, March 14th. The awards show was originally scheduled for January 31st, but due to you-know-what, it was postponed. Unlike movies, the pandemic didn’t affect the release of music nearly as much, so this year’s awards had a wide range of contenders.

 

fine lines by harry styles / harry stlyes standing in a hall, photographed through the fishbowl lens of a peepholeAside from the obvious lack of audience, and the glamourous outfits now co-ordinating with facemasks, this year’s show went off pretty seamlessly, and has been lauded online as an example of how to hold a large glamourous event during a time when such things are questionable at best. Harry Styles opened the show with an alluring version of his summer 2020 anthem ‘Watermelon Sugar’, from Fine Line for which he also accepted the award of Best Pop Solo Performance.

 

the lion king: the gift cover / two golden lions circling each other from aboveHistory was made at the Grammys this year, when Beyoncé won 4 Grammys including Best R&B Performance for the song “Black Parade,” Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Savage” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, and Best Music Video for her song “Brown Skin Girl.” This video features her daughter Blue Ivy, who also won a Grammy for her performance, making her the second youngest person to ever win a Grammy. Jay-Z also received a win for his role in “Savage,” making the song a truly family affair. The wins for Beyoncé make her the most awarded woman in the show’s history with 28 statutes, from 79 nominations.

 

folklore cover / a black and white picture of a woods, with taylor swift small at the bottom of the frameBeyoncé wasn’t the only talented woman to make history at this year’s Grammy’s. Taylor Swift has become the first female artist ever to win Album of the Year three times. This year, her win was for Folklore, her most recent album released August 2020. Previous wins were for her 2010 album Fearless and her 1989 album in 2016. Megan Thee Stallion also made history, when she - alongside Beyoncé - became the first women ever to win for Best Rap Song.

 

bridges cover / mickey guyton with her hands above her headKeeping up with the theme of strong women, Mickey Guyton became the first black woman to ever be nominated for Best Country Solo Performance. While Vince Gill was the winner of this award, Guyton performed the song “Black Like Me” with beauty and grace. The song and its powerful message were written by Guyton, taking the title from the 1961 book of the same name by John Howard Griffin.

 

no time to die / billie eilish in black and white in 3/4 profile19-year-old Billie Eilish was awarded Record of the Year for the second year in a row for her song “Everything I Wanted,” which she performed with her brother Finneas on piano. She also won Best Song Written for Visual Media, for “No Time to Die,” the title song for the latest James Bond movie, whose release has been repeated delayed due to the pandemic.

 

 

chromatica cover / lady gaga is suspended in a red doorway by thorny ivyLady Gaga and Ariana Grande are also among female firsts, becoming the first female pop duo to win for Best Pop/Duo Performance for the song “Rain on Me.” This song comes from Lady Gaga’s album Chromatica, which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. Chromatica is also the name of a limited release Lady Gaga themed type of Oreo cookie.

 

 

bubba cover / DJ Kaytranada in close up, with two irises in his unnaturally blue eyesSome fellow Canadians also won big at the Grammy’s this year. Stratford native Justin Bieber won alongside co-performers Dan + Shay for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the song “10,000 Hours.” This is the first Country win for Bieber, and Dan + Shay’s third year in a row winning this award. Montreal DJ Kaytranada also won on Sunday, taking home Best Dance/Electronic Album and Best Dance Recording for the album “Bubba.” Also representing Canada, the musical adaptation of Alanis Morissette’s album “Jagged Little Pill,” won for Best Musical Theater Album.

 

Many musicians were honored in remembrance, including a performance by Bruno Mars honoring the late great Little Richard, who passed last May. Mars performed a medley of Little Richard’s greatest hits, in the high energy style of both Mars and Little Richard. Lionel Richie performed the song “Lady” to honor his late friend and co-performer, Kenny Rogers, who the world lost in March 2020. Honoring the late John Prine, who passed away in April 2020 due to Covid related complications, was Brandi Carlile performing her rendition of “I Remember Everything.” John Prine posthumously won this year’s awards for Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy listening!

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Happy 2021!  Here’s to a better year going forward.  However, the year that was wasn’t all bad, so to celebrate, we asked our staff for their picks of the best books and AV from 2020.

 

In The Quick by Kate Hope Day / an astronaut against a pink backgroundMichael C. in Marketing has both a best book and a best movie.  In the Quick by Kate Hope Day is a sci-fi romance in the vein of The Martian and Station Eleven. June, an ambitious young astronaut, finds fiery romance while searching for her beloved uncle’s lost spacecraft and its crew. The Invisible Man, released all the way back in February, is Michael’s choice for best movie.  Directed by Leigh Wannell and loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel, this sci-fi horror features Elisabeth Moss as a woman trying to escape from her abusive former boyfriend, despite the fact that he’s already dead. Is it her trauma or something else haunting her?

 

Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez / a burning pile of garbage with a cityscape on the horizonIn Cataloguing, Shannon O. has had a bumper year of reading and has really struggled to narrow down her choices of the best of 2020.  In adult fiction, her best of the best is Crosshairs by Canadian author Catherine Hernandez, a near-future dystopic novel where a queer Black performer and his allies fight against an oppressive regime and its concentration camps. In adult nonfiction, she chose The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole, a Canadian journalist and activist who brings to light the racism and inequality he and other members of minorities struggle with in just one year. 

 

Little Women dvd cover / A close up of Saoirse Ronan, a blonde woman in a blue shirtMoving over to Selection Services, manager Jamie Q. had many picks for just about every category, but narrowed it down to these. In the Half Room by Carson Ellis, a picture fiction book about the half things in the half room. Apartment by Teddy Wayne tells the story of an unnamed narrator who invites a charismatic classmate to live with him, but their living situation puts tension on their friendship. Finally, Little Women, the latest movie version of the classic novel, this one directed by Greta Gerwig and featuring Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh, among others. It was a highlight of her pre-lockdown 2020.

 

Midnight Library by Matt Haig / several orange items, including whales, books, and women, passing through small windows as though weaving in and out of the book coverFiction selector Rachel S. says, for adult fiction novels, she has two top picks: Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. In Bookish Life, the titular Nina is a happy, book-reading loner – until the father she never knew existed dies and she’s expected to meet all her new family members while dealing with her attraction to her trivia nemesis, Tom. She also recommends Midnight Library by Matt Haig

 

The Barren Grounds by David Robertson / four figures walking through snow. Two are children, one is a human sized squirrel, and one is a human bear. Both animals are dressed as humans.Juvenile selector Sara P. has this to say about her selections: “Anyone who knows me well, knows I have a great dislike of squirrels so for me to pick a book for the Best of 2020 that features a squirrel means it must be an amazing story! The Barren Grounds: Misewa Saga Book 1 by David A Robertson is a must-read Canadian middle grade story that brings Indigenous culture, both past and present together within a fun fantasy world. I recently had the opportunity to read to a group of children and I picked up AAAlligator by Judith Henderson and not only was it super fun to read aloud but the kids absolutely loved it. The sign of a great book is when not a peep is heard while the librarian is reading. A unique twist to demonstrate acceptance and a community coming together to help someone in need.”

 

To round up our staff picks of 2020, Carrie P. in HR chose the album Slow Rush by the excellently-named Tame Impala.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.

 

In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.

 

Happy new year!

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With the winter holidays looking a little different this year for most people, we asked our staff to share some of their favourite winter holiday books, movies, and music. 

 

cover of The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper / children on a snowhill running towards the sunsetJamie Q., Manager of Customer Experience and Selection Services, chose The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis. This juvenile fiction book celebrates the winter solstice and Yule through a poem written by Cooper.  The winter solstice happens every year on December 21st, celebrating the shortest day of the year, looking forward to the days getting longer and lighter.

 

cover of Idina Menzel's Christmas: Season for love / Idina hugging a coat tight to her, in snowfallContinuing in Selection Services, fiction selector Rachel S. and her partner traditionally watch The Sound of Music, the Home Alone movies, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  She notes that there isn’t a lot of Chanukah music by pop stars, but she likes Idina Menzel’s Christmas: Season for Love album, especially the cover of Joni Mitchell’s River.

 

cover of Anna and the Apocalypse / Anna in a school uniform holding a giant candy cane above her head, with zombies in the backgroundNonfiction selector Stef W. isn’t generally into Christmas movies, unless they’re offbeat and funny.  Some of her favourites include Anna and the Apocalypse, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Krampus (2015), and Rare Exports. At some point she will get over her childhood fear of gremlins in order to properly watch the movies. Christmas songs she enjoys include the soundtrack from Anna and the Apocalypse, The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, and Da vet du at det er Jul by Ylvis (yes, that Ylvis).

 

cover of How the Grinch Stole Christmas / the Grinch against an orange backgroundSara P., juvenile fiction selector, had this to say about her picks for 2020:

“Ever since my kids were little, we started a tradition of watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Christmas Eve while eating “fancy” appetizers (grocery store party pack). My girls love this short movie and even insisted on watching it the one year when my brother and family visited from the US and stayed past the appetizer dinner hour. The girls did not care that family was visiting. The movie went into the DVD player and we all HAD to watch it. We also own the book and will read it repeatedly leading up to the Xmas holidays; it never gets old or boring.

 

Now, I also have a personal tradition that I have had for at least the last 20 years (guessing here) and that is listening to Mary’s Boy Child from the Boney M Christmas album. As soon as Dec 1st hits, that song comes on in my car, my house, and during my run. I still own the CD but now also have the song on my phone for quick access. It is a classic that never gets old or boring to me.”

 

cover of Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White by Saumiya Balasubramaniam / a young girl kneels and plays in the snowCataloguer Shannon O. has spent the year reading everything she can get her hands on – over 450 books and counting. Narrowing down her favourites for children’s picture books, she chose Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White by Saumiya Balasubramaniam; Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio; and Snow Falls by Kate Gardner. For adult fiction, her favourite three are Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morganthaler; Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur; and In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren .

 

cover of Hogfather by Terry Prachett / the personification of Death dressed as Santa, flying in a sleigh pulled by boarsFrom IT, software developer Mike Q. has a classic Terry Pratchett book as his favourite: Hogfather.  When the Disworld equivalent of Santa, the Hogfather, vanishes on Hogswatchnight, Death takes up the sleigh’s reins – meaning his granddaughter, gothic governess Susan, must unravel the mystery before Discworld loses its entire myth system.

 

cover of Black Christmas (1974) / a woman being suffocated by plastic, inside a Christmas wreath Carrie P. from Human Resources has two movies on her list of winter holiday favourites.  In the original 1974 version of Black Christmas, a group of sorority girls on Christmas break find they’re being stalked by a stranger.  Her second pick is a lighter one: 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas, in which Bill Murray worries that a snowstorm in New York will prevent the audience from showing up to his TV show.

 

cover of Muppet Christmas Carol / Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo and Robin dressed as Victorian charactersLast but not least, Michael C. in Marketing enjoys The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas 2148741, a collection of short essays by 42 secular celebrities, comedians, scientists, and writers on the meaning of Christmas – as it applies to an atheist.  His favourite Christmas movie is, of course, the classic Muppet Christmas Carol featuring Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and Michael Caine as Scrooge.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.

 

In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.

 

Merry happy!

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