Family Folk Tales: The Glass Axe

By , October 18, 2014

The Glass Axe – A prince is taken by an evil fairy. After facing impossible tasks, will he be able to escape?

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Book review: Taxidermy

By , October 17, 2014

Crap Taxidermy
by Kat Su
Twice I have considered utilizing the services of a taxidermist. Once I even called for a quote. Our house cat had delivered a pristine ruby-throated hummingbird to our Welcome mat. The taxidermist informed me that ruby-throated humming birds were a protected species and were not taxidermy eligible, no matter how they met their demise. The second time involved an ottoman shaped family dog getting along in years. Family members persuaded me to agree to a back yard burial.

Unfortunately, others HAVE decided to seek the services of taxidermists and still others have taken up the call to engage in taxidermy practices. Here are two titles that provide examples of their results. Both are fully illustrated in full semi-natural color. Both titles are equally frightening each in their own unique way.

The cover of Crap Taxidermy by Kat Su lets the reader know what is in store…to a point. Who could imagine what creatures lurk within these pages? What self-respecting taxidermist came up with “creative beer bottles” or “elongated baby penguin”? These are the creations of folks who contribute to a taxidermy blog. The book includes how to section called, Get Stuffed. Included are tidbits such as the proper use of borax (as opposed to arsenic) and the creation of a “mouse purse” once tissues are removed. Finally, tips like using clear nail polish on the ears to give structure as well as a “perkier” look are included in the finishing touches section. Did you know that turning a “specimen” inside out offers the cleanest, least disruptive way to ensure a natural look?

For the more genteel taxidermy fan, may I suggest Walter Potter’s Curious world of Taxidermy by Dr. Pat Morris and Joanna Ebenstein. Lots of stuffed cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, toads and squirrels set in “anthropomorphic tableaux – cases of animals set in human scenes”. The Kitten’s wedding includes twenty attendees in full formal dress and complete with all wedding accessories. Forty eight baby rabbits attend the Rabbit’s Village school, pen, paper and books in hand, I mean paw.

Regardless of you taxidermy preferences, crude or cultivated, we’ve got a book for you!

“I have alway wanted a bunny and I’ll always have a rabbit the rest of my life.” –Amy Sedaris



Book review: Wolf in White Van

By , October 16, 2014

Can musicians write good books? Jesse doesn’t pull any punches when he takes a look at John Darnielle’s debut novel.

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

The Mountain Goats CD | Freegal

Judas Priest CD | Freegal | Hoopla


music by Black Dice CD | Freegal | Hoopla

Popmatic Podcast October 15th, 2014: Why Not Opera?

By , October 15, 2014

Anna NicoleWe settle the fight that broke out during the Critical Rehab episode. Which operas should Mike listen to? Besides our irreverent suggestions, you should definitely check out whatever the pros at Nashville Opera are up to.


Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass

Candide by Leonard Bernstein CD | Freegal | Hoopla

Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis

A Night at the Opera film

A Night at the Opera by Queen

Tomorrow, In a Year by The Knife

Suites from Wozzeck and Lulu by Alban Berg

Carmen by Georges Bizet

Doctor Atomic by John Adams

The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay

The Beggar’s Opera musical version by Benjamin Britten

Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage & Richard Thompson


Night Watch – part of Movies @ Main

Paste Magazine’s best pumpkin beers

The Thing



Checkout 51


Snap by Groupon

That gum you like is going to come back in style:


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Extreme Couponing

By , October 14, 2014

Extreme Couponing
By Joni Meyer-Crothers

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to get stuff on sale. And if it’s free that’s even better. I can’t even comprehend the amount of money the library has saved me when it comes to borrowing books, movies, and music. Thanks NPL! Why, oh why, have I not tried couponing before?

Recently I turned on my TV and since it was already set to TLC from the night before (Say Yes to the Dress! Woohoo!) I got to watch this show called Extreme Couponing. The premise? Women (and some guys) regularly save 95%-100% on their grocery bill. Who couldn’t use more money in their food budget? I was intrigued, so when the show flashed the book across the bottom I wanted to check it out. Author Joni Meyer-Crothers was featured on the show several times and she loves to teach everyone how to save money. I really like Joni as an author – she is a big advocate for giving away a lot of free (or nearly free) groceries to charities and churches, in addition to saving money for her family. You can check out more at her blog,

If you want a different viewpoint, you can check out Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey by Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler. These ladies save just as much, but they are more business like and slightly less altruistic about their coupon practices. I will admit that I did not agree with all of their methods, but they know their stuff and you can decide what works for you and what doesn’t. The inclusion of many store coupon policies in the back of the book was helpful and their blog is very useful to find the best deals.

We also have two downloadable ebooks that might help:
Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family by Steve Economides
The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half by Stephanie Nelson from

Interested? Then pickup one of these and dive in. Other websites that might be helpful include or (a local blog for the Southeast that better delineates local savings). I will caution you that this can be addicting and overwhelming. Some of the ladies on Extreme Couponing have admitted that they’d seriously consider saving their coupon binder before a family member if their house caught fire. That’s a little extreme for me. I just want to be a responsible shopper who is able to help my family be more financially responsible. You can decide for yourself how far you want go down the rabbit hole.

In the meantime, if you have any coupons you’re not using…could I have them? (Just kidding…no really…)

Happy couponing,

:) Amanda


William Eichbaum’s Sketchbook of Nashville

By , October 13, 2014

Photograph of William Eichbaum, circa 1868

He has a grim appearance. Sunken cheeks, deep eyes, prominent nostrils, and a firm, thin mouth. A bit like Phantom of the Opera. William Eichbaum doesn’t look like someone you’d enjoy meeting. In fact, I would probably cross the street to avoid him. But it would be my loss if I chose to do so.

Eichbaum was the son of German parents, but was born in Ireland in 1787. He immigrated to the United States around 1820, and soon thereafter settled in Nashville, marrying Catherine Stearns in 1825. In the 1830s, he opened the Nashville Bookstore on College Street (now Third Avenue N.), and built the first brick house on what is now Seventh Avenue. He was very involved in various civic activities and organizations, was a charter member of the Tennessee Historical Society, served as treasurer of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery Company, and was an active member of the Christian Church. His obituary in January 1873 declared: “he was seldom seen at home without a book in his hand.”

Turns out, he’s my kind of guy.

Buildings of Nashville

First Presbyterian Church pen and ink drawing by William Eichbaum

First Presbyterian Church

I’m even more certain of this fact when I look at the pen and ink wash drawings he did of various buildings around Nashville in the 1850s.

Some are still easily recognizable, like the downtown First Presbyterian Church, designed in the Egyptian revival style by William Strickland.  Now known as Downtown Presbyterian, the building can still be seen at the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Church Street.

Pen and ink drawing of Davidson County, Tenn. Court House circa 1856

Davidson County Court House, Public Square




Others are of buildings long gone, including a few that were lost to fire in Eichbaum’s lifetime, such as the Davidson County Court House (1830-1856).



Pen and ink map of Nashville in 1804 by William Eichbaum

Nashville in 1804


Some of the more fascinating materials include hand-drawn maps of Nashville – one from 1804 based upon “notes of an intelligent resident at the time” and a contrasting map from 1854, showing the growth of the city in the course of fifty years.

Eichbaum’s sketchbook contains a total of twenty-seven highly detailed drawings. In a time when photography had not yet entered the mainstream, this resource provides an incomparable view of Nashville in the 1850s. Some images may be the only ones that exist of some of these buildings.

Viewing the Sketchbook

View online: Eichbaum’s entire sketchbook is available online as part of the Library’s Digital Collections, with the capability to zoom in for detailed close study. View the sketchbook.

View color copies in person: Due to the extreme fragility of the original, only color copies of the sketchbook are available for research use in person at the Special Collections Division.

The Special Collections Division is open during regular library hours on the second floor of the Main Library downtown, or call us at 615-862-5782 for more information on our holdings.

(Photograph: William Eichbaum, circa 1868 from Nashville Room Historic Photo Collection, P-2129)

– Linda

Pat Conroy in conversation with Ann Patchett – The Death of Santini

By , October 11, 2014

Pat Conroy discusses his book The Death of Santini with Ann Patchett.  This author talk was recorded October 29, 2013. Pat Conroy appeared as part of the continuing Salon@615 author series. Pat Conroy returns to Nashville today at the Southern Festival of Books.

Subscribe to Salon@615 podcast (iTunes)

Download this episode (.mp3)

Book review: One Kick

By , October 10, 2014

One KickOne Kick
by Chelsea Cain

If you’ve been longing for another fierce female character like Stieg Larsson‘s Lisbeth Salander, Chelsea Cain‘s Kick Lannigan is waiting (rather impatiently!) for you to read her story.

Kick was kidnapped at age six and rescued from her captors five years later in a tense and dramatic FBI operation.  Assimilating back into a normal existence has been difficult for Kick.  Her abductor and abuser trained her to live off the grid and defend herself from outsiders by ANY means necessary.  Now 21, Kick lives with her adopted brother (another survivor of childhood abuse and abduction) and keeps her sanity through an extremely vigorous practice of martial arts, target practice, picking locks as a hobby, and obsessively following news updates on abducted children.

Kick is approached by a mysterious and wealthy man named John Bishop whose hobby is tracking down missing children.  Bishop is convinced Kick’s personal history arms her with the skills and knowledge needed to find these kids alive.  They both know it’s a race against time to find the latest victim before it’s too late.  Will their search bring Kick too close to the terrors of her own past?

If you’ve never read any Chelsea Cain, plan to set aside a chunk of time because once you open one of her books, YOU WON’T PUT IT DOWN!  Trust me, the girl can write a thriller.   Cain set aside her Gretchen Lowell serial killer series to write One Kick, which begs for a sequel.  As one of Cain’s biggest fans, I’m hoping she takes the time and conjures the creative juices she needs to keep writing books in both series.

Beautiful jewels to make you swoon……

By , October 9, 2014

The Jeweled Menagerie: The World of Animals in Gems

By Suzanne Tennenbaum and Janet Zapata


Do you love beautiful jewelry? Then you will simply adore The Jeweled Menagerie…

Since the beginning of time, animals and insects have served as inspiration for jewelry design. The Jeweled Menagerie features two centuries of magnificent jewelry. Over 200 full page color photographs allow you to see the jewelry in all its splendor.

From the 19th century French Monkey diamond brooch, to the bejeweled Art Nouveau dragonflies, to Cartier’s Art Deco panthers, this book will amaze and excite you!






Popmatic Podcast October 8th, 2014: Books, Southern Festival of

By , October 8, 2014

southern_festival_of_booksIt’s the best weekend of the year. It’s Southern Festival of Books! We clue you in on can’t miss authors. Leave your favorites in the comments. Later in the show, we find out Bryan has a thing about Mayim Bialik. Who knew?


Southern Festival of Books full line-up

Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde

Nursery Crime series by Jasper Fforde

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Perfidia by James Ellroy

James Ellroy, American Dog

My Dark Places: A L.A. Crime Memoir by James Ellroy

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine by Bryant Terry

Afro-vegan: Farm-fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry



The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed–In Your World by Jeffrey Kluger

13 Bullets (Vampire Tales Vol. 1) by David Wellington

FictFact – Keep track of your book series

Oktober Fest

Syro by Aphex Twin

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by Thom Yorke

Tor Browser

Bit Torrent


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

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