Book review: Four

By , July 22, 2014

By Veronica Roth

2014 is the summer of Divergent. Last fall we finished up the book trilogy. Here’s what I said then. In March, the first movie came out, starring  Shailene Woodley and Theo James. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve heard really good things both from folks who read the books and those who didn’t. Good thing NPL has the Divergent DVD on order. Better place your hold today, though, because this list isn’t getting any shorter (I think I’m 178…sigh).

But luckily for you, while you’re waiting for the movie, a new collection of short stories was just released featuring Four aka Tobias. I always like when authors go back and add scenes or rewrite things with an opposite perspective from their original (even with Twilight’s “Midnight Son“). With this Divergent collection, we get four stories about Four. They are pretty easy reads – I managed to polish them off in a couple of hours. It was fun, though, to be back in that world and get a better picture of how things unfolded.

Just to whet your whistle a little – the first story is called “The Transfer” and described Tobias’ choice in becoming Dauntless. Then we learn about his Dauntless training in “The Initiate” (made me want to punch Eric in the face even more than I already did). In the third story, Roth shows us why Tobias chose not to lead Dauntless in “The Son”. And finally in “The Traitor”, we see Tobias try and save the world.

So make sure you get your hold placed today. There will be a few folks in front of you in line, but nothing like for the DVD plus we bought A LOT of copies, so your wait will hopefully be short and sweet.

Happy reading…

:) Amanda


Summer Challenge Update: 90% to Goal!

By , July 21, 2014

Where has this summer gone? Nashville students go back to school in just two and a half weeks, and the library’s summer challenge program wraps up shortly after that. So while the end is near, there’s still time to get on board!

As a city, we’ve reached 90% of our 500,000 point goal so far!  This is amazing! A goal that seemed so lofty a couple months ago is now well within our reach.  Hopefully you’ve already picked up your Choose Your Own Prize certificates and tote bags.

In addition to these fabulous prizes, there’s a big bonus for hitting this city-wide goal: fine amnesty!  That’s right!  We are thisclose to reaching half a million points, and if/when we do, you will be eligible to have your library fines wiped out if you’ve participated in the summer challenge.  There will be more details on this as we approach our goal, so stay tuned.

Many branches have already hit their community goal, so keep an eye on the schedules for end-of-summer parties.  We’ve had a great few months of reading, learning, crafting, helping, and staying active – now it’s time to celebrate!

And if this is all new to you – don’t worry!  The Summer Challenge officially wraps up August 15, so there’s still time to register and earn points. Click here for all the details.

Family Folk Tales: The Ogre

By , July 19, 2014

The Ogre – A lad takes a job working for an ogre. How long will it take him to learn to mind his tongue?

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Family Folk Tales: The Boy Who Could Keep a Secret

By , July 19, 2014

The Boy Who Could Keep a Secret – A boy with a secret aids the King of Hungary – but can he outwit a Sultan?

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Book review: Life Itself

By , July 18, 2014

Life itself: a memoir
by Roger Ebert

In 2011 Roger Ebert, the everyman half of Siskel & Ebert penned the memoir, Life Itself.  The book gives readers behind the scenes access into the life of the man who shaped the way we  look at movies for 4o years.

From his childhood years in Urbana to the heady days of covering international film festivals, Ebert shares the nuances that made his life itself rich. Roger Ebert was raised a Catholic, but he later lapsed. He fought the temptations of drink, professional jealousy and the wiley ways of buxom, wonton women. Sure, there must have been editing in the telling, but what a masterfully crafted final product.

Ebert won a Pulitzer Prize (the first awarded for movie criticism) and notably co-wrote the screen play of Beyond Valley of the Dolls. He was the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His television movie review programs, beginning with Sneak Previews in 1975, hosting with Gene Siskel in various incarnations for 15 years and ending with Ebert & Roeper, changed the way we look at movies and movie going.

It was his talent for conveying the details, atmosphere and mutations in mood that gave his work a distinct voice no matter the medium.  Over the years he moved from print (linotype presses, no less) to television and finally electronic communications when he lost the physical ability to speak.

Filmmaker Steve James has produced a film version of the biography, loosely based on the book. Filming began after Ebert could no longer speak, but was still in relatively good enough health to be a vital part of the process.  Over the course of filming, Roger Ebert endured return visits to rehab and moments of restored health only to repeat the process over and over again with his (late in life) wife, Chaz at his side. Roger Ebert, the surgically devoured, papillary thyroid  and salivary glands  cancer patient died in April 2013, eleven years after his initial diagnosis. The film version, Life Itself was released earlier this month.  To rave reviews.

We don’t pretend to disagree.  Gene Siskel


Comics review: Afterlife with Archie

By , July 17, 2014

Jeremy returns to remind us that even good, wholesome kids can get turned into zombies. What’s best about this is that he assumes we still know who the characters from Archie are. Summer Challenge is a great time to get reacquainted with the (re-animated) gang from Riverdale.

Afterlife with Archie: Book One, Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Francesco Francavilla

old school Archie comics

Archie meets Glee

Archie meets KISS

The Walking Dead TV show

The Walking Dead comic

The Black Beetle by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

music by Black Dice Freegal | Hoopla | Free Music Archive

Popmatic Podcast July 16, 2014: Love, Summer Of

By , July 16, 2014

Alices' RestaurantThis summer is the anniversary of Woodstock so we revisit the 1960s – the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 1960s. Arguably the summer of love was 1967. Woodstock happened in 1969. August 15, 1969 to be precise but we have something else we want to talk about that week. We figure it is the middle of summer, why not go for it. A summer of love is better than a summer of something else. We welcome new podcaster Moon Beam. We get to the bottom of True Detective. This episode is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Gaskin.


Alice’s Restaurant Soundtrack by Arlo Guthrie

Alice’s Restaurant

Stephen Gaskin

The Farm

I’m With the Band by Pamela Des Barres

Pamela Des Barres’s website

The Source Family

The Source Family Soundtrack by the Source Family

The Weather Underground



the passion flower

Gulf Fritillary

All About Tennessee Wild Flowers by Jan W. Midgley

Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby

True Detective Season 1

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Welcome, Adrienne!

By , July 15, 2014

Adrienne Strock is the new Teen Center Coordinator at Nashville Public Libraries. Her job includes overseeing both Teen Services and the new Studio Space at the Main Library. Adrienne comes to us by way of Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia. She’s smart, funny, and brings some dazzling skills to NPL.

Naturally we all want to know: Adrienne, what are your favorite books? Turns out, Adrienne does have a few favorites, as listed below.

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Does My Head Look Big in This? 
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth… Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else. Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school?

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down  
by Richard Adams

Set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why 
by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

The Compound 
by S.A. Bodeen

Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone. Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can’t get out. He won’t let them.


Graceling by Kristin Cashore

by Kristin Cashore

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight–she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace–or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone .

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

by Lucy Christopher

A stunning debut novel with an intriguing literary hook: written in part as a letter from a victim to her abductor. Sensitive, sharp, captivating! Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty–rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar–pays for Gemma’s drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what’s happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback.

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
by Chris Crutcher

Sarah Byrnes and Eric have been friends for years. When they were children, his fat and her terrible scars made them both outcasts. Later, although swimming slimmed Eric, she stayed his closest friend. Now Sarah Byrnes — the smartest, toughest person Eric has ever known — sits silent in a hospital. Eric must uncover the terrible secret she’s hiding, before its dark currents pull them both under.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly A Northern Light 
by Jennifer Donnelly

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has a word for everything, and big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can’t write down in stories.The fresh pain of her mother’s death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going–visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer.Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace’s drowned body is fished from Big Moose Lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.Set in 1906 in the Adirondack Mountains, against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, this Printz Honor-winning coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.  

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

Breathing Underwater 
by Alex Flinn

To his friends, popular and handsome sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas has led a charmed life. But the guys in Nick’s anger management class know differently. So does his ex-girlfriend Caitlin. Now it looks like the only person who doesn’t realize how far from perfect Nick’s life has become is Nick himself.


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

by Rachel Hartman

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being. When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive–and dashing–Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Please Ignore Vera Dietz  
by A.S. King

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone–the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

by Justine Larbalestier

Micah will freely admit that she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents, and she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as naturally as breathing?

When Love Comes to Town by Tom Lennon

When Love Comes to Town 
by Tom Lennon

The year is 1990, and in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, Neil Byrne plays rugby, keeps up with the in-crowd at his school, and is just a regular guy. A guy who’s gay. It’s a secret he keeps from the wider world as he explores the city at night and struggles to figure out how to reveal his real self–and to whom.


Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by e. lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
by e. lockhart

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father’s “bunny rabbit.” A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston. Frankie Landau-Banks. No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer. Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew’s lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.

Proxy by Alex London

by Alex London

Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want-the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own. Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid. A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship-just as moving as it is exhilarating.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin of the Rock
by Melina Marchetta

Finnikin was only a child during the five days of the unspeakable, when the royal family of Lumatere were brutally murdered, and an imposter seized the throne. Now a curse binds all who remain inside Lumatere’s walls, and those who escaped roam the surrounding lands as exiles, persecuted and despairing, dying by the thousands in fever camps. In a narrative crackling with the tension of an imminent storm, Finnikin, now on the cusp of manhood, is compelled to join forces with an arrogant and enigmatic young novice named Evanjalin, who claims that her dark dreams will lead the exiles to a surviving royal child and a way to pierce the cursed barrier and regain the land of Lumatere. But Evanjalin’s unpredictable behavior suggests that she is not what she seems — and the startling truth will test Finnikin’s faith not only in her, but in all he knows to be true about himself and his destiny.

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

Purple Heart 
by Patricia McCormick

When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he’s honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn’t feel like a hero. There’s a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can’t shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can’t quite put all the pieces together. Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad-Justin, Wolf, and Charlene-the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

by Graham McNamee

It’s a hot, hot summer, and in the depths of the Toronto Transit Authority’s Lost and Found, 17-year-old Duncan is cataloging lost things and sifting through accumulated junk. And between Jacob, the cranky old man who runs the place, and the endless dusty boxes overflowing with stuff no one will ever claim, Duncan’s just about had enough. Then he finds a little leather book. It’s a diary filled with the dark and dirty secrets of a twisted mind, a serial killer stalking his prey in the subway. And Duncan can’t make himself stop reading. What would you do with a book like that? How far would you go to catch a madman? And what if time was running out. . . .

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

Fallen Angels 
by Walter Dean Myers

A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren’t the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is even there at all.
Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life 
by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Scott Pilgrim’s life is totally sweet. He’s 23 years old, he’s in a rockband, he’s “”between jobs,”" and he’s dating a cute high school girl. Nothingcould possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerouslyfashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruisingthrough his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott’s awesome life getturned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends inbattle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1:Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

by Terry Pratchett

Seventeen-year-old Dodger is content as a sewer scavenger. But he enters a new world when he rescues a young girl from a beating, and her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England. From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd, to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock 
by Matthew Quick

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was–that I couldn’t stick around–and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault. Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack.

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Withering Tights
by Louise Rennison

Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College. This is good-bye, Tallulah, you long, gangly thing, and hellooooo, Lullah, star of stage. Tallulah Casey is ready to find her inner artist. And some new mates. And maybe a boy or two or three. The ticket to achieving these lofty goals? Enrolling in a summer performing arts program, of course. She’s bound for the wilds of Yorkshire Dales–eerily similar to the windswept moors of Wuthering Heights. Tallulah expects new friends, less parental interference, and lots of drama. Acting? Tights? Moors? Check, check, check. What she doesn’t expect is feeling like a tiny bat’s barging around in her mouth when she has her first snog. 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone.

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel

The Kid Table
by Andrea Seigel

Ingrid Bell and her five teenage cousins are such a close-knit group that they don’t really mind sitting at the kid table–even if they have to share it with a four-year-old. But then Brianne, the oldest cousin, lands a seat at the adult table and leaves her cousins shocked and confused. What does it take to graduate from the kid table? Over the course of five family events, Ingrid chronicles the coming-of-age of her generation. Her cousins each grapple with growing pains, but it is Ingrid who truly struggles as she considers what it means to grow up. When first love comes in the form of first betrayal (he’s Brianne’s boyfriend), Ingrid is forced to question her own personality and how she fits into her family. The cousins each take their own path toward graduating into adulthood–only to realize that maybe the kid table was where they wanted to be all along.

Out of the Easy by Ruth Sepetys

 Out of the Easy
by Ruth Sepetys

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

by Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith

The Nolans lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 until 1919…Their daughter Francie and their son Neely knew more than their fair share of the privations and sufferings that are the lot of a great city’s poor. Primarily this is Francie’s book. She is a superb feat of characterization, an imaginative, alert, resourceful child.


Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman

Stuck in Neutral 
by Terry Trueman

Shawn McDaniel’s life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a muscle–he can’t even move his eyes. For all Shawn’s father knows, his son may be suffering. Shawn may want a release. And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn’s life is in danger. To the world, Shawn’s senses seem dead. Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seen–a spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.

It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

It’s Kind of a Funny Story 
by Ned Vizzini

The author of Be More Chill takes a poignant look at teenage depression in this remarkably moving and authentic picture of the physicality, despair, and even hilarity of the illness.


The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney The Mockingbirds
by Daisy Whitney

Some schools have honor codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds. Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way-the Themis way. So when Alex Patrick is date-raped during her junior year, she has two options: Stay silent and hope someone helps, or enlist the aid of the Mockingbirds-a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of the student body.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.


TV series review: Broadchurch

By , July 11, 2014

Broadchurch. the Complete First Season
Starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant

Were you a fan of the 2013 mystery event series Top of the Lake?  Can’t stop talking about season one of True Detective?  Then I urge you to add Broadchurch to your viewing list.

Broadchurch is an idyllic, quaint little seaside town in England shocked and torn apart by the murder of one of its own – an eleven-year-old boy named Danny Latimer.  Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller must assist her new boss Detective Inspector Alec Hardy in the investigation.  DS Miller, who grew up in Broadchurch and is liked by all, was looked over for the promotional position Hardy now occupies.  DI Hardy, the moody and broody outsider, joins the Broadchurch force after botching up the investigation of another recent child murder case.

The characters in Broadchurch are complicated and no one appears completely innocent of Danny’s murder.  In fact, the series kept me guessing until the very last episode.  If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know I absolutely adore David Tennant, and I’m really glad to see him in this serious role.  Another David Tennant project to look out for is  The Escape Artist, a recent feature on Masterpiece Mystery.

Broadchurch is being remade by an American TV network, which is nothing new.  However, what is unusual is the fact that David Tennant will be playing the detective in charge once again.  The series, now called Gracepoint, will air on the Fox network sometime this fall.  Gracepoint promises to include new twists and turns, offering a fresh viewing experience to those who enjoyed Broadchurch.  As long as David Tennant stars, I’ll definitely be watching!


Popmatic Podcast July 9th, 2014: Gril is French for Grill

By , July 9, 2014

The Chopped CookbookSummer time is for cooking out so we gab about the best books movies and music to get you grillin’ and chillin’. Did I just write that? Grillin’ and chillin’. I wrote that. Okay. Let’s move on.


Guy on Fire: 130 Recipes for Adventures in Outdoor Cooking by Guy Fieri

ORCA coolers from Franklin, TN

The Chopped Cookbook: Use What You’ve Got to Make Something Great

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

upgrade your beer with a French press

Beer Cocktails: 50 Superbly Crafted Cocktails that Liven Up Your Lagers, Ales, and Stouts by Howard Stelzer

Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes by Matt Fitzgerald & George Fear

Shaft: the TV Movie Collection

Oldboy Korean original


Big Kids Club at Main Library superheroes creative writing workshop

Sentinels of the Multiverse – Greg called it “Avengers” of the Multiverse

Between the Bars by The Civil Wars

Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Schwartz

upcoming Midnight Movies at the Belcourt
- Heavy Traffic
- Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Night Moves (1975)

The High Window by Raymond Chandler

Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves

If a Tree Falls

Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

This Sporting Life

ESPN 30 for 30: Broke


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

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