Legends of Film: Alec Smight

By , June 29, 2014

Bill interviews editor, director and producer of the CSI TV series, Alec Smight.  Mr. Smight is the son of late director Jack Smight, who directed this month’s Movies @ Main feature No Way to Treat a Lady.  Alec talks about his father’s directing career as well as his own work on CSI.

Book review: The Deepest Secret

By , June 26, 2014

The Deepest Secret

By Carla Buckley


How far would you go to protect your child?

One day while Eve was driving, a horrible accident occurred, forcing her to make a fast decision. A decision with results so powerful, that it created a domino effect on those around her. Destroying the lives of people in her small community, turning neighbor against neighbor and ultimately revealing secrets best kept hidden.

Carla Buckley’s fast paced storytelling will keep you riveted until the last page….don’t miss The Deepest Secret.




 If you enjoy The Deepest Secret you may want to try Carla Buckley’s other novel:













Popmatic Podcast June 25th, 2014: Indie

By , June 25, 2014


In honor of Independence Day, we feature our favorite indie books, movies, and music. This is a surprisingly literary episode. No Superchunk in sight.


Subterranean Press at Nashville Public Library

Subterranean Press website

Wool series by Hugh Howey

Akashic Books at Nashville Public Library

Akashic Books website

Graywolf Press at Nashville Public Library

Graywolf Press website

Dalkey Archive at Nashville Public Library

Dalkey Archive website

Worthy: Meditations on the Lamb of God by Jay Rouse

Praise Gathering – Jay Rouse’s music publishing house

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Playmates by Robert B. Parker

The Last Good Kiss byJames Crumley

Before Sunrise

Before Sunset

Before Midnight directed by Richard Linkater

Up series



Under the Sea” by the Bottle Boys

Rather Outspoken by Dan Rather

Billy Wayne Davis on the WTF Podcast

Killer Thrillers Book Club

Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons by Sam Kean


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Nothing to Envy

By , June 24, 2014

Nothing to Envy
By Barbara Demick

Sometimes I wonder why I pick the books I do. Is it the cover? Or maybe a big name author? Sure, once in a while that explains it. But why then did I pick this nondescript book about North Korea as I was browsing through Overdrive? It’s certainly not the cover – although the photograph makes the country seem like Disneyland compared to actual life in the Communist state. And I’ve never heard of Barbara Demick. So what made me think reading about North Korea would be good?

As Americans, basically all we’ve been told is that North Korea is part of the “Axis of Evil” and they want to build nuclear bombs to blow us up. I had no idea of the famines and lack of basic resources that the general population has to try and survive. Just look at the photo below taken from space. North Korea is dark, not because the regime dictates it, but because they have no electricity outside the capital city. Think about all the things you can’t do without electricity…


I was also unaware of the brainwashing that has occurred. I can’t even imagine living under a regime that tells you all the things you can’t do, but then gives you no means to support your family. Not just support, but feed. And if my family was starving because of lack of promised government sustenance, you can bet that I’d be screaming it from the rooftop. But in North Korea, that is a death sentence. Even scoffing at the wrong person or not prostrating yourself in grief at the death of Kim Il-Sung was grounds for time spent in a labor camp.

But not everyone was willing to stay and suffer silently. Some got out. Some were able to share their story. That is why I picked this book. I’ve read books about living in the dumps in Mumbai and I’ve read about life in Iran, but never have I been more thankful that I was born in country where I can choose how to live. No one tells me I have to be a doctor or that I can’t grow my own food. If I’m hungry I can eat an apple…or Cheetos.

So why should you read this? I can’t say it was a light read. It was actually very frustrating in sections. But if I had trouble just reading it, imagine how bad it was for the folks who had to live it. Read it because it will open your eyes. Read it because you will be educated in a culture and world completely different from ours. Read it because you can.

And be thankful…





Forest feast simple: vegetarian recipes from my cabin in the woods / Erin Gleeson

By , June 20, 2014
by Erin Gleeson

Every generation has its defining cookbook. The new standard among which all cookbooks will now be measured, the new classic, is Forest feast: simple vegetarian recipes from my cabin in the woods by Erin Gleeson.

Open this book to any page and be inspired. Page left lists ingredients and simple instructions in a combination of watercolor hand lettering and old school typewriter/Courier type. Beautifully combined textures of fabric and ingredients sprinkle the page giving the chef visual encouragements. On the opposite, page right, the finished dish. Simply plated and set on a slab of wood. Delicious, delectable and doable.

“Consider it a handbook of techniques and templates and you will never run out of ways to enjoy this book. The recipies don’t demand pecision-just study the beautiful page layout, get a geral idea and then, go cook!” raves a recent reader.

This cookbook that can be shared by all members of the family. In fact, make a mid-summer pledge to make one recipe out of this book, once a week for the next year. Share the making and the results with family, friends, co-workers. While you decide what recipe to pick next, enjoy one of ten inspired cocktail recipes….Rosemary gin fizz, Bloody Mimosa, Cherry Tomato Michelada….

Take time to read the author introduction. Her journey from food photographer and teacher at Fashion Institue of Technology in NYC to a California cabin in the woods with her Rabbi husband is the stuff of dreams come true. It takes an interesting woman to create these most interesting of recipes.

“First we eat, then we do everything else.”  M.F.K. Fisher





Book review: Long Division

By , June 19, 2014

Jesse the mumblecore librarian is back! Long Division is like Back to the Future but with Lil Wayne instead of Chuck Berry. Things get awkward when he talks about race. This is a great book for adults and teens to read together during Summer Challenge.

Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Dhalgren by Samuel Delany

Haruki Murakami

The Help

Kiese Laymon’s website

Kiese Laymon on twitter

music by Black Dice Freegal | Hoopla | Free Music Archive


Popmatic Podcast June 18th, 2014: Heavy Lifting

By , June 18, 2014

Popmatic PodcastJune 21st is the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – so this week we are going to talk about long books, movies, and music. It’s Summer Challenge! Do you have what it takes? Can you carry the weight? Don’t wimp out because after that we do the tickle my fancy segment. Fancy that wimps.


Martin Scorsese‘s gangster movies
- Wolf of Wall Street
- Casino
- Goodfellas

Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
- Das Rheingold
- Die Walkure
- Siegfried
- Gotterdammerung

What’s Opera Doc?

Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making of “What’s Opera Doc?”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

unabridged Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Flaming Lips CD | Hoopla

7 Skies H3” a 24 hour song

All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness

Ms. Harkness’ website

Mahler The Complete Symphonies, Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic

Mahler: Symphony No.6 in A minor, “Tragic”, George Szell conducting the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

Coffee and Cigarettes featuring a discussion of Mahler’s “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekkommen”

The Very Best of Janet Baker by Janet Baker CD | Hoopla


Lazzaretto by Jack White

Turn Blue by Black Keys

District B13 [actually written by Luc Besson and directed by Pierre Morel]

Darren Arnofsky producing Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy?

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

What the heck is parkour?

No Way to Treat a Lady as part of Movies @ Main

Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan

book trailer for Crapalachia

McClanahan at 2013 Southern Festival of Books


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book List: What to Read after TFIOS

By , June 17, 2014

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse AndrewsMe and Earl and the Dying Girl   
by Jesse Andrews

Every school has a Greg. He’s an odd duck. Greg’s passion is to create videos with his best friend, Earl, and that pretty much sums up his life. Until his interfering mother decides that Greg should befriend Rachel, a girl he barely knew in childhood. Rachel is dying of cancer. Greg has no idea how to deal with this.

Much of the book is hilarious at Greg’s expense. He’s so clueless. As the book progresses, however, Greg becomes less of a stooge and more of a real friend. Much bawdier than TFIOS, here’s a book that takes readers on a very different ride.


Before I Die by Jenny Downam

Before I Die  
by Jenny Downham

Tessa will die in a few months. Despite the pain and the terrible side effects of her medication and the fatigue that clings like a second skin, Tessa compiles a list of ten things to do before she dies. And she will not die, Tessa vows, until she has finished all ten. Number one: Have sex. Gentler readers may be taken aback as Tessa’s best friend bullies her into hooking up. But Tessa’s life is not over until she experiences true love, which nullifies so many of her early desires. A sad, raw heartbreaker of a book.


If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

It was a special morning – a snow day. Mia and her family treat themselves to an unexpected holiday together, going for a drive in the loveliness of the silent snow. Then, in a second, all that is lovely and silent is destroyed as a four ton pickup truck plows into their car.

At seventeen, Mia faces the biggest choice of all: Should I stay or should I go? If I Stay is scheduled to be released as a motion picture in late August.


Side Effects May Vary by Jill Murphy

Side Effects May Vary  
by Jill Murphy

Sixteen year-old Alice has been undergoing extreme chemo treatments to battle her leukemia. When it seems as if the chemo isn’t helping, Alice decides to stop treatment. But she’s not going down without a fight. With her devoted friend, Harvey, Alice exacts revenge from her cheating ex-boyfriend and the girl he cheated with. As Alice is tearing through her bucket list of vengeance, she goes into remission. Um…oops?


The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

 The Probability of Miracles
by Wendy Wunder

Cam needs a miracle. Not a Disney miracle, all feel-good temporary. But a miracle to keep her alive through the summer. When Cam’s mother decides to take a crazy chance and move the family to Promise, Maine, Cam has little to lose. Although she doesn’t share her mother’s faith that miracles happen in Promise, she doesn’t want to die.

Cam strives for a tough girl attitude towards her cancer. Thus readers are relieved when she changes her attitude once in Promise. But can she change her fate?


This Star Will Not Go Out by Esther Earl

 This Star Will Not Go Out
by Esther Earl

John Green’s friend and fellow Nerdfighter, Esther Earl, is not quite the inspiration for TFIOS, but readers will find her name in the dedication. Esther spent her teen years battling thyroid cancer that spread to her lungs, living until just after her sixteenth birthday. The book contains Esther’s journal entries, as well as supplemental chapters written by her parents.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate Esther’s spunk and wit is by watching her vid blogs on YouTube. See John Green’s goodbye to Esther below.


The Beautiful Game in America

By , June 16, 2014

This is the time soccer fans have been waiting for - the 2014 World Cup began on Thursday, June 12th.  The U.S. Men’s National Team plays their first game today against Ghana – a huge match since Ghana has beat our team in the last 2 World Cups – you can catch the game at 5 p.m. on ESPN.

The game of soccer has been developing rapidly in the U.S. in recent years, but it hasn’t always been that way.  This week, I uncovered some great articles from the past that demonstrate the growth of America’s enthusiasm for “The Beautiful Game” over the years.

First is a fabulous article by G. Herbert Daley in Collier’s magazine from April 16, 1910 called “The Charm of Soccer.”  Daley’s mission in this article is to educate and to persuade.  He explains how the game came to be known as soccer . . . ironically, the name came from an abbreviation of the British term “Association Football,”  although America is pretty much the only country to call the game “soccer.”

Some of my favorite quotes by Mr. Daley as he attempts to infect Americans with his enthusiasm for the sport of soccer:

“It is conducive to the acquirement of ruddy health; it makes for a sharpening of the wits, keen resourcefulness, and quick action; it tends to the development of a rough-and-ready sportsmanship.”

“The spirit of the game reaches the spectator as well as the player, and it makes soccer one of the prettiest of all sports to watch.”

“Every man must decide for himself; any moment may be the moment of destiny . . .”

“There is in soccer a constant, never-ceasing buoyancy, an ever-present excitement, and sense of motion.”


Next, check out this interesting contraption featured in the May 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.   Apparently this “catapult” device was developed by a British soccer player and, from the picture, looks like it was used to train goalkeepers.  According to the article, it could also be used to launch cricket balls and footballs.





 In the October 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics, soccer features again in an article titled “The World’s Favorite Sport,”  written by a long-time coach and former president of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, John Wood.  In this article, Wood educates Americans with some fascinating facts on the history of the game, dating it back to A.D. 217.  Apparently Oliver Cromwell was known to play soccer in the 1600s. 

The growth of America’s interest in soccer is evident in this article, as Wood discusses the number of high schools and colleges fielding teams and the advent of the NSCAA.  He makes sure to mention the 1950 World Cup, also held in Brazil, in which the “U.S.A. team surprised sports fans by upsetting England.”

Coach Wood continues on to exhibit some of the standard skills used in soccer – these are good for a smile, although some are still in practice today, maybe with slightly different names.  See the photo at right, where he demonstrates the proper technique for kicking the ball – “with the instep, not the toe.”


If you’re interested in some good reads about soccer and the World Cup, check out these titles from our Non-Fiction collection:

Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil Through Soccer by David Goldblatt
Golazo: The Beautiful Game from the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How Soccer Shaped Latin America by Andreas Campomar
The Mammoth Book of the World Cup by Nick Holt
Why Soccer Matters by Pele
SoccerNomics by Simon Kuper

A challenge for you, book lovers

By , June 14, 2014

Summer is in full swing at NPL, and if you haven’t heard, we’ve issued you a seasonal challenge: READ!

This year, our Summer Reading Program has been re-vamped into a Summer Challenge that encourages library users of all ages to earn points for reading, crafting, attending library programs, helping people, and basically doing anything that keeps our brains and bodies active.

This is especially imperative for kids.  Students who don’t read over the summer will start the next grade level at a disadvantage – their skill set does not just stay put where they left off in May.  If kids don’t read over they summer they literally lose skills.  When they head back to school in the fall, they need to recoup those losses.  In the process of catching back  up, they miss out on new skills.  They will always be treading the proverbial water, and that’s frustrating.

But it doesn’t have to be a struggle!  The Summer Challenge is fun!  It’s a point-based system that awards participants for doing activities. We’re working solo and as communities, and there’s a lot going on.  Stay with me:

  • All participants get prizes at 25 and 50 points
  • But keep going!  For every 25 points you earn, your name is entered into drawings for Target gift cards and the grand prize:  tickets for four to Dollywood!
  • Every branch has a point goal.  Your points will help your local branch earn an End of Summer Party if those targets are hit.
  • MNPS schools are involved!  The school with the highest number of points will earn a special prize when school resumes.
  • We’re all in this together!  The city of Nashville has set a 500,000 point goal.  It’s do-able if we all work together, and it’s worth it:  If we hit this goal and you’ve participated in the Summer Challenge, come in the week after August 15, and ask to have all fines on your account waived.  Boom! Gone!

So where do we stand?  Head into your local branch to check out your community’s progress.  As a whole, Nashville has reached 33% of our city-wide goal!  That is amazing – we’re only halfway through June!

There’s still time to register, you can do it right now by clicking here!

We challenge you to have fun this summer – we’ll see you soon!

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