Book Review: All I Know and Love

By , August 31, 2014

All I Know and Love book, by Judith Frank

All I Know and Love
By Judith Frank

A timely look at the emotional interplay of conflicts that arise between nations, families, and spouses, Judith Frank’s new novel tackles love and loss in the modern world.

From the first page, Frank pulled me into a story that shows how complicated ordinary lives can become. David and Matt are happily living together in Massachusetts when word arrives that David’s twin brother, Joel, and his wife have been killed in an explosion in Israel. In addition to dealing with this grief, David has been named guardian of Joel’s two children. The story follows the couple as they try to figure out their new life and all the challenges and rewards that come with it.

Frank is ambitious in the topics that she covers. Starting with the conflict in Israel, made ever more realistic by the current news coming from that region, she presents multiple ideological viewpoints through her characters. They have heated debates about terrorism and retribution, whisper about the potential taboo of two men raising children together, and shout about their varying responses to grief. Her use of various perspectives helped me to understand the thoughts of different characters at key points throughout the novel and keeps the reader on his or her toes. Though this writing style can get a little confusing, it is worth taking the time to understand how her characters feel when they are dealing with these complex situations.

- Amber


Legends of Film: Bud Smith

By , August 29, 2014

During this episode we talk to film editor Bud Smith.  Mr. Smith’s editing credits include The Exorcist, Flashdance, and this month’s Movies @ Main feature Sorcerer.   Smith discusses the making of Sorcerer, why the original version of The Exorcist is much better than the extended directors cut, and how to edit an X-rated movie to make it an R-rated movie.  See Sorcerer on the big screen Saturday September 13, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the Main Library, downtown.  All are welcome – no tickets required…

Football Movies We love

By , August 28, 2014

With the 95th NFL season getting ready to kickoff on September 4th what better way to get into the mood for football season than with some of our favorite football movies……


The Blind Side

Based on a true story, “Michael Oher is a homeless teenager who with the help of his coaches and adopted family becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.”


Brian’s Song

“A drama about the deep friendship between Gale Sayers, black halfback for the Chicago Bears, and his white teammate, Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer in 1970.”


Friday Night Lights

“Odessa is an oil town in the western part of Texas that is home to the Permian High School Panthers, the football team with the best winning record. The city’s economy is in a tailspin, but football is the one thing that brings all the people of Odessa together.”



“Vince Papale is a down-on-his-luck substitute teacher in Philadelphia who, at the age of 30, was out of work, abandoned by his wife, and biding time as a part-time bartender when he decides to answer an open call for tryouts on the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team in 1976.”


“Dodge Connolly is a charming, brash football hero. He is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his team. Dodge hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country’s attention.”



“The story of the relationship between a prominent high school football coach in a small South Carolina town and the illiterate, mentally-challenged man nicknamed Radio whom he mentors.”


Remember the Titans

“A drama of forced high school integration in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. After leading his team to fifteen winning seasons, white football coach Bill Yoast is demoted and replaced by African-American Herman Boone, tough, opinionated and as different from Yoast as could be. The two men overcome their differences and turn a group of hostile young men into champions.”



“Although people have told Rudy all his life he’s not good enough, smart enough or big enough, nothing can stop his impossible dream of playing football for Notre Dame.”



“The inspiring and moving tale of three underprivileged student-athletes from inner-city Memphis and the volunteer coach, Bill Courtney, trying to help them beat the odds on and off the field.”


We are Marshall

“While traveling home after a football game in North Carolina, 75 members of Marshall College’s football team and coaching staff were killed in a plane crash. As those left behind struggled to cope with the devastating loss of their loved ones, the grieving families found hope and strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel, a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall’s football program and in the process helped to heal a community.”


- Karen



Popmatic Podcast August 27th, 2014: Dog Days

By , August 27, 2014

Sinners on TourThe dog days of summer are hot. Hot like four nerds sitting in a room talking about books. We tell you about the hottest books, movies and music. Things keep sizzling in the tickle my fancy segment.


Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning

Dog Day Afternoon

The Dog trailer

Virtual Unrealities by Alfred Bester featuring the story “Fondly Fahrenheit”

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 1 Disc 2 featuring the episode “Shopping for Death”

“Validating Ray Bradbury: Climate change and high temps linked to violent behavior”

FKA twigs on YouTube


Inside the Actors Studio: Robin Williams

Stardust Drive-In Theatre

What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton

John Oliver Terrifying Times [extended & uncensored]

Stories We Tell directed by Sarah Polley


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Landline

By , August 26, 2014

By Rainbow Rowell

I heart Rainbow Rowell. I really do – in spite of the fact that her books usually have a melancholy slant to them. I tend to avoid sappy books like the Ebola virus if I can help it, but something about Rainbow’s storytelling manages to pull me in every time. After all, this is the author who wrote Fangirl – possibly the best young adult book since Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens. (This begs the question – can you be a fangirl of Fangirl? Hmm…must ponder…)

So imagine how excited I was when I found that Rowell had a new book coming out – and it was for adults!  A little research reveals that this is actually the second book Rowell has written for the adult market. Somehow I managed to miss Attachments when it came out in 2011. But don’t worry, I plan on correcting this shortly (thanks Overdrive!).

Landline opens in LA with the troubled marriage of Georgie and Neal. He leaves for Christmas in Omaha with their two girls and Georgie stays behind to work on her upcoming pilot pitch for a show she’s been writing for decades. Luckily, Neal is horrible about using his cell phone and Georgie’s phone has a bad battery, so she can’t use it unless it’s plugged in. These drives her to use a….wait for it…old landline phone at her mother’s house to talk with her husband. (For those of you born after 1995, a landline is a phone that has a – gasp – cord that attaches to the wall and does not play Candy Crush.) But is it Neal now or Neal from 1998? And is her marriage really in trouble, or is there hope that she will save it?

If you watched The Lake House, it’s basically the same premise, except now we have a magic phone instead of a magic mailbox. I wasn’t really shocked at how it turned out, but it was excellent escapist reading and a cozy way to spend a Saturday afternoon. If you’re looking for a little light, enjoyable reading, give this one a shot. It’s not like any of us have a magic landline we can use to call our past loves anyway, right?

Happy reading…

:) Amanda

Emily Giffin – The One and Only

By , August 23, 2014

Emily Giffin discusses her latest book, The One and Only. In Giffin’s words, The One & Only is a story about love and friendship set against the backdrop of Texas football.  This author talk was recorded June 9, 2014. Emily Giffin appeared as part of the continuing Salon@615 author series.

Learn more about Salon@615 and view upcoming author visits at

Listen to the Archived Recording

Download MP3 audio

Subscribe to Salon@615 podcast (iTunes)

Popmatic Podcast August 20th, 2014: Summer Challenge FTW

By , August 20, 2014

The Fever by Megan AbbottThe crew recaps the best stuff they read, watched or accidentally broke during Summer Challenge. Half way through Bryan starts calling it “summer reading” again. It’s hard to teach an old library dog new library dog tricks. We take a minute to remember Robin Williams.


The Proud Highway: the Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 by Hunter S. Thompson

Footloose American: Following the Hunter S. Thompson Trail Across South America by Brian Kevin

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

The Fever by Megan Abbott

Dark Family: V.C. Andrews and the Secret Life of Little Girls” by Megan Abbott & Sara Gran

Sudden Sea by R.A. Scotti

Therapy Horses of Gentle Carousel

Fermentation Workshop with Sandor Katz


Dead Poets Society


Mork & Mindy

Marc Maron’s interview with Robin Williams

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Singles by Future Islands

“Doves” (Vince Clark remix) by Future Islands

Kevin Pollock’s Chat Show

Mandatory Fun by Weird Al Yankovic

Dungeons & Dragons “5th Edition”


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book list: Sexting and Other Twenty-first Century Midadventures

By , August 19, 2014


He said She Said by Kwame Alexander

He Said She Said  
by Kwame Alexander

Meet Brooklyn transplant Omar “T-Diddy” Smalls: West Charleston High’s football god and full-blown playa. He’s got a ton of Twitter followers, is U Miami bound, and cannot wait to hit South Beach . . . and hit on every shorty in a bikini. Then there’s Claudia Clarke: Harvard bound, straight-A student, school newspaper editor, and all-around goody-two-shoes. She cares more about the staggering teen pregnancy rate than about hooking up with so-called fly homies and posting her biz on Facebook. Omar and Claudia are thrown together when they unexpectedly lead (with a little help from Facebook and Twitter) the biggest social protest this side of the Mississippi.

Awkward by Marni BatesAwkward  

by Marni Bates

Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she’s the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous-not to mention unwelcome-attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that’s when life gets really interesting…

Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

A Thousand Words 
by Jennifer Brown

Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he’ll forget about her while he’s away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest she text him a picture of herself — sans swimsuit — to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits “send.” But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media.

Overexposed by Susan Korman

by Susan Korman

Send me a pic? Daisy Garcia’s not afraid of putting on a show. So when her boyfriend Simon asks Daisy for some sexy pictures, she sends him a couple. But when Daisy and Simon have a bad breakup, Simon forwards the pictures to the phones of everyone at Southside High. How will Daisy handle it when her private life goes public?



#scandal by sarah ocklier

by Sarah Ockler

When Cole surprises her at the after-party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of…and the biggest BFF dealbreaker ever. But before they get the chance to ‘fess up to Ellie, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising photos of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral. By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal, just weeks before graduation.

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

Wish You Were Dead 
by Todd Strasser

The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucy’s friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared. As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d’s blog, the residents of Soundview panic. Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than he’s sharing?

Going Underground by Susan Vaught

Going Underground 
by Susan Vaught

Del is a good kid who’s been caught in horrible circumstances. At seventeen, he’s trying to put his life together after an incident in his past that made him a social outcast-and a felon. As a result, he can’t get into college; the only job he can find is digging graves; and when he finally meets a girl he might fall in love with, there’s a sea of complications that threatens to bring the world crashing down around him again. But what has Del done? In flashbacks to Del’s fourteenth year, we slowly learn the truth: his girlfriend texted him a revealing photo of herself, a teacher confiscated his phone, and soon the police were involved.




Jon Scieszka: a visit and a book review

By , August 18, 2014

The Stinky Cheese Man, True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Time Warp Trio, Guys Read – the list goes on.

The master of fractured fairy tales and pied piper of boy readers is coming to NPL. Tonight! 6:15! FOR FREE!

Salon @ 615 welcomes Jon Scieszka to the Main Library where he’ll visit, promote his new book (out today!) Frank Einstein and the Anti-Matter Robotand surely woo us all with hilarity.  After all, what else should we expect from the guy who brought us a man made of stinky cheese?

So about this new book:  Frank Einstein and the Anti-Matter Robot : 

Hilarious (and informative!), this is the story of Frank, who, along with his friend Watson and Grandpa Al, up-cycles workshop odds and ends into two robots.  One is intelligent and free-thinking, and one hopefully has a pretty robot face (read: dumb). When Science Fair rival T. Edison gets wind of Frank’s scientific advancements, Edison launches a nefarious plan to steal the technology and use it for his own personal gains.

This book is really funny, obviously.  It’s also rooted in real science, with lots of sneaky facts peppered throughout the book.  Readers will learn the definition of antimatter while laughing at the antics of robots Klink and Klank.

Request Frank Einstein and the Anti-Matter Robot from NPL right now, and come see Jon Scieszka tonight!


Family Folk Tales: The Un-Looked For Prince

By , August 16, 2014

The Unlooked-For Prince – A king makes a bad bargain, and loses his son. Will the prince escape the evil that awaits him?

Subscribe to Family Folk Tales

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