Movie review: Enough Said

By , September 30, 2014

Enough Said_ Enough Said

This is a smart, funny and very enjoyable movie featuring the late, great James Gandolfini in a role you may not be accustomed to given his preeminence as Tony Soprano.  He plays Albert, a sweet divorced man whose ex-wife, Marianne, befriends Eva, played by Julia Louise-Dreyfus (of course, well known from Seinfeld, New Adventures of Old Christine and recently star of HBO’s Veep).

Eva, a travelling masseusse, begins a relationship with Albert and their woman in common leads to all sorts of plot twists where shared information creates uncomfortably real and thought provoking situations.  What to reveal; When?  Who knows what?  Can we go on like this and become an honest couple based on our true feelings for each other?

Definitely a charming, romantic situational comedy worth watching with excellent acting all around and lots to recommend it.





Book List: It Used to Be Our Town

By , September 29, 2014

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

The Aftermath  
by Jen Alexander

Sometimes those tiny people in the video games are so life-like they could almost be real. In the game, The Aftermath, the survivors scrambling over the ruins of Nashville are real. Take Claudia Virtue. She’s on her eighty-sixth life. She and her clan are hanging out in the remains of the Parthenon. It’s a temporary respite from the constant violence of their virtual lives. But Claudia is more than a realistic image on a screen; she has the intelligence to comprehend that she is controlled by an unseen force, and that at any time that force can click the “delete” button.



Little Brother by Cory Doctorow


 Little Brother  
by Cory Doctorow

Marcus and a few of his friends are skipping school, absorbed in the latest techno-geek game, when the Golden Gate Bridge explodes. Talk about bad timing! Marcus and crew are suspicious merely by their presence, and are subsequently detained by Homeland Security for questioning. Days worth of questioning. Upon emerging, they discover that San Francisco is now under military control, ostensibly because of the threat to national security. But Marcus believes there is more to the situation, and he’s determined to find out what it is.



Legend by Marie Lu

by Marie Lu

Los Angeles is no longer a desirable vacation spot; a plague continues to decimate the population even as recognizable landmarks crumble. Now part of the Republic of America, they are in a constant war against the Patriots. Fifteen year-old Day is reputably the most dangerous of the Patriots, although he has committed little crime beyond trying to keep his family alive. On the Republic’s side is another fifteen year-old, June, who has been deemed a prodigy soldier and instructed to track down Day.

Forsaken: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter 
by Jana G. Oliver

Since the Trapper’s Guild in Atlanta is a bit shorthanded, even seventeen year-old Riley Blackthorne is allowed to catch bothersome Grade One Hellspawn. Riley is sure that she is capable of handling more challenging demons, but it’s tough living up to the reputation of her father, a master Demon Trapper. When she encounters a Grade Five Geo-Fiend (at the library), Riley is thrust into the path of danger. Can she prove herself worthy? 




  Divergent by Veronica Roth

by Veronica Roth

It’s true, that eerie city where the Dauntless leap on and off trains is a futuristic Chicago. If you’ve read the book, you probably recognized place names such as Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue. And if you saw the movie, you may have guessed that the Ferris wheel is indeed the one located on Navy Pier. But a lot more of Chicago is present in both book and movie. For fun, take a look at a map one Divergent fan put together at


The Young World by Chris Weitz The Young World 
by Chris Weitz

The Sickness killed everyone except teens. No one knows the cause or the cure. Survivors have clustered together in tribes throughout New York City for protection, although teens still die shortly after their eighteenth birthday. That is why Jefferson finds himself the leader of the Washington Square Park tribe upon the death of his elder brother. One of the tribe members, Brainbox, thinks he may have figured out the cause of the sickness, but needs to head out to the New York Public Library to read an important research document. Alas, that beautiful library is filled with cannibals! But there are enemies in every corner of the city, and time is running out for all of them.





Banned Classics from the Wilson Collection

By , September 29, 2014
One of 3 pull-out triptych paintings by illustrator, Joe Mugnaini. Bradbury wrote a new foreword for this copy of Fahrenheit 451. The book was signed by both author and illustrator.

One of 3 pull-out triptych paintings by illustrator, Joe Mugnaini. Bradbury wrote a new foreword for this copy of Fahrenheit 451. The book was signed by both author and illustrator.

“Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.”

- Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  Banned Books Week, September 21-27, is an important week to celebrate the freedom to read ALL books, not just the controversial ones. Though the censorship of books has been going as long as literature has been published, Banned Books week has taken place only for the past 30 years. For one week each year, we highlight books that have been banned, challenged, or suspended in different cities around the world for various reasons. By displaying the books, talking about them, and spreading the word that these books have been challenged or banned, we play an important role in promoting the freedom to read.     In honor of Banned Books Week, we’re displaying 17 books from the Wilson Collection:

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

    Published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1982, famed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld illustrated line drawings (such as this one) and four-color lithographs for the book. Hirschfeld is best known for his drawings that enlivened the drama pages of "The New York Times" for 60  years. This copy of the book is signed by Hirschfeld.

    Published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1982, famed caricaturist from The New York Times, Al Hirschfeld illustrated line drawings (such as this one) and four-color lithographs for the book.

  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    One of 14 Jazz Age illustrations by Fred Meyer. The photos were executed in gouache; a water-based paint that is modified to make it opaque.

    One of 14 Jazz Age illustrations by Fred Meyer. The photos were executed in gouache; a water-based paint that is modified to make it opaque.

  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

    Illustrated and signed by artist, Martin Fletcher, this is one of the full-color wash-and-ink drawings created for the book. The book was also signed by the author, Upton Sinclair.

    Illustrated and signed by artist, Martin Fletcher, this is one of the full color wash-and-ink drawings created for the book. The book was also signed by the author when it was published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1965.

  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

    Published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1944, the photos shown are just a few of the drawings illustrated by artist, John Steuart Curry. The book is also signed by the artist.

    Published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1944, the photos shown are just a few of the drawings illustrated by artist, John Steuart Curry. The book is also signed by the artist.

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Moby Dick, or the Whale by Melville Herman
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Book 2 of "Gone with the Wind"

    Volume 2 of 2 – Gone with the Wind was published in two volumes, in 1968 by the Limited Editions Club. This is 1 of 11 double-page plates, illustrated by John Groth. The art created for the book was done in line drawings and water colors.

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Published in 1938 by the Limited Editions Club,

    Published in 1938 by the Limited Editions Collection, Miguel Covarrubias illustrated 16 powerful lithographs for the novel. The book was also signed by the artist.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    One of two copies the Limited Editions Collection published, the 1942 version was illustrated and signed by famous painter and muralist, Thomas Hart Benton.

    One of 2 copies the Limited Editions Collection published, the 1942 version was illustrated and signed by famous painter and muralist, Thomas Hart Benton.

These books provide important, real-life lessons and unprecedented stories that stick with you. These classics may address difficult, sensitive, and sometimes controversial topics, but the material is no more dangerous to read than the real-life events that inspire the writers. Want to see this display or would you like to view more works from the Wilson Collection? The Wilson Collection is housed on the 3rd floor of the Main Downtown Library, next to the Fine Arts book section. The display will be up for two more weeks. To make an appointment to view the collection, please call (615) 862-5804 ext. 6092.

Cheryl Strayed – Wild

By , September 27, 2014

Cheryl Strayed discusses her book, Wild :  from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail.  This author talk was recorded April 18, 2013. Cheryl Strayed appeared as part of the continuing Salon@615 author series.

Various staff members have written about Strayed in the past. Check out our reviews of Wild via the Popmatic Podcast, Wild via Off the Shelf, as well as Strayed’s advice book, Tiny Beautiful Things

See upcoming author visits, including Kristen Gillibrand and Carl Hiaasen, and learn more at

Listen to the Archived Recording

Download MP3 audio

Subscribe to Salon@615 podcast (iTunes)

Notable Nashville

By , September 26, 2014

Take a look at some notable Nashville residents from years past.  The articles featured can be found in the Periodicals section on the 3rd floor at the Main library.

PhilHarrisNashvillePhil Harris (1904-1995) grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and attended Hume-Fogg High School. PhilHarrisBalooHe was a bandleader, musician, movie and television actor, and popular radio personality – perhaps best known as a sidekick to Jack Benny before getting his own show alongside his wife, Alice Faye. He also recorded many popular novelty songs like “The Thing” and “That’s What I Like About the South.”

In the photo at left, from the Metro Archives digital collection, Phil Harris performs at Sulphur Dell ballpark on July 27, 1951. He received a “Phil Harris Day” proclamation from Nashville Mayor Ben West.

In the November 7, 1964 issue of the Saturday Evening Post, Harris (far right) is pictured along with Sebastian Cabot and Sterling Holloway, working on the voices for the animated Disney film The Jungle Book. Phil Harris performed the voice of Baloo the Bear and his song, “The Bare Necessities,” was nominated for an Academy Award.

Enjoy the talents of Phil Harris:


JacksonLillian-LittonLillian Jackson (1919-2003), from Nashville, Tennessee, was one of the founding members of the All-AmericanLillianJacksonTeam Girls Professional Baseball League. She attended Isaac Litton High School in Nashville, Tennessee – see her yearbook picture at left.

Lillian Jackson played in the AAGPBL for the Rockford Peaches, the Minneapolis Millerettes, and the Fort Wayne Daisies. The group photo at right from the June 4, 1945 issue of Life magazine includes all 6 teams.  Jackson is pictured in the center, with the Fort Wayne team.

Read more about the AAGPBL:


YostFielding H. “Hurry-Up” Yost (1871-1946) is famous for his contributions to college football, most notably as the extremely successful head football coach for the University of Michigan. For years, Yost only lived in Michigan during the football season, and made Nashville, Tennessee his home for the remainder of the year. He lived in the popular Whitland area neighborhood off West End Avenue.

He was a mentor to, and eventually became brothers-in-law and business partners with, Vanderbilt football coach Dan McGugin.

According to the article pictured at left, from the November, 1922 issue of American Magazine, Yost moved to Michigan year-round to become the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education for the University of Michigan.


For more on college football and Fielding H. Yost:


KittyCheathamKitty Cheatham (1865-1946) was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father, PlaytimeKittyCheathamRichard Boone Cheatham, was Nashville’s mayor for 2 years. Kitty Cheatham attended private schools in Nashville before beginning her musical career. She quickly became very popular as a singer and actress in musical theater productions in New York and across Europe, performing for thousands of people.

Kitty Cheatham reached the height of her popularity because of her performance of music and stories for children. She published books with her children’s music and began speaking and writing about the topics of children’s music, literature, and education. She also wrote pamphlets and articles about religion and patriotism.

The illustration above (left) appears in an article that Kitty Cheatham wrote for the September, 1916 issue of Craftsman magazine called “Reinforcing Democracy: How I Think it Can Be Accomplished Through the Children.”

The column  pictured at right is from the June, 1912 issue of The Delineator (a popular women’s magazine) called “Playtime with Kitty Cheatham.” This column was a regular feature with suggestions for “amusement that stimulates the mind.”

Book review: Mambo in Chinatown

By , September 25, 2014

Mambo in Chinatown

By Jean Kwok


Fans of the movie Shall We Dance? about the man who rediscovers his passion for life after taking some ballroom dance lessons will enjoy Mambo in Chinatown by Jean Kwok.   Charlie Wong is a twenty two year old dishwasher living in Chinatown.  The daughter of a dancer and a noodle-maker, Charlie has never excelled at much of anything until she applied for a job working as a receptionist at a ballroom dance studio.  Charlie’s life begins to blossom as she discovers herself and her love of dance.


Mambo in Chinatown will have you putting on your dance shoes.







Popmatic Podcast September 24th, 2014: Banned Books All Year

By , September 24, 2014

Lolita by Vladimir NabokovKnock knock. Who’s there? Humbert. Humbert who? Humbert Humbert. It’s Banned Books Week. We celebrate the freedom to read by plugging our favorite challenged books. If you have a favorite banned or challenged book, tell us in the comments. Later in the show, a book about giant ants proves too much for Mike to handle.


Banned Books Week events happening an NPL

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm large format edition illustrated by Ralph Steadman

Mommy Laid an Egg! or Where Babies Come From by Babette Cole

What’s “Happening to My Body” Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras

What’s “Happening to My Body” Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Homeland by Cory Doctorow read by Wil Wheaton

Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free by Cory Doctorow


The Colony by A.J. Colucci

Hello Goodbye” covered by The Cure

Stark Raving Black by Lewis Black

In God We Rust by Lewis Black

Every Kingdom by Ben Howard

Opulence by Brooke Candy


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Tara Road

By , September 23, 2014

 Tara Road
By Maeve Binchy

This book has sat and sat and SAT on my To-Be-Read pile for what seems like forever. Initially I grabbed it because I thought it might have something to do with Gone with the Wind. Even though it completely doesn’t, the book jacket grabbed me. A house swap? From Dublin to Connecticut and vice versa? Hmm…I liked The Holiday. Why not?

When I finally began to read Tara Road, I borrowed the audio. This was a lucky happenstance, because the reader (in this case, Jenny Sterlin) has a beautiful Irish voice and sets the story nicely. Starting in Dublin, we meet Ria Johnson. The first half of the book details how she meets Danny Lynch & how they build their family. I kept waiting for the house exchange part, but couldn’t possibly see how it would fit. I even went back and read the cover, just to make sure this was the same book. It was, and is. I just hadn’t read far enough.

Little by little, Marilyn Vine and her Connecticut world sneek into the story. She and her husband are estranged, having just suffered through some horrific tragedy and Marilyn decides she needs some time to get away. On a whim, she dials Danny’s number in Dublin, having met him on a previous visit several years prior. When Ria answers they both cook up this scheme to trade houses for two months.

Whew! That was a lot of backstory to get through for a house exchange. But, honestly, every minute and page and scenario was worth it. At this point, you may either continue reading Tara Road OR you may switch out at start watching the movie (or do both like me!).

The movie starts right before the house exchange, significantly truncating Ria’s backstory and stars Andie MacDowell as Marilyn Vine and Olivia Williams as Ria Lynch. (Just because I always have to find some Joss Whedon connection, Williams starred as Adelle DeWitt, the head of his short-lived Dollhouse.) The book version is almost 500 pages, so naturally several plotlines and characters get cut in the movie. I loved both Ria and Marilyn, but I thought that movie Danny Lynch was nowhere as good, or as handsome, as the written Danny and I wanted to punch Polly Calahan in the face in both versions. Definitely a decent film adaptation though.

This book was nothing like what I was expecting, but I so enjoyed reading it. I was sorry when I finally finished. I had not read anything from Maeve Binchy before, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last book of hers I read.

Happy reading…

:) Amanda

PS Today is my birthday (Da na na na na na). I’m gonna have a good time (birthday!)…

Legends of Film: Dean Tavoularis

By , September 20, 2014

outsidersDuring this episode of Legends of Film, we talk to the Academy Award winning production designer, Dean Tavoularis. Mr. Tavoularis discusses his career working on such Francis Ford Coppola films as The Godfather Trilogy, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, and The Outsiders.

Record Review: Jackson Browne

By , September 19, 2014

Running on Empty
by Jackson Browne

Earlier this week the Americana Music Festival payed tribute to the poet laureate of Rock, & Roll, honoring Jackson Browne with the “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech Award. Previous recipients include Johnny Cash, Steve Earle and Joan Baez.

Mr. Browne is a co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE),, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for students in South Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and was the fourth recipient of the John Steinbeck Award.

Now that we have covered the awards, let’s get to the music. The first time, the heartbreak, the deluge, the dreamers, the dancers, you know the early good ones. Then there came the pop ones, the political wake-up calls, the yearning and learning and finally the return to love. None of Jackson Browne’s albums from the past 40 years better reflects the spirit of Nashville than the 1977 release, Running on Empty. Sure, we all remember the load out, the roadies, Rosie, the falsetto, but “phone calls long distance” now knocks us to our knees. The return visit is better than you remember and you may find the listen more than just familiar.

Standing in the Breach is set for release on October 7th.

There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more but they didn’t show your spirit quite as true…Jackson Browne


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