There’s No Time Like Snow Time

By , February 27, 2015
Capitol Feb 6 1979

February 6, 1979

As we experienced the icy weather of the last week, Megan (guest blogger) and I decided to dig up some memories of Nashville snowstorms of the past.  The following images and captions come from the Nashville Banner Archives in the Special Collections Division at the Main Library.





Horse Feb 21 1929

The heaviest fall of snow in more than ten years transformed Nashville overnight into a city of white. This attractive picture was taken in Centennial park early Thursday morning, Feb. 21, and with old Dobbin and the sleigh, it brings back memories of long ago.





Girls Snowball Jan 16 1948Choice target of students’ snowballs yesterday was Dr. Robert C. Provine, president of Ward-Belmont School.
(January 17, 1948)







Skiiers Jan 27 1963
Skiers enjoy the snow.
(January 27, 1963)








Snow Dino Jan 20 1978
Becky and John Mills (from left), Benny Pully and Rob Hatchett construct a prehistoric-type snow creature at 154 Brenda Lane – a lifesize dinosaur.
(January 20, 1978)






Silhouette Jan 24 1979

Solitary Sledding:
Holding his inner tube, William Hall prepares for another run down a snowy slope in Shelby Park.
(January 24, 1979)










Sledding Ashwood Ave Jan 19 1984Slick Snickers:
Kids have fun sledding down Ashwood Avenue.
(January 20, 1984)










Did you take any great shots of this year’s winter weather? Share your pictures with us on social media!

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And if you want to know more about Nashville’s past, make a visit to our Special Collections Division and explore the Nashville Banner on microfilm.

Book review: The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs that Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion

By , February 26, 2015

The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs that Changed the Course of Bridal Fashion

By Eleanor Thompson


In 1840, when 21 year old Queen Victoria selected white as the color of her wedding dress no one could have predicted that she would set a trend for white wedding gowns that would last for nearly two centuries. Even today, white is still the number one choice for brides in western cultures.

Eleanor Thompson’s new book The Wedding Dress: The 50 Designs that Changed the Couse of Bridal Fashion is so much fun to read, you will not want to put it down. From Queen Victoria to Catherine Middleton, everyone’s wedding dress that you would imagine is in this book. From Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana to Dita Von Teese’s purple Scarlet O’Hara inspired wedding dress, along with a multitude of stunning wedding dresses you will be excited to see for the first time.

Each chapter features a full page color photograph of the wedding dress, information about the bride, dress designer and a detailed sketch of the gown that allows you to see its silhouette and all of the intricate details of the design.

The Wedding Dress is a must read for anyone who loves fashion, don’t miss it, this book is marvelous.



- Karen


P.S.  If you love looking at weddings dresses as much as I do, you may want to take a peek at the blog created by the Victoria and Albert Museum for their exhibition entitled Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 the postings are fascinating!




Popmatic Podcast February 25th, 2015: Salute Your Sci Fi Shorts

By , February 25, 2015

Star Trek the Newspaper ComicsFebruary is the shortest month so we were going to talk about short things, but, appropriately enough, we were short staffed due to #SnObama aka the 2015 President’s Day ice storm. With only Bryan, Jeremy and Mike in the studio, this episode slipped down the nerdiest of sci-fi wormholes. Be forewarned, there is discussion of Star Trek uniforms.


Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck

William L. Crawford Award

The Best of Cordwainer Smith by Cordwainer Smith

Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

Star Trek the Newspaper Comics: The Complete Dailies and Sundays 1979-1981 by Thomas Warkentin

Star Trek the Motion Picture uniforms

James Tiptree Jr. Award

works of James Tiptree, Jr.

James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double-Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Philips

IDW Publishing

Star Trek the Next Generation: Hive by Brannon Braga

Disney revises Star Wars “canon”

The Compleat Al


Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

Eliot writing about Huckleberry Finn

works of Isaac Asimov

What We Talk About When We Talk about Love by Raymond Carver

What It Says About You If You Enjoy Horror Movies” by Alice Robb

On SF by Thomas M. Disch


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: The Sweetheart

By , February 24, 2015

The Sweetheart
By Angelina Mirabella

Raise your hand if you ever thought you’d read a fictional book about lady grapplers in the 1950s? Hmm. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

No one?

Yeah, me neither. But then I picked up this beauty and (cue the announcer) got sucked in to the “Story of the Century…ry…ry…ry!”

Ok maybe not the century, but this was definitely a good read. I used to make fun of my brother for watching wrestling. We had epic battles of “You know that’s fake right?” (me) and “No it’s not” (him). But I never knew that women used to wrestle. I thought that was a more recent addition. According to the wonderful wikipedia though, women’s professional wrestling has maintained a World Champion since 1937. That’s a lot of spandex.

Our story follows seventeen year old Leonie Putzkammer and her rapid transformation into The Sweetheart of the Ring. Standing close to six feet tall, Leonie never considered herself beautiful or desireable. But after a chance encounter at a diner (and the execution of the perfect back flip on a dare), Leonie’s dead-end life is over. Suddenly she’s on a train to Joe Popsisil’s School for Lady Grappling where she leaves her old self in the past and becomes the beautiful, the heartbreaking, Gwen Davies.  Leonie/Gwen keeps you rooting for her – even when she’s the bad guy. Nashville makes a cameo appearance because we were and are a proud wrestling city (or so I’m told).

The author does admit that most of the wrestling events were staged – with the winner predetermined before the match. For some reason, though, this didn’t bother me. (Also, to my brother, “Told you so.”) It was just nice to see the big girl win for a change.

So if you think you’re man enough to wrastle a lady, check this one out.

Let’s get ready to rumblllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeee…er, I mean reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeead!

:) Amanda

All you need is love…from the Wilson Collection

By , February 23, 2015

A Librarian Valentine made during the Throwback Thursday program.February is an important month for many reasons, not just because it is my birthday month (haha, just kidding). It’s African American History month, Mardi Gras month, President’s Day month, the shortest month of the year (only good if that means that winter ends faster), the month when a certain Groundhog decides he prefers freezing a little bit longer than choosing spring…you get it. It’s a good month also because it is when Valentine’s Day occurs, the great holiday that makes Chocolate even more popular than it already is, and renews the best loved stories of all time.

The Wilson Collection at the Nashville Public Library is filled with many classic love stories, including Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy,  several by Shakespeare including Romeo & Julie and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and several notable works of literature from Jane Austen. A few of Austen’s novels from the collection including Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Emma were used recently in the Teen program, Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection, and will be discussed more in depth below.

Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection is a Teen program that recurs every second Thursday of the month. This is a program that began back in September of 2014, bringing books from the Wilson Collection to the Teens, to allow them to experience history firsthand with special edition books. This program is open to all teens, and the next one will be March 12th.

The vintage valentines borrowed from archives.

The vintage valentines borrowed from archives.

As a part of the program, teens can participate in the craft that is included. Each month, the craft changes but sticks to the same theme of vintage or books (or vintage books). For example, the first craft was book making. This next month’s program will include a craft of making book marks out of recycled materials.

In addition to the three Jane Austen novels on display, teens could also view old Valentines that belonged to a Lebanon High School graduate in 1944. These valentines were borrowed from Archives, at the Main Downtown Library. Unique for both their material and content, the teens that participated enjoyed looking at them.

Using the inspiration of Vintage Valentines, the craft this month was making Valentines the old-fashioned way. The Teens loved it and made more than one per person even. The craft was very simple too, for anyone else interested in making these in the future.

The craft for February's Tbt was creating vintage valentines.

The craft for February’s Throwback Thursday was creating vintage valentines.


Here are the easy instructions to making Vintage Valentines:

1. Use construction paper, cardstock paper, or just regular paper for your base.
2. From a heart template of any size preferred, you can cut the shape of a heart from a template (I printed a heart shape out and traced it onto a recycled cereal box).
3. Out of recycled paper such as tissue paper, paper from old books, or doilies, cut the shape of another smaller heart and glue it onto the base paper.
4. From here, you can decorate the Valentine with any other decorations such as stickers, buttons, or old Valentines printed from the internet. There are a lot of good, older Valentines out there that provide an insight into the humor of the past. See the pictures below for a few examples.

The Teens enjoyed writing their own messages, but there are stickers and crafts out there that provide example material. If you’re looking for an easy craft in the future for your teens, kids, or adult friends, this is a cheap and personal way to show your love and friendship without breaking the bank on Chocolate or Flowers (though I’d agree that chocolate tastes better than a Valentine card).

While we’re still discussing love, I’ll add the books that were brought to this month’s Throwback Thursday. All three are books by classic English novelist, Jane Austen. She was popular during her time, and remains still. She created some of the best-told classic love stories of all time, and many of them (including the books listed below) have been remade as movies.

Some of the crafts made during the Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection program

Some of the crafts made during the Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection program.


1. Pride & Prejudice – published by the LEC in 1940. Illustrations by Helen Sewell.

Pride and Prejudice     Pride and Prejudice


2. Sense & Sensibility – published by the LEC in 1957. Illustrations by Helen Sewell.

Sense and Sensibility_2     Sense and Sensibility

3. Emma – published by the LEC in 1964. Illustrations by Fritz Kredel.

emma_2     emma

The Throwback Thursday with the Wilson Collection program recurs every second Thursday, as already mentioned, in the Teen area. It is a program for Teens, but viewing the books is not. The Wilson Collection in the East Reading Room is open to anyone to view during Library hours. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Downtown Library (next to the Fine Arts area).

If you are interested in viewing more books individually, you can make an appointment by calling either (615) 880-2356 or (615) 880-2363, or simply respond to this blog post.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more next month!

Book review: Manifest Destiny volume 1: Flora and Fauna

By , February 22, 2015

Manifest Destiny volume 1: Flora and Fauna
by Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts

The worst thing about history is its lack of monsters. There are dictators and despots, of course, but when I say monsters I mean MONSTERS–mysterious, possibly hairy and/or scaly creatures of unknown origin, things you run from in the night and hope aren’t lurking under your bed. Unfortunately, the real world is a little low on hairy scary monsters, but that leads us to the best thing about history: you don’t have to let facts get in the way of telling a good story. Manifest Destiny Volume 1: Flora and Fauna, written by Chris Dingess and illustrated by Matthew Roberts, is a comic book that plays fast and loose with history. Dingess and Roberts insert mystery, fantasy, and–best of all–monsters into the real life story of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In this version of events, Meriwether Lewis chronicles President Thomas Jefferson’s hidden objective for the Corps of Discovery: destroying monsters and making the territory safe. Early in their journey, the Corps encounters a structure readers will recognize as the famous Gateway Arch of St. Louis. Here, it’s a massive botanical structure which vexes the explorers and serves as a backdrop for their first encounter with the minotaur-like creatures which inhabit the land. These huge hybrid beasts are part horse, buffalo, and human, and are quickly dispatched by the ninja-like fury of Sacagawea. The danger grows as the explorers push deeper into the territory. Add to this an intelligent fungus which turns people into chlorophyll-spouting zombies and one of the most celebrated episodes in American history becomes an Indiana Jones-style adventure. A case of wooden stakes in the ship’s cargo hold hints at things to come, making volume 2 of this series something to look forward to in 2015. -Jeremy

Legends of Film: Steve Carver

By , February 21, 2015

Lone_wolf_mcquadeDuring this episode of Legends of Film we talk to director Steve Carver. Carver’s film credits include Big Bad Mama, Capone, and the upcoming Movies @ Main feature, Lone Wolf McQuade. Mr. Carver discusses working with the legendary filmmaker Roger Corman, and explains why it’s NOT a good idea to take over a film from another director.

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Popmatic Podcast February 18th, 2015: Rutherford B. Hayes was a Werewolf

By , February 18, 2015

Frost/NixonThe library is an educational institution; therefore, we spend most of our President’s Day episode talking about conspiracy theories and werewolves. Duh. Our post-Grammys discussion devolves to shouting.


The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln by Noah Van Sciver

Eighteen Acres by Nicole Wallace

Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents by Bob Greene

Frost/Nixon film

Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan

Frost Nixon the Watergate Interview

Secret Honor

Nixon in China by John Adams


My Dad, the Pornographer” by Chris Offutt

Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West

Presidential Campaigns by Paul F. Boller

The Order 1886

Casting By

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

One Book – Two Very Different Awards

By , February 17, 2015


This One Summer
Text by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrations by Jillian Tamaki

On February 2, the American Library Association announced the winners of the Youth Media Awards. These winners and honor book selections came after a year of intense scrutiny by committee members, each dedicated to finding the books that fit the criteria of their respective awards. The deliberations are done in secret; for example,the Newbery Award Committee has no idea who will win the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. In the past, this has lead to some surprise double winners. For example, in 2000, Christopher Paul Curtis’s novel, Bud, Not Buddy  won both the Newbery Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for outstanding African American authors.

This year, a graphic novel, This One Summer, won both a Caldecott Honor Award and a Printz Honor Award. This is a first. The awards seem to be focusing on two different aspects of literature. Caldecott honors “…the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher .” Generally these books are picture books for younger children, such as this year’s Caldecott Award, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friendillustrated and written by Dan Santat. The Printz Award, on the other hand, honors the best Young Adult  book in terms of literary merit, as with the 2015 Printz Award winner, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. There doesn’t appear to be much overlap; what’s so special about This One Summer that it was recognized with two very different awards? 

It’s a glimpse into a young girl’s life, a snapshot of a summer when Rose and her parents return to their vacation place by the ocean. They’ve been here before, many times. Rose has a friend, Windy, who is just a bit younger. That hasn’t been much of an issue, until this one summer. Rose is poised on the precarious brink of adolescence while Windy is still mostly kid.





Bowl drop






The summer retreat has been a place of comfort for Rose and her parents. They swim, they play board games together, and use the time to focus on each other. Until this one summer. Rose’s mother is withdrawn and refuses to go in the ocean. She and Rose’s father fight all the time. Rose doesn’t know what’s going on; despite all of her eavesdropping, the trouble is mysterious and beyond her understanding.





Rose and Windy have their summer rituals. There are familiar beach games, sleepovers, and trips to a battered convenience store that rents movies. It’s usually an easy routine to fall into, until this one summer. There’s a guy working at the store this year. He’s a few years older than Rose, but she feels the pull of attraction. She and Windy nickname him, Dud. Still, he becomes Rose’s secret preoccupation.


So it’s just one summer, recreated in snippets of text and pictures. But in its simplicity it captures something very real. The book has been described as “nostalgic” by readers from a wide span of age groups, indicating that it’s not nostalgic in terms of a particular era, but in the way it recreates a time of life.

The awards reflect Rose’s experience, with one foot in childhood and the other stepping into adolescence. The audience for the Caldecott Award is “…persons of ages up to and including fourteen,” adding that, “…picture books for this entire age range are to be considered.” The Printz Award targets its audience as “young adult…, 12 through 18.” In that small space of life is this one summer, capturing all that is agonizing and magical.

Follow these links for information about the Caldecott Award and the Printz Award, including the full list of criteria and lists of past and current winners.

Diane Colson

Book review: The Stars My Destination

By , February 15, 2015

The Stathe-stars-my-destinationrs My Destination

by Alfred Bester

Suppose you were stranded in the scattered, floating remains of a demolished space vessel. Barely surviving by sheer will, hoping for rescue and constantly disappointed, hovering close to death for no less than 170 days…would you begrudge a passing ship that took notice of you but continued on its way? And what would you do about it?

If you’re Gulliver Foyle, a shiftless, illiterate, unmotivated nobody, this act of cruel indifference would galvanize your resourcefulness and finally give your life purpose. This it does for Alfred Bester’s antihero in his 1956 novel The Stars My Destination.

What this classic SF tale may lack in nuanced elegance, it more than makes up for with a headlong plunge into exciting space adventure. Set in the twenty-fifth century, the story employs advanced biotechnology, the presence of telepathy, massive corporate power struggles, a highly secretive and highly dangerous new chemical compound, and the common practice of personal teleportation, a skill uncovered and perfected by the human race over the last century.

Gully Foyle is quite the character, and his vengeful quest is quite the ride. This and The Demolished Man – also good – are generally considered Bester’s most important contributions to the genre, and Stars incorporates a few concepts that became common over the next few decades. While this novel has never received the film treatment, Hollywood is at work on an adaptation of one of Bester’s short stories, “Fondly Fahrenheit”, which can be found in this collection.

Wild and inventive, this is mid-century SF at its best. You’ll be anything but bored, so go ahead and strap in!

- Ben

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