Popmatic Podcast for January 27, 2016: We Just Make This Stuff Up

By , January 27, 2016

Furious 7Nashville Improv is coming to Main Library on January 30th at 2pm. In honor of their show, we embarrass ourselves for your amusement by improvising this entire episode. Upping the chaos factor, we recorded this the morning of the winter storm. Maximum bumble death match. What does this have to do with Furious 7? You’ll have to listen to find out. Big thanks to Jesse for providing our improv queues. Plus—what is tickling our fancy this week.


The Fast & the Furious

Star Trek Beyond

The Great Gatsby soundtrack

Third Man Records

Bryce McCloud of Isle of Printing

Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton

In Death series by J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts

Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken

Dracula by Bram Stoker

The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Hild by Nicola Griffith

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series by Fritz Leiber

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente


The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

King Lear at Belmont

Magic Mike


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Kisses from Katie

By , January 26, 2016

Kisses from Katie
By Katie Davis

I have causes that I support. I think we all probably have those things that tug at our heartstrings and to which we want to give our time and money and love.

And this one got me.

Which means it must be pretty powerful because I am not known for being a sappy person. I don’t like movies that make me cry and I’d ALWAYS rather watch a comedy over a drama. But with Kisses from Katie, it was like the universe wouldn’t let me ignore it. Plus, it’s always nice when a local girl does good.

Katie Davis was born and raised in Brentwood, TN. Instead of going immediately to college after graduating high school, she decided to spend a year in Uganda, Africa working in an orphanage. She had originally planned to come home and go to college after that one year, but Africa grabbed her wouldn’t let go.

While working as a teacher, Katie ended up adopting fourteen (then thirteen) girls whose families had either abandoned them or had passed away. All of this loved ended up becoming Amazima Ministries that helps children in Uganda get the education they need to avoid a life of destitution and poverty.

Katie’s story is amazing. She felt called to serve in Africa and instead of coming up with a million excuses why not, she went. While being honest that parts of her journey were very difficult, Katie still made it seem almost effortless because she knew she had a solid support system – which included a very powerful faith in God. I found myself tearing up on every other page because it was just so moving.

I was sad when the book ended. I wanted to know all the details from 2011 when the book was published to today. Luckily, Katie still writes her blog and Amazima is going strong. You check her out here for the rest of the story. I hope that I can be as driven and as elegant with my talents and gifts as Katie was and is with hers.

Happy reading (but you might want to grab a Kleenex…just saying)…

:) Amanda

Wilson Collection pays tribute…

By , January 25, 2016

David Bowie

Recently Updated!

I think it’s safe to say that the year 2016 is starting off a little more bitter than sweet. Not only has the winter weather showed up with a vengeance, but there have been several shocking and heartbreaking deaths already this new year. Though this tribute is predominately focusing on David Bowie and his love for reading, I’d like to first recognize a few other individuals who also recently passed away.

The most recent passing being of the great, English actor Alan Rickman, who passed away last Thursday (the 14th) of Pancreatic Cancer. Though my favorite role he played will Always be Severus Snape in theAlan Rickman Harry Potter films, he was famous for many of his other films including Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Love Actuallyand of course, Die Hard. No one will ever forget his voice either.

On a more personal note, this next individual that passed away on Jan. 12th is being mentioned because his death was felt by everyone in the Butler Bulldog community – a community I am very much a part of as a proud alumna. At the young age of 25, former Butler basketball player Andrew Smith passed away after 2 tough years battling Cancer.

I could go on about the tough fight Andrew put up, how strong his wife was throughout the battle (and how strong she still is), and what he means to the school, but you’d be reading forever, and as Brad Stevens (former Butler coach-turned Celtics coach) said “it still wouldn’t do him justice.” But I’ll simply say that my thoughts go out to his family and friends, and summarize his character with a message sent out from the school – “He is, was, and always will be a Bulldog.

Andrew SmithSorry to take it down a notch, but like all lives, these are worth mentioning and remembering.

For the last tribute, I’m going to recognize innovative English musician, David Bowie. Bowie passed away on January 10th, just 2 days after his birthday and the release of his latest album, Blackstar.

As sad as I am at his passing like many others, I will halt here on my tribute to Bowie because if you are a regular follower of the Library’s Off-the-Shelf blog, you have already seen the beautiful tribute written by Bryan on January 11th. If not, click here to check it out. Instead, I’d like to share a few of Bowie’s favorite books via the Wilson Collection.

David BowieLike music and art, Bowie enjoyed immersing himself in a book; it was one of his favorite forms of relaxation. When he toured or was filming a movie, he had a large collection of books with him always. And, he was also one of the first celebrities to pose for the American Library Association’s series of READ posters. For the 1987 edition, you can find Bowie jumping for joy (it appears) while he reads Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. 

If you haven’t already seen the many shared articles and Twitter feeds, a list of Bowie’s top 100 favorite books was released (unsure of when and by whom initially). Though I wish we had every single one of them in the Wilson Collection, I was at least happy to find a few.



Here are 3 of his favorites:

Madame BovaryMadame Bovary
Author: Gustave Flaubert
Water-Color Illustrations by: Gunter Böhmer
LEC: 1938

  • This is a tragic story about Emma Bovary, the wife of a doctor, who indulges in adulterous behavior to escape her provincial life. I say “tragic” because the story ends with Emma taking her own life due to unhappiness.
  • This book is not only considered to be a masterpiece, but is also a seminal work of literary realism. It received strong backlash when it was first published due to its controversial content.
  • This copy of the book is signed by well-known German-Swiss illustrator, Gunter Böhmer. Though he was also known as a talented painter and draftsman, he was best known for his stylistic book illustrations.

The BridgeThe Bridge
Author: Hart Crane
Photographs by: Richard Mead Benson
LEC: 1981

  • It is a long poem with varying scope and style and was written as an ode to the Brooklyn Bridge and New York City.
  • Though he traveled around to different cities while writing the poem, Crane also spent time in an apartment that overlooked the famed bridge. What Crane didn’t know when he was living there was that the designer of the bridge also stayed there during the bridge’s construction.
  • The photographs taken for the LEC copy were by talented photographer, Richard Mead Benson – a longtime admirer of New York’s geographical beauty.

The LeopardThe Leopard
Author: Giuseppe di Lampedusa
32 Photographs from the film by: Giovan Battista Poletto
Arion Press: 2015

  • The story is based on the life of the author’s grandfather, Giulio Fabrizio Tomasi, who was Prince of Lampedusa. It follows the life of a family during the Italian Risorgimento, or Resurgence.
  • Published posthumously after several failed attempts, The Leopard eventually became the top-selling novel in Italian history after initial political attacks, and is now also considered to be one of the most important literary works in the modern Italian literature.
  • The book was also made into a film, the same film that the 32 photographs were taken from.

If you’re interested in visiting the Wilson Collection, you’ll find it on the 3rd floor of the Downtown Library in the East Reading Room (between the Fine Arts department and Non-Fiction). The hours are the same as the Main Library hours. If you’d like a personal tour of the collection where you’d get to see the books up close and even get to look through them yourself, either respond to this blog post or call either of the following numbers:

(615)880-2356 – leave a message for Liz.


Dead Space: Salvage Book Review

By , January 24, 2016

Dead Space: Salvage by Antony JohnstonDead Space: Salvage
by Antony Johnston

To tell you about this graphic novel, I must give a little background about the world of Dead Space. Dead Space takes place about 300-500 years in the future where the Earth is dying. Resources have become so limited that the people of Earth have started mining planets for resources, and have colonized several moons and planets. Even so, humanity is slowly heading towards extinction. Around 2308, a group of scientists find an object buried near the Yucatan Penisula. The object soon becomes known as the Marker, and is simultaneously worshipped (Unitoligists) and researched (EarthGov). The government hopes that with the Marker’s help humanity will be saved from extinction. Those who worship the artifact believe that the Marker will save humanity through a process called Convergence. The Marker has its own plans.

This graphic novel takes place right after the events of the main game, Dead Space. The Red Marker, a man-made version of the original artifact, has been put back on the planet Aegis VII.  The USG Ishimura (the first game’s setting) is floating in space, and the Earth Government is looking for the ship. Unitologist leaders, unimpressed with EarthGov’s methods of discovery, decide to take control of the mission. Why does a religious group have this much overt  power of the government, you ask? Suffice it to say that the Dead Space universe is really bad, even without the scary, stab-happy monsters.

In another part of the galaxy, a freelance salvage crew on a ship called the Black Beak spots the USG Ishimura.They decide to go on board and see what can scavenged and sold. If you are familiar with the Dead Space franchise, then you know that things turn bad very fast. When the crew of the Black Beak board the USG Ishimura all systems are down; the ship has gone completely dark! There is an organic sludge covering everything, and some red crystals sticking into the hull of the Ishimura, but not soul appears to be home. The salvage crew decides to bring the shards on board while looking for salvageable materials. The Black Beard crew starts screaming and disappearing, and monsters start to take their place.

Besides the writing, I really liked the artwork because it reminds of watercolor paintings. The panels are pretty dark with a lot of blues, blacks, and grays being used.  If you’ve ever looked at the concept drawings,or alternative cover drawings, in the back of most comic books, then that’s what the actual panels look like. The darkness of the panels, to me, parallel the bleakness of the universe that Dead Space encompasses.

Josephine Groves Holloway, Girl Scout Hero

By , January 22, 2016

BN 1963-1091-6 Girl Scout Award“If you could see Camp Holloway, tour its area, have its program explained to you…you would never duck for cover when the Girl Scouts literally swarm your community at their cookie sale time. You would rush to participate in this program that is so clearly dedicated to the proposition of moulding young women to habits of honorable and purposeful citizenship.” – Robert Churchwell, Nashville Banner, July 13, 1960

* * *

Girl Scout Cookies have been helping troops across the country raise money since 1917, but not every girl has always been welcome in the organization. In Nashville, it wasn’t until 1942 that Josephine Groves Holloway successfully registered the first African American Girl Scout troop.

Holloway (pictured above) was working at Nashville’s Bethlehem Center when she first became interested in getting the young girls she worked with involved with the Girl Scouts. In 1924 she attended training with founder Juliette Gordon Low at George Peabody College for Teachers and started an unofficial troop. Even though her request to start an official troop was denied, that didn’t stop her from obtaining a copy of the Girl Scout handbook and using it with her girls.

Due to Holloway’s persistence and an increasing pressure from the national office to combat discrimination, the local council granted her request in 1942 and Troop 200 became Nashville’s first African American Girl Scout Troop. The foundation laid by Holloway in the black community contributed to a total of thirteen new troops in the eighteen months that followed, but segregation was still a reality and made activities like camping difficult.

During this time many state parks were closed to African Americans, but in 1951 land was purchased so that young black Girl Scouts in Middle Tennessee would have a place to camp. Named after its Nashville leader, Camp Holloway opened in Millersville, Tennessee in 1955 thanks to money gained from – you guessed it – cookie sales.  Today, Girl Scouts of all races and backgrounds enjoy the historic camp.

Holloway is a graduate of Fisk University and Tennessee A&I. She is also the first black professional Girl Scout employee in Middle Tennessee, holding positions as field advisor, district director, and camp director. She retired in 1963, but continued her community service and organized the first tuition-free volunteer tutoring program at Pearl High School and Head Elementary.  During the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 she was honored with the “Hidden Heroine” award and in 1991 the new Girl Scout headquarters on Granny White Pike opened the Josephine G. Holloway Historical Collection and Gallery.

As you order your Girl Scout Cookies this year, remember the legacy of Josephine Groves Holloway.

BN 1960-1811-9 AA Girl Scout Camp

Camp Holloway, 1960. Nashville Banner Archives.

For more information:

Trial and Triumph: Essays in Tennessee’s African American History
A History of the Cumberland Valley Girl Scout Movement

Popmatic Podcast for January 20, 2016: The Truth is Out There

By , January 20, 2016

Barlowe's Guide to ExtraterrestrialsX-Files is returning so we get extraterrestrial. Amanda and Bryan talk about things relatively popular. Bill and Mike go deep nerd. Listen to the very end for X-Files talk and the most important question of all: mythology or monster-of-the-week? Got a favorite alien? Tell us in the comments.


Redshirts by John Scalzi

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials by Ian Summers, Beth Meacham, & Wayne Barlowe

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spider from Mars by David Bowie

Man Who Fell to Earth

Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis

Low by Hugo Wilcken

Bowie’s video for “Lazarus


The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep by Lawrence Block, first in the Tanner series

The Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward

A Chef’s Life Season 3

The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky & Moebius


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Estamos Aqui – We Are Here

By , January 14, 2016

Painting by Jairo PradoThe main library is alive with the bright colors of local artists, but it isn’t your average show. Fourteen Latino American artists from throughout the state of Tennessee have come together to create Estamos Aquí: Voces Contemporáneas/We Are Here: Contemporary Voices. These artists explore identity, family, culture, and social justice in acrylic, clay, print, and other forms. Though the pieces were created by Latino artists, the themes are universal. Take, for example, Ruben Torres, a Mexican born artist that focuses on figurative symbolism. His images evoke emotional responses from all viewers and their simple forms make it easy to put yourself in their place.

Two paintings by Ruben Torres

Many of the artists explore the ways that we construct identity, especially the way that we layer cultures on top of each other as we travel to new places. Did you know about 80 new people move to Nashville EVERY DAY???  (According to CNN) That’s a lot of people bringing a lot of different cultures. And these people are not all immigrants. Sure, the Latin American population in Nashville has grown 10-15% in the last 10 years and the Kurdish population is thriving. But, we are also a popular destination for Midwesterners, Southerners, and Texans. I met someone earlier this week from Portland! All of these individuals bring their own perspective to life in Nashville and it is reflected in this exhibit. Jorge Yances paints layers upon layers of faces, newspapers, and other items in his work, Zolita Mojica combines Nashville skylines with Colombian flowers, and Danielle Sierra puts Elvis and Martin Luther King Jr on the same canvas. The unique intersections of our personal worlds are laid out in the artwork created by these wonderful artists.

Visit the exhibit at the Main Library, 615 Church Street. Exhibit closes April 3. This exhibit was curated by Jairo and Susan Prado and is part of the yearlong Estamos Aquí: 500 Years of Latino American History project.  

- Amber

Popmatic Podcast for January 13, 2015: Save a Horse

By , January 13, 2016

A Million Ways to Die in the WestQuentin Tarantino dropped another western pastiche with The Hateful Eight. It’s a blender slop of westerns, both illustrious and obscure (don’t worry Bill will tell you which ones). So this week—westerns. Tell us yours faves in the comments.


7 Faces of Dr. Lao

High Plains Drifter

A Million Ways to Die in the West

McCabe & Mrs. Miller


Hall of the Mountain Grill by Hawkwind

No Name on the Bullet

The Ridiculous Six

Native Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders

Reel Injun

The Sandman: Overture


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book Review: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

By , January 12, 2016

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
By Gary Vaynerchuk

Happy New Year! I hope that you have sufficiently recovered from the holidays, so that you are ready to tackle those pesky New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe this year, one of those resolutions – after losing weight and redoing the house, of course – was to start a blog, or some kind of online presence. If that’s you (like it was me), then you HAVE to read this book.

I’m not the most media savvy person in the world. I did plan most of my wedding on Pinterest and I’ve been known to play a game or two on Facebook (yay Alpha Betty!), but I don’t use Instagram or that bird one. However, with this book, that’s ok. Vaynerchuk (what a great name, right? I feel like he should be a hockey player…) will walk you through the major social platforms available. His day job is working with major corporations to develop their online marketing footprint, so he’s really good at knowing what is a good idea and what…well…isn’t. He focuses on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.

One small caution, this book was written in 2013. For something about the ever-changing online space, I thought it was still very relevant. Vaynerchuk even addresses this issue several times throughout the book. I would guess, though, that for someone who uses any of these sites a lot, they may be able to point out a lot more changes than I saw because I’m not using them every day (yet). I don’t feel like that overshadows this book. Vaynerchuk’s ideas transcend the technology supporting them. Just take his suggestions and apply them to the new technology. As for me, I’ve got to learn how to crawl before I try to fly so what he said was very helpful to me.

If you are looking for some great information to explain why you might want to Pin the Tweet on the Facebook, check out this book and then I’ll see you in the blogosphere…if I can figure it out.

Happy blogging…tweeting…pinning…Facebooking…whatever you do on Instagraming…

:) Amanda

R.I.P. David Bowie

By , January 11, 2016

David BowieYes, even Martians die. Bowie looms large over pop culture like spaceship in a Sci-Fi movie casting a shadow over Earth. Lucky for us, he came to enlighten.

Without Bowie, would there be Lady Gaga, Elton John, or George Clinton? Okay, Clinton is a stretch, but Mick Jagger would never have worn a sparkle jumpsuit without a visit from Ziggy Stardust. How many people heard Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Brian Eno, and Scott Walker because of Bowie? Not to mention he played Jareth the Goblin King and Pontius Pilot.

Velvet Goldmine director Todd Haynes said that glam rock was a crack in the facade of an oppressive culture. Now that facade has begun the crumble and we can appreciate how subversive Bowie’s gender bending personas were. Don’t let this theoretical touting obscure the fact he was a great tune-smith who never stopped challenging himself or his audience, while most of his peers made the same record over and over for thirty years. I’m looking at you, Mick. Even the records he dialed in had hits. The ones that weren’t hits still changed music forever.

I’m sure other folks will have a lot to say about Bowie in this space, but for the time being here are my favorites:

Blackstar by David Bowie

His last, just released record (aka blackstar) and newer albums are on Freegal.

Low by David Bowie

My personal fave, Low, and a lot more of his discography is on Hoopla.

Stage by David Bowie
If Low is my fave, you know I prefer the Berlin years over the Ziggy years. The gauntlet is thrown, rock snobs. Great live versions of the Berlin era tracks, featuring Nashville’s own prog prodigy Adrian Belew, can be heard on Stage.

“I’m always crashing / in the same car”

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