Popmatic Podcast for February 24, 2016: Bissextile Year, Duh

By , February 24, 2016

Leap YearHow could we possibily do a show about leap year? You’ll have to listen to find out, but I guarantee it is more interesting than a show about the Grammys. Congrats to any locals that won, btw. Plus—what is tickling our fancy this month.


Leap Year

Big Ears Festival

the music of John Luther Adams Freegal | Hoopla

Cabin in the Woods

Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick

The High and the Mighty directed by William Wellman

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll by Peter Bebergal


Cirice” by Ghost

Fantasy Sports by Sam Bosma


Margin Call

Sherilyn Kenyon sues Cassandra Clare for copyright infringement

2016 Grammy Nominees CD | Hoopla


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book Review: The Story of Ruth

By , February 23, 2016

The Story of Ruth: Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life
By Joan Chittister, Artwork by John August Swanson

I have always liked the Book of Ruth. It is one of my favorite books of the Bible. In fact, when we got married, my husband and I asked our minister to use the Book of Ruth as source material for his homily. I also enjoy artwork that tells a story, so when I saw this book sitting on the new shelf at the Main Library, it was in my hands before my brain even registered what was happening.

Initially, the book began life because artist John August Swanson had decided to do some very Byzantinesque panels depicting the story of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. Then as they were going through the printing process, he asked Joan Chittister to add some commentary about the meaning of Ruth’s story.

As detailed and colorful as Swanson’s artwork is, it was not what pulled me into the story. I have never been a big fan of Byzantine artwork. It just leaves me flat (get it…). Instead,it was Chittister’s words that made this book so powerful for me. Chittister is a bit more of a feminist than I am, and her words obviously slant that way, but with a story about two, isolated but determined women succeeding in a male dominated society, that’s ok. Her words are insightful and, to a certain extent, prophetic. I found myself nodding as I was reading along. I’m always looking for great Biblical commentaries and this one definitely fit the bill.

Chittister and Swanson divide their book up into twelve short sections. You can read a different section each day and get different insights about the lives of Naomi and Ruth. If you are looking for something moving to read during this Lenten season, I highly recommend The Story of Ruth.

Happy reading…

:) Amanda

Top 5 Favorite Wilson Collection Books

By , February 22, 2016

“So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight…”Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul

Okay, not really so long for me, just so long to the Wilson Collection because this is my last post for the collection. The next blog post you will receive from me will be from the wonderful world of Metro Archives. Til then, I thought I’d finish my work with this unique collection by listing my top 5 favorite books from the collection. This was rather difficult considering the magnitude of brilliant work that resides in the collection, but over the past couple of years, there have been a few that stood out to me most.

A couple of these books are currently on display either in the first floor art gallery or in the Wilson Room on the 3rd floor of the Library. They may have been mentioned before in previous blog posts but instead of including synopses and descriptions of each book from the collection, I will provide a brief commentary on what makes them special to me.

Here we go, starting the countdown at number 5…

5. Far Away and Long Ago
Author: William Henry Hudson
Artist: Raúl Rosarivo (lithographs)
LEC, 1943

How often can you say that you’ve read a book where the binding was made of fur? Okay, maybe a few of you answered quite often, but you get my drift. This book lands at my number 5 because it is always a favorite to show visitors, and if I had been involved in the creation process of this book, I would have had trouble publishing it. Only for the reason that I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else after the very long and detailed process of designing and publishing the book.  But this book represents the creative plan that is intended for these special edition books – the entirety of the book tells the story, not just the words. As it is an autobiography of Hudson, who grew up on the Argentine pampas, part of the outside of the book was bound in horse hide. Yep, you heard me right, horse hide! It’s just a really cool book and currently on display in the first floor art gallery.

4. Down By the RiversideDown By The Riverside
Author: Richard Wright
Artist: John Wilson (etchings)
LEC, 2001

I only recently discovered this book in the collection because, due to its size, it was housed in a different location from other books published around its date. But thanks to the wonderful LEC website, I stumbled across it and very soon after, was examining it myself. It helps that blue is one of my favorite colors so the casing caught my eye immediately, but the etchings in this book are out of this world. I have not read this story myself but am familiar with the content, and I can assure you that the artist captured the tone perfectly with his dark and powerful interpretations. Illustrations are meant to enhance a story, but in this case, these illustrations call me to the story.

Down By The Riverside

3. Tender is the NightTender is the Night
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Artist: Fred Meyer (color gouaches and lithographs)
LEC, 1982

Along with the beautiful design of the LEC copy of this book, I also have to say that this is one of my favorites because F. Scott Fitzgerald happens to be one of my favorite authors of the 20th century (which is why The Great Gatsby from the LEC is another favorite of mine). Again, my eyes are naturally drawn to the color blue which is the color of the binding of the book. But mostly, I really enjoy looking at this book because of the content. This happens to be the last book that Fitzgerald completed, and though it isn’t a story that will fill you with joy, it does happen to parallel the troubles that he was facing at the time it was written. Because I love memoirs, in a way, this story kind of is one.

Tender is the Night

2. The Case of the Wolf ManThe Case of the Wolf-Man
Author: Sigmund Freud
Artist: Jim Dine (etchings and woodcuts)
Arion Press, 1993

Sure, why not throw a little Freud in here. Okay, though this case is rather intriguing, I have to say I mostly love this book because of the illustrations. Jim Dine is an amazing artist and has illustrated a few other books for Arion Press (for example, The Temple of Flora, The Apocalypse, and Biotherm). Like Barry Moser, another artist found in the Wilson Collection, Dine’s illustrations are easily recognizable and very striking. I’ll admit, there are a few of his illustrations that frighten me, but not from this book. Similar to Down by the Riverside, Dine created images that bring to life the results of the psychoanalysis.

The Case of the Wolf Man

1. Music, Deep Rivers in My SoulMusic, Deep Rivers in My Soul
Author: Maya Angelou
Artist: Dean Mitchell (etchings)
Music by: Wynton Marsalis
LEC, 2003

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times – this is my favorite book in the collection! Okay, maybe I’ve only written this once but it’s true and I’ll tell you why. It’s not only because it could be our only first edition in the collection, but because of the entire package. The amazing person that Maya Angelou was is demonstrated in this beautiful creation just for the LEC subscribers. Along with the powerful words, the book was vividly illustrated by Dean Mitchell and if that wasn’t enough, talented musician Wynton Marsalis composed music to accompany it. But even without the music, the book has rhythm and really pulls you in with every turn of the page. If there’s one book that defines this collection’s identity, it is this one because it exemplifies art in many ways.

Music, Deep Rivers in My Soul

You can view prints from this book in the first floor art gallery. And the book itself is currently on display in the Wilson Room on the 3rd floor of the Downtown Library.

Popmatic Podcast for February 17, 2016: Year of the Monkey

By , February 17, 2016

Last Train HomeWe’re right in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations. It’s the Year of the Monkey. The Popmatic crew talks about it’s favorite Chinese books, movies and mu… okay, just books and movies. And some of these are Chinese in name only, but at least it is not as bad as the Oktoberfest episode where one team member refused to talk about theme because they hated beer so much. What did that team member choose to talk about for our Chinese New Year episode? Howard the Duck.


Last Train Home

Tao Lin

Ed Lin

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Man with Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi

Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

the novels of Mo Yan

the novels of Gao Xingjian

Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club

Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop & Kurt Wiese

Howard the Duck: What the Duck? by Chip Zdarsky


Puke Force by Brian Chippendale

The Very Best of Bob and Ray CD | Hoopla | Overdrive

Hotel Transylvania 2

Formation” by Beyoncé directed by Melina Matsoukas

Magic Mike XXL


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Modern (love and) Romance

By , February 12, 2016

The world is full of books offering relationship, romance and dating do’s and don’ts. The Nashville Public Library owns over 500 titles on the subject of “Man-woman relationships” alone. Where does a lonely heart begin ?!?!?! Last year comedian Aziz Ansari authored Modern Romance, a guide to navigating love in the age of technology. Aziz teamed up with Eric Klinenberg, an NYU sociologist, to conduct research on the behaviors of those seeking romance. The results of their study are fascinating, but not always surprising.   See chapter 6:  Old Issues, New Forms: Sexting, Cheating, Snooping and Breaking up.

In an attempt to ensure that you are properly convinced to read this book, co-workers are sharing their takes on this funny yet serious-as-all-get-out book. Enjoy!

Cheyenne,  33 year old married lady

My husband and I started dating in 2007, right before texting and social media REALLY took over everyone’s lives.  As I read Aziz’s wise words, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude that we didn’t have all of this mess to deal with back in the mid-aughts.  How does anyone keep track of all of these ambiguous forms of communication?  This book touches a deeper nerve than just romance, though, and I really related to the general anxiety of modern LIFE that Aziz so perfectly and hilariously captures.  This book made me laugh hysterically, and it also made me a little worried.  I loved it!  PS: Best book cover of 2015.

Rose, 41, married since 1998; didn’t even have email while dating

I resisted this for MONTHS because I thought that it was going to be light and sort of dumb. It is not. The research is fascinating (especially if you started dating before 1995), and I laughed out loud about a hundred times.

Jessie, 39, Long-term relationship

I met my main squeeze the old-fashioned way, about two hours before internet dating became a thing when my roommate started meeting friends-of-friends-of-friends for drinks through Friendster. Text messaging existed, but it wasn’t something you really did unless it was an emergency. I picked up Modern Romance because I wanted to learn more about these things—swiping right, flirty text message conversations—that everyone else my age seems to have done at one time or another. Thank goodness I did! Since it was co-written with a sociologist, I now have something smart to say when a friend asks me to decipher a flirty-but-vague text message and I won’t embarrass myself by asking my brother about how his Tinder date went. Modern Romance is about more than dating. It’s really a book about the nature of love and human connection. That’s something to which we all can relate, regardless of our relationship status. It’s also going to help me immensely as I develop my new dating app, Tender (for people who just want a really great hug).

Elsie, 57-year-old divorcee returning to the dating scene

I am so glad Aziz was nearby to walk me through the minefield of sexting!  It is all very exciting and I can’t wait to find my algorithm mate.  Now if I could just figure out how to post this glamour shot to Our Time.

Ruby, 24, single, user of Bumble, Hinge, Tinder

Ansari is an uber-relatable millennial who has granted 20-somethings everywhere permission to keep swiping on Tinder.  Or was that just me?  He encourages singles to get rid of their FOMO (fear of missing out) and embrace the choices we are given via numerous dating apps.  His take on the current dating climate–here and abroad–shed light on the many flaws of online dating, while analyzing why so many older people are getting divorced. So we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t, but Ansari pretty much gave a PSA on how to craft a thoughtful message, a much needed reminder in the world of online dating.  Hint: “R U Awake?” at 1:15 a.m. doesn’t cut it.  According to him, it all boils down to the amount of choices we have available in the current dating climate and the not-so-quality ubiquitous matches.  He attempted to normalize online dating in a strategic thought process I definitely bought.  If everyone else is doing it, shouldn’t I?

“Modern love, walks beside me       Modern love, walks on by”     David Bowie

Popmatic Podcast for February 10, 2016: Love Is in the Air

By , February 10, 2016

See Jane ScoreNothing says Valentine’s Day like hockey and horror movies. It’s a categorical bromance between podcast rivals Bryan and Mike. You will learn what “schmoopy” means. Plus—what is tickling our fancy this month.


Chinooks Hockey Team series by Rachel Gibson

The Tamarind Seed


Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

schmoopy defined Urban Dictionary | Wiktionary



Bone Tomahawk

The Story of My Teeth

Jesus’ Son

Weird Love: You Know You Want It edited by Clizia Gussoni & Craig Yoe


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book Review: Barbarian Days

By , February 9, 2016

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
By William Finnegan

I’m not a surfer. Nor am I a surf-writer. But I’ve decided that I am a surf-reader-abouter. For some reason I love reading books (and watching movies) about surfing. It’s such a beautiful, elegant sport that could totally kill you if you’re not smart and careful. Good surf books, though, can be hard to come by. They tend to hide from me and then jump out when I’m least expecting them. Recently a new surf book landed on my desk. I’ve never heard of William Finnegan as a surfer, but his book Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life seemed like something I had to check out.

With his father working on TV shows and movies, Finnegan and family bounced back and forth between Hawaii and California, depending on his dad’s shooting schedule. Between moves, Finnegan learned how to surf on some great waves. In the sixties, when he was a kid, surfing was just starting to find a new surge in popularity. It wasn’t the overly-sponsored corporate clog that it has become. There were still waves to find that were pristine and rideable. As a teenager, the author lived near some of the best breaks in the world, including Rincon and Honolua Bay.

During college, Finnegan and a buddy set out on a round the world surf trip – a la Endless Summer – that would last several years. Some of the unknown waves they surfed in the 70s and 80s are must-surfs for today’s elite. My favorite aspect of Finnegan’s trip was that he wasn’t just out looking for a monster wave to ride and conquer, like some of the books I’ve read. He was simply exploring great waves sites and letting Mother Nature do her thing.

This book was really dense and even though I’m a fast reader, it took me a couple of weeks to plow through. It wasn’t quite a double wave hold down, but there were times I definitely had to come up for air. Finnegan totally immerses you in the world he grew up in and chose to chase for the better part of his adult life. I found that I missed his voice in my head when I wasn’t reading – I wanted more surf stories. If I had the money and time (and was better at “roughing it”), it would be fun to travel and see some of his waves. Not surf them, mind you, because I have zero skill at that. But I think that waves are beautiful and these sound like something that would be very worth seeing. And like the author, I didn’t want it to end.

Happy surfing (or surf-reading-about)…

:) Amanda

Popmatic Podcast for February 3, 2016: African American History Month

By , February 3, 2016

A Rage in Harlem by Chester HimesFebruary is African American History Month. The library goes all out with a (puppet?) truck load of events. The Popmatic crew tells you about some of their favorite Black artists. Plus—what is tickling our fancy this week.


A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

Yesterday Will Make You Cry by Chester Himes

Dear White People

The Wiz Live!

The Wiz

The Wiz original soundtrack

The Night of the Living Dead (DVD | Hoopla | Internet Archive) starring Duane Jones

Birth of the Living Dead

Our Story Matters Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

My Face is Black is True : Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-slave Reparations by Mary Frances Berry

clip at the beginning:
James Baldwin on the artist’s struggle for integrity

clip at the end:
Duane Jones on his role as Ben in Night of the Living Dead


Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux

Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Ratchet by Shamir

Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits by Slyvester

Complete Lady Snowblood


After the Wind by Louis W. Kasischke


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

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