Category: Fiction

Why I love Interlibrary Loan

By , November 27, 2014

interlibraryloanI love Interlibrary Loan because it gives me access to an amazing world of books beyond our library’s already superb collection!

My passion is for fashion, big beautiful fashion history books make me positively giddy. Using Interlibrary Loan has allowed me check out dozens and dozens of pricey, hard to find, fashion history books that I would have never had access to otherwise.

Interlibrary Loan is easy to use; simply click on the Interlibrary Loan link under the Services heading on the library’s website. First time users will be asked to fill out a short form about contact information. After that you simply log in using your library card and pin number. There is a limit of 5 requests per library card at any one time.

Books and articles not available in our collection may be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.   E-Books, DVDs, music CDs and audiobooks are not currently available through Interlibrary Loan.

Once your request is submitted, it can take a couple weeks for your item to arrive. You will be notified when it is ready to be picked up. Interlibrary Loan materials can be returned at any of our library locations (just not in the book drops please).


Interlibrary Loan is easy to use, it puts amazing materials right in your hands and best of all it is free with your library card, now what can be better than that!








Comics review: Pretty Deadly

By , November 20, 2014

Can the beautiful art of this psychedelic Western redeem its shaky story? Jeremy fights off the buzzards.

Pretty Deadly Volume One by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, and Jordie Bellaire

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples


music by Black Dice CD | Freegal | Hoopla

Book review: The Haunting of Hill House

By , October 30, 2014

hauntingThe Haunting of Hill House

by Shirley Jackson

If you haven’t already indulged in some literary eeriness this October, there’s still time. And if you like your seasonal reading both creepy and critically loved, why not step this way?

Widely hailed as one of the best haunted house tales of all time, Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House is an excellent example of supernatural fiction that incorporates a healthy dose of psychological terror. In fact, there are several distinct opinions held by fans and critics regarding the nature of the story’s frightening elements. Thankfully, we won’t go into that minor debate here.

The story itself concerns four individuals coming together to spend a summer in Hill House, an old country estate with a less than happy history. Managing the proceedings is a doctor who aims to document paranormal activity in the house and who has invited individuals with past unexplained phenomena to join him in the experiment. Only two show up, while a third person – the eventual heir to the house – joins the group to represent the family interests.

The author gives each character a distinct personality, but events in the week that follows are primarily seen through the eyes of Eleanor, one of the two respondents who accept the doctor’s invitation. Our peek into Eleanor’s emotional and mental landscape reveals a complex inner life, putting Jackson’s literary talent on full display. A far cry from blunt, gory, or hardcore horror, this classy ghost story can still deliver a memorably chilling experience.


Also, be sure not to miss the superb 1963 film adaptation!… haunting-dvd






…without confusing it with this other film, of course…which is fun in its own, Vincent-Price-ish way…





houseonhauntedhill-2…and has its own remake, unsurprisingly.






Plenty to enjoy with a day left in October!

- Ben

Something Wicked from the Wilson Collection

By , October 27, 2014
Start of Mina's Journal

Chapter 27 from Dracula – Mina Harker’s Journal. In pursuit of Dracula, Van Helsing’s journey to Transylvania to kill Dracula begins, with Mina guiding the way.

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” -Bram Stoker, Dracula


It’s that time of year again – Fall. The sun is starting to set sooner. The leaves are changing colors and falling rapidly. Pumpkins are ripe for the picking and for sale at many road-side stands. Along with these seasonal traits, it is also the time of year when the words “ghosts”, “goblins”, and “monsters” are used more frequently as we approach the spooky celebration of Halloween.

It’s also important to recognize some of the most notorious and terrifying characters from literature that have fueled the terror in Halloween. Characters such as “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” were created over 100 years ago, and they are still seen in many movies and in costumes on Halloween night.

In honor of these horror icons (and many others), here are a few of the Wilson Collection’s most eerie and unearthly books:

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

  • Originally published in 1818, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1934.
  • Though the character “Frankenstein” is commonly portrayed as a green-faced monster with many stitches on his face, the original character is actually Dr. Victor Frankenstein. He is the creator of the man-monster.
  • The story idea was created during a friendly competition between her husband and a friend, to see who could write the best ghost story. 
  • The illustrations by artist, Everett Henry, purposefully exclude the man-monster. Every scene, however, implies that he is there. 
  • Though the book received a mixture of praise and criticism from LEC members when it was mailed out, the founding director (George Macy) believed the drawings were the most perfect set of illustrations for a book ever seen.


Cover page of Frankenstein

Frankenstein is considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction.

There are many beautifully drawn photos by Everett Henry, none of which show the actual monster

There are many beautifully drawn photos by Everett Henry, none of which show the actual man-monster.














Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

  • Originally Published approximately 1902, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1941.
  • This novel was the first complete collection of his stories specifically focusing on suspense and related tales.
  • 16 aquatints (an intaglio printmaking technique similar to etching) were illustrated by artist, William Sharp.
  • Published posthumously, Poe’s work gained most of its popularity after he died.
    Title Page

    Illustration from A Descent into the Maelstrom, a story recounting how a man survived a shipwreck and a whirlpool.

    The graphic and disturbing etchings were created by artist, William Sharp. He illustrated 16 aquatint etchings; a form of intaglio printmaking.

    The graphic and disturbing etchings were created by artist, William Sharp. He illustrated 16 aquatint etchings; a form of intaglio printmaking.















The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky (2 vols)

  • Originally Published in 1872, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1959.
  • Translated from Russian by Constance Garnett, and includes the originally suppressed chapter, “Stavrogin’s Confession.”
  • The engravings were illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg.
  • The Possessed was the initial English-translated title. The title now that is preferred is Demons or The Devils.
  • Despite the wicked title, the novel actually is politically controversial. It is a testimonial of life in Imperial Russia in the late 19th century.
    Engraving 1

    Eichenberg also created engravings for the LEC’s The House of the Dead. All images mirror the dark and controversial context of each book by Dostoevsky.

    The Possessed is a 2-volume set.

    Book 1 of 2 - The Possessed. The engravings were created by Fritz Eichenberg.















Dracula by Bram Stoker

  • Originally published in 1897, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1965.
  • The original final chapter was removed, in which Dracula’s castle falls apart as he dies, hiding the fact that vampires were ever there.
  • Stoker’s enthusiasm for theater, writing, and fantasy began when he was young, inspired by his father, Abraham Stoker. At an early age, Bram often spoke of a vampire story that he would someday write.
  • An article by Maurice Richardson in The Observer in December, 1957, broke the success of the book down to 3 key elements – the singular fascination of the vampire superstition, the inclusive nature of the plot (which deploys a powerful psychological situation), and the furiously-active narrative.
    Mina meets with Dr. Van Helsing

    Dr. Van Helsing meets with Mina, inquiring her about her recently deceased friend, Lucy Westenra.

    Dog howling outside window in Dracula

    The wood engravings were illustrated by Felix Hoffmann. From the chapter Memorandum left by Lucy Westenra - after a loud howl outside the window, a gray wolf breaks through the glass of Lucy’s window.  
















The Book of the Dead (2 vols)

  • Originally published and used approximately 1550 BCE to around 50 BCE, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1972.
  • The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funerary text containing a number of magical spells, with the intention of assisting the dead’s journey through the underworld.
  • Because there is not an actual book, the LEC arranged to photograph the paintings housed in the British Museum. Expert Peter Parkinson photographed the sections of the paintings and created color transparencies from the Egyptian papyrus.
  • The renowned Egyptologist Raymond O. Faulkner was commissioned to give a fresh translation of the ancient spells in the book.


Spell 23 of The Book of the Dead

Spell 83 – Spell for Being Transformed into a Phoenix from The Book of the Dead.

Title page
Peter Parkinson created color transparencies from the Egyptian papyri in the British Museum.














The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • Originally published in 1861, published by the Limited Editions Collection in 1982.
  • Translated from Russian by Constance Garnett.
  • The engravings were illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg.
  • Also known as Memoirs from the House of the Dead and Notes from the Dead House, the story portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp.
  • The story is semi-autobiographical from the time that Dostoevsky spent 4 years in exile in a similar camp.
    Wood engravings - "I must have got into Hell by mistake," and "Hell must have been not unlike our bathroom" in The House of the Dead.

    Wood engravings – “I must have got into Hell by mistake,” and “Hell must have been not unlike our bathroom” in The House of the Dead.

    Wood engraving - "He ate alone, voraciously, like a wild beast" from The House of the Dead.

    Wood engraving – “He ate alone, voraciously, like a wild beast” from The House of the Dead.














Want to see these books, 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. To make an appointment to view the collection, please call (615) 862-5804 ext. 6092.

Book review: Wolf in White Van

By , October 16, 2014

Can musicians write good books? Jesse doesn’t pull any punches when he takes a look at John Darnielle’s debut novel.

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

The Mountain Goats CD | Freegal

Judas Priest CD | Freegal | Hoopla


music by Black Dice CD | Freegal | Hoopla

Book review: One Kick

By , October 10, 2014

One KickOne Kick
by Chelsea Cain

If you’ve been longing for another fierce female character like Stieg Larsson‘s Lisbeth Salander, Chelsea Cain‘s Kick Lannigan is waiting (rather impatiently!) for you to read her story.

Kick was kidnapped at age six and rescued from her captors five years later in a tense and dramatic FBI operation.  Assimilating back into a normal existence has been difficult for Kick.  Her abductor and abuser trained her to live off the grid and defend herself from outsiders by ANY means necessary.  Now 21, Kick lives with her adopted brother (another survivor of childhood abuse and abduction) and keeps her sanity through an extremely vigorous practice of martial arts, target practice, picking locks as a hobby, and obsessively following news updates on abducted children.

Kick is approached by a mysterious and wealthy man named John Bishop whose hobby is tracking down missing children.  Bishop is convinced Kick’s personal history arms her with the skills and knowledge needed to find these kids alive.  They both know it’s a race against time to find the latest victim before it’s too late.  Will their search bring Kick too close to the terrors of her own past?

If you’ve never read any Chelsea Cain, plan to set aside a chunk of time because once you open one of her books, YOU WON’T PUT IT DOWN!  Trust me, the girl can write a thriller.   Cain set aside her Gretchen Lowell serial killer series to write One Kick, which begs for a sequel.  As one of Cain’s biggest fans, I’m hoping she takes the time and conjures the creative juices she needs to keep writing books in both series.

Southern Festival of Books

By , October 6, 2014

Start planning your Southern Festival weekend!  Some recommendations:


Mr. Tall

Mr. Tall: A Novella and Stories

by Tony Earley

Friday, October 10


Nashville Public Library auditorium

This new collection of short stories, set mainly in North Carolina and Nashville, was worth the wait.  Be prepared for some crushing last lines.




by Lily King

Sunday, October 12


Nashville Public Library, Conference Room 3

I’d like to go ahead and declare this one of the best books of 2014. I also loved King’s Father of the Rain, which is completely different.


Station Eleven

Station Eleven

by Emily St. John Mandel

Saturday, October 11


Nashville Public Library auditorium

This is one of the most talked-about books of the season–arrive early for this one!


Funny OnceFunny Once: Stories

by Antonya Nelson

Friday, October 10


Room 12, Legislative Plaza

Antonya Nelson’s specialty is creating sympathetic portrayals of characters with all of their vices, flaws, and regrets.


Between WrecksBetween Wrecks

by George Singleton

Saturday, October 11


Nashville Public Library, Special Collections Room

If you like George Saunders or Charles Portis, give George Singleton a shot.  His readings at the Festival are consistently hilarious.


Under MagnoliaUnder Magnolia: A Southern Memoir

by Frances Mayes

Friday, October 10


Nashville Public Library, 3rd floor Program Room

Mayes is best known for Under the Tuscan Sun, but this is very vivid recollection of her earlier life coming of age in rural Georgia.


Grit Lit: A Rough South ReaderGrit Lit

Edited by Tom Franklin and Brian Carpenter

Read this just to get in the Festival mood—it includes great Southern authors like Harry Crews, Larry Brown, Lewis Nordan, and Daniel Woodrell, just to name a few.






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.







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!)…

Comics review: Sin City

By , September 18, 2014

Frank Miller has become reclusive in recent years. Before going off the grid, he changed comics forever. Jeremy tells us how.

Daredevil Volume 1

Batman: Year One

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Sin City Volume 1: The Hard Goodbye

Sin City Volume 2: A Dame to Kill For

Sin City Volume 3: A Big Fat Kill

Sin City Volume 7: Hell and Back

Sin City (movie version)

music by Black Dice Freegal | Hoopla | Free Music Archive


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