Category: Nonfiction

Mrs. Roosevelt’s Page

By , October 24, 2014
ERBerryField

Eleanor Roosevelt steps off an airplane at Berry Field for a brief stop in Nashville.  Photo from the NPL Special Collections Division digital collection.

Eleanor Roosevelt was a prolific writer and published many newspaper and magazine articles throughout her life – before, during, and after her time as first lady.  Starting in August of 1933 – having been the first lady of the state of New York, and just after entering the White House as first lady of the United States – Eleanor Roosevelt began writing her first regular column for a popular magazine, Woman’s Home Companion. 

According to a statement by the editors in the August 1933 issue, the objective of the column, which ran for two years, through July of 1935, was “strengthening further the bond between the White House and women citizens everywhere.”  All these columns can be read in the Woman’s Home Companion, located in the Periodicals area on the 3rd floor at the Main library.

 

Eleanor began this series with an invitation to readers – the title of her August 1933 entry was “I Want You to Write to Me.”  Sometimes the column addressed personal issues that she received in letters, but more often, Eleanor addressed social issues, usually explaining why they would be of interest to women or what women could do about them.

Some examples with quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt:

photoFrom October 1933, “Setting Our House in Order” – Discusses how women can use their power as consumers to influence manufacturers to offer fair wages and adequate working conditions to their employees.  “Therefore, if groups of women will get together and agree that in shopping they will go to their local stores and ask under what conditions the things they are buying are produced, telling their shopkeepers that they would far prefer to buy goods that carried a label assuring them that these goods were made under conditions which precluded any sweat-shop work, that will help the manufacturers.  If this happens frequently enough in all communities, the storekeepers and manufacturers will listen to public opinion . . . We may sit at home and pathetically ask what we can do, but if we do nothing about the present conditions we shall be to blame.  Only as we take up our responsibilities can conditions improve.”

too oldFrom February 1934, “Too Old for the Job” – Addresses the difficulties of older people in the work force, women in particular.  “It is not because we are sorry for the people who are thrown out of a job at forty or forty-five that we are writing this article.  It is because we feel that industry, business and the professions are going to suffer a serious loss when they begin to deny themselves the valuable work which people can and should do at least up to the age of sixty, if their health is good.”

 

photo 1From November 1934, “Let Us Be Thankful” – “I often wonder if some of the things which we ought to be thankful for at Thanksgiving time are the possibilities which open up before us to help our fellow human beings.   We may feel that we ourselves are badly off, but when we discover that someone is in need of something that we have taken for granted, then our eyes are opened.  We realize that we have a new thing to be thankful for, that we can be of help in our community . . . Let each of us this Thanksgiving Day count over our unusual blessings wherever we may be living.”

 

photo 4From April 1935, “Woman’s Work is Never Done” – Offers some solutions for the problems encountered in domestic service, for employers and employees.  “I hope increased leisure and constantly new inventions are going to make housework for women as easy and as rapidly done as possible, but we shall still have to face the fact that a great many women do run establishments in which they employ a number of domestic servants and that many more are going to employ one maid or a part-time maid. the more we can educate ourselves to the point where we shall recognize the dignity of this labor and go into it from choice rather than from necessity, the easier it will be to raise it from the type of unsatisfactory work which it is now, where nobody knows exactly what her job is, either as employer or employee.”

 

treeFrom July 1935, “Tree Worship” - “Tree worship is as old as civilization itself and perhaps there was a good reason for this, for it you worship a thing you preserve it and the ancients knew well that trees were necessary to the lives of human beings . . . If we want to keep our water supply, prevent soil erosion and still have fertile land to cultivate, we shall have to reforest much of the land which we have denuded.  Every village will have to inculcate into its children a lot of the ancient tree worship in order that we may be wise husbandmen of one of the greatest assets of the future prosperity of our nation.”

 

 

ERNashvilleCitizen

Eleanor Roosevelt named honorary citizen of Nashville by Mayor Ben West. Photo belongs to the NPL Metro Archives digital collection.

Eleanor Roosevelt later went on to write a daily newspaper column called, “My Day,” that ran in papers across the country for many years.  She also contributed another monthly magazine column to Ladies’ Home Journal called “If You Ask Me.” To read more of Eleanor Roosevelt’s writing or learn more about her, check out these titles:

Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt (a collection of her newspaper columns)

You Learn By Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

Tomorrow is Now by Eleanor Roosevelt

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt by Eleanor Roosevelt

CD review: Inside Llewyn Davis Original Soundtrack Recording

By , October 23, 2014

 Inside Llewyn Davis Original Soundtrack Recording

When the Coen Brothers write and direct a film you know two things, you’re going to see a really good movie and you’re going to hear a really fabulous soundtrack. The Coen’s latest film Inside Llewyn Davis does not disappoint.

The film, loosely inspired by the life of American folk singer Dave Van Ronk, “follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.” Oscar Isaac plays the lead character of Llewyn. Not only does Isaac’s do a great job acting he also does an amazing job singing. His voice is soulful and impressive.

 

Inside Llewyn Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

 

The moment I finished watching the movie, I ran to the computer to see if the library had the soundtrack….they did … was it worth the wait? Absolutely.

 

 

 

- Karen

 

 

The Inside Llewyn Davis Soundtrack is available as a CD and digitally through Hoopla on the library’s website.

 

You may also like:

Inside Llewyn Davis DVD

 

Inside Llewyn Davis: the screenplay

By Joel Coen

 

Inside Llewyn Davis Movie Website

http://www.insidellewyndavis.com/home

 

 

 

 

Book review: Taxidermy

By , October 17, 2014

Crap Taxidermy
by Kat Su
Twice I have considered utilizing the services of a taxidermist. Once I even called for a quote. Our house cat had delivered a pristine ruby-throated hummingbird to our Welcome mat. The taxidermist informed me that ruby-throated humming birds were a protected species and were not taxidermy eligible, no matter how they met their demise. The second time involved an ottoman shaped family dog getting along in years. Family members persuaded me to agree to a back yard burial.

Unfortunately, others HAVE decided to seek the services of taxidermists and still others have taken up the call to engage in taxidermy practices. Here are two titles that provide examples of their results. Both are fully illustrated in full semi-natural color. Both titles are equally frightening each in their own unique way.

The cover of Crap Taxidermy by Kat Su lets the reader know what is in store…to a point. Who could imagine what creatures lurk within these pages? What self-respecting taxidermist came up with “creative beer bottles” or “elongated baby penguin”? These are the creations of folks who contribute to a taxidermy blog. The book includes how to section called, Get Stuffed. Included are tidbits such as the proper use of borax (as opposed to arsenic) and the creation of a “mouse purse” once tissues are removed. Finally, tips like using clear nail polish on the ears to give structure as well as a “perkier” look are included in the finishing touches section. Did you know that turning a “specimen” inside out offers the cleanest, least disruptive way to ensure a natural look?

For the more genteel taxidermy fan, may I suggest Walter Potter’s Curious world of Taxidermy by Dr. Pat Morris and Joanna Ebenstein. Lots of stuffed cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, toads and squirrels set in “anthropomorphic tableaux – cases of animals set in human scenes”. The Kitten’s wedding includes twenty attendees in full formal dress and complete with all wedding accessories. Forty eight baby rabbits attend the Rabbit’s Village school, pen, paper and books in hand, I mean paw.

Regardless of you taxidermy preferences, crude or cultivated, we’ve got a book for you!

“I have alway wanted a bunny and I’ll always have a rabbit the rest of my life.” –Amy Sedaris

-laurie

 

Book review: Extreme Couponing

By , October 14, 2014

Extreme Couponing
By Joni Meyer-Crothers

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to get stuff on sale. And if it’s free that’s even better. I can’t even comprehend the amount of money the library has saved me when it comes to borrowing books, movies, and music. Thanks NPL! Why, oh why, have I not tried couponing before?

Recently I turned on my TV and since it was already set to TLC from the night before (Say Yes to the Dress! Woohoo!) I got to watch this show called Extreme Couponing. The premise? Women (and some guys) regularly save 95%-100% on their grocery bill. Who couldn’t use more money in their food budget? I was intrigued, so when the show flashed the book across the bottom I wanted to check it out. Author Joni Meyer-Crothers was featured on the show several times and she loves to teach everyone how to save money. I really like Joni as an author – she is a big advocate for giving away a lot of free (or nearly free) groceries to charities and churches, in addition to saving money for her family. You can check out more at her blog, www.freetastesgood.com.

If you want a different viewpoint, you can check out Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey by Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler. These ladies save just as much, but they are more business like and slightly less altruistic about their coupon practices. I will admit that I did not agree with all of their methods, but they know their stuff and you can decide what works for you and what doesn’t. The inclusion of many store coupon policies in the back of the book was helpful and their blog www.krazycouponlady.com is very useful to find the best deals.

We also have two downloadable ebooks that might help:
Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family by Steve Economides
The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half by Stephanie Nelson from www.couponmom.com

Interested? Then pickup one of these and dive in. Other websites that might be helpful include www.coupons.com or www.southernsavers.com (a local blog for the Southeast that better delineates local savings). I will caution you that this can be addicting and overwhelming. Some of the ladies on Extreme Couponing have admitted that they’d seriously consider saving their coupon binder before a family member if their house caught fire. That’s a little extreme for me. I just want to be a responsible shopper who is able to help my family be more financially responsible. You can decide for yourself how far you want go down the rabbit hole.

In the meantime, if you have any coupons you’re not using…could I have them? (Just kidding…no really…)

Happy couponing,

:) Amanda

 

William Eichbaum’s Sketchbook of Nashville

By , October 13, 2014

Photograph of William Eichbaum, circa 1868

He has a grim appearance. Sunken cheeks, deep eyes, prominent nostrils, and a firm, thin mouth. A bit like Phantom of the Opera. William Eichbaum doesn’t look like someone you’d enjoy meeting. In fact, I would probably cross the street to avoid him. But it would be my loss if I chose to do so.

Eichbaum was the son of German parents, but was born in Ireland in 1787. He immigrated to the United States around 1820, and soon thereafter settled in Nashville, marrying Catherine Stearns in 1825. In the 1830s, he opened the Nashville Bookstore on College Street (now Third Avenue N.), and built the first brick house on what is now Seventh Avenue. He was very involved in various civic activities and organizations, was a charter member of the Tennessee Historical Society, served as treasurer of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery Company, and was an active member of the Christian Church. His obituary in January 1873 declared: “he was seldom seen at home without a book in his hand.”

Turns out, he’s my kind of guy.

Buildings of Nashville

First Presbyterian Church pen and ink drawing by William Eichbaum

First Presbyterian Church

I’m even more certain of this fact when I look at the pen and ink wash drawings he did of various buildings around Nashville in the 1850s.

Some are still easily recognizable, like the downtown First Presbyterian Church, designed in the Egyptian revival style by William Strickland.  Now known as Downtown Presbyterian, the building can still be seen at the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Church Street.

Pen and ink drawing of Davidson County, Tenn. Court House circa 1856

Davidson County Court House, Public Square

 

 

 

Others are of buildings long gone, including a few that were lost to fire in Eichbaum’s lifetime, such as the Davidson County Court House (1830-1856).

 

 

Pen and ink map of Nashville in 1804 by William Eichbaum

Nashville in 1804

 

Some of the more fascinating materials include hand-drawn maps of Nashville – one from 1804 based upon “notes of an intelligent resident at the time” and a contrasting map from 1854, showing the growth of the city in the course of fifty years.

Eichbaum’s sketchbook contains a total of twenty-seven highly detailed drawings. In a time when photography had not yet entered the mainstream, this resource provides an incomparable view of Nashville in the 1850s. Some images may be the only ones that exist of some of these buildings.

Viewing the Sketchbook

View online: Eichbaum’s entire sketchbook is available online as part of the Library’s Digital Collections, with the capability to zoom in for detailed close study. View the sketchbook.

View color copies in person: Due to the extreme fragility of the original, only color copies of the sketchbook are available for research use in person at the Special Collections Division.

The Special Collections Division is open during regular library hours on the second floor of the Main Library downtown, or call us at 615-862-5782 for more information on our holdings.

(Photograph: William Eichbaum, circa 1868 from Nashville Room Historic Photo Collection, P-2129)

– Linda

Beautiful jewels to make you swoon……

By , October 9, 2014

The Jeweled Menagerie: The World of Animals in Gems

By Suzanne Tennenbaum and Janet Zapata

 

Do you love beautiful jewelry? Then you will simply adore The Jeweled Menagerie…

Since the beginning of time, animals and insects have served as inspiration for jewelry design. The Jeweled Menagerie features two centuries of magnificent jewelry. Over 200 full page color photographs allow you to see the jewelry in all its splendor.

From the 19th century French Monkey diamond brooch, to the bejeweled Art Nouveau dragonflies, to Cartier’s Art Deco panthers, this book will amaze and excite you!

 

 

-Karen

 

 

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

1:00-2:00

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.

 

Euphoria

Euphoria

by Lily King

Sunday, October 12

1:00-2:00

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

12:00-1:00

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

3:00-4:00

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

11:00-12:00

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

2:00-3:00

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.

 

 

-Beth

 

 

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 salonat615.org.

Listen to the Archived Recording

Download MP3 audio

Subscribe to Salon@615 podcast (iTunes)

Book review: The Printed Square: Vintage Handkerchief Patterns for Fashion and Design

By , September 11, 2014

The Printed Square: Vintage Handkerchief Patterns for Fashion and Design

By Nicky Albrechtsen

If you love vintage clothing, then you won’t want to miss Nicky Albrechtsen’s new book The Printed Square: Vintage Handkerchief Patterns for Fashion and Design.

The Printed Square takes you on a fun romp through the history of the handkerchief focusing on the thirty year period from 1920 to 1950. You’ll learn about what colors, motifs and cultural events influenced handkerchief design. The book features over 200 full page color photos, allowing you to easily see the handkerchief itself, how its edges were finished and the texture of the fabric.  The handkerchiefs are grouped by color for easy browsing. Clever quotes by artists and designers introduce each new chapter. The Printed Square also features tips on where to find vintage handkerchiefs, handkerchief conservation and storage ideas.

 

Handkerchiefs ……created to catch your sneeze….evolved to catch you eye…..

 

-Karen

 

 

 

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