Posts tagged: laurie

Prince (1958-2016)

By , April 21, 2016

Musician Prince
Prince, the Artist formerly known as Prince, aka Prince Rogers Nelson has died at age 57.

The Minneapolis native sold more than 100 million records during his career, won seven Grammy awards, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He started writing songs at age 7 and is best known for hits “Raspberry Beret,” “1999,” and “Little Red Corvette.”

Prince won seven Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award for the best Original Song Score for Purple Rain. Rolling Stone magazine named Prince number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

The 1984 film, Purple Rain, is regarded as one of the great rock musical drama films of all time. The soundtrack was the first Prince album to chart at number one and featured “When Doves Cry”…..which we can expect to be hearing again and again and again in days to come.

Prince remade genres and mixed influences from funk, rock, and R&B. His unique onstage performances showcased his supreme musical talent and mastery of vocals, guitar, keyboards, and drums that mesmerized fans for over three decades. His 2007 Super Bowl performance introduced a new generation of fans to his genius.

Prince performed at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta last Thursday night – the second of two back to back sold out shows. Prince made what is believed to have been his final public appearance on Saturday at a dance party in Minnesota.

- Laurie

Honoring Merle Haggard

By , April 7, 2016

Merle Haggard album coverHis mama’s name was Flossie.

He hopped his first train at age 10.

His second wife served as a bridesmaid at his third wedding.

No wonder Merle Haggard wrote some of country music’s greatest songs.

“Workin’ Man Blues” and “Mama Tried” and “Okie From Muskogee” the list goes on….

Hundreds of recordings by this Country Music Hall of Famer and Kennedy Center Honor recipient are available in the Nashville Public Library collection.

See the library’s collection of works by Merle Haggard.

Download an album from Hoopla (free with your library card)

Listen on Freegal (free with your library card)

- Laurie

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

The Wet-plate process, Dukes and the Iodine State

By , December 24, 2015


2015 has been a generous year for those who love southern writing. Sally Mann surprised us with her lovely authentic memoir, Hold StillSure, she could have used a stricter editor, but if you ever wandered the backroads below the Mason Dixon line, you enjoyed this ride. And it was her appreciation of her Daddy, after all, that went on too long. So, all is forgiven.

Then The Southerner’s Cookbook reminded us that you can never, ever, ever say enough about southern food. Any cookbook that begins with a “Southern larder” section that includes Duke’s mayonnaise is all right by me. This book was produced by the editors of “Garden & Gun” and includes writing by John T. Edge, Rick Bragg and Roy Blount, Jr. The only bar-b-que sauce recipe you’ll ever need (Eastern North Carolina style vinegar-pepper sauce) is on page 234.

Finally, the most spellbinding longing, languid gift of southern writing this year came from Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free. The magic is that the writing is intimate, and yet it turned out that the whole music world was listening. I’ve got a drawer of snapshots he’s never seen that illustrate this turn through the south. Edited perfectly, it left audiences waiting for more.

“As anyone who grew up on the food can attest, life without a little South in your mouth at least once in a while is a bland and dreary prospect” John Egerton





Book review: Nelle Harper Lee

By , July 11, 2015

In anticipation of the release of the new Harper Lee title, Go set a watchman, you may want to visit the classic, the title by which all American modern fiction is measured, To Kill a Mockingbird.  The new title was written before Mockingbird, remained unpublished and is a sequel to Mockingbird, telling the tale of the adult Jean Louise Finch Scout.

Here is a review pleading for folks to read the classic, Mockingbird,  first posted here in June 2012:

I thought I knew the story. I’ve heard it discussed, referred to, and referenced since I learned to read. I felt I knew more about this book (that I’d never read) than most of the books I have read. I fancied myself knowing more than most about Nelle Harper Lee – how Scout is based on her own child self and how Dill is Nelle’s childhood friend Truman Capote. I’ve heard the literary rumblings that Scout is not, in fact, based on the childhood Nelle, but Boo Radley is Miss Nelle as a girl. And ole mean spirited Truman got his just rewards in the end by alienating all his high society New York “swans” and died a social leper his self.

Turns out I knew nothing. Do you feel like you know the story? Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? No? I’m telling you, read it. Read it for the brave child of nearly nine that you know, or knew, or were, or wish you still were. Read it for the language, the pure unaffected Southernness of it. Read it because the last three pages of chapter thirteen will break your heart. The very last pages of chapter fifteen will stop your heart. And you will never read anything as true in any book ever.

““Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

- laurie

Savor Summer: Picnic

By , July 3, 2015


Picnic: recipes and inspiration from basket to blanket   

by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson

Throughout the month we will be sharing favorite Savor Summer titles.

We are right smack-dab in the middle of a cookbook Renaissance. This new crop of cookbooks is fresh and fun from the list of ingredients to the final plating.

Blending decorative cook book illustration with the world of infographics, this new generation of cook books allow the entire family to join in the preparation and relish the results. Chefs of all levels of expertise will try a more complicated recipe because illustrators are making the process easily accessible.

One of the best of the new cookbooks is The Picnic: recipes and inspiration from basket to blanket. From the minute you pick up the book and notice the embossed lettering and light cheerfully illustrated cover you are hungry to see more. The pages are shiny (in case there is any curry on your fingertips that needs wiping clean), the headings are presented in a tomato red print, the more important actual instructions are in a sans serif black font. So visually, you are guided along. But the best part is the illustrations. Simple, colorful yet not jarring, perfectly executed water color washes of the final products.

The book is arranged into 6 chapters, from Basket to Blanket, Bites, Salads, Plates, Sweets and Sips. In the first chapter you will find The Deviled Dozen (twists on the Essential Deviled Egg recipe) as well as 99 ways (and counting) to use a Mason jar. Scattered throughout the book are ten or so Menu pages that put together a themed basket of menu listings (complete with referenced page number) such as “Bells with baskets: court the Carolinas in this celebration of all things south of the Mason-Dixon Line.”

Ten fabulous floats, Picnic attire and Spicy Paloma Punch are just a few of the ideas shared in this new classic of summer cook book selections to savor.

“I’ll affect you slowly as if you were having a picnic in a dream. There will be no ants. It won’t rain.”

– Richard Brautigan


Super hero? My heart belongs to the anti-hero

By , June 19, 2015

Super Hero? Not interested. My heart belongs to the Anti-Hero….always.

While Heroes are full of hubris and ring hollow after a time, the Anti-Hero brings spice, flavor, and dimension that an ordinary hero-villain cannot even fathom.

Literature and cinema are full of bad-boy Anti-Heroes. Some of the most consistently compelling portrayals of contemporary anti-heroes have been found in the performances of James Gandolfini.

His choice of roles –  from the ever so human and fatally flawed mobster Tony Soprano, to the hitman with a heart of, well maybe not gold but certainly hand tooled silver, in The Mexican  - gave viewers a glimpse into the world of flawed murderous anti-heroes.

One of  Gandolfini’s most human roles has to be that of the monster Carol in the Spike Jonze directed film adaptation of Where the Wild Things are. This performance mesmerized both the preschooler and the college freshman in my family of theatre goers in 2009. One ended up in tears by movie’s end.

So take that, suave and dashing leading men! My heart belongs to the spirited, grand gesture with a giggle anti-heroes of the world who get tangled up in their capes occasionally.

For the next week you can get an up close view of original artwork by Maurice Sendak. The Maurice Sendak Memorial Exhibition is a retrospective of original works by Maurice Sendak, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Where the Wild Things Are. This exhibit runs through June 28th in the  Courtyard Gallery – Main Library Second Floor

Good writing will bring you to places you don’t even expect sometimes. – James Gandolfini


Women of a certain age

By , May 15, 2015


Women of a certain age.

As baby-boomers redefine the cultural landscape, it is appropriate that we re-write the literature, cinema, and music of our time. That’s right, Stevie Nicks, it’s now the Edge of Seven-ty.

Women who came of age in the 60s and 70s are now entering their 60s and 70s, living life on their own terms and maintaining their lifelong independence. I hesitate to say “hard fought” independence as the argument can effectively be made that these paths were cleared by the previous generation of women.

Three titles exemplify the independent modern woman moving through later years: Lillian of Lillian on Life, Florence Gordon and of course, Olive Kitteridge. These women lead quietly intelligent lives. Each uniquely navigates love, family, work, lust, and a longing for aloneness.

The texts are sparse (each title is just at or under 300 pages) and reflect the direct, no non-sense women examined. Spend some time in the company of these women:

Lillian on life by Alison Jean Lester

Florence Gordon by Brian Morton

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroutwinner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.There is a HBO produced series based on this title, starring Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins and Bill Murray.

It’s a Golden Girls meets Molly Dodd world out there. Tune in.


“I hate the idea that you shouldn’t wear something just because you’re a certain age.” Miuccia Prada

- laurie

Book(s) review: Clutter

By , March 20, 2015

How many books have promised to unclutter your life?

Free you from the restrictions of consumerism?

Elevate you to another level of consciousness by breaking the bonds of useless stuff holding you down?

These books offer both the blessing of salvation while at the same time adding to the problem itself, another book cluttering up our lives.

In the past month, I have had various “salvation from stuff” conversations with women I admire and respect. One touts “life changing magic,” another espouses the religion of “just seven” things…The thing is, they are both right. Each of us can find inspiration in books that come across our paths at just the right time. I have always believed this to be true with fiction. More and more I find this also to be true with non-fiction titles.

So, be it The life-changing magic of tidying up : the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo, 7 : an experimental mutiny against excess by lifestyle blogger Jen Hatmaker, or any of the 74 titles on Simplicity at Nashville Public Library, embrace the one that speaks to you. I’ll continue rely on my 1995 copy of Simple Abundance: a daybook in comfort and joy close by….as soon as I can find it.

Record review: Ryan Adams

By , January 30, 2015

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams, formerly of Whiskeytown and formerly known for his wantonly reckless behavior, has a new album. This is his first recording in 3 years, self titled, Ryan Adams.

Ryan Adams was once regarded as the Joyce Carol Oates of American singer songwriters. Three years is a long time for fans  of his sloppily compiled, pitch perfect songwriting to wait. Hallelujah, it was worth the wait and heck, it is winter and listening to Ryan Adams requires a climate that cleanses the soul.

The new album is full of instantly familiar songs that echo back to days of Ryan Adams stomping and stumbling through western North Carolina. There are slight hints of Lindsey Buckingham guitar chords and just when you think you recognize a riff, the lyrics call you back and require you to pay attention. You should always pay attention to Ryan Adams.

This one is available through HOOPLA.

“They don’t make coats for this kind of cold” – Ryan Adams




Off the Shelf is powered by WordPress. Panorama Theme by Themocracy