Posts tagged: romance

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.

Popmatic Podcast for June 24th, 2015: Regency, or Sense and Snarfibility

By , June 24, 2015

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (Rules of Scoundrels Volume 4) by Sarah MacLeanThe Regency period looms disproportionately large in any public library collection. We’ll clue you in as to why. Amanda challenges listeners to give her a reason to read Jane Austen. And we ask you, should the library start making book lists again? Plus what is tickling our fancy this week.


Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell

Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean

Pop Culture Happy Hour‘s “Romance Novel Special

Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein Thomas Edison’s 1910 version

Young Frankenstein

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke

Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep



VEEP is free in the library

The Connection

Kung Fury

Ask Me About My New God! by Maria Bamford


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Broken Open

By , April 13, 2015

Broken Open By Lauren DaneBroken Open
By Lauren Dane

Broken Open is the second book in Lauren Dane’s  Hurley Brothers series. The story deals with Ezra Hurley and Tuesday Eastwood. Ezra has lived a rock-n-roll lifestyle, so he is trying to find balance within his life. Tuesday has suffered a loss and is trying to regain her bearings. Both are trying to learn how let go of past issues and relationships, while trying to build new ones. The book also delves into the lives of the people around Tuesday and Ezra. This sneakily sets the reader up for book three, but it also adds meat to the overall story.

Because this is a Romance novel, the audience is well aware that the two main characters connect with one another. Lauren Dane, however, has a tendency of adding realism to her books which can shake up the typical Romance-arc. Similar novels have instant chemistry and a happily ever after.  This novel will give the reader most of that, but s/he is also  shown how and why these two have a genuine bond.

Tuesday and Ezra have a prior connection with each other, so there is a basis for  their relationship. They are beautiful and successful people who acknowledge that they need time to get to know each other as partners. They have both had life experiences that have made them mature adults, and their actions towards each other have legitimate consequences.

The reason this book is such a good read is because while this book is definitely a  romantic fantasy, it is not outside the realm of possibility. The realism that Dane brings to this novel made me accept Tuesday’s and Ezra’s relationship ten times more than I would have otherwise. Plus, Tuesday is not a woman to be walked on, and the Hurleys are not people who will let you walk on loved ones!


Popmatic Podcast February 11th, 2015: Okay, Cupid

By , February 11, 2015

The One I LoveIt’s the Valentine’s Day episode! Fall in the love with the Popmatic Podcast all over again. Find out what movie brings Mike to tears. And what is tickling our fancy this week besides the thought of Mike crying at a movie.


Breathless Trilogy by Maya Banks


The Artist

Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller

Blue Valentine

Sam Cooke CD | Freegal | Hoopla


Harper Lee to release long awaited second novel

Big Driver

Turbo Kid

Kung Fury

Mingering Mike exhibit at the Smithsonian

Mingering Mike by Mingering Mike

The One I Love

the works of Nick Hornby

Tess Gerritsen is suing Warner Bros


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Book review: Breathless Trilogy

By , January 15, 2015

Rush by Maya BanksRush (Breathless Trilogy Volume 1)
by Maya Banks

Have you recently read certain romance novels and wondered what it would be like to read steamy romance that’s actually been edited and written for adults? If you answered, “Yes!” then Maya Banks is your woman!

Because the film version of 50 Shades of Grey will be upon us this Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to talk about other titles within the genre. I recommend the first novel in Ms. Banks’ Breathless trilogy, called Rush. This book is the most similar book to the 50 Shades books—yes, I’ve read them the 50 Shades trilogy. There’s a pretty young girl named Mia, who is chased by the rich and ravenous Gabe. Who happens to be her brother’s best friend, and one of the people who helped take care of her when she was younger…at least they know each other?

The book opens with Mia alone at a party hosted by her brother, and his two best friends. They have a prosperous consulting firm. Gabe walks in, and his heart immediately skips a beat because little Mia isn’t so little anymore – she’s about 22 years old. We know from the jump that Gabe’s been crushing on Mia for a while and feels angst ridden because of it. But why, one may ask? Well, Gabe and his friends are bad boys. How bad? Well, think Christian Grey without the mommy issues.

The two main conflicts are: 1) Gabe is trying to hide his relationship with Mia from his besties, Jace (Mia’s brother) and Ash because he fears that they wouldn’t approve; 2) Gabe approaches relationships like Christian Grey—“Here, sign this contract!” He doesn’t want to admit that he’s in love with Mia, and he doesn’t think their relationship can work on a long-term basis.

Mia is Anastasia with some back bone. She has no problem telling off the man she loves when he does something she isn’t happy with. She also has a legitimate connection with Gabe due to the fact they’ve known each other for years. She is also of this world. She’s had enough life experience to understand in general terms what Gabe is into, and to make some demands of him. However, like her counterpart, there are moments where you want to go, “What!?” This reaction will probably happen to you, at least once, in every book in the Breathless trilogy. For instance, Gabe knows full well that Mia is only generally familiar with his proclivities, but just jumps right into it without much thought. Jace doesn’t think too hard about the people he associates with which almost gets his sister and several others hurt. Ash seems to be the only sane one, until he starts telling his girlfriend stuff that no partner should ever tell the other!

The books are explicit so if that is not your thing they are not for you. But if you are looking for a grown up romance that is better than 50 Shades but still easy to read and entertaining – Maya Banks’ Breathless trilogy is for you.

Fever by Maya Banks           Burn by Maya Banks           

- Sade

Popmatic Podcast August 6th, 2014: Romance Caledonia Style

By , August 6, 2014

To celebrate the release of Outlander the miniseries we dig all things Scottish. Bad accents ensue. Surprisingly, no bagpipes. I repeat – no bagpipes.


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

watch the first episode of Outlander

Scottish independence referendum

Waverley by Walter Scott

American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson

Denise Mina

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Book 1 graphic novel by Denise Mina

Christopher Brookmyre

Stuart MacBride

Val McDermid

Ian Rankin

Shakespeare’s Macbeth performed by Alan Cumming

I Bought a Blue Car Today by Alan Cumming CD | Hoopla

Flashman: from the Flashman Papers, 1839-1842 by George MacDonald Fraser

Royal Flash

In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks

Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks

Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks

The Anderson Tapes

The Man Who Would be King

A Fine Madness


Horns trailer

Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman

Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeil

Rodizio Grill

To Conquer Hell: the Meuse-Argonne, 1918 by Edward G. Lengel

Snowpiercer DVD

Snowpiercer 1: The Escape graphic novel by Jacques Lob

Snowpiercer 2: The Explorers graphic novel by Benjamin Legrand


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Popmatic Podcast September 2012: Guilty Pleasures

By , September 4, 2012

Rather than lament having to go back to school, we celebrate the guilty pleasures we didn’t get to read in school. But you can check out from the library! September is library card sign up month too, so what better excuse to get a library card and check this stuff out. Of course you don’t need a library card to attend Salon@615 author talks, Courtyard Concerts, or Movies at Main but it is kind of tasteless to show up without one. We end with what is tickling our fancy in pop culture including a very tasteful So You Think You Can Dance appreciation.


Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon

In for a Penny by Rose Lerner

Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan

2012 Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award winner Brenda Jackson

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan

Food Network

Yes, Chef  by Marcus Samuelsson

Ten$ion by Die Antwoord


Goodreads quotes

The Dinner Party podcast

Cheryl Strayed was the author of the “Dear Sugar” advice column on The Rumpus. Many of these columns can be found in Tiny Beautiful Things.

Kraft Suspense Theatre

So You Think You Can Dance

- Bryan

Book review: Naamah’s Blessing

By , May 25, 2012

Naamah's Blessing Naamah’s Blessing

By Jacqueline Carey

If you like books about alternate history, with a good twist of fantasy, this is a series for you. Naamah’s Blessing is the conclusion of the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy by Jacqueline Carey. If you haven’t read the other trilogies in the same setting, you won’t be too confused, as it takes place hundreds of years after the first two trilogies.  This book follows the continuing story of Moirin of the Maghuin Dhonn, where she faces the consequences of the choices she made in the first two novels of the trilogy: Naamah’s Kiss and Naamah’s Curse.

Although her novels might be a bit risque, Carey does an excellent job of exploring the idea of acceptance of who one chooses to be with, despite their calling in life. Through the ever present dangers and tests that face Moirin and Bao, her new husband, they always manage to find strength within each other and the friends they make along the way.

Carey also explores the acceptance of fate, as following the will of the “gods” in this trilogy make for a large part of the adventures that Moirin finds herself having. She manages to avert disaster at every turn, even if the cost is very high to her, physically and emotionally.

This is one of the best conclusions to a trilogy I have ever read. Carey has a knack for resolving the issues that arise in her other novels without making it seem too obvious. Parts of the plot that almost seem insignificant and humorous in the first two novels come back in this book with a vengeance.

If you like alternative history and fantasy, with a little bit of romance and adventure, than this is definitely a book for you!


Pleasant reading -



Book review: The Waitress

By , July 22, 2009

The Waitress
By Nathan, Melissa

The Appetizer

Katie has lofty career aspirations that seem to change almost hourly: writer, film director, teacher, educational psychiatrist. In the meantime, she’s waiting tables and waiting for “Mr. Right” to arrive out of the blue — which seems unlikely, considering her romantic track record is as pitiful as her job history.

The Main Course

Still, a girl can dream, even when she’s rushing a hot plate of linguini over to the nasty customer at table six. So when gorgeous, sensitive, perfect Dan Crichton asks her out, Katie’s over the moon. But once again, commitment phobia rears its ugly head and dinner turns into the Great First Date Disaster — and Katie’s ideal romance is over before the goodnight kiss.

The Just Desserts

Things are tough when a woman wants it all and will not settle — and has a little trouble making up her mind. But it’s about to get really complicated for the Queen of Complications.

The Bill

Not only is Dan coming back — as her new boss and engaged to someone else — but persistent Ex-Boyfriend #3 Hugh’s back too, with a vengeance. And suddenly there’s a lot more on her tray than even the most able food service professional could safely handle …

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