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Sarah Mathews

This is Just a Distraction

What a strange thing it is to be an American today. Sometimes we may feel as if we are literally dodging bullets while simultaneously posting fake jubilance to social media, attempting to appear happier than we really are. Yesterday, I shared to facebook a think-piece on North Korea and then about two hours later, a filtered picture of my cats (who are adorable, by the way, but just needed that extra pizzazz the Nashville filter brings). Guess which one got more comments.

It is no wonder this environment can leave us feeling frazzled (and only frazzled, if we are lucky) and looking for solace and escapism. The news is chock-full of tragedy– terrorism, wars, Nazis– Actual Nazis have taken over the news cycle.

People are always yelling at other people not to be distracted. The idea of caring about too many things is worrisome to a lot of folks.THIS IS JUST A DISTRACTION. We are always warned of distractions in all caps.

The logical reaction to all of this is to log off of social media. But, what are we supposed to do if we’re not mindlessly scrolling through our ex-of-20-years-ago’s vacation pics? I mean, how is he affording that boat, anyway? Some will turn to books, of course. For others, films or unhealthy vices. Maybe you’re the kind of person who hits the gym and works it out. I always try to be a gym person but, in reality, I’m more of a wine person. What I’ve come to realize lately, though, is that when it comes to tumultuous times, what I’m not is a book person. Read More..

The Chaperone Keeps Rolling with PBS Adaption

When the news was announced last month that Masterpiece would be adapting The Chaperone by Lawrence author Laura Moriarty and that it would be scripted by Julian Fellowes and starring Elizabeth McGovern (both of Downton Abbey fame, left), I was so emotionally overcome, I nearly got the vapors.

The news was announced smack-dab in the middle of my Moriarty Read Fest. I had recently plowed through The Rest of her Life and The Center of Everything and had become an instant fan. The Chaperone was already next on my to-read list… and, of course, I’ve been building and sculpting my obsession with Downton Abbey for years now. I mean, what isn’t there to love? The drama! The fashion! The villains! And the fact that every over-the-top scenario takes place before a beautiful background (in Downton’s case the rolling, English countryside) just makes the show all that more enjoyable. Read More..

Liquor and Drugs: My Venture Into the Writings of Irvine Welsh

Cue Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life while the camera zooms in on a pair of Adidas as they hit the ground running. In a few moments, the camera pans up and we see a stick-thin Ewan McGregor running from the cops for an unknown crime with his famous monologue that begins,

“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f—— big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage…” and ends with, “But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

This is one of my favorite movie openings of all time. Read More..

Nathan Hill, The Nix Big Thing

One of the perks (and there are many) of working at the library is the Advanced Readers Copy mini-library that we have in our staff room. Publishers send ARCs to libraries, book critics, the media, etc. in hopes that the works will be read, reviewed, and shared before the book comes out- hoping to create some buzz and get people talking about it.

This is where I stumbled upon (and quite literally judged a book by its cover) and decided to read The Nix by Nathan Hill, who just happens to be speaking at the library later this month. Read More..