The only librarian ever to have an action figure (which makes a shushing gesture) created in her likeness will visit Memphis’ Benjamin Hooks Central Library Monday evening to tell you what sort of books she thinks you should be reading and giving.
Retired librarian and NPR Morning Edition commentator Nancy Pearl is a respected authority on books. In fact, she wrote the manual (Book Lust) on readers’ advisory, a service used by libraries to help readers find books based on their tastes and moods.
“She’s like a rock star among librarians,” said Lillian Johnson, Memphis Public Library PR supervisor.
On Monday morning, Pearl will hold a professional workshop for library and bookstore employees (about 60 have already signed up). The evening talk, free and open to the public, starts at 7 p.m.
Voracious readers are invited to learn tips and trends and ask literary questions.
Just be sure to use your inside voices.
A crew with The Black Cab Sessions, a show that picks up musicians and films them playing in the back seat of a cab, is in Memphis filming.
Go to blackcabsessions.com to see performances they’ve done with folks like Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket and Bon Iver.
Here are some of the shows’ tweets from their time in Memphis over the past few days:
“Memphis. Your rain is INSANE. Dented our cab! Has it stopped? I can’t tell with all that thunder going on.”
“Yo @jtimberlake are you in Memphis right now? Fancy getting in the cab for us?”
“Beautiful morning in Memphis. Off to church. Got my church shoes on. Hoping to find a real old timer today with some good stories and songs.”
One famous “cowboy” swapped his boots for some blue suede shoes over Thanksgiving weekend.
Robert James “Bob” Ritchie, or more commonly known as Kid Rock, visited Graceland Saturday for the first time.
“I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to be able to do a lot of cool things,” Rock wrote in his blog. “Private tour of graceland last night is definatley one of them!”
The singer-songwriter and rapper has five Grammy Award nominations under his belt, and his most recent album – Rock N Roll Jesus – has sold 5 million albums worldwide.
While Elvis’ sold album count – approximately 1 billion – certainly takes the cake, Rock’s 22 million albums to date in the United States isn’t too shabby. Rock also shares a love of acting with his rock ‘n’ roll hero.
“Its more than worth the trip!” he published, along with some shots of him in the jungle room. “God bless you Memphis and Rock on Elvis!”
A follow up to our story in Monday’s edition about U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander and earmarks.
Today, Alexander voted for amendment by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn on earmarks. Here is his statement in full, following the vote.
“Today I voted to allow an up-or-down vote on Senator Coburn’s earmark amendment.
“I support a two-year ban on earmarks because they have become a symbol of wasteful spending. A timeout will permit Congress to limit the number of earmarks and make sure they are worthy. I will respect this moratorium, although in extraordinary cases I reserve the right to ask Congress and the President to approve measures of urgent importance to Tennesseans, such as funds to help those hurt by the devastating flooding last May.
“We should not mislead Americans by saying that an earmark ban will reduce the federal debt. Earmarks are paid for by reducing other spending. Cleaning up earmarks is good short-term policy, but as long-term policy it would undermine the Constitution because instead of placing a check on the President, it turns the checkbook over to him. In addition, this moratorium will help put the spotlight on executive branch earmarks, as well as on entitlement spending and tax breaks.
“A better approach to reducing spending is to enact two proposals that I have offered and that the Senate Republican Conference approved which would ban both new entitlement spending programs and new unfunded federal mandates on state and local government. Automatic entitlement spending has grown from 31 percent of the federal budget in 1970 to 56 percent today. The new Medicaid mandate in the health care law will cost Tennessee taxpayers $1.1 billion over five years.”
Fortune magazine has an immensely readable and colorful profile of Tennessee’s junior senator online now here.
Among the more memorable revelations about Sen. Bob Corker:
At a meeting between senators and President Obama earlier this year, Corker was fuming. Obama had invited himself to a GOP luncheon days after Wall Street reforms passed “over near-unanimous Republican opposition – a move Corker saw as phony, at best.”
Corker arguably had gone out on a limb to resurrect negotiations over the bill by jumping into the fray after the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee had apparently reached an impasse with his Democratic counterpart. Corker apparently thought the White House decided such efforts didn’t matter.
“I just want to know, when you get up in the morning and come over here for a lunch meeting like this, how do you reconcile that duplicity?” Corker asked Obama, according to the Fortune piece.
After that meeting, Richard Shelby, the Senate Finance Committee’s ranking Republican, told his 5-foot-7 colleague from Tennessee: “You’re a mean little (expletive), aren’t you.”