The Mayfield Library is always looking for ways to let you know what’s going on with us, so we can serve you better. To better achieve that aim, we’re starting this library blog.

As we communicate with you, please keep in touch with us. We welcome all feedback.

After all, the Mayfield Library is here for you!

Diane 2

Diane Skrabec

Culinary Arts Instructor, Southeast Campus


Heads in Beds


Jacob Tomsky

It’s a great look into the hospitality world and what’s its like to work in a field that’s open 365 days a year and where the customer is always right. The author started as a valet at the famous Copeland Restaurant in New Orleans and worked his way up through hotels to be a general manager of a luxury hotel in New York City. “Heads in  beds” is an industry term. This book is great for students in management and culinary arts.


Author’s note: If you are offended by profanity, do not consult the book or blog I’m about to mention.

Jenny Lawson suffers from moderate clinical depression and as well as several other disorders including, anxiety, impulse control, avoidant personality, and depersonalization. She has rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune issues. She is also one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet.

Also known as the Bloggess. Lawson’s latest book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things, takes on her illnesses with her usual heart and no-hold-bars humor. She knows what it’s like to not be able to get out of bed for weeks at a time, and she has vowed when she is able to get out and about, she is going to be “furiously happy.”

Of course, being Jenny Lawson, this includes going to Australia to pose (dressed in a koala suit) with a koala. Ditto with a kangaroo. It involves dealing with a cannonballing possum in her pool and carrying on a feud with neighborhood swans.

At a recent stop at a Salon@615 event in Nashville, the audience was equally entertained by her outrageous humor and inspired by her frank discussion of the illnesses that plague her. For all of us, she is a role model.

Too often we let our weaknesses define us. But as Lawson reminds us, we don’t have to. Even when we know the reprieve is temporary, we have an interim in which we can bemoan our fate or be furiously happy.

For me, I have decided to always choose the latter.


Quincy Rhoads

English Instructor, Clarksville Campus


This is water : some thoughts, delivered on a significant occasion about living a compassionate life

by David Foster Wallace

College can seem like a bewildering and overwhelming time and so rarely can a book crystallize a student’s purpose in just the right way. Fortunately, David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech (reprinted as this book) articulates the point of higher education so well that I’m haunted by it on a near daily basis.


On Saturday, my friend Margaret and I stopped at a rest stop on our way back from Chattanooga for a friend’s wedding. I was following her into the building-very slowly, because that’s how I walk in high heels- when she stopped suddenly. “Oh no,” she wailed.

Rain falling on my head, I glanced around her to see that a large sign announced the bathroom was closed for cleaning. Disconsolate, we stood staring at that sign for several more seconds. Then a man sitting under the eave growled, “There’s another bathroom in there.”

Maybe it was the fact that we were coming down from the emotional high of seeing our friend get her happy-ever-after. Maybe the sugar rush from eating pieces of both the bride’s and groom’s cakes had done something to our problem solving ability. But for some reason, two intelligent women with traveling experience were stymied by a sign at an I24 rest stop.

But it happens:

  • A friend’s wife attended a famous writing workshop. She was treated brusquely by one of the instructors and, as far as I know, never sent her poems out again.
  • When I was in college, many students gave up on their premed programs after failing their first chemistry exam.

Of course, we should pay attention to signs. But we also should pay attention to their multiple meanings.

Just like our sign didn’t mention there was another bathroom,

  • The poet may have been in a bad mood. He may have been a lousy teacher. Or he may have liked the next poem.
  • The premed students could have used the test as a sign that they needed to study harder, not that they needed to change majors.

We owe it to ourselves to keep looking.

opry bench

Pam Gadd, Library Assistant,


Bel Canto


Ann Patchett

Without hesitation, I recommend Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I am nearly finished with it, and my heart aches wondering how it can possibly have a hopeful ending. Still, this book is phenomenal in how it takes a most negative scenario – terrorists versus hostages of multiple languages all stuck together in a house for months on end. It beautifully weaves  the commonality of human emotion and need with the unexpected and touching relationships that unfold between the array of characters.

Bel canto

After watching Fear the Walking Dead  last night, I turned over to football. Since I don’t really follow sports, I find them relaxing to have on as I’m getting ready for the next day. The Green Bay Packers had just scored a touchdown, which put them ahead. The announcers were discussing how calm the quarterback Aaron Rodgers usually is and how he helps the team and the fans calm down and get things done.

One said that it was hard to believe now that he sat through several rounds on draft day waiting to be picked.

The other said that he kept that particular chip on his shoulder for several years and it made him a determined, perhaps even better, player.

It seems to me that when we have that proverbial chip on the shoulder, things can go either one of two ways. It can weigh us down mentally, becoming the excuse for every bad thing that happens to us.

Or we can be like Aaron. We still feel the sting and the anger, but with it, a determination to persist and succeed, to show the people who didn’t like, respect, or want us that we have what it takes.

So if you have to a have a chip on your shoulder (and let’s face it: We’re all human, so we will at some point.), be like Aaron.

BTW, watching the game last night made me wonder where the expression came from. Which is why I’m the Jolly Librarian and not the Jolly Sports Announcer.

Jennifer Hensley

Jennifer Hensley

English Instructor, Main Campus,


Bad Feminist


Roxane Gay

“She writes wonderfully witty essays on a wide range of topics, including Feminism and Scrabble.”



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