Monday, October 23, 2006

Nif's Recent Reads

I read really fast, so I thought it would be fun to keep a log of the books I read each week.


Young Adult

Getting It by Alex Sanchez, published by Simon and Schuster, $16.95 hardcover

Carlos is 15 and has never had a girlfriend or a hookup or anything. When he notices that Sal, who is gay, is comfortable talking with girls, he decides to ask Sal for some “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” type help. Sal agrees, but only if Carlos will help him start a gay-straight alliance at their school.


I just discovered Adrian Fogelin, who writes moving, humorous stories about interracial friendship and young teens learning to be true to themselves. I read these two and am eager to read more.

Crossing Jordan, by Adrian Fogelin, published by Peachtree Press, $6.95 paperback
Cass’s dad builds a fence when he finds out that the new neighbors are black. But Cass and Jemmie both love to run, and they forge a friendship stronger than their parents’ disapproval.

The Big Nothing, by Adrian Fogelin, published by Peachtree Press, $6.95 paperback
Justin’s dad left home, his mom is depressed, and his brother is about to be shipped to Iraq. Learning to play the piano brings much needed solace, but also awakens a crush on a girl more popular than him.

Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction

Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett, published by Avon Tempest, $16.99 hardcover

I may have mentioned that I intend to read everything Terry Pratchett writes. This third book about Tiffany Aching is pure fun. If you’ve read Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith is a must-read. If you haven’t read any of them, what are you waiting for?


At WisCon this year I was pleased to meet Scott Westerfield and his wife Justine Larbalestier. Both are writing fresh, exciting young adult SF&F from down under, and I was really excited to see these sequels come out.

Specials by Scott Westerfield, published by Simon Pulse, $15.95 hardcover

This is the conclusion of the trilogy that started with Uglies and Pretties. In Tally’s world, everyone gets cosmetic surgery when they turn 16…whether they want it or not. Tally and her friends are now Special, their rebellious natures subverted to make them part of the controlling elite of their society.

Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier, published by Razorbill, $16.99 hardcover

Only a few short weeks ago, fifteen-year-old Reason thought that magic didn’t exist. Now she knows that has to use magic, or else she’ll go crazy, but if she uses too much magic, she will die. Family and friends with similar powers are faced with the same hard choices. Reason is caught between two powerful grandparents with suspicious motives, pulled between Sydney and New York, and chased by a mysterious figure with magical powers unlike that of anyone else she knows. Who will help her? Who can she trust? The second book of the trilogy that began with Magic or Madness.

More to come...

Friday, August 18, 2006

radical storytellin'

What would "radical" storytellin' entail? I am going to start a story time hour at the bookstore, and have already started a monthly story time at LAVA(Lancaster Avenue Autonomous Space, 4134 Lancaster Ave.), but I really want to make it interesting, unique, and conscious. Definitely multicultural, with tales spanning the globe, and definitely really great stories in general. But what would make a story time radical? Let me know if you have any ideas. My future goal is to learn as many folk tales and legends from the Pacific Islands in general, and other eclectic stories from indigenous backgrounds, especially creation stories and birthin'/mama stories, and be able to recite them with ease and grace.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Hi all, we are sweltering away at the bookstore, but we have high hopes that air conditioning is within sight. The contractor has been on the phone with us daily and the latest word is that work will start Friday or Saturday and take 3-4 days. He hasn't been this specific up until now, so by next week we may well have relief for our curling books and our wilting selves.

We've also been having fun with our t-shirt supplier, City Threads. We actually really like City Threads. Their shirts are cute and super-cool, and they do their own dyeing and embroidery, using shirts sourced in the US, mostly from American Apparel. They're also very friendly and easy to work with, but they usually only do kids' shirts. When they offered to do grown-up shirts for us we were excited until we opened up the shipment. The men's shirts are fine, and if you like a unisex-styled shirt they're good for women, too. Unfortunately, the shirts styled specifically for women were actually sized for girls. The XL size would fit a woman who normally wore a small or XS. We got on the phone and they were very apologetic, but we still had 65 shirts on our hands and we can't reasonably expect to sell more than a handful, while City Threads doesn't want them back, seeing as they have Mount Airy embroidered across the front.

In the end, they gave us a credit, which we're using for long-sleeved women's shirts for September delivery, but just to be certain, they sent us blank shirts that Jen and I tried on to check the sizing before they went forward with anything. In the meantime, if you know of a group of Mount Airy girls--scouts, sports team, youth group, etc.--that wants to represent and can claim 501-c-3 status, please let us know. The shirts are scoop-necked baby-rib in girls' sizes S-XL in assorted colors. They are not for resale.

On non-bookstore life--anyone out there not know about the Girl Scout pool at Shelly Ridge? It's maybe a 10-minute drive from the store, out Ridge Pike (via Henry) and it's open to individual members after Girl Scout camp is over for the day. It backs onto woods and there's a picnic grove in a little scrap of an old orchard. We usually spot deer, rabbits, or groundhogs on the grounds. We've been hanging out there in the early evenings, taking the baby in the shallow end, taking turns swimming some laps. It's a lovely place to end a July day.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hey everyone out there,

I realize that if the only thing we put on our blog is event announcements there's no reason to check it. So I'm going to start posting a little more about my life as a newbie bookseller, and maybe I can coax staff into getting on and letting you in on some of the projects they have underway.

I'm coming back to work today after spending a long weekend doing an amazing training to begin my certification process with Lamaze to do childbirth education. Yes, I am crazy to be adding anything to my plate, but I miss being a teacher (not working in schools, mind you, just being a teacher) and I feel very passionate about fixing the birth and mothering culture in our country. (Any of you who have shopped our parenting section probably figured that out.) The women at the training and the ones running it were all passionate, knowledgeable, full of good ideas and I'm inspired to start teaching as soon as I can. Don't you think a childbirth class would fit right in to our community room calendar?

One of the requirements for certification is to observe three births, so if you know anyone who's pregnant and due between now and Thanksgiving who would be open to having me sit in, please let me know!

On the store front, we're very happy to have Nif back. She was in Wisconsin for WisCon, the annual feminist sci fi conference, and she has tons of suggestions and stories.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NPR Alert!

Juliet Eilperin will discuss her book Fight Club Politics on Fresh Air May 23rd. She'll be visiting Big Blue Marble in August.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Alison Bechdel at Big Blue Marble!

Save the date, everyone: Alison Bechdel of Dykes to Watch Out For fame will be at the bookstore on June 22 at 3 p.m. to sign copies of her new graphic memoir, Fun Home. This is a fabulous chance to get your copy of Fun Home and to meet the author. That evening, she'll be reading at the Free Library at 7 p.m.

Poetry Aloud and Alive

Just a little note to tell everyone that our monthly poetry reading, Poetry Aloud and Alive, will be held on May 19, Friday, at 7:30pm. That's the third Friday of the month. Usually it is held on fourth Fridays but this month Michael Kleiner will be giving a reading from his new memoir Beyond the Cold that night. Hope to see you all there- this poetry night is always inspiring.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Mt. Airy Day!

Yay! It's May!
-and that means it is time for Mt. Airy Day, on May 6, the first Saturday of this lovely month. Once again there will be plenty of neighborhood vendors selling crafts, food, art, and other miscellaneous items. Plant sale! Yummy treats! And Big Blue Marble Bookstore will be tabling our bestselling and most interesting books, picked out by all of us at the store. 11am-5pm. Cliveden and Germantown Ave. Don't miss it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Welcome to the Big Blue Marble Blog! We hope our bookstore community will use this space to share thoughts and ideas about the store, Mt. Airy, and life in general.