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A neighborhood bookstore for Mt Airy and beyond


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Thursday, August 18, 5:00pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Blue & Green Reading Series! Thursday August 18, 7:00pm.
The Grid and the River, Professor Elizabeth Milroy's study of Philadelphia's Green Spaces.

Philadelphians are fond of quoting a letter in which William Penn described his vision of a "greene country towne, which will never be burnt & always wholesome." The Grid and the River: Philadelphia's Green Places, 1682-1876 is the product of Elizabeth Milroy's quest to understand the history of public green spaces in William Penn's city. In this monumental work of urban history, Milroy traces efforts to keep Philadelphia "green" from the time of its founding to the late nineteenth century.

Elizabeth Milroy teaches courses in the history of Western art in the modern period, with a specialty in art and material culture in North America (the United States, Mexico and Canada) from the colonial period to the 20th century. She coedited the anthology Reading American Art, which is now a standard textbook in the field. Professor Milroy's current research focuses on the history of cultural spaces, specifically public parks and historic sites in the city of Philadelphia. The Grid and the River was published in March by Penn State University Press. Professor Milroy has also published and lectured widely on such artists as Thomas Eakins, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Emma Stebbins, on the history of art museums and exhibitions, and on the history of public parks.
The Blue & Green Reading Series is a collaboration between Weavers Way Co-op and Big Blue Marble Bookstore, bringing book discussions, book signings, guest speakers, and authors to audiences interested in food systems, health, culture, history, and civic engagement.

Sunday, August 21, 11:00am-3:00pm.
Kids' Lit. Mini-Fest!

Not at the beach? Join us for a day of family fun with authors and activities!

  • 11 am - Readings and Fun for Kids age 2-5 with authors Kadeja Wexler and Marcella McCoy-Deh!
    Kadeja Wexler : Adventures with the Jujukas: Little Lilly's First Day of School. Lilly Jujuka is starting school, but the middle child of the Jujuka family couldn’t be more nervous. Will the teachers and students be mean? Can Little Lilly find that school is nothing to fear and everything to love? Come along as she ventures into a new world, where exciting experiences and lasting friendships await.
    Marcella McCoy-Deh: Meet the little girl with a big name! The first in a series, the Akofa picture book introduces Akofa as she enters the world, her multi-cultural family, and the lives of readers with a candor and charm that invite you to stick around as she begins the journey of self-discovery.
  • 1 pm - What is Punk? Reading and FAMILY DANCE PARTY!
    Eric Morse will be reading his Punk primer for children, then introducing Punk music in the only way possible - DANCE PARTY for parents and kids of all ages!
    What is Punk? is a must-read pop-culture primer for children—an introduction to the punk revolution, recreated in vivid 3-D clay illustrations and told through rhyming couplets. From London’s Clash and Sex Pistols to the Ramones’ NYC protopunk, from Iggy Pop to the Misfits, this volume depicts some of our culture’s seminal moments and iconic characters. A delightful read for kids and parents alike, illustrated in a truly unique visual style, What is Punk? lays the groundwork for the next generation of little punks.

Thursday, August 25, 5:00pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Blue & Green Reading Series! Thursday August 25, 7:00pm.
The Soulmaking Room with author/activist Dee Dee Risher.

The Soulmaking Room is Dee Dee Risher’s meditation on how we can create a culture of radical hospitality even as we confront inevitable losses while working to transform our world. The Soulmaking Room addresses love, race, money, parenting, class, environmental crisis, and spiritual wandering with refreshing honesty. Drawing loosely on the​​ story of the prophet Elisha and the woman who built him a holy room, Risher explores how we create a space for spiritual growth, how we keep working toward justice, and how we live truthfully.

Dee Dee Risher is a freelance writer and editor who wrote for and edited the Christian social justice magazine The Other Side and helped launch and edit Conspire magazine, an ecumenical quarterly publication. She is a cofounder of the Alternative Seminary in Philadelphia and helped start Vine and Fig Tree, a faith-based, intentional cooperative housing community in the Germantown neighborhood, of which she is a longtime resident. She has published over 200 articles in such magazines as Sojourners, Progressive Christian, The Utne Reader, and Grid magazine and blogs for The Huffington Post, Theological Curves, and other venues. Dee Dee's new book, The Soulmaking Room, was recently released by Upper Room Books. In it, she explores what it means to live authentically, by sharing from her lived experience as "a bold, Southern, white woman who loves the earth and its fruits and likes to share stories and laugh, sing, and dance with my sisters and brothers—and then sit quietly and watch night come."
The Blue & Green Reading Series is a collaboration between Weavers Way Co-op and Big Blue Marble Bookstore, bringing book discussions, book signings, guest speakers, and authors to audiences interested in food systems, health, culture, history, and civic engagement.

Friday, August 26, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: Joel Dias-Porter.
Everyone's favorite neighborhood poetry gathering. Hosted by local poet Mike Cohen, with a featured reader and an open reading to follow. For more information, please contact the Mad Poets Society.

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Thursday, September 1, 5:00pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Saturday, September 3, 7:00pm.
Time to Talk! Discussion of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Did you love it? Hate it? Does it feel like the eighth book to you? What questions did it answer for you? Did you want to change some of it yourself? Come for discussion led by Lorrie Kim, Potter fan extraordinaire and author of Snape: A Definitive Reading.

Lorrie Kim lives in Philadelphia, PA with her clever, grumpy, magical spouse and their Harry Potter-reading offspring, one born between Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince and one in gestation during the publication of Deathly Hallows.
Check out our interview with Lorrie on the bookstore blog!

Thursday, September 8, 5:00pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Saturday, September 10, 7:00pm.
Johanna Baldwin, author of All (Wo)Men Desire to Know.

All (Wo)Men Desire to Know is an emotional and spiritual journey of love and loss that takes a woman to the mysterious world of the Ancient Greek Philosophers. Baldwin’s courageous heroine can’t move on after the death of the love of her life. She’s plagued by one burning question: Will I ever see him again? She doesn’t go to the ends of the earth for her answer, instead she goes to the beginnings, back to Ancient Greece where the greatest philosophers of all time teach her their metaphysical practices so that she can find her true answer. This accessible tale of a lover’s grieving heart is a vibrant, poetic portrait of intimacy steeped in authenticity and mysticism.

Johanna Baldwin is a writer and producer of film, television, theatre and short stories. All (Wo)Men Desire to Know is Baldwin’s debut novel. Her body of work is influenced by her travels and many homes over the years, from her birthplace in Dallas to Kansas City, Los Angeles, Paris, London, and now New York City. Her greatest inspiration, however, comes from individuals and their true stories. Baldwin’s short stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications from The New York Times to The London Evening Standard. She recently produced the hit documentary series The uneXplained for A&E Networks. Her other credits include the BBC ONE film she wrote, Venus and Mars, and she produced the television series The Moth for USA Networks.

Thursday, September 15, 5:00pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!!
Event for kids and teens: More details below.

Thursday, September 15, 7:00pm.
Many-Voiced Writers: Minter Krotzer, Jayne Benjulian, and Jeffrey Ethan Lee.

Join us for an evening of firsts with three multi-voiced writers. Minter Krotzer, Big Blue Marble Writer-in-Residence, and poet and memoirist, will be reading a new short story; Jeffrey Ethan Lee, with three poetry collections, will be reading from his first novel, The Autobiography of Somebody Else, and Jayne Benjulian, who has been an Apple speechwriter and theatre director, will be reading from her first full-length poetry collection, Five Sextillion Atoms. In other words - more great writing than you can shake a stick at. Although our writers would prefer you not shake sticks at them...
Click to display/hide author bios.

Friday, September 16, 10:30am.
Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Sunday, September 18, 2:00pm.
Discussion with Karen Bojar, author of Green Shoots of Democracy in Philadelphia's Democratic Party, and Chris Rabb, Democratic nominee for state representative from the 200th district.

While 80% of Philadelphians are registered Democrats, the Democratic party structure in the city has proven itself insular, corrupt, and resistant to change. Why? Life-long activist Karen Bojar explores this question in Green Shoots of Democracy in Philadelphia's Democratic Party. The book explores what makes Philly's 9th ward (far Northwest) so different from most other Philly voting districts. It is based largely on interviews with progressive committeepeople and ward leaders, past and present, from neighborhoods all over the city who have been willing to talk candidly about their experiences working within the ward system. As one of the 5 (out of 69!) wards in the city in which committeepeople vote on endorsements and decisions are made democratically, the 9th ward is a major part of the story.

Karen will be joined by Chris Rabb, who against all odds won a decisive victory in the Democratic primary for state representative in the 200th legislative district, and who will discuss his experience taking on the political establishment and his perspective on grassroots politics in Northwest Philly.

Saturday September 24, 11:00am
Discover Good Night Wissahickon Valley Park with Friends of the Wissahickon.

Good Night Wissahickon Valley Park is a new children’s book created by the Friends of the Wissahickon Valley to help families discover this Philadelphia treasure. The book takes children on a hike through Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley Park with a family of four who begin their visit in the morning at the north end of the park and stops at several beloved landmarks as they make their way south. By the end of the book, night is falling as the family says, “Good Night Wissahickon.” Members of Friends of the Wissahickon will be on hand to talk about the park's natural and human-made beauty.

Saturday, September 24, 3:00pm.
GEEK OUT! Hamilton Goes to Hogwarts.

What if the historical figures in the Broadway musical Hamilton: The Revolution were witches and wizards? Where would the Sorting Hat have put them? We know Lin-Manuel Miranda drew some inspirations for his characterizations from the Harry Potter series; let's see how it affects our understanding of these personalities! Washington: Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, or something else? Jefferson's tactical brilliance: Slytherin or Ravenclaw? And what about Alexander Hamilton himself? Come prepared for a lively battle of wits. Extra points if you can argue in rhyme! Discussion led by Lorrie Kim, author of Snape: A Definitive Reading.

Sunday, September 25, 2:00pm.
Amy Ignatow's New Series Massive Launch Party!

We are THRILLED to be hosting Big Blue Marble favorite Amy Ignatow as she marks the release of The Mighty Odds, the first book in her newest series! Reading, games, signing, and fun!
In The Mighty Odds, Ignatow turns on its head the classic middle school good kids–vs.–the populars/bullies trope, and in the process creates a fearless new middle-school classic. The illustrated novel series begins as four students, a teacher, a bus driver, and an Amish teen are involved in a bus accident that leaves each of them with bizarre superpowers. Cookie, the only black teen in the school and a powerful popular kid, finds she is now able to read minds, but only when someone is thinking about directions. Nerdy, overweight, white Nick (who likes to hang out with his funny but overbearing BFF in the safety of the Understeps) can teleport, but only 4 inches to the left. Iranian-American Farshad, systematically shunned once he was marked with the moniker Terror Boy, has amazing strength in his thumbs. Martina, a white girl nearly invisible to all who draws the graphic novel panels that accompany this romp (in which she depicts herself as having horns), now has eyes that keep changing color. Thrown together by their new powers, the group must learn to navigate their unexpectedly evolving, eye-opening relationships- and uncover who is out to harm them!

Tuesday, September 27, 7:00pm.
Jessica Luther, author of Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, in conversation with Melissa McEwan, the founder and editor-in-chief of Shakesville.com, a progressive feminist blog community.

Investigative journalist Jessica Luther's Unsportsmanlike Conduct is neither easy nor comfortable. Instead, her searing, expertly researched volume on sexual assault perpetrated by college football players meticulously details the traditional responses whenever a new allegation of sexual misconduct comes to light. In understanding how the system uses silence, power, and complicity, Luther also moves beyond her damning critique of the current system by providing concrete ways to put an end to this epidemic once and for all.

Jessica Luther is an independent writer and investigative journalist living in Austin, Texas. Her work on sports and culture has appeared in the Texas Observer and the Austin Chronicle, and at Sports Illustrated, Texas Monthly, VICE Sports, Guardian Sport, ESPN the Magazine, and Bleacher Report. Luther’s work gained national attention in August 2015 when writing for Texas Monthly; she and Dan Solomon broke open the story about a Baylor football player on trial for sexual assault, a case known by only a few in the community and not reported in the media for nearly two years.

Classes at Big Blue Marble

Please see our Classes page for information on writing workshops and other classes.

Just For Kids

bead maze

Wednesdays, 10:00am.
Big Blue Marble Story Time with Sarah Rose

Come sing songs and read some of the best new and classic kids' books!

Thursdays, 5:00pm.
D&D@BBMB!

Big Blue Marble is now hosting two Dungeons & Dragons tables for players ages 9 and up, playing every Thursday from 5-7pm!! Show up, or email Claire McGuire.
We also have folks interested in a table for adults meeting weekly or bi-weekly. If you're interested, email I'd Like to Play!
For either game, you'll need the 5th Edition Players Handbook, which we have in stock! We also carry dice sets. Note: details will change in September.

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game that's been around since the seventies. Each player designs a character according to their interests. Perhaps you're a wizard, a bard, a rogue or an assassin. And maybe you'd like to play an elf, a human, or a halfling. We'll lead you on a series of adventures through fantastical realms with all kinds of interesting creatures. Your character will fight ghouls, assist oppressed people and collect magical items. You can read more about Dungeons & Dragons here, or contact us for more information: outreach@bigbluemarblebooks.com.

Fridays at 10:30am: 7/8, 8/5, 9/16, 10/14, 11/4, 12/9
Shabbat Storytimes with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Babies, toddlers, and young children and their grown-ups (parents, grandparents, nannies, etc.) are invited to join us for a special storytime, focusing on the joy of Shabbat. We'll read stories, sing songs for Shabbat, and make an easy activity to take home. Juice & challah to enjoy! Led by jkidphilly Center City Director Gabby Kaplan-Mayer and GJC Education Director Rabbi Alanna Sklover.
Questions? Contact Gabby at 215-320-0376.

Final Sundays, 5:00pm. (On hiatus for the summer.)
Not-Bored Family Board Game Night.

Join us for an evening of fun for all ages with new and classic board games. We'll be playing the final Sunday of every month. Game time for younger kids starts at 5 pm, and Teen/Adult games start at 7 pm.


Visit Us

ADDRESS:
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119

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HOURS:
Mon: 11-6
Tue-Wed: 10-6
Thurs-Fri: 10-7
Sat-Sun: 10-6


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215-844-1870

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  • Book Clubs

    BIG BLUE YOUNG ADULT BOOK DISCUSSION
    Fourth Thursday, 7:00pm.

    QUEER LITERARY ALLIANCE
    Second Wednesday, 6:00pm.

    MEMOIR BOOK GROUP
    Final Wednesday, 7:15pm.

    Visit our book clubs page


    Other Monthly Events

    POETRY ALOUD AND ALIVE
    Fourth Friday, 7:30pm.

    New! NOT-BORED FAMILY BOARD GAME NIGHT
    Final Sunday, 5:00pm/7:00pm

    Read our full events listing


    Just for Kids

    BIG BLUE MARBLE STORY TIME
    Wednesdays, 10:00am.

    SHABBAT STORY TIME
    Monthly on Fridays, 10:30am.

    Read events for kids