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Thursday, October 8, 6:00pm. ***Series Cancelled***
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series presents Crystal Rose or TBA.

For author bios and upcoming schedule, please visit

The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) is a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing. It was founded, and is curated and hosted, by Leeway Transformation Award-Winning community cultural artist and organizer Cassendre Xavier. (Previous curators include Sherella Gibbs and Louise Bierig). The Series is free and begins with a mixed-gender open mic, followed by reading and Q&A with featured readers. For submissions or more information, please visit, or send a 200 word writer's bio, plus pic and public contact URLs (website, Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.), to: cxwriting(at)gmail(dot)com, or as a message via our Fan page:

Thursdays from October 8-October 29, 7:30-9:00pm.
This Changes Everything: The Book Group

In her most provocative book yet, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, author Naomi Klein tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth. Climate change, she argues, is a civilizational wake-up call. Confronting it is no longer about changing types of lightbulbs but about changing the world.
The Mt. Airy "Be The Change" Reading Group invites the community to our 4-part discussion of Klein's work and its implication for our lives. All are welcome, and there is no charge. The group will meet at Big Blue Marble Bookstore, where the paperback edition of This Changes Everything is available.
Co-sponsored by Be The Change Group, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Weavers Way Co-op, and Interfaith Power and Light.
To register for the sessions or for more information, please email

Friday, October 9, 10:30am.
Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Friday, October 9, 7:00pm.
Young Adult Author Panel!

Friendship, romance, multiculturalism, sexuality, gender, road trips, politics, and more! Please join us as we welcome four wonderful YA authors to the bookstore:
- I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above, in which a high school senior finds out she's intersex...and so does everyone else.
- Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of Surviving Santiago, in which a Wisconsin teenager reluctantly returns to her homeland of Chile in the tense political climate of 1989.
- Randy Ribay, author of An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes, in which four D&D-playing friends work through the very different issues of their real lives.
- Kate Scelsa, author of Fans of the Impossible Life, a captivating novel about complicated love and transformative friendships.
Click to display/hide author bios.

Saturday, October 10, 10:30am.      Event for Kids!
Mr. Halloweenster Visits Big Blue Marble!

Come join us for Halloween fun and hear the story of Stanley, an ordinary kid who, in standing up to bullies, transforms into Mr. Halloweenster. Costumes are welcome for both kids and adults! We’ll be decorating small pumpkins, too. Suggested for ages 3 and up.
Kids' event: More details below.

Saturday, October 10, 2:00pm.
Local Author Salon with Alice Wootson and B.D. Jordan.

Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in Rankin, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Cheyney University, a Masters’ Degree in Education, Principal Certification and Reading Specialist Certification. She retired from the School District of Philadelphia. As an adult she discovered romance novels and after reading many of them she decided to write one. She writes romance novels because she likes happy endings. She is a member of The Philadelphia Writers Conference, the Mad Poets Society, Romance Writers of America and Authors Guild.
Beryl DaCosta Jordan lives in Chestnut Hill but will shortly be moving to Mt. Airy. Her first novel, A Calling Dream, has just been released this September. It's historical fiction, the story of a woman born in South Carolina in 1900. She's manipulated into an abusive marriage. She manages to escape and begins a new life, first in Harlem, during the Renaissance, eventually settling in Philadelphia. This is the first of three of a trio of novels based in the facts of her family’s history.

Sunday, October 11, 2:00pm.
Baby You’re a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun and Profit with author Stan Soocher.

Join Big Blue Marble to learn how the mob, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley were only part of the sources seeking to take down the Beatles - or make a huge profit from them! In Baby You’re a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun and Profit, Stan Soocher explores the endless array of people bringing lawsuits against the band, telling along the way a broader story about what it costs artists to be famous.

Stan Soocher is associate professor of music and entertainment industry studies at the University of Colorado’s Denver Campus. In addition, he is an entertainment attorney and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Entertainment Law & Finance. The recipient of the Texas Star Award from the State Bar of Texas, Soocher has written for Rolling Stone and the National Law Journal and is previously the author of They Fought the Law: Rock Music Goes to Court.

Sunday, October 11, 4:00pm.
St. Francis of America: How a Thirteenth-Century Friar Became America's Most Popular Saint with author Patricia Appelbaum

How did a thirteenth-century Italian friar become one of the best-loved saints in America? Around the nation today, St. Francis of Assisi is embraced as the patron saint of animals, beneficently presiding over hundreds of Blessing of the Animals services on October 4, St. Francis’s Catholic feast day. Not only Catholics, however, but Protestants and other Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and nonreligious Americans commonly name him as one of their favorite spiritual figures. Drawing on a dazzling array of art, music, drama, film, hymns, and prayers, Patricia Appelbaum explains what happened to make St. Francis so familiar and meaningful to so many Americans.

Wednesday, October 14, 6:00pm.
Queer Literary Alliance Book Group.

A new book club for the store! QLA is a monthly book club open to everyone, focusing on queer books. Queer books exist in every genre and we hope to celebrate that, intentionally focusing on books by non-white people, non-cis folk, people with disabilities, and other identities sometimes marginalized by the greater queer community. We will meet 2nd Wednesdays of the month at 6:00pm. October's book: Valencia by Michelle Tea.

Thursday, October 15, 7:30-9:00pm.
This Changes Everything: The Book Group, session 2.

Please see October 8 listing for details.

Saturday, October 17, 7:00pm.
A Journey Of Life On Purpose: Creativity, Love, Womanhood, Community, Race, and Identity with author Avril Somerville.

In this memoir comprising personal essays and poetry, author Avril Somerville writes about love in its myriad of expressions – self, community, and a larger sisterhood and women’s collective that is critical to becoming; implores authenticity and transparency with self in our relationships with one another; speaks clearly to the urgency of carving and nurturing the creative space; and answers questions regarding her own personal challenges with identity, while tackling race from a deeply seated place of empathy and conviction as a mother raising three Black children in America.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Penn State University’s MBA program, Avril Somerville is a writer and speaker outside of Philadelphia. She enjoys sharing her convictions on personal transformation, sisterhood, relationships, the creative space, and the challenges of race and identity. A Journey Of Life On Purpose is her first memoir.

Sunday, October 18, 1-5pm. ***Cancelled***       For Kids and Teens!
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshop for Kids: Advanced Writers' Workshop.

This class is a feedback-oriented workshop where students read each other's work ahead of time, and Cordelia facilitates the feedback structure. Cordelia will also provide a page-length story critique to each participating student. (Ages 9 and up, must have taken a class with Cordelia before or show writing sample beforehand.)
Cost and registration information on our Classes page.

Tuesday, October 20, 7:30-9:00pm.
Hey You, Poet!

We're pleased to announce a new poetry open reading series with local small press Creeping Lotus on the 3rd Tuesday of every month! More information at October theme: What's lurking in the shadows...

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00pm.
Domestic Chíc, A Fashionably Fabulous Guide to Cooking and Entertaining by the Seasons by Chef Kristin Sollenne.

A rising culinary star chef, and Food Network judge, Kristin Sollenne has been making headlines for her contemporary food philosophy, approachable cooking tips and re-imagined healthy dishes. Rather than the sometimes-overwhelming cookbook approach, Kristin has provided you with the ultimate go-to guide for cooking and entertaining by the seasons. With 16 pre-planned menus and over 100 recipes with innovative décor tips to coincide with holidays and celebrations during each season, this is your “one-stop-shop” to hosting a fashionably fabulous affair! Unique flavors and pairings are awakened through each menu, along with touching family stories and traditions.
As a certified nutritionist, Kristin focuses on fresh in-season produce and the lavishness of each season to guide your palette. Passionate about healthy, flavorful dishes, she demonstrates a farm-to-table approach to traditional Italian style cooking. Think a modern day twist on your grandmother’s classics!

As a rising culinary star and Food Network Judge, Chef Kristin Sollenne has been making headlines for her contemporary food philosophy, lightened-up Italian fare, and approachable cooking tips, with regular appearances on WCBS’s Morning News and WLNY’s “Live from the Couch,” as well as a feature on NBC’s “Today” show, Fox5 Good Day New York, Fox Business and regular guest judge on Beat Bobby Flay and Kitchen Casino on the Food Network. In 2014, she was featured on season ten of Food Network Star as a mentor to finalist Luca Della Casa and will appear in 2016 as a season finale judge for Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America.
Sollenne, a 2013 honoree of Zagat’s Top 30 under 30, has cooked for Taylor Swift, Seth Rogan, Ed Sheeran and the entire SNL cast. She adds author under her belt with the release of her first cookbook – Domestic Chíc, A Fashionably Fabulous Guide to Cooking and Entertaining by the Seasons. Inspired to modernize the woman chef, Kristin has designed a line of kitchen couture designer aprons, CELLINI, to keep you feeling fabulous in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 22, 7:00pm.
Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion with Jen Sheffield.

An open discussion group for adults who read YA and teens who like to talk about books. We meet the fourth Thursdays of the month at 7:00pm. October's selection: YA Author Panel Follow-Up, featuring any books by the authors reading on October 9 (above).

Thursday, October 22, 7:30-9:00pm.
This Changes Everything: The Book Group, session 3.

Please see October 8 listing for details.

Friday, October 23, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: Sandy Becker.
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.

Saturday, October 24, 11:00am.      Event for Kids and their Grownups!
Monster Needs Your Vote with author Paul Czajak.

Come meet Paul Czajak's beloved character Monster as he begins his newest adventure - running for President! But what worthy cause while he find to support? Kids can make campaign posters, write letters to their senators, and practice voting!
Kids' event: More details below.

Saturday, October 24, 7:00pm.
An Evening with The Search for Susu.

A reading and discussion of the book The Search for Susu, a novel written by local authors and professors Marcella McCoy-Deh and T.M. Giggetts. Set in both Philadelphia and Accra, Ghana, Susu is the story of Philadelphia professor Dr. Francine Carty, a woman who struggles to reclaim agency in her career and relationships after a single embarrassing decision made while on a research fellowship goes viral and threatens to shame her forever. In the novel, Tracey and Marcella address today's internet and social media shaming culture in a way that’s both challenging to the current societal narrative and cathartic for those who may have found themselves humiliated publicly.

T.M. Giggetts is the author of eight books in multiple genres and a professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia. The Louisville, KY, native is a sought after speaker and acclaimed blogger who addresses the hard, intersectional issues of faith and culture.
Marcella McCoy-Deh is an academic administrator and Liberal Arts professor at Philadelphia University. The Philadelphia native is an alumna of the Philadelphia High School for Girls and has been published as an academic, a journalist, and a magazine contributor. The Search for Susu is her first novel.

Sunday, October 25, 2:00pm.
Gut Feelings: Social and Emotional Struggles with Crohn’s & Colitis with author Linda Kriger.

Gut Feelings is a groundbreaking book that examines the inner shame and isolation that many patients experience while coping with the ups and downs of Crohn’s and Colitis. It is based on more than 100 interviews with patients, parents, siblings and romantic partners.

Linda Kriger researched and wrote Gut Feelings after decades of struggles with ulcerative colitis. In college, in the newsrooms where she worked, and in her personal life, she pretended to be healthy, hiding the urgency to run to the bathroom and creating internal social and emotional tensions. After she left daily journalism, married, and became a mother, she went into remission for several years until pre-cancerous cells were discovered in her colon. She underwent a total colectomy, the removal of her large intestine, and now lives happily with a J-pouch as a substitute. She continues her career as a freelance journalist.
Linda graduated from Connecticut College and the Columbia University School of Journalism and was a reporter for the Providence (R.I.) Journal and a medical writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She studied medical issues on a Knight mid-career Fellowship at Stanford University.

Tuesday, October 27, 7:00pm.
Professor Smadar Lavie, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture.

What is the relationship between social protest movements in the State of Israel, violence in Gaza, and the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran? Why did the mass social protests in the State of Israel of summer 2011 ultimately fail? Wrapped in the Flag of Israel discusses social protest movements from the 2003 Single Mothers’ March led by Mizrahi Vicky Knafo, to the “Tahrir is Here” Israeli mass protests of summer 2011. Equating bureaucratic entanglements with pain—what, arguably, can be seen as torture, Smadar Lavie explores the conundrum of loving and staying loyal to a state that repeatedly inflicts pain on its non-European Jewish women citizens through its bureaucratic system.
Cosponsored by Tikkun Olam Chavurah.

Smadar Lavie is a Mizrahi Israeli anthropologist, author, and activist specializing in the anthropology of Egypt, Israel, and Palestine, with special emphasis on issues of race, gender, and religion. She is a visiting fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley, and a visiting professor at the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century, University College Cork. Lavie received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and spent nine years as Assistant and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. She won the American Studies Association’s 2009 Gloria Anzaldúa Prize for her article “Staying Put: Crossing the Palestine-Israel Border with Gloria Anzaldúa,” published in Anthropology and Humanism.

Wednesday, October 28, 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group with Minter Krotzer.

The Life Stories Book Group is designed for writers but all are welcome. We will read and discuss mostly memoirs, both contemporary and classic, focusing on the writing and structure as well as content and narrative. We will meet the last Wednesdays of the month. October's book: Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas.

Thursday, October 29, 7:30-9:00pm.
This Changes Everything: The Book Group, session 4.

Please see October 8 listing for details.


Sunday, November 1, 1:00-5:00pm.       For Kids and Teens!
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshop for Kids: Fairytale Writing Workshop.

In this class, we will focus on fairytale writing and fractured fairytale writing. We will do some group writing exercises and play some fairytale focused writing games. (Ages 9 and up.)
Cost and registration information on our Classes page.

Wednesday, November 4, 7:00pm.
Publishing for Poets.

Print journals, online journals, famous journals, upstart journals, submission services, contests, open reading periods -- how's a poet supposed to navigate all of this and still have time to write? In this 2 hour workshop, Elliott will introduce you to the world of poetry publications.
More details, including cost and registration info, on our Classes page.

Thursday, November 5, 7:00pm.
Roy Scranton, author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene.

Learning to Die in the Anthropocene grapples with the immensity of climate change in a way that is at once concrete and philosophical, global and local, realistic and, in its way, hopeful. In the words of Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, "In Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, Roy Scranton draws on his experiences in Iraq to confront the grim realities of climate change. The result is a fierce and provocative book."

Author, journalist, Iraq war veteran, and Princeton Ph.D candidate Roy Scranton's journalism, essays, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Boston Review, Contemporary Literature, and elsewhere. He has been interviewed by many media outlets, including NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Friday, November 6, 7:00pm.
Inside the Music with author Randall Grass.

Join Big Blue Marble as we go behind the scenes of some of the most powerful and influential musical artists of our time. In Great Spirits: Portraits of Life-Changing World Music Artists, author Randall Grass creates compelling written portraits of the lives and music of some of the most unique musical artists of the last decades.

Randall Grass just moved to Mt. Airy from New Jersey. In his job with Shanachie Entertainment he worked with notable, sometimes legendary, musical artists such as Fela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Melba Moore, Rita Marley, Kim Burrell, and many others. He has written about music for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Village Voice, Downbeat, Spin Magazine, and many others, as well as contributing to the books REGGAE INTERNATIONAL and THE ROLLING STONE RECORD GUIDE. His media experience includes hosting long running shows on WXPN-FM, being a contributor to NPR-syndicated shows Artbeat and Crossroads, and appearing on CNN, MTV, All Things Considered, and other radio and television outlets. As a musician he has performed with bands in the United States and African and currently performs with the noted Philadelphia band Philly Gumbo.

Sunday, November 8, 7:00pm.
The Dark Hills: Thoughts on Faith, Spirituality and Depression - Reading and Chants with Scott Robinson.

Come for the signing, stay for the singing! The Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt. Airy will host Chestnut Hill author Scott Robinson, who will read from, and sign copies of, his book The Dark Hills: Thoughts on Faith, Spirituality and Depression. A question and discussion period will follow. Between selections from the book, Robinson’s band Mandala will lead the audience in participatory, call-response singing of his original interfaith kirtan.

Since leaving university teaching in 2009, Scott Robinson has led workshops and retreats on contemplative practice. An ordained Interfaith Minister, he works as a hospice chaplain and freelance clergy for weddings, memorial services and baby blessings. Scott has written for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Parent, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sojourners magazine, Elephant Journal, Recovering Yogi, Arts (the journal of the Society for the Arts in Religious Studies) and Cross Currents, among others.

Wednesday, November 11, 6:00pm.
Queer Literary Alliance Book Group.

QLA is a monthly book club open to everyone, focusing on queer books. Queer books exist in every genre and we hope to celebrate that, intentionally focusing on books by non-white people, non-cis folk, people with disabilities, and other identities sometimes marginalized by the greater queer community. We will meet 2nd Wednesdays of the month at 6:00pm. November's book: When Everything Feels Like a Movie by Raziel Reid.

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!

Fridays at 10:30am: 9/11, 10/9, 11/6, 12/11
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.

Sundays from 1-5pm: 4/12, 5/17, 6/14, 9/13 (cancelled), 10/18, 11/1
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshops for Kids!

These workshops, led by author and teacher Cordelia Jensen, will combine games, craft points, and writing exercises to make for a fun and creative afternoon. Ages 9 and up.
More details on our Classes page.

Saturday, October 10, 10:30am.
Mr. Halloweenster Visits Big Blue Marble!

Come join us for Halloween fun and hear the story of Stanley, an ordinary kid who, in standing up to bullies, transforms into Mr. Halloweenster. Costumes are welcome for both kids and adults! We’ll be decorating small pumpkins, too. Suggested for ages 3 and up.

Mr. Halloweenster, a/k/a The Kids Halloween Hero, shows young kids that Halloween is about much more than just candy. Mr. Halloweenster teaches pre-school, pre-K and kindergarten age children that the best part of Halloween comes from their creativity and imagination, especially when they're making Halloween decorations, telling Halloween stories, wearing their costumes, and being silly while marching in a Halloween parade or trick-or-treating.

Saturday, October 24, 11:00am.
Monster Needs Your Vote with author Paul Czajak.

Come meet Paul Czajak's beloved character Monster as he begins his newest adventure - running for President! But what worthy cause while he find to support? Kids can make campaign posters, write letters to their senators,and practice voting!

Paul Czajak got an 'F' with the words "get a tutor" on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he'd become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in Massachusetts with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has rediscovered his passion for writing and looks forward to sharing his stories for years to come.

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  • Book Clubs

    Fourth Thursday, 7:00pm.

    Final Wednesday, 7:15pm.

    Second Wednesday, 6:00pm.

    Final Tuesday, 7:15pm.

    Visit our book clubs page

    Other Monthly Events

    Fourth Friday, 7:30pm.

    Read our full events listing

    Just for Kids

    Wednesdays, 10:00am.

    Monthly on Fridays, 10:30am.

    Read events for kids