Pint-Sized Bookstore Takes Up Residence in LA

Tiny Oof Bookstore opens in #LosAngeles #bookstores http://bit.ly/2x0B2s0 @finebooks

Though already home to a sizable number of independent, brick-and-mortar bookshops, Los Angeles recently welcomed a new addition to the family: OOF Bookstore, which opened its doors in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Cypress Park on July 2. Read all about this pint-size place on the Fine Books Blog.

Moby Dick Marathon Reading Session Aboard a Whaleship Celebrates Melville’s Birthday

From noon July 31 through noon August 1, the Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum in Mystic, CT, held its 32nd annual Moby Dick reading marathon. Visitors were invited aboard the 19th century whaleship (and now teaching vessel) Charles W. Morgan and read Herman Melville‘s (1819-1891) nautical adventure. Read all about it here, on the Fine Books Blog.

Harry Potter and History Collide at the New York Academy of Medicine

Bezoars, screaming mandrakes, and basilisks all figure in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, but their origins date back centuries. Now, the New York Academy of Medicine has launched a digital exhibition exploring the connections between Rowling’s books and historical texts. Read all about it on the Fine Books Blog. 

Reexamining Mother’s Day with Margaret Atwood and “The Handmaid’s Tale”

 

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Motherhood means something other than candy and roses in The Handmaid’s Tale. Read about Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s classic as well as the Folio Society’s illustrated edition–on the Fine Books Blog. 

American Library Association Announces Award Winners

‘Tis the season for award ceremonies, and on Monday the American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting, held this year in Atlanta, Georgia. We reported on Tuesday that Kelly Barnhill took top honors with the Newbery; read who else was recognized for their contributions to children’s literature over on the Fine Books Blog.

Kelly Barnhill Awarded 2017 Newbery Medal

Kelly Barnhill Wins 2017 Newbery Medal

At the American Library Association’s (ALA) midwinter conference yesterday in Atlanta, Minnesota native Kelly Barnhil was awarded the 2017 John Newbery Medal for The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Algonquin Young Readers). Like her 2014 debut The Witch’s Boy, this fantasy coming-of-age fairy tale will no doubt secure itself as a modern classic.

I had the great privilege of speaking with Barnhill back in 2014 about The Witch’s Boy and the importance of magic and danger in children’s literature, which ran here in January 2015. That interview also served as a resource for a story I wrote for the Spring 2015 issue of The Sewanee Review that traces the origins of danger imagery in children’s stories, starting with fairy tales by the Grimm Brothers and moving into the present day. I am grateful  to Gregory Maguire, Mac Barnett, and Kelly Barnhill for their powerful and nuanced thoughts on the importance of their craft for shaping the minds of young readers.

Congratulations to all of yesterday’s winners–check out my Friday column on the Fine Books Blog for a full run-down of the ALA awards.