Underwater exhibit

The Wangensteen Historical Library has a new Underwater exhibit that “explores humans, health, and science in watery spaces. Discover what voyagers encountered on the sea and how interactions in and around water have been the harbinger of health and illness across the centuries. Viewers will explore topics from sewage treatment and public health to ocean voyages and pharmaceuticals from the sea. Rare books in the exhibit feature striking images of aquatic natural history, various technologies, and experiences of water and health” (https://hsl.lib.umn.edu/wangensteen/exhibits-and-events/underwater).

This little beauty has arrived!

This little beauty has arrived! Thanks Patrick Rothfuss for writing such an amazing story that I now have three copies of Name of the Wind. Does one person really need three copies of the same book? Yes. But I would really like to have the 3rd volume in the series. Just saying.

All Hallows Read

Celebrating Neil @neilhimself Gaiman’s ‘All Hallows Read’ with a unicorn and Spider-Man! So this year Louisa received “Phoebe and Her Unicorn” by Dana Simpson and Julian received “Ninja Farts: Silent But Deadly” by J.B. O’Neil. Happy All Hallows Read! #AllHallowsRead

New book review

My latest book review has been published and its Robert Twigger’s “White Mountain”! He is a wonderful travel writer, you know the type- brilliant and snarky, and so when his book arrived so I was very excited to read it. Its a fun trip around the Himalayas Mountains and I liked it so much I gave it a starred review.

Review of Robert Twigger, “White Mountain: A Cultural Adventure Through the Himalayas.”Library Journal, 142, no. 13 (August): 108.

Book Talk with Melissa Aho – Episode 2 (07/26/17): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Book Talk with Melissa Aho – Episode 2 (07/26/17): Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone











Do you remember what you were reading 20 years ago? Were you reading about Harry, Hermione, and Hogwarts? Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone turns 20 years old this year. Happy birthday Harry! In this episode, we will discuss ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ aka ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (paperback)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Kindle)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Gryffindor Edition (Hardcover)

Book Talk with Melissa Aho

I published my first podcast today Book Talk with Melissa Aho! In this Episode 1, I interview librarian Susan Wakefield. Please join us as we discuss books, publishing, libraries, and reading. Happy reading!



These are the books discussed in this episode (just click on the link to find the book or the Kindle title):


Happy birthday Harry Potter!

On June 26, 1997, after many rejections, a little book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in the UK. That was just the beginning. Soon more books came out, a total of 7 about Harry, but other books, movies, plays, rides at the amusement parks, clothing, a new broomstick game played around the world, new words for the dictation, toys, and other memorabilia soon followed. Very much like Star Wars, Star Trek, or Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter managed to bewitch his way into the global psyche.

I vaguely remember seeing the first two books in 1998 in bookstores and reviews in various magazines. Finally one day I saw a display at Barnes and Noble that had the first two books displayed and I thought, “well I should read the damn things as I keep seeing them everywhere.” I started reading and I was hooked. I soon started to purchase the British versions of the books to get them sooner and they were always a little bit different than the American copies. Over the years I stood inline at midnight bookstore parties, ordered extra copies to see which one would get to me quicker, and one year the power went out and I was reading Harry by candlelight! Hay it was new and needed to be read. I also had friends pick me up foreign language copies on their travels around the world. When the movies came out with their midnight shows, I attended them because its always fun to be in a theater filled with crazed fans who loved Harry as much as you do.

Now 20 years later, Harry’s story has been told (maybe), but we continue to learn more about the wizarding world with Newt Scamander and other stories. It will be interesting to see what the next 20 years bring for the wizarding world, muggles too. But Harry will always remain at the center, a little orphan kid who just wanted a home and some friends and ended up saving the world. Always.

There is always room for one more Harry Potter book! Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! #HarryPotter20 @pottermore @jk_rowling