Posts Tagged ‘Great Group Reads’


Happy Monday, WNBA-ers and Happy Labor Day! As you enjoy the last official BBQ day of summer, take time to mark your calendars for our chapter’s upcoming fall events. Be sure to return to the blog for more information as each event approaches.


WNBA-NYC Chapter invites members to our annual Networking Party!
Wednesday, September 11
6:00–8:30 pm
(We’ll send the East Side address when we get your RSVP.)

Our fall members party is an opportunity for us to get reacquainted, learn about a new year of programs, and bring along friends interested in joining the association. We have a special treat for paid-up members. We’ll be raffling some very beautiful books at the end of the evening. And we are initiating this fall’s community service project—a book drive for the Kids Research Center. (More about this coming in a separate email.)

Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP to: programs@wnba-nyc.org

In Conversation: Ruth Ozeki and Carole DeSanti
Wednesday, September 18
6:00–8:00 pm
Reflections Yoga Studio
250 West 49th St., 2nd floor

We open our program season with a provocative dialogue between two intriguing authors, both WNBA members—with topics ranging from their latest books, their inspirations, and how women authors fare in today’s publishing world. Ruth Ozeki is the author of the recently Man Booker-nominated A Tale for the Time Being. She is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.   Carole DeSanti is the author of The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R. As an editor at Penguin, she champions independent voices in women’s fiction.

Light refreshments. Book signings.

RSVP to: programs@wnba-nyc.org

Brooklyn Book Festival 2013
Sunday, September 22
10:00 am–6:00 pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza
WNBA Booth 390
(Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall; R to Court Street; or A, C, F to Jay Street/Borough Hall)

Once again, WNBA-NYC chapter will be sharing a booth with the National Reading Group Month folks at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Last year’s event was a great success and we hope to continue the positive experience this year.  We will be distributing our promotional materials to the public and promoting WNBA. We hope to sign up some new members! Join the fun—be a booth volunteer!

From their website – “The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City” www.brooklynbookfestival.org


Members Neighborhood Lunch
Wednesday, October 16
12:30–2:00 pm
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave. (4 blocks south of Grand Central)

Join fellow members for a networking lunch at one of our favorite locations. Lunches are a great opportunity for new and old members to get acquainted. Bring a friend interested in joining the association.

RSVP to: jmazefsky@aol.com

National Reading Group Month Author Panel
Wednesday, October 23
7:00–9:00 pm
Strand Bookstore, Rare Book Room
12th and Broadway

A celebration of National Reading Group Month and Great Group Reads! Join us for a lively panel discussion with these renowned authors about their latest books and their writing lives—Michèle Forbes, Caroline Leavitt, Bernice McFadden, Roxana Robinson, John Searles, and moderator Elizabeth Nunez.

WNBA members receive free admission PLUS a $15.00 Strand gift card!

Non-members welcome ($15 tickets at the door).

RSVP to: programs@wnba-nyc.org

Light refreshments. Book signings.


How I Got the Story: Women Writing Women’s Lives
November 12
7:00–9:00 pm
Pace University, downtown campus, Bianco Room, 1 Pace Plaza

Join panel authors Jean Fagin Yellin, Marnie Mueller, Nancy Rubin Stuart, and Diane Jacobs as they discuss the hows and why of writing biographies. Deirdre Bair, moderator.


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By Roz Reisner, Chair, Reading Committee, Great Group Reads

“We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next.”
–Saul Bellow

NRGM2If you’re an avid fiction and memoir reader and a member of a book group, you may be the right person to join the 2013 Great Group Reads reading committee. Great Group Reads is part of National Reading Group Month, which is sponsored by the WNBA. Now that 2013 has arrived, we’re gearing up for the new round of reading, commenting, and voting.

As chair of the Reading Committee for Great Group Reads, I had the pleasure this past year of working with 22 dedicated readers, all WNBA members, who graciously put up with the bundles of books delivered to their doors and dove into our project. Each member of the committee read 25 books between April and August, thought about whether they could recommend the books for discussion groups, and posted their thoughtful comments on our private blog. We voted in August and the list was announced in time for National Reading Group Month in October.

You can view the 2012 GGR list of titles by clicking this link:
National Reading Group Month – 2012.

We are now heading into the fifth year of Great Group Reads, and interest in the program increases, as publicity expands and publishers become more aware of the value of their books appearing on the list. We’re anticipating that more publishers will want to submit books and become sponsors and more media outlets will want to publicize the list.  

Many of last year’s readers have indicated that they’d like to continue—a tribute to their stamina, but also to the excitement of reading and discussing good books! We would like to add a few new readers to the committee.

We are looking for thoughtful readers who:

  1. Read widely, particularly in literary fiction and memoirs
  2. Can commit the time to read up to 25 books in 4-5 months
  3. Are currently involved in a book discussion group—and have a sense of what titles will spark discussion
  4. Feel comfortable expressing an opinion about what they’ve read beyond “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it,” and posting it on a group blog

This is a “recommendation” and not a “review” task. We’re thoughtful readers, not literary critics.

If this sounds exciting to you, please contact Rosalind Reisner at roz@thereisners.net for more information and answers to any questions you may have about Great Group Reads and the reading committee.

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By Heather Allen

An age of madnessThe WNBA-NYC chapter is proud to present a new book club! Inspired by “October is National Reading Group Month,” we have created a group online that is a forum for discussion about the Great Group Reads selection in 2012. Our goal is to read two books a month. Of course, you don’t have to read both books if you participate, but discussions on each will be on our Goodreads Great Group Reads WNBA-NYC website. Anyone who is interested is welcome to join the group and find the WNBA-NYC on Goodreads.

Join here!

The Art of FieldingThe books for this month are The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, and An Age of Madness, by David Maine (remember him from the National Reading Group Month author panel in October?). If you have read either of these books, we would love for you to let us know your opinions about them, and even facilitate a discussion! Although the schedule says the books are finished by the end of the month, we hope the discussion can continue past that date.

This is a great opportunity to get to know other WNBA members (or potential members), as well as have a lively discussion about some fantastic books! If you have any questions, please feel free to email Heather at socialmedia@wnba-nyc.org.

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The following blog post was written by Great Group Reads Chair Rosalind Reisner, and originally posted on her blog, A Reader’s Place, on October 14th.

For the past several years I’ve chaired the reading committee that selects the titles for the Great Group Reads list that comes out in September in time for National Reading Group Month (October). There were 22 readers this year and we read like fiends all spring and summer. It was fun and exhausting at the same time and I really appreciate the readers’ efforts. We put together a great list of books.

National Reading Group Month is sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association—the other WNBA—and to celebrate NRGM all the chapters around the country have author programs highlighting the Great Group Reads books and other wonderful new books that will provoke lively discussions.

The New York WNBA chapter program is this Wednesday evening—October 17—at the Strand Book Store in their classy Rare Book Room, and I’m moderating the panel of 5 authors. For me, this is the high that comes at the end of the hard work: the chance to talk to authors of novels and memoirs, to find out how they wrote those wonderful books, what they were thinking about when they wrote them, how they write, and maybe even why they write. If you’re in NYC, come to the Strand for the 7 pm program. It’s only $10 and for that you’ll get a $10 Strand gift card—can it be possible that there’s a book you want to buy?

The authors on the panel are:

Alix Kates Shulman, whose current novel is Menage (Other Press), a wicked sendup of modern marriage. Shulman’s name ought to be familiar to you as the writer of the iconic feminist novel Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen.

David Maine, author of An Age of Madness (Red Hen Press), a devastating psychological study of a woman doctor whose family life has gone horribly wrong. I was delighted that this title made it onto the Great Group Reads list.

Elizabeth Nunez will be there too, author of Boundaries (Akashic Press), a lovely cross-cultural story of a woman coping with competing demands of family and career.

I’m eager to meet Ben Ryder Howe and hear more about his hilarious and heartfelt memoir, My Korean Deli: Risking it all for a Convenience Store (Picador). I listened to this one and laughed out loud often. It’s more than just humorous—it’s a great New York story with lots of food for thought about who we are and the choices we make for the ones we love.

Marisa de los Santos will be there to talk about Falling Together (Wm. Morrow Paperbacks), a novel about three college friends who find that despite their close  friendship, they’ve been blind to some important truths.

So come to the Strand if you can and say hello. There will be time to ask questions of the authors and talk to them after the program.

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October is National Reading Group Month!

The WNBA-NYC, with event partner Strand Book Store, is celebrating “October is National Reading Group Month!” by hosting a National Reading Group Month Panel.  Join NRGM Great Group Reads Chair Rosalind Reisner in conversation with an amazing line-up of authors:

Ben Ryder Howe—My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store, Picador

David Maine—Great Group Reads 2012 Recipient—An Age of Madness, Red Hen Press

Elizabeth Nunez—Boundaries, Akashic Books

Marisa de los Santos—Falling Together, William Morrow Paperbacks

Alix Kates Shulman—Ménage, Other Press

The panelists will discuss their own books, reading groups, and this year’s Great Group Reads selections.  The panel will take place on:

October 17th
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
The Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003)

Paid-up WNBA-NYC chapter members attend free of charge and receive a $10 Strand gift card upon arrival at the event. Non-members will need to purchase a Strand gift card for $10 at the door.  For more information, contact Rosalind Resiner and Jill Tardiff at programs@wnba-nyc.org (subject line: NRGM 2012).

The sponsors and partners of National Reading Group Month are committed to celebrating the joy of shared reading, and to reading groups everywhere. The Women’s National Book Association thanks them for their invaluable support and generosity.

2012 Official Sponsors:

Gold Sponsor
HarperCollins Publishers
Harper, Harper Paperbacks, Harper Perennial, Amistad, Ecco, William Morrow, William Morrow Paperbacks
(2007 Founding Sponsor)

Silver Sponsors
Ingram Content Group
Other Press

Friends of National Reading Group Month
Bloomsbury USA
Red Hen Press
SONY Reader Store / SONY Style

For updates on the event, follow us on Twitter (hashtags #NatlReadingGrpMonth and #GrtGrpReads)!

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There are a lot of excellent reasons to drop by the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday, including the WNBA-NYC booth!  We will be there from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, September 23rd, at Booth 130, representing the New York chapter.  Thank you to the many women who have volunteered to help out at the booth and spread the word about the organization!

The WNBA will be sharing the booth with representatives from National Reading Group Month, who will be there to promote this year’s Great Group Reads.  Apart from our (*ahem* awesome) booth, there will be a huge variety of vendors—from small presses to big six publishers, from independent bookstores to literary magazines and book clubs.  The festival also has a program schedule jam packed with events of every type.  You can find the full list of program events on their website here!

The Brooklyn Book Festival is located at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, 209 Joralemon Street. Come for the free books and SWAG.  Come for the chance to meet authors and take workshops.  Come to be surrounded by like-minded literary folk who think there is no better way to spend a Sunday than at a book festival!  And if you do come, we hope you will stop by to support the WNBA volunteers and the organization, eat some candy, and talk about books!

Follow @WNBANYC on Twitter the day of the festival for giveaways, live tweets, and festival information from our Social Media Chair, Erica Misoshnik!

Questions about the festival?  Email Hannah Bennett and Erica Misoshnik at programs@wnba-nyc.org.

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Join the WNBA-NYC at the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 23rd, at Booth 130!

The WNBA-NYC chapter will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival again this year, and we need volunteers!  Come enjoy the festival and hang out at our booth for a short time with your fellow WNBA-ers. This is fun way to meet some amazing people, represent your chapter, and take advantage of a truly great festival.  Ideally, we would like volunteers to man (or woman) the booth for one 2-hour shift (or more, if you want to help out!), helping to promote our upcoming season of events and build interest in the organization.

Members will be allowed to leave promotional materials that they can drop off at the booth the morning of the festival, though we will NOT be selling books. Representatives from National Reading Group Month will also be at the booth to promote this year’s Great Group Reads. Last year’s Brooklyn Book Festival was a great success, and we hope to continue the positive experience this year!

If you are interested in volunteering or have questions about the event, email Hannah Bennett and Erica Misoshnik at programs@wnba-nyc.org, and put ‘Brooklyn Book Festival’ in the subject line.  If you can’t volunteer for a shift, we hope you will still come out to enjoy the festival and stop by the booth!

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