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Great Group Reads

Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2011

Readers' bios

Rosalind Reisner, GGR Coordinator, is a former librarian and the author of Read On...Life Stories: Reading Lists for Every Taste and Jewish American Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests. She speaks and writes about books and reading and maintains the blog A Reader's Place. She belongs to two reading groups and is a member of the WNBA-NYC Chapter.

Leslie Adams is a charter member and vice president of the WNBA-Seattle Chapter. Retired from her career as a retail buyer, district manager and divisional manager, she is an active community volunteer. She has worked to support education for women and children through the Junior League of Seattle, the Assistance League of the Eastside, P.E.O., PTA and Dollars for Scholars. She joined her first book group 25 years ago and is currently a member of two diverse groups.

Bebe (Sarah) Brechner holds a master's degree in Library and Information Sciences and works as a senior product manager for ProQuest LLC, a global library information provider. She is the president of the WNBA-Nashville Chapter, Web site manager for the chapter, and co-chair of the WNBA National Web site committee. At ProQuest, she has developed, managed, and marketed literature, performing arts, and historical research databases for academic and public libraries. Her current focus is on resources for ethnic and gender studies, political science, and general reference. She participates in the WNBA-Nashville Chapter book discussion group and a local reading group.

Sally Brewster is the owner of the bookstore Park Road Books in Charlotte, N.C., past president of SIBA (Southern Independent Bookseller's Alliance), and a former Random House sales rep. As a bookseller, she works with the 60 book groups registered at her bookstore. She is a current member and the former treasurer of the WNBA-Charlotte Chapter.

Fran Cohen is a scholar-facilitator for the New York Council for the Humanities, writer, lecturer, and professional book group leader with a background in education, drama and writing. She has presented programs in educational settings, at conferences, to organizations, libraries, at destination spas, and on cruises. She is a member of the WNBA-NYC Chapter.

Carlee Hallman is a retired United Methodist minister and the author of the book Abide with Me: Prayers for Life's Eventide. She is a published poet and the author of a column for Mature Years magazine. She reviews children's books and is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). Carlee is a member of WNBA-Washington, D.C. Chapter.

Lynn Henriksen is the immediate past president of WNBA-San Francisco Chapter and a member of the California Writers Club-Marin. She teaches workshops on writing the "mother memoir," and has spent the past decade helping hundreds capture character and spirit with memories and feelings they never thought they could record. Book reviews of fiction and nonfiction are found on her blog The Story Woman where her main thrust leads ordinary people to the writing path. While currently rewriting Give the Gift of Story: TellTale Souls Essential Guide, she continues collecting and editing short, true tales.

Mitta Isley has been a research librarian for over 20 years in corporate and public libraries in the state of North Carolina and city of Chicago. She volunteers with several organizations addressing food and shelter issues for people in crisis. Mitta has been a member of several book groups, the longest running of which, finding it easier to agree on what to eat than what to read, gave in to being a nontraditional group that meets to share their individual reads. She is a member of the WNBA-Charlotte Chapter.

Andrea Jacoby taught English literature at Earlham College, and later became the CFO of an architecture firm. Andrea is now a Certified Professional Coach. She works one-on-one with individuals, giving them practical techniques to improve their professional and personal performance. Andrea has been a member of several reading groups. She is a member of the WNBA-San Francisco Chapter.

Kristen Knox is a former editor and bookseller and member of many book clubs, both virtual and online. She maintains the blog BookNAround and is the owner of a Yahoo group called Readers Journal which allows readers to record what they read and discuss their reading with others. She is a member of the WNBA-Charlotte Chapter.

Michele Leber is a retired librarian who worked most recently in collection management at the Fairfax County Public Library in Virginia. She is a long-time book reviewer for Library Journal and Booklist and was named the Library Journal Reviewer of the Year for Fiction in 1997, the first year the award was given. A charter member of a WNBA-based book group formed in 1994, she is a member of the WNBA-Washington, D.C. Chapter and was national secretary of the WNBA.

Jeanne (JC) Miller is the author of On the Brink of Nora and two other novels. She holds a master's degree in education, National Board Certification in English language arts, and professional memberships in Lit Quake and the California Writers Club. She is a founding member of JAM, a community of writers offering writing workshops and manuscript consultation. Her Web site is JC Miller Writer. She is member of the WNBA-San Francisco Chapter.

Naomi Milliner has reviewed novels, screenplays, and children's books, and worked as Program & Events Coordinator for Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. A long-time active member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), she currently serves as Assistant Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV region. She is also a member of the WNBA-Washington, D.C. Chapter, and is excited to be part of the Great Group Reads Selection Committee for her third year running.

Shelley Mitchell has been a voracious reader since the second grade. She is currently the Director of United States Servas, the U.S. affiliate of an international nonprofit that promotes peace through home-stays in 130 countries. She also writes grants for nonprofits throughout California. Shelley has a master's degree in literature from Humboldt State University and currently teaches grant proposal writing in the Natural Resources Department at HSU. When she has spare time, she writes fiction, which gives her the opportunity to use adjectives. She is a member of two book groups and the WNBA-San Francisco Chapter.

Lorine Kritzer Pergament is the author of several short stories and a novel inspired by her grandmother's experience as a survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25, 1911. She is also a winner of the 2008 F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest, a book reviewer, book-club facilitator, and budding playwright. She is a member of the WNBA-Washington, D.C. Chapter.

Elissa Pugh-Arguello is a writer and former bookseller with a master's degree in English and Creative Writing. She teaches ESL to Sudanese women through the Southern Sudanese Youth Connection. Elissa is also an early childhood educator and adjunct instructor of English. She is a member of three reading groups and blogs about a little bit of everything at Green Moon Rising. Elissa is a member of the WNBA-Nashville Chapter, and is excited to be part of the Great Group Reads Selection Committee.

Liz Ropers worked in the Lawrence, Long Island school district for over 30 years, during which time she was instrumental in the increased use of literature in classrooms. Presently, Liz is a literary consultant. She leads book discussion groups, presents book reviews and teaches in-service courses on writing and reading. She is a member of the WNBA-NYC Chapter.

Judith Strand has worked as a newspaper writer and editor, in media sales and management, and was the owner of her own advertising specialties firm. She retired in 2009 from her job as a Community Relations Director/Event Planner in the senior industry. She is a member of two long-standing Seattle area book-discussion groups and is a charter member of the WNBA-Seattle Chapter. She volunteers much of her spare time as an advocate for women's issues, and as a writer and as a friend to 'ladies of the book'.

Aimee Vitrak worked for The New York Times online and then The Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels before earning a MFA from Rutgers University in 2009, where she studied with Jayne Anne Phillips, Alice Elliott Dark, Tayari Jones, and Rachel Hadas. Currently, she volunteers at the PEN American Center, teaches English Composition at Rutgers-Newark, serves as editor for the Overseas Press Club of America, and is part of the Neumann Leathers Writers Group. Her Web site is Aimee Vitrak. She is a member of the WNBA-NYC Chapter.

Natalie Wasmer is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. She attended the BFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College where she was an editor for Guideword, The Literary Arts Journal of Goddard College. Recently she received Honorable Mention for a short story she submitted to the 77th Annual Writer's Digest competition. Before writing fulltime, Natalie was an award-winning advertising copywriter. She worked for 11 years at top advertising agencies across the U.S. making her way up to Creative Director before she decided she had to be a writer. She is a member of the WNBA-Los Angeles Chapter.

Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2009
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2010
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2011
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2012
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2013
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2014
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2015
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2016

National Reading Group Month Featured Books — 2018

National Reading Group Month Signature Event

Endorsements and Accolades

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