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Great Group Reads

Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2013

Readers' bios

Rosalind Reisner, GGR Chair / 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 the Vice President of Programs for 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.

Marsha Toy Engstrom coaches and facilitates numerous book clubs. She also pens a book column for The Wildwood Independent, writes on all-things-book-club on her Web site Book Club Cheerleader—and its twin blog—and is working on her first book, Celebrate Book Clubs! Marsha serves as the Author Event Coordinator for her local Carnegie Library, is a team-member for her hometown’s One City, One Book program, and recently spoke as a panelist for BEA's Book Club Facilitators Speak Out. She is a member of the WNBA-San Francisco Chapter and the National Book Critics Circle.

Lynn Henriksen is a 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. She is the author of TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory & Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit, March 2012.

Pat Klemans retired as the Director of the Wayne County, Michigan, Public Library System. During her tenure, she particularly enjoyed interaction with patrons, and took every opportunity to discuss their reading choices and act as a reader’s advisor. In retirement, she is an active member of two book groups, and continues that love of matching book to reader. Pat was also Regional Librarian for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and a Board Member of Seedlings Braille Books for Children. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon Univ. and an AMLS from the Univ. of Michigan. She is a member and former President of WNBA-Detroit 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. Kristen is the incoming president 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.

Rachel Manwill is a current Masters student in George Washington University’s Graduate Publishing program. She blogs about books at A Home Between Pages. She is also a founding contributor for Book Riot, a growing and well-respected literary blog. Rachel also earned a graduate certificate in Children’s Literature from Penn State University, and as an undergrad at Hamilton College, served as the Editor-in-Chief for the campus literary magazine. A former bookseller, she currently works as a Senior Editor for PR Newswire and is a member of the WNBC-Washington, D.C. Chapter.

Carolyn Martin spent years as a volunteer parent and paid assistant in the Lake Washington School District with emphasis on reading and Explore Art programs. She now spends her time volunteering with nonprofits, such as P.E.O. and Assistance League of the Eastside, in an effort to improve conditions for women and children. She is a member of the WNBA-Seattle Chapter and is in two reading groups.

Pamela Milam, a network member of the WNBA, is a reader, author, and therapist living in Dallas, Texas. She has a BA in English and Psychology as well as an MA in Counseling. She is the author of a book which takes a closer look at what happens inside the therapy office. Pamela serves on the board and executive committee of Community Partners of Dallas, offering support to abused and neglected children. She is a member of the Association for Creativity in Counseling, Counselors for Social Justice, and the Association for Humanistic Counseling and Development.

Naomi Milliner has reviewed novels, screenplays, and children’s books, and worked as Program & Events Coordinator for Children’s Literature. A long-time active member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), she currently serves as Critique Coordinator for the MD/DE/WV region for several years. She is excited to be part of the Great Group Reads Selection Committee for the fifth year.

Lorine Kritzer Pergament has an MFA in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. She 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 and maintains a blog

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 for the third year.

Quressa Robinson, book devourer and editorial assistant at an indie publisher, holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. You can find her musings on books, creative writing, and other word-related tidbits at and random tweets @qnrisawesome.

Linda Rosen, a fitness professional and budding novelist, blogs as The Literary Leotard, weaving her professional expertise with her love of literature. She is the founding member of her book club, ongoing for over 25 years. In addition to her blog she has a website for her fiction. Her unpublished novel, Flourish, was a semi-finalist in the 2012 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. Linda is a member of the WNBA-NYC Chapter where she chairs the Hospitality Committee.

Rachel Slaiman is a freelance magazine writer with an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University. Her two passions in life are reading and writing. She is excited to be a part of the Great Group Reads Selection Committee to put into action her belief that everyone should always be reading something. She has been an active member of the WNBA-NYC Chapter, since June 2010.

Lois Van Stipdonk is a past president of the Detroit Chapter of WNBA and past National Secretary of the WNBA. She is the retired director of the Wayne (MI) Public Library and presently serves as a trustee of The Library Network, the library cooperative serving most of southeast Michigan. She enjoys reading many types of books and belongs to two reading groups.

Mary Wasmuth is a (mostly) retired librarian who has worked in a number of Massachusetts public libraries in a variety of capacities, all involving some combination of administration, marketing, reference, readers’ advisory, and materials selection. A member of the WNBA-Boston Chapter, Mary has led, advised, and promoted library services to book groups and has participated in a neighborhood book group for nearly twenty years. Since retiring she’s coached job seekers in public libraries and an ESL program.

Rayme Waters is the author of the novel The Angels’ Share and the short story collection The Island of Misfit Girls. She studied at UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University and before she turned to writing full-time worked at Apple, Jossey-Bass Publishers as an acquisitions editor, and as a tutor for low-income students. Rayme's short stories have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and the Dzanc Best of the Web Award. Rayme belongs to a close-knit book club which includes several authors and has attended many other reading groups when her novel or story collection is the current pick. She is a member of the WNBA-San Francisco Chapter. Her website is

Rachelle Yousuf is a recent college graduate from California State University, Northridge and the current Vice President of the WNBA-LA Chapter. She also works as an associate at Julia Drake Literary PR. She has co-edited an anthology of motherhood poems that was released in 2012. Rachelle is pursuing her Master's degree in Literature at California State University, Northridge and is looking forward to rediscovering her love of discussing books through the GGR program.

Marika Zemke holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences and works as an Adult Services Librarian at a public library in Michigan, where Reader’s Advisory is her passion. Marika facilitates three book groups through her work as a librarian, including a Pre-Pub club. She is currently on hiatus from reviewing fiction for Library Journal. She is a current member of the WNBA-Detroit 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

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