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Great Group Reads

Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2017

Leslie Adams is a past-president of the Seattle Chapter. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Environment and Design and is retired from her retail career as a buyer, district and divisional manager. As an active community volunteer, Leslie has worked to support education for women and children through the Junior League of Seattle, P.E.O., PTA, Dollars for Scholars, and as president of Assistance League of the Eastside. She organized her first book group 25 years ago, and is currently a member of two thought-provoking groups.

Sonia Adams is an ​e​ducator, ​l​iterary ​s​cholar, ​p​oet, and ​c​ultural ​worker. Her areas of scholarship are Transnational Ethnic Women’s and American Multicultural Literatures, Contemporary Avant Garde Poetry and Poetics, and Creative Writing Studies. Her poetry explores the experiences of women from the African Diaspora. Sonia is currently working on a critical study of Australian Aboriginal, African, and Caribbean women’s writings as well as a poetry manuscript. She aspires to travel abroad and form partnerships with other writers and cultural workers.

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. Sally also sits on the board of SINC (Sisters-In-Crime). She is a current member and the former treasurer of the Charlotte Chapter.

Sheila Cork is the Librarian at the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA. 20 years of years of reference work and book purchasing in public libraries has made her familiar with many different styles and genres of writing. Cork belongs to the following book clubs and literary organizations: The Ladies of the Club, Slidell, LA; Les Amies Du Livre, The Greater New Orleans Area; The NOMA Book Club at the New Orleans Museum of Art (Founder and organizer), and the Jane Austen Society of North America, Louisiana. She is currently the chair of the New Orleans Branch of the WNBA.

Carli Ducko is the Centennial Chair of the WNBA Greater Philadelphia Chapter. She possesses an Associate's Degree in Marketing and Management from Bucks County Community College, where shortley upon graduation she rediscovered her love for literature and teaching. In addition to working full-time as an Instructional Assistant at Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center, she is an undergraduate student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she currently studies Secondary English Education, Special Education, and Autism Studies. In addition to being an avid book reader, she is also an aspiring author.

Lori Feathers is co-owner and book buyer at Interabang Books in Dallas Texas. She is a freelance book critic and sits on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle. Her reviews are published in variety of online and print publications. She is one of nine fiction judge for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award, and a network member of WNBA.

Beth Frerking is a high school librarian in Clarksville, Tennessee. Prior to that, she was a librarian in rural Alaska, serving schools in Iñupiat communities along the Arctic Ocean. She has master’s degrees in Library and Information Science and Secondary Education and has taught in Tennessee, Alaska, Arizona, and Tanzania. She is a past-president of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians and a board member of the WNBA Nashville Chapter.

Lynn Henriksen is a past president of WNBA-San Francisco Chapter and a member of the California Writers Club–Marin. She is the founder of “TellTale Souls,” an enterprise promoting writing memoir creatively through workshops, classes, and her award-winning guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit. As an intuitive leader, Lynn discovered a profound way to keep spirits alive after witnessing Alzheimer’s disease ravage her mother’s mind. By leading people to the writing path, she has helped hundreds capture the memories and feelings they never thought they could record.

Suzanne Kleinbub is a former high school math teacher who has spent much of her life working as a professional volunteer. She has volunteered in school and public libraries and helped set up libraries at her church and Thrift Shop. She has also been an active member of several book clubs. She is a member of WNBA-LA, serving as treasurer and membership co-chair. She has also worked with the Judy Lopez Memorial Award committee which gives a yearly award to a children's book author. She writes a travel blog at

Kristen Knox has a Masters degree in English Literature and 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 current president of the WNBA-Charlotte Chapter and the Great Group Reads Manager.

Emily La Iacona is a director at a NYC-based non-profit that provides scholarships to low-income students. She graduated with honors from Cornell University with an English literature degree and earned her Masters at the London School of Economics. She is a life-long reader, active participant on Goodreads, and has been a part of many book clubs. This is her second year as a member of the WNBA, whom she discovered at the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Susan Larson is the host of The Reading Life, a weekly show on WWNO-FM, New Orleans' NPR affiliate; she interviews writers, readers, book artists, literary activists, anyone who loves books. From 1988-2009, she was the books editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune; now, she frequently writes about books for The New Orleans Advocate. She is the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans, published in two editions by LSU Press. She has served on the boards of the New Orleans Public Library and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, and chaired the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2009 and 2012.

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 Seattle Chapter and is in two reading groups.

Sue McDanel, a network member of WNBA, is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where she majored in English. After teaching high school English, she returned to the University of North Texas as a teaching fellow in the English master’s degree program. A life-long reader, she shares books and discussions about books with a circle of friends and family. She retired after 15 years as an administrative assistant at an Episcopal church, where she currently co-teaches a mid-week class that includes reading and discussing books on a variety of spiritual topics.

Pamela Milam a New York member of the WNBA and Great Group Reads Coordinator, is a reader, author, and former therapist. 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 writes articles for Rewire Me and enjoys supporting theatre and the arts.

Naomi Milliner has reviewed hundreds of screenplays, novels and children's books, and worked as Program & Events Coordinator for Children's Literature. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Masters in Film and Screenwriting from USC Film School. She currently writes middle grade and young adult fiction, as well as screenplays. Naomi has been part of Great Group Reads since 2009, and looks forward to finding more "great" books this year!

Deborah Milstein is a writer at Harvard University. Her personal essays have been published in Harvard Review, The Drum, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010, and she holds an MFA in creative nonfiction. A member-at-large of WBNA-Boston’s board of directors, she's thrilled to be part of Great Group Reads for the fourth year running.

Shelley Mitchell has been a voracious reader since the second grade. She writes grants for nonprofits throughout California and teaches grant writing for the Northern CA Association of Nonprofits. Shelley has a Master's degree in literature from Humboldt State University and currently teaches 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 Los Angeles Chapter of WNBA.

Linda Rosen is one of the Selection Committee Coordinators of Great Group Reads. She is 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 New York City chapter where she chairs the Hospitality Committee.

Rachel Slaiman is a freelance writer and freelance editor with an MS in Publishing from Pace University. She belongs to a writing group, loves reading fiction, non-fiction, memoir, romance and adventure. She has been an active member of the New York City Chapter since 2010 and has served on the Great Group Reads Selection Committee and Co-Chair of the Brooklyn Book Festival Committee.

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.

Great Group Reads Selection Committee — Current
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2018
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2017
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2016
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2015
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2014
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2013
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2012
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2011
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2010
Great Group Reads Selection Committee — 2009

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