Mark your calendar today! WNBA Spring meetings March 11, April 22, and May 13……..





March 11 —

Spring “Meet the Authors” Event with Regional Authors

Monday, March 11, 7 – 9 PM
Park Road Books, Park Road Shopping Center
4139 Park Road, Charlotte 28209

Our March meeting will feature a number of authors from the Carolinas (and beyond), including…

Kim Boykin, THE WISDOM OF HAIR (Berkley)
Gina Holmes, WINGS OF GLASS (Tyndale House)
Holly Goddard Jones, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME (Touchstone)
Megan Miranda, HYSTERIA (Walker Books for Young Readers)

More authors to be announced soon! They will join us for an evening of conversation and refreshments. The authors will speak briefly about their books, and there will be plenty of opportunity for one-on-one questions and discussions. Park Road Books will sell books by our featured guest authors, too.


April 22 (date change!) —

Latin American and Latino Women Writers and Literature in Translation  

Monday, April 22, 7 – 9 PM
location to be announced — please check back again

Latin American and Latina women writers — Julia Alvarez, Esmerelda Santiago, Sandra Cisneros, and many, many more — offer us a wide range of wonderful fiction, non-fiction and poetry in Spanish and in English translation. Join us for an exciting discussion of these writers with Magdalena Maiz-Peña, Professor of Hispanic Studies at Davidson College. A list of recommended books will be provided at the meeting, too.

Professor Magdalena Maiz-Peña specializes in twentieth-century Latin American Women Writers, Life-Writing and the Politics of representation, and Contemporary Latin American literary and cultural narratives. Her teaching interests include Basic and Intermediate language courses, Introduction to Hispanic literatures and cultures, Contemporary Latin American literatures, and The Latin American City and its historical and cultural representation.   She is the author of Identidad, nación y gesto autobiográfico, and co-editor of Modalidades de representación del sujeto auto/biográfico femenino. Her recent publications have appeared in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and the U.S. Maiz-Peña is presently working on a book project on Urban Spaces, Gender, and Cultural Production in Mexico 1920-1950.At Davidson College she has been awarded The Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award (1995), the ODK Outstanding Teaching Award (1997), and the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award (2006). She was recently recognized for her work on the Latino Community with the Latin American Coalition Award (2007).


May 13 —

Great Summer Reads with Sally Brewster, Park Road Book

Monday, May 13, 7 – 9 PM
Park Road Books, Park Road Shopping Center
4139 Park Road, Charlotte 28209

GREAT SUMMER READS is our annual favorite get-together, featuring book recommendations for summer reading from Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books. Sally will provide a list of books for us, and titles which are already published will be available for purchase, of course! This year we plan to include some recommended titles for children and teens, too.

Refreshments will be served – please bring a contribution, if you wish.  Thanks!



27 January 2013 —

During the Second World War, millions of people who did not conform to Adolf Hitler’s perverted ideology of Aryan perfection – Jews, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, communists, the mentally ill and others – were systematically persecuted, rounded up and transported to death camps. Some were murdered immediately; others cruelly worked to death. Every year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau we observe the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust so as never to forget these crimes.

This year’s theme – “Rescue During the Holocaust: the Courage to Care” – pays tribute to those who risked their lives and their families to save Jews and others from almost certain death under Nazi rule. The stories of the rescuers vary. Some sheltered the intended victims in their homes; others led families to safety or helped them to obtain the necessary documents to escape. Yet each shares a common thread: courage, compassion and moral leadership.

A number of these accounts have achieved iconic prominence – such as the story of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who helped save tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest. But the stories of many of the rescuers are known only to those who benefited from their brave acts. This year’s observance is meant to augment the historical record, and give those unsung heroes the regard they deserve.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme has produced an educational package on these rescuers. Although acts of genocide illustrate the depths of evil to which individuals and whole societies can descend, the examples of these brave men and women also demonstrate the capacity of humankind for remarkable good, even during the darkest of days.

On this International Day, let us remember all the innocent people who lost their lives during the Holocaust. And let us be inspired by those who had the courage to care – the ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to defend human dignity. Their example can help us build a better world today.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
United Nations / Nations Unies


WNBA-Charlotte also recommends this book about WWII, the Holocaust, and some of the women who chose resistance:

An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

By Caroline Moorehead

In January 1943, 230 women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time—a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship. Caroline Moorehead, a distinguished biographer, human rights journalist, and the author of Dancing to the Precipice and Human Cargo, brings to life an extraordinary story that readers of Mitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La, Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts, and Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken will find an essential addition to our retelling of the history of World War II—a riveting, rediscovered story of courageous women who sacrificed everything to combat the march of evil across the world.

They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives; a singer at the Paris Opera; a midwife; a dental surgeon. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, secreted Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of sixteen, who scrawled “V” (for victory) on the walls of her lycée; the eldest, a farmer’s wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to one another, hailing from villages and cities across France—230 brave women united in defiance of their Nazi occupiers—they were eventually hunted down by the Gestapo. Separated from home and loved ones, imprisoned in a fort outside Paris, they found solace and strength in their deep affection and camaraderie.

In January 1943, they were sent to their final destination: Auschwitz. Only forty-nine would return to France.

Drawing on interviews with these women and their families, and on documents in German, French, and Polish archives, A Train in Winter is a remarkable account of the extraordinary courage of ordinary people—a story of bravery, survival, and the enduring power of female friendship.


Next meeting! January 14 — Book Swap and E-books & E-readers Discussion


Annual Book Swap — and E-books, E-readers,
and Online Book Resources Discussion

WHEN: Monday evening, January 14, 2013, 7:00-9:00 PM

WHERE: Northwest School of the Arts Media Center
1415 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28216

WHAT: Our annual winter socializing and networking event – This is a great way to start off the new year! Refreshments are included – please bring a contribution, if you wish. We’ll have some great giveaways, too, but you have to be a member and attend the meeting to win!

This is a free event.

Our meeting includes all of the following:

  • Our annual book swap — Bring adult books you’ve finished or don’t want any longer and swap them for books you DO want to read. Almost as much fun as shopping in your sister’s or friend’s closet……
  • A book DONATION opportunity, in support of Promising Pages, a local charity: — Please bring new and gently used children’s books. baby to age 18, to donate to low-income families in the Charlotte area!
  • A discussion of books in the E-world, with info on getting more out of your E-books and E-readers, plus online resources for digital book formats, as well as for book clubs and book reviews — websites, apps, blogs, Facebook pages, and so forth. This obviously will not be the end-all on these subjects, but we will offer a good chance to share information and learn some valuable tips and tricks on making use of all of this technology about books. We may have some ways to get free books, too!
  • KOBO e-readers and e-books information from Sally Brewster at Park Road Books — where you can buy both KOBO readers and e-books.
  • NOOK e-readers and e-books information from Barnes & Noble in Charlotte.

Members — WE NEED YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS! We’re compiling a list of these online resources for using e-books and e-readers, plus book reviews and book club sites. These include websites, apps, blogs, Facebook pages, whatever. We will post this list on the WNBA-Charlotte website in the near future.  Please send the names and links for any websites, apps, blogs, Facebook pages, etc. that you use/read and think are good and worthwhile, to Liz Romanek [ ] and to Susan Walker [ ] so we can compile this handy list of resources.

THANKS in advance for your help with this, everyone. We look forward to seeing you at the January 14 meeting!



WNBA Book Club News — And don’t miss tonight’s meeting – Tuesday, January 8!

We have started a book club in our chapter!  And we thought that we should take the list of Great Group Reads recommended for book clubs during National Reading Group Month as our reading guide.

Our next book is The Orchardist by Amanda Copeland. Discussion is on January 8, 7:00 PM, at the Panera at 5940 Fairview, right near SouthPark Mall. If you need more info, please contact Kristen Knox at .


Carin Siegfried, our Past President and current National VP, writes the following about our December book, I MARRIED YOU FOR HAPPINESS by Lily Tuck:

I thought I’d write up the discussion so that people who were interested but unfamiliar with a book club (how it works, what is discussed, is it interesting) could see what goes on, and also people who missed the meeting could find out what they missed. I will try to do this for each meeting, but it’s a lot of write up, so we’ll see. For this first meeting, I took notes on my phone, and I missed a few things, so there are some jumps and a few omitted lines, but I do not know shorthand! This still ought to give you the general gist of things. (I plan to record the next discussion which hopefully will help.)

The first book we read was I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck, a fairly short book of just 208 pages about one night when a woman, Nina, is sitting by the side of her dead husband, Philip, and reminiscing on their marriage and life together. Due to sicknesses, we were a few people short, but we still had a lively discussion. Our discussants ranged over a 20-year age span, some married some single, so it gave a good diversity of perspective that really helped the discussion. (The discussant listed as C1 was unable to come because she was ill but she sent K, the moderator, some of her thoughts and comments beforehand, so K incorporated them into the discussion where pertinent.) To clarify some points, Louise is Nina and Philip’s daughter, and yes the book is a novel although it read like a memoir which is why we ended up talking about memoirs.

-C1 (via K): You probably need to be European to really appreciate this story. The open-ended, internal style really does remind me of a French film. (I’ve actually seen the Juliette Binoche film Bleu, as well the others in that series.)

-K: Do you need to be European to understand the book? I don’t think so, although Americans do prefer endings.

-C2: It’s impossible to know since no one can ever experience it both ways.

-A: It is difficult to relate to Nina.

-C1 (via K): This book breaks all the rules. This book does everything I’ve been told not to do (in writing): telling, flashbacks, and esoteric interiority. Things that should evoke emotion, don’t, like the rape and abortion.

-T: Nina was floating through her life, complaining but not doing anything about stuff.

-K: But she was in shock, which makes her detached.

-A: Is she a reliable narrator?

-C2: But emotions are in reaction to others, plus the bad events she wasn’t very emotional about were forty years ago.

-T: But what about Iris?

-K: All three women, she never really knew if he had affairs with them. She didn’t know enough about them to ever deal with them.

-C2: And she knew all about the rape so that’s why she could deal with it.

-T: At the end, it seemed like she blamed Philip for a lot of things.

-K: Philip comes off as an entertaining, interesting guy from his lectures. It’s a subject matter I never would have taken (physics). I liked learning about Schrödinger’s cat; lucky Louise, for her Philip is still alive.

-A: Nina is very insecure and all of her relationships are broken, including with Louise.

-K: Jealousy of Louise is not unusual, especially with just one child.

-C2: Don’t forget she’s an unreliable narrator.

-K: Aren’t all first person narrators unreliable?

-T: It seemed like all of Nina’s relationships were somewhat dishonest except maybe the friend in the apartment?

-K: Do you think her marriage was happy?

-A: No.

-C2: Yes.

-K: I think she was contented.

-A: What did she do that made her seem happy?

-C2: Marriages are about compromise.

-A: How does she compromise?

-C2: Not hounding Philip about Iris.

-T: What about her giving up her career for him? What about the dinner with his colleague when she did the dishes?

-C2: She wouldn’t necessarily have been successful if they hadn’t gotten married.

-A: It was unfair when they were at the nude beach and Philip wanted her to cover up.

-T: I found Nina’s freedom surprising.

-K: The biggest clue about the title is the very end of the book. It’s a very contented image, Philip is waiting for her.

-C2: I didn’t like the random French. It felt pretentious.

-K: I liked the small lovely moments of the relationship, like when they were dancing in the house.

-T: I recognize the loveliness, but the highlighted moments seem to be the negative ones.

-A: Negative sexual encounters pervade the book like when she’s picturing Louise with a man lying on top of her like she’s dead.

T and A disagreed if a scene where Philip and Nina are having sex was happy or sad.

-T: It’s hot out and they have sex and they’re looking out.

-K: Sex and death have always been intertwined; it’s a natural affirmation of a life-threatening experience.

-C2: And intertwined like in Dracula.

-A: Are Nina’s sexual experiences all bad?

-K: Not all sex is great, some is mediocre, but I think overall it’s good. Her memories do only highlight a few instances. The fact that she hopes Louise is with a man does show that sex and relationships aren’t just a bad thing to Nina.

-C2: She’s thinking of how to break the news to Louise.

-K: She hopes Louise has someone to lean on.

-A: I think I just saw it through the jealousy lens.

-K: They don’t have the best relationship and now with Philip gone, hopefully Louise has someone who can help.

-C1 (via K): I think Quantitative Probability is cool. I found myself dreaming mathematical probabilities at 2 am, which made my head hurt. I think it means I understood Nina’s fascination and frustration with numbers. And the cat.

-K: It’s interesting that with Nina being an artist, it’s like they’re two sides of the same coin.  

-C1 (via K):  The red hat—is circling around to pick it up symbolic of their relationship?

-A: Also red is Philip’s favorite color, so that’s another compromise.

-T: She spends most of her time thinking about the past.

-K: Is that because the present and future are too hard to imagine? A spouse is such a part of your life that you can’t picture what shape it would take going forward.

-A: I see grief in her not eating and getting drunk, and worrying about the shutters and who would fix them.

-T: Drinking the wine to become muddled shows her inner conflict.

-A: She keeps trying to remember her exact words to him before he died.

-T: She’s bothered that she didn’t realizing those would be the last words she said to him and she wasn’t really paying attention.

-K: It’s something for her to focus on. You focus on weird stuff when someone dies.

-T: When something big happens, moments that seemed small are suddenly significant.

-T: I generally don’t like memoirs by women; women’s internal introspective thoughts seem indulgent.

-A: I like memoirs but I didn’t really like this book. There was no way we were ever going to get inside, emotions were just implied. It felt very stream-of-consciousness; it didn’t offer the depth of introspection I wanted.

-T: The Glass Castle I liked, but maybe it’s a difference in tone.

-C2: Took me a long time to figure out what books I like and dislike and you have to read some bad books to figure that out.

-K: Eat Pray Love is an example if a very self indulgent introspection. In this book, does Nina lie to herself? And does she recognize that? If not, is she really lying?

-C2: It’s how our brains evolved to deal with horrible things.

-A: Like when she said the affair wasn’t really an affair because it was only three times.

-K: Then there’s the issue of memory. As soon as something is past, it changes.

-C2: My sisters and I argue about events we were all at all the time.

-T: Have you read Love Is a Mix Tape?


Then K had to leave and the rest of us discussed memoirs we recommended for a little bit before breaking up.