Member Mondays – Emily Smith Pearce

Member Mondays is a new feature on the Women’s National Book Association- Charlotte blog. Interviews are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. We plan to cycle through all members each year. Special highlight posts for members with new publications or announcements are available on an ongoing basis.

This week we have WNBA Charlotte Vice President, Emily Smith Pearce.

Emily Smith Pearce is the author of Isabel and the Miracle Baby, a middle grade novel, and Slowpoke, an early reader, both published by Front Street/ Boyds Mills Press.

Do you prefer ebook, paperback or hardcover?

I love a hardcover, but a well-designed trade paperback can also win me over. I love paper. I trained in printmaking in college and have always been semi-obsessed with various kinds of printing.

What are your reading habits?

I’m a slow reader. I usually have several books going and several piles of books all around the house: a novel and/or literary non-fiction, some cookbooks and craft books and gardening books for inspirational flipping, and fashion magazines for good measure.

What book are you currently reading?

Currently I’m reading Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby, a debut novel by an old friend. It’s a fantasy for children and has the most gorgeous textured dust jacket. I’m also reading The Little Bookshop of Big Stone Gap, by Wendy Welch, which I got at a WNBA swap. And just finished Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.

I tend to be most into realistic fiction, though I veer out of that fairly often. Lately I like something that makes me laugh, and in recent years I’ve gotten more into literary nonfiction because love to steal my husband’s books.

Where can other WNBA members connect with you?

I blog regularly about creative stuff (writing, cooking, art and crafting), so that’s a good place to meet up: My website is I’m also more into Twitter these days, so do say hello to me there: @emilysmithpearc

If we’ve met in person, find me on Facebook. I hang out there a good bit.

Don’t miss our next meeting – Monday, May 13 – GREAT SUMMER READS!









Great Summer Reads

with Sally Brewster, Park Road Books

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!


Please note! WNBA-Charlotte does not hold meetings during the summer. Our monthly meetings, normally held on the second Monday of the month, run from September through November and from January through May. Please check back over the summer for updates about the upcoming 2013-2014 schedule.



WNBA Charlotte’s Book Club meets tomorrow – Tuesday, May 7! Join us!

Our next book is the critically acclaimed memoir…..

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal
by Jeannette Winterson
Grove Press
Trade Paperback edition (March 12, 2013)


Discussion is on Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 PM, at the Panera at 5940 Fairview, right near SouthPark Mall. If you need more info, please contact Kristen Knox at .

In 1985 Jeanette Winterson’s first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published. It tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents. The girl is supposed to grow up and be a missionary. Instead she falls in love with a woman. Disaster.

Written when Jeanette was only twenty-five, her novel went on to win the Whitbread First Novel award, become an international bestseller and inspire an award-winning BBC television adaptation.

Oranges was semi-autobiographical. Mrs Winterson, a thwarted giantess, loomed over that novel and its author’s life. When Jeanette finally left her home, at sixteen, because she was in love with a woman, Mrs Winterson asked her: why be happy when you could be normal?

This book is the story of a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a tyrant in place of a mother, who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the duster drawer, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in an northern industrial town now changed beyond recognition, part of a community now vanished; about the Universe as a Cosmic Dustbin. It is the story of how the painful past Jeanette Winterson thought she had written over and repainted returned to haunt her later life, and sent her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her real mother. It is also a book about other people’s stories, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life-raft which supports us when we are sinking.

Funny, acute, fierce and celebratory, this is a tough-minded search for belonging, for love, an identity, a home, and a mother.


Our meetings take place on the first Tuesday of each month, 7 PM at the Panera on Fairview near SouthPark. We have chosen books to take us through to next October when there will be a new Great Group Reads list released.  Here’s what we’ve read and will be reading:

December 4:  I Married You For Happiness by Lily Tuck [click here for more info about our discussion]

January 8: The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin [click here for more info about our discussion]

February 5: Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall

March 5: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

April 2: Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

May 7: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeannette Winterson

June 4: An Age of Madness by David Maine

July 2: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

August 6: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

September 3: Boleto by Alison Hagy

October 1: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner




Member Mondays – Quinlan Lee

Member Mondays is a new feature on the Women’s National Book Association- Charlotte blog. Interviews are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. We plan to cycle through all members each year. If you would like to be featured here, please email us at

This week, we have WNBA Treasurer, Quinlan Lee.

Quinlan Lee has worked in publishing for almost 15 years, focused on the world of children’s books.  She has written over 30 books for young readers, helping them to learn to read and fall in love with books from an early age.  Since 2008, she has been a part of the Adams Literary team, representing author and illustrator clients in all genres from picture books to YA. She enjoys meeting others who share her love of children’s literature and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a founding board member of the Charlotte Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA).

Do you prefer ebook, paperback or hardcover?

Yes!  I read in all formats, depending on where I am and why I’m reading a story.  For work, I read all submissions electronically on my iPad or computer.  For personal reading, I occasionally read on e-book, but more often it’s a paperback (especially if I’m traveling or if its a galley) or hardcover (usually from the library).  My brain is rather like a trained dog, and an e-book signals to it that I’m reading for work, while paper in my hands means I can just lose my self in a story without focusing on if the story is working. I also love to have an audio book for the car and traffic jams.

What are your reading habits? Do you read a book a week? A book a month?

A reading habit or an addiction?  My family often wonders.  Basically I read everywhere.  I think of a line in Madeline L’Engle’s journals when someone asked her how she had time to read.  She replied that there is always time to read–read while you are in the waiting room, read while you’re on the train, read while you stir the stew. That’s my life!  I have books by my couch that I read when I get up early to pray, I always have a book in my purse for the carpool line or that unexpected wait somewhere, and there is a stack by my bed, of course.  I read about a book a week for work (plus innumerable opening pages) and then about a book or two per week for pleasure.

 What book are you currently reading?

I just started THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY after my mother recommended it, and it’s charming so far and I’m in the midst of AGAINST THE WIND AND TIDE, Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s last volume of letters and journals (I loved volumes 1-4) and UNTIL I SAY GOODBYE, Susan Spencer-Wendel’s memoir about living with ALS.  Recently I finished Rob Bell’s WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GOD which is fascinating, as well as a novel,THE ART OF FIELDING (Chad Harbach), a memoir, WILD (Cheryl Strayed), and an important commentary on community development TOXIC CHARITY (Bob Lupton).


Where can other WNBA members connect with you?

You can find me on Facebook or on Twitter @quinlan_lee.  I can also be emailed at