I love this post from Heather Newton, author of Under the Mercy Trees, about Bibliofeast 2011, the National Reading Group Month event in Charlotte, NC last week. Read on to see why she enjoyed it so much and which other authors were featured at the event.
On October 10th, I had the pleasure of celebrating National Reading Group Month with the Charlotte chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. For “Bibliofeast 2011" the Chapter invited me and eight other writers to a moveable feast. Maggiano’s Little Italy Restaurant provided the feast (chicken piccata, ravioli, lasagne and chocolate cake--yum!). The authors provided the movable part, rotating among nine tables of participants to chat about books and whatever else came up in conversation. Sally Brewster, owner of Park Road Books (“Charlotte’s Favorite Bookstore”) was on hand to sell books.
Some guests were WNBA members, some came solo looking for a book club to join, some book clubs brought their entire group. The common trait? These people read. I was astonished at how many titles these ladies (and a few men) gulp down in a month. I came away with a great list of recommended reading.
Chapter President and event magician Susan Walker was nice enough to feed the authors before the participants arrived so our stomachs wouldn’t growl during the event. Over the stuffed mushrooms I got to enjoy the company of Ellen Baker (I Gave My Heart to Know This), Ann Hite (Ghost on Black Mountain), Marjorie Hudson (Accidental Birds of the Carolinas), Valerie Nieman (Blood Clay), Michael Parker (The Watery Part of the World), Drew Perry (This Is Just Exactly Like You), John Milliken Thompson (The Reservoir) and Marybeth Whalen (She Makes It Look Easy).
During dinner a woman at my table asked me whether I enjoyed events like this. My answer: “Are you kidding me?” My daily life as a lawyer is adversarial, with clients in crisis and parties mad at each other. It was a real treat to spend an evening with happy people who love books as much as I do. My deep thanks to the Women’s National Book Association for giving us National Reading Group Month!
Heather Newton's Under the Mercy Trees has been named a Great Group Read by the Women's National Book Association. See the complete list of Great Group Reads in honor of National Reading Group Month. Listen to Heather discuss Under the Mercy Trees here and check out the Under the Mercy Trees reading group guide. Visit Heather's website and friend her on Facebook. Look for more National Reading Group Month events throughout October here.