During the 2016 Litquake festival, WNBA-SF held its National Reading Group Month (NRGM) event for the fifth consecutive year at Books Inc. Opera Plaza and with Litquake as its co-presenter. Quite a few attendees told us that they “come every year.” On October 8, our event — Ghosts, Bones, and Dust: Novels of Life and Death – was designated the national Signature NRGM Event, and by every mark, was a huge success.
Past president Kate Farrell gave the Opening Remarks and thanked the NRGM Premier Sponsor Sourcebooks and Friends of NRGM (see below for full listing). Our moderator Laurie King – who has won an alphabet of prizes from Agatha to Wolfe and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology – was well versed in each authors’ work. For ninety minutes, Cara Black, Jessica Chiarella, Mary Mackey, Mary Volmer, and Patricia V. Davis discussed genre, the influence of setting on their novels, translating the past, whether and how they wove true stories into their novels.
On a glorious, warm Saturday afternoon, we filled all the seats at Books Inc Opera Plaza. WNBA-SF treated the panelists and moderator to brunch at Max’s Opera Café before the event, set up a bar to serve wine and water, while Max’s catered the food. The 70 attendees were given copies of the National Reading Group Guide and bookmark, the Great Group Reads 2016 Selections list, and the paperback, Reading Group Choices, along with other handouts. This free event, open to the public, drew avid readers and book clubbers.
A note from Jessica Chiarella, author of And, Again who flew in from Chicago on her own dime for this: “Just to echo the sentiments of everyone else, thank you so much to Kate and Nina for including me in such wonderful company and thank you to Laurie for such thoughtful and insightful questions. This event was such a thrill for me, and it was so wonderful to meet all of you.”
Panelist Mary Mackey, one of our SF chapter members, summed it up: “This was one of the best panel discussions I’ve ever been part of. I wish we had a videotape of the discussion. It was such a coherent explanation by so many fine writers of the sources of their inspiration and their writing process. If I were still teaching graduate level creative writing, I’d use it in a class.”
We were honored to have Laurie R King as our 2016 moderator who brought the depth of NRGM’s panel discussion to a new level, and provided readers with an authentic understanding of the five authors’ motivation and craft. Many thanks to Books Inc. Opera Plaza for their generosity in hosting our annual event.
More information about the authors and their books is available on their websites:
|Hosted by Books Inc. Opera Plaza!|
The Signature Event of National Reading Group Month 2016
2016 Official Sponsor PREMIER
2016 Friends of National Reading Group Month
Baker & Taylor—The Future Delivered
The Booklist Reader (Booklist, American Library Association)
Edelweiss (Above the Treeline, Inc.)
Net Galley — We Help Books Succeed
Reading Group Choices — Selections for lively book discussion
Reading Group Guides — The online community for reading groups