Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BBF: The Book Club Toolkit (part 2)

This is the 2nd post in a series about The Book Club Toolkit panel I'm moderating at the Baltimore Book Festival on 9/26 @ noon. You can read the first post here, part 3 here and part 4 here.

Meet the Panelists

Moderator (that's me!):
Heather Johnson, also known as The Book Club Madam, is the head of Storie delle Sorelle, a 20-member book club in the Glen Burnie area. She reviews everything she reads on her book blog ( where she also writes about topics of interest to readers everywhere. If Heather could make a living out of reading and running book clubs, she’d do it in a heartbeat; until then she freely shares her knowledge and experience with anyone willing to listen.

  • Natalie Weikart is a library consultant whose workshops have been launching lively, popular book clubs for 20 years. She was a presenter at Random House's 2004 "Reading Between the Lines" program on encouraging and marketing library reading and discussion groups. At Howard County Library she was head of adult educational and cultural programs, as well as coordinator of The Maryland Center for the Book. She also serves on an advisory committee to the Maryland Humanities Council.

  • Trish Collins has been trying to join or start a book club for almost 10 years, and she finally has one she can call her own. Since starting her own, she has helped start a second book club and is in the process of starting a third. She is an avid blogger ( and loves discussing books, thus her obsession with book clubs. As a natural extension for her love of books and blogging, Trish has started a blog tour company called TLC Book Tours, which you can find at

  • Ladetra Robinson belongs to Sisters In Spirit, a Western Maryland book club comprised of a group of diverse women that reads books by African American authors. S.I.S fosters sisterhood among women who possess a passion for literature and enjoy cultural events. In the two years the club has been in existence it has registered over 25 women. Ladetra is the Director of Blossom School of Etiquette where she teaches young ladies from the ages of 6-17.

  • Cheryl Hazel is a lifelong reading enthusiast who majored in English in college. She believes that good books are like good movies—more satisfying when shared with others. As an educator, she’s learned that if you share an experience with other people, there will be multiple perspectives and reactions to that same experience. After moving to Baltimore City last year, Cheryl connected with other readers through Femme Nouveau, a book club she found through Oprah’s website.

  • Nancy Berla has been active in book clubs all of her adult life. She helped start a book club in Columbia called The Second Wednesday Book Club; it has been in operation almost 30 years. In addition to this group, Nancy coordinates book clubs at two retirement centers in Howard County. She has recently joined a fourth book club, whose members read literature in Spanish and discuss the books in Spanish.

So what do you think of the panelists? I'm really excited to bring together this great group of women. Between us we have about 60 years of experience organizing and running book clubs - I'm sure we'll have lots of tips to offer to our audience!

And on a completely different note, what do you think of my logo? I had lots of fun creating it. :)


bermudaonion said...

I wish I could be there!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Yes, the panel looks fantastic! What a great variety of people you'll have speaking (will it be video taped for those who can't be there?)

I love your logo/graphic, too. I must have missed that on the earlier post about BBF.

Heather J. said...

bermuda - me too!

Dawn - I'm hoping to video it, but I'm not sure how that will be worked out yet. And I just created the logo this week, so you didn't miss it before. :)

Alyce said...

That sounds like an amazing panel! And your graphic is fab!

softdrink said...

The logo is too cute! I wish I could be there to see (and cheer on) you and Trish!

Plays with Needles said...

That logo is really great! And the panelists are too. Hope I'll be able to come and listen...I'll try...

Heather J. said...

Alyce - Thanks!

softdrink - oh, what fun we would have. ;)

Plays with Needles - I hope you can make it!

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