Meet a Member: Beth Frerking

Beth Frerking

As a high-school librarian, connecting young people with books and supporting literacy is my professional mission. As a teacher and then a librarian, I’ve been fortunate to work with students from the North Slope of Alaska to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Like travel, good books challenge, excite, and inspire curiosity. These days, I’m a librarian at Clarksville High School where I continue to find it rewarding to work with the next generation of readers. I also find it tremendously reassuring that there are lots of them.

I consider myself lucky to live in such a great city for readers. Until I lived in Nashville I would have thought to myself, that’s an odd statement–reading can be done anywhere.  That’s true, but it is certainly invigorating to be a part of a great reading community. About five or six years ago, I picked up a WNBA brochure in the public library, thought it sounded interesting, and attended my first meeting. Now each fall I love hearing about the authors coming to the Southern Festival of Books, and the Spring Picks Program is always a treat. Each April I come away armed with my summer reading list, ready to head into summer. It is fantastic to hear what so many smart, well-read women are reading. So many brains to pick!

Through WNBA, I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to be a reader for the Great Group Reads list. Each October, WNBA sponsors National Reading Group Month, which celebrates the joy of shared reading, and publishes the Great Group Reads list. The 2016 list can be found here: Keep your eyes open for the 2017 list. It will be out in time for this October’s celebration.

Being involved with WNBA has allowed me to help support literacy in my community. As WNBA’s mission states, we are about promoting reading and supporting literacy, and connecting the book community. I look forward to serving as president in 2018-19.

May Book Group Discussion

Please join us Saturday, May 13 at 10:15 at the Richland Library as we discuss Kick Kennedy-The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming. 
Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy was the incandescent life force of the fabled Kennedy family,  her father’s acknowledged “favorite of all the children” and her brother Jack’s “psychological twin.”

Bestselling and award-winning biographer Barbara Leaming draws on her unique access to firsthand accounts, extensive conversations with many of the key players, and previously unseen sources to transport us to another world, one of immense wealth, arcane rituals and rules, glamour and tragedy.  It was a world of dukes and duchesses, of grand houses, of country house weekends and of wild rich boys, but it was also a world of blood, war, and immeasurable loss. This is a coming-of-age story of the female star of the Kennedy family.

May 4 Meeting – Garden Party

  • Our annual Garden Party is Thursday, May 4, staring at 5:30 p.m. This is a time for members and their guests to connect with one another and celebrate another great year with WNBA. The party is hosted by the Nashville board, who provides drinks and appetizers. New This Year: Book Swap: If you have a book or two you’d like to pass on, please bring them, along with an accompanying note about what you liked—or not—about the book(s). Members will receive directions to the party via email. We hope to see you there.

April 29 is Poet’s Day at Williamson Co. Library!

POETS’ DAY: April 29 from 10 am to 3:30 pm at the Williamson County Public Library, Franklin, TN. There will be open MIC Poetry Reading. The event is free and open to the Public.
Organized by Poets From The Neighborhood (PFTN) as part of POETRY MONTH celebration!

Shop and Support WNBA with AmazonSmile

The Women’s National Book Association, Nashville Chapter, participates in the AmazonSmile program. Please use our AmazonSmile link when doing your Amazon shopping and help support our nonprofit organization. When you click on this link, you will be asked if you want to support the WNBA Nashville Chapter through your purchases at Amazon. After you answer yes, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to our organization. Thanks in advance for your support!

WNBA April Meeting – Spring Picks!

If you love books, you don’t want to miss our April monthly meeting. Please join us Thursday, April 6 at Jonathan’s Grille in Green Hills to hear about new books releasing this year. The program starts at 6:00 and is free and open to the public. Arrive early to network with members and guests, starting at 5:00. Meals and beverages are available for purchase if desired. (Gratuity is included in the food bill.)

WNBA Centennial Celebration

One of the signature programs of our Centennial is Celebrating Women’s Voices, two book lists—in fiction/memoir/poetry and in nonfiction—that the WNBA community considers to be the most influential books penned by American women.  To learn more about the WNBA’s Centennial Celebration, visit the WNBA Centennial website at

To view the nonfiction list, click here. The fiction/memoir/poetry list is available for viewing here.

March 11 – WNBA Book Group Discussion

Please join us Saturday, March 11 at 10:15 at the Richland Library as we discuss A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold.

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.  In a matter of minutes, they would kill 12 students and a teacher, and wound 24 others before taking their own lives.  Written with unflinching honesty by Dylan Klebold’s mother, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and countless interviews with mental health experts.  This is a fascinating and in many ways, terrifying, book.

Member Dana Carpenter’s Book Signing

Member Dana Chamblee Carpenter will be reading and signing her new book, The Devil’s Bible, at Parnassus Books on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30.  Her debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, won Killer Nashville’s 2014 Claymore Award.  Dana teaches creative writing and American Literature at Lipscomb University.

Meet Our Nashville Chapter President

Greetings! 2017 is off to a great start, and it promises to be a special year for WNBA as we celebrate our 100th anniversary in November. There will be celebrations by all our chapters throughout the year, culminating in a weekend event in New York City, where the first chapter was formed.

Nashville’s Celebration will be in November and December 2017 at our regular meetings—plans are underway for fabulous programs celebrating women and the written word. Stay tuned for more information.

In the meantime, plan to join us the first Thursday of the month for fellowship with other book lovers, including writers, book professionals, and readers, along with a short program related to books. A list of upcoming programs can be found here on our website. Please make plans to join us.

My involvement with WNBA began in 1991 when I visited with longtime WNBA member Carolyn Wilson to discuss a career change to library sciences. Even though I ultimately went in a different direction (nonprofit administration), Carolyn emailed me several months later and recruited me to manage the Signing Colonnade for the Southern Festival of Books. And the rest is history—I managed the area for many years but I didn’t actually join WNBA until I began working for Humanities Tennessee in the early 2000s.

I have been an avid reader from the time I was a small child. I majored in English in college and used my writing skills when I entered the fundraising field. I am one of those WNBA members who joined because I am a reader and I love learning about books. Every meeting I have an opportunity to find out what others are reading and I invariably come away with two to three new books on my to-read list.

Members are the lifeblood of WNBA and each and every member, whether in the book industry or not, is a reader—that’s what I love about it.

Here’s to an outstanding 2017 filled with lots of great books and interactions with one another.

–Barbie Chadwick, WNBA-Nashville President