Seeing that women are helped in their own education when they are accompanied, Marcie Stokman founded Well-Read Mom, a reading club which provides an easily duplicable way for women to accompany one another in reading great books, spiritual classics and worthy reads from the Catholic and Western Tradition. In the fall of 2012, Well-Read Mom began in Marcie's living room with about 20 women. Currently, there are over 128 groups in 28 states and 4 countries.
New to Well-Read Mom? Here's how it works.
New groups are encouraged to join with the current year's selections. Click here to register. Don't worry about having missed previous year's books. The program is not laid out chronologically but by themes (Daughter, Mother, Spouse, Teacher/Worker, Sister/Friend, Contemplative). We ask that new groups join us with the current year. Those who want to read selections from the previous year, however, may find the audios to the book introductions as well as WRM Conference talks to be a helpful resource (see downloads).
Each year includes great books, spiritual classics (during Advent and Lent), worthy reads, poetry, and selected essays from the Catholic and Western Tradition. Check out the Books page to see this year's current selections as well as past works. Selections center around the year's theme and are meant to work with the rhythm of a woman's busy life. For example, shorter reads are selected for the start of the school year and over the holiday months.
Unique Audio Resource
One tool that distinguishes Well-Read Mom is the use of audio resources. These are brief and candid talks on the literature that educate and help us stay together. Leaders (or women following on their own) do not need to study and prepare a lecture to present each book, it's been done for you, just play the audio with your group! Also, if you are a registered member and happen to miss a meeting or two, you can still listen to the recordings on your own.
The year begins in September when the group meets to listen to the introductory recording to kick-off the year (no need for members to read before the first meeting). All registered members can access recordings monthly from September through May by the first of each month.
Each meeting there are two recordings. The first recording is short and helps to get the group focused and ready to discuss the current book (laptop, iPad or smartphones can be used). The second recording is played in the last 15 minutes after the discussion and gives an introduction to the upcoming month's book selection.
The Meetings (suggested format)
7:00-7:10 Women gather in a home, parish, or coffee shop, get a cup of tea and settle in.
7:10-7:15 Leader plays the first recording, a candid, encouraging reflection that helps focus the group and launch the discussion.
7:15-8:00 Group discussion. We recommend an initial go-around where each woman offers a thought or reflection from the book (women are free to pass). We have found this initial round spring-boards discussion. Additional questions can be found in the Reading Companion, which you receive when you register.
8:00-8:15 Play the second recording introducing the following month's book.
There is only one rule in a Well-Read Mom group. If you aren't able to get the book read, don't apologize, just come and soak in the discussion! See if you don't read more this year!