Reading Like a Writer

It’s Wine on Wednesday with a twist! We’re moving to the beautiful Shelton McMurphey Johnson House with an inspiring new speaker series.

Each month, a professional writer will discuss a book that’s meaningful to them both as a reader and a writer. They’ll share their favorite character moments and passages and all the things they love or find challenging. Then they’ll tease apart elements of craft that inspire them, whether it’s the witty dialogue, how place serves to push characters to the brink, or the masterful interweave of plot and theme. They’ll open up the discussion for everyone to share at the end.Read ahead so you can share what you love, or just come to enjoy the talk and discover great new books and writers!

Next Meeting: June 20

Valerie Brooks discusses The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.
About The Woman in the Window:
It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems. Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.
New location! Shelton McMurphey Johnson House, 303 Willamette
Third Wednesday of the Month from 7:00-9:00 pm
Bring your own beverage (attendees under 21 will not be permitted to drink alcohol)
Free and open to the public (suggested donation $5)

July 18 – John Reed discusses The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

August 15 – Danuta Pfeiffer discusses The Davinci Code by Dan Brown
September 19 – B.A. Brock discusses The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

October 17 – Gina Oshner discusses Tinkers by Paul Harding.

This book club is a collaboration of Wordcrafters in Eugene and the Shelton McMurphy Johnson House.

Sponsored in part by


About the Speaker: Valerie Brooks writes about strong, gutsy women who make mistakes and have lots of baggage. As the saying goes, and she’s expanded upon, “Well-behaved women seldom make history—or good novels.”
A lifelong writer and reader, she reads everything from Daphne du Maurier to the latest Scandinavian crime writers. Her English war bride mom and artistic army officer dad raised her and her two siblings in ultra conservative New Hampshire during the 1950-60s. Growing up in puritanical New England, she was drawn to the gothic, to secrets, mystery, and the dark side of human nature. As her English mum once said, “You’re a good girl who wants to be bad.” Now she has the perfect conduit for her “bad girl” side—writing noir.
Brooks received an Elizabeth George Foundation grant and the Monticello Award for Fiction. She served as fiction editor at Northwest Review for four years, as a member on the board of directors for Oregon Writers Colony, and was co-founder of the Willamette Writers Speakers Series. Her work has appeared in Scent of Cedars: Promising Writers of the Pacific Northwest (Russell Dean & Company) and France, a Love Story (Seal Press/Avalon).