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Wonderland Book Club

Celebrating 13 years, Wonderland Book Club has always been about getting members to read books they wouldn’t normally read. And more recently, Wonderland features the actual authors of the books we’re reading each month. We’re a very warm, accepting group—you don’t need to be a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network to join, nor do you need to be working on your next novel. But I think the number one reason we’re growing is because we’re easy to join and easy to find on the Internet. Through a web connection and a physical event, Meetup brings folks together who share a common interest. In fact, if I hadn’t made Wonderland a Meetup group nine years ago, we’d be long gone by now. Most book clubs that aren’t library or bookstore-related form from friendships, neighborhoods or clubs—there’s no county-wide book club directory and you need to be “in the know” to be invited. That’s what’s so neat about Wonderland Book Club: newcomers to the Triangle love it, it’s free and there’s no special code or association to join the fun!

So what do our guest authors discuss for two hours from 10 a.m. to noon? Usually the first hour is taken up with the book discussion, the author reads a few passages and then in the last hour the floor is opened for the story behind the book. How was this book published and marketed? How long did the author take to write the book? Did the plot or characters come first? And the questions continue when we take the author to lunch.

Want to join? It’s easy! Sign up as a free member at https://www.meetup.com/wonderlandbookclub so you know the details of our next meeting. We typically meet the last Friday of every month from 10 am to noon at Quail Ridge Books, but since the COVID-19 pandemic that unfolded in March 2020 here in the U.S., we've been meeting via Zoom. If you don’t sign up beforehand, we want you to come anyway. I promise you our veteran members don’t bite and we love seeing new folks.

Published authors! Interested in being our guest in 2023? All of our spots are now filled through 2022, but please email Alice at alice@aliceosborn.com to be considered. Send your link to your author website as well as industry reviews and Amazon/Goodreads reviews.

2021 Schedule

January 29 Kathryn Schwille, What Luck This Life

February 26 David Menconi, Step It Up and Go

March 26 Timothy Reinhardt, Jesus’s Brother James

April 30 Lena Epps Booker, Hot Dogs on the Road

May 28 Rebecca Hodge, Wild Land

June 25 Dori Ann Dupre, Good Buddy

July 30 Lenard D. Moore, The Geography of Jazz

August 27 Bob O’Connell, Cruise Mobs

September 24 Tracie Barton-Barrett, Finding Her Spirit

October 29 Bernie Bro Brown, I Never Told You

November 19 Discover a Classic: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Dec 10 Patrick McClafferty, The Traps of Heaven

2022 Schedule

January 28 Michele T. Berger, The Swamp Queen

February 25 Donna Everhart, The Saints Of Swallow Hill

March 25 Laura E. Towne, Knight of the Crescent Moon

April 29 Lewis Bowling, Sam Ragan biography

May 27 L. Paul Dorsey, Forbidden Inheritance

June 24 Ralph Webster, The Other Mrs. Samson

July 29 Jorge Cortese, Fences of the Light

August 26 NO BOOK

September 30 Coyote Loop by L.C. Fiore

October 28 The Gift Best Given - A Memoir by Edward Di Gangi

November 11 Discover a Classic: Bleak House Charles Dickins

December 2 Iris Yang (Qing Yang), Legacy of the Tigers

Upcoming events (1)

Meet Bernie Brown, author of I NEVER TOLD YOU at Wonderland Book Club

Meet Bernie Brown, author of I NEVER TOLD YOU at Wonderland Book Club
co-sponsored by the NC Writers’ Network

Location: Quail Ridge Books,[masked] Lassiter Mill Rd · Raleigh, NC

Friday, October 29, 2021
Time: 10:15 a.m. to noon (Quail Ridge Books does not open until 10 AM)


Small-town dress shop owner Anna’s daughter Katya leaves home for art school in September 1965. After that, nothing in their loving and devoted relationship is ever quite the same.

Anna and her long-time lover Dave, who is married, first enjoy the freedom of Katya’s absence until some threatening exposures move Anna to initiate a break-up. Her biggest fear is that Katya will learn of the affair. Instead of offering the peace of mind Anna hoped the split would bring, the separation brings frightening and dangerous results.

Away at art school, Katya is both thrilled and distressed by her attraction to fellow art student Paulette. Nothing in her protected small-town childhood has prepared her for being attracted to another girl. When they get to know each other in irresistible and frightening ways, Katya’s biggest fear is that her mother will find out.

Inevitably, the worst happens and mother and daughter learn each other’s secrets. Both react with hurt and anger and a desire never to see each other again. Can they regain their former devotion to one another or are they doomed to live out their lives bitter and unforgiving?


Bernie is an Iowa farm girl transplanted to Raleigh, North Carolina. Bernie’s Iowa childhood, her travels in the States and Europe, and her contemporary life in Raleigh influence her short stories and essays. She isn’t sure where the urge to write ghost stories comes from. Their source is a mystery. Bernie has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. One of her stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and another was among contest winners in an anthology by Grateful Steps Publishing. She is a writer-in-residence at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities and a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Learn more about Bernie at berniebrownwriter.com.


“This confection of a tale is spun with the technicolor dreams and nightmares of a teenaged girl named Katya on her way toward self-realization…The plot turns on many tantalizing events, expertly woven together and shot through with bright descriptive writing. Vivid characters quicken the plot and unwind the wraps on the mother/daughter secrets. I Never Told You is a lovely story of Katya and her mother.”—Mary Howard, author of Whiteout and The Girl with Wings.

“I Never Told You is a thought-provoking debut about betrayal, secrets, forgiveness, and forbidden identities. Set in the mid-1960s, and moving seamlessly between small-town culture and the flamboyance of Hollywood, it’s the story of a mother and a daughter struggling—despite themselves—to find acceptance and love.”—Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise Between Us

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