Listed below are descriptions of talks and Readers’ Advisory workshops, currently offered. I develop new programs and tailor existing programs to meet your specific needs and interests. See calendar below for upcoming  programs.

Contact me with requests for more information, pricing, or any other question you may have, at


Hungry Hearts: Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir
From the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants in New Amsterdam in 1654 through the ensuing 350 years, millions of Jewish immigrants have found safe harbor here and left their mark on American history and culture. Their stories, in fiction and memoir, reveal the joys and heartbreak of the journey.

Memoir and Fiction: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Angela’s Ashes, The Liar’s Club, Running With Scissors–everyone’s writing memoirs, and we’re all reading them. Why do they appeal to us? Are they truly nonfiction? Does it matter? We’ll talk about some wonderful memoirs and how they are like the fiction we enjoy.

Beyond Faye Kellerman and The Red Tent: Great Jewish Mysteries, Thrillers and Historical Fiction
If you enjoy solving murders, shivering with suspense, or being transported to another time, you’ll enjoy hearing about these new and classic novels with Jewish characters, settings, and themes. Learn about some new and exciting authors and share your favorite titles with the group.

Memoirs: Yours Mine, and Everybody’s
Why do people write memoirs? And why are we so keen on reading them? Telling life stories is as old as the cave paintings of the Stone Age and as new as YouTube. At this program, you’ll discover what a memoir is, what makes a successful memoir, hear about notable (and infamous) memoirs present and past, and learn some tips about writing a memoir.

Readers’ Advisory Workshops for librarians

Talk it Up! Techniques for Talking to Readers About Books
Do you find it daunting to talk to your customers about the books they’re reading and make suggestions? Is “Can you recommend a good book?” a scary question? This interactive workshop will provide suggestions for active and passive Readers’ Advisory service. We’ll talk about genres, appeal characteristics, online and print resources, and the importance of Readers’ Advisory service in the 21st century.

Beyond Fiction Readers’ Advisory: Connecting Readers with Memoirs
Why is memoir almost as popular as fiction for readers today? How can we use that popularity to connect fiction readers with the memoirs on our shelves? Learn how to use basic readers advisory techniques to suggest life stories to your patrons. And in the process, learn about some terrific autobiographies for you own reading list.

Literary Fiction-What’s the Appeal?
There are lots of tools to help readers and readers’ advisors find genre fiction, but recommending novels to readers of literary fiction is a different story. Find out how to use the appeal characteristics approach to help your readers find literary fiction they (and you!) will enjoy.

March 18, 2015, 2:00pm
Congregation Beit Shalom of Monroe Township
Hungry Hearts: 350 Years of Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir


April 26, 2012, 6-8pm
Historical Fiction: An Enduring Genre in a Changing Landscape
Wix Lounge, 10 W. 18th St., 2nd floor
Register at:
Panelists:  Carole DeSanti, Kathryn Harrison, Barbara Hoffert, Dan Lazar, Heather Lazare, Roz Reisner (moderator)

January 8, 2012
United Synagogues of Hoboken
Hungry Hearts: 350 Years of Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir 

November 9th, 2011, 12:00

Hungry Hearts: 350 Years of Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir
Scarsdale Synagoge/Temple Tremont
October 26th

 October 20th, 2011, 6pm-9pm

Women’s National Book Association, National Reading Group author program

Held at the Asian-American Writer’s Workshop, 110-112 W. 27th St., NYC
Moderator: Rosalind Reisner
Panelists: Julie Ostuka (The Buddha in the Attic), Scott Spencer (The Man in the Woods), Nayana Currimbhoy (Miss Timmins’ School for Girls), Annia Ciezadlo (Day of Honey), Aine Greaney (Dance Lessons)

October 7, 2011, 2:00-3:00 EST
Booklist Webinar: Celebrating National Reading Group Month: Great Group Reads, 2011 (free)

I will be introducing Great Group Reads on this webinar; Kaite Mediatore Stover will moderate; Penguin and Algonquin Press editors and authors will speak.
If you can’t attend, sign up anyway and once the webinar is archived, you’ll receive the link and can listen to it at your leisure.
Here’s the sign-up link:

June 21, 2011, 11:00-12:30

WEBINAR: Fresh Lit: New and Forthcoming Literary Fiction for Readers and Book Groups
LibraryLinkNJ, The New Jersey Library Cooperative

Wednesday, May 4, 2011; 9:00-9:50
Around the World in Audiobooks
New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference
Ocean Place Hilton, Long Branch, NJ

Thursday, January 27, 2011, 6:30-8:30
Women’s Nat’l Book Assoc. – Open Mic Night
Strand Bookstore
828 Broadway at 12th St., NYC

Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 6:30-9:00
Moderator, Women’s National Book Association-NYC Chapter
National Reading Group Month author panel program
Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Green, Brooklyn
Emily St. John Mandel, The Singer’s Gun
Susan Henderson, Up From the Blue
Sheri Holman, The Dress Lodger
Rick Moody, The Four Fingers of Death
Jackson Taylor, The Blue Orchard


Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010, 11:45-12:30
“Something to Talk About: Books That Spark Discussion”
At: I’d Rather Be Reading: In Celebration of Reading Groups
Piscataway Public Library, Piscataway, NJ


Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010, 7-8:30
Ocean TownshipLibrary, Ocean, NJ

“Let’s Talk About It! Good Books for Discussion Groups”


 Tuesday, July 6, 2010, 1:45-3:15
Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Seattle
The Other Side of the Coin: Jewish Memoirs for Fiction Readers”


 Friday, May 7, 2010, 8:40-9:55
Carver Co. Library In-service day
Talk it Up! Techniques for Talking to Readers About Books


 Thursday, May 6, 2010, 1:00-4:00
Wescott Branch, Dakota Co. Library System (MELSA workshop)
Beyond Fiction Readers’ Advisory: Connecting Readers with Memoirs”

Thursday, May 6, 2010, 8:30-11:30
Maplewood Branch, Ramsey Co. Library (MELSA workshop)

Beyond Fiction Readers’ Advisory: Connecting Readers with Memoirs”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010,  9:00-9:50
New Jersey Library Association Conference, Ocean Place, Long Branch, NJ
Matchmakers: Pairing Popular Fiction and Memoirs” (with Yvonne Selander)


 Monday, April 12, 2010, 7:30
Congregation B’nai Torah, Wantagh, NJ
“Hungry Hearts: Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir”

Monday, March 15, 2010, 9:30-:00
Talk it Up! Techniques for Talking to Readers About Books”
Highlands Regional Library Cooperative, Denville, NJ


 Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 9:30-1:00
Talk it Up! Techniques for Talking to Readers About Books”
Central Jersey

 Regional Library Cooperative, Freehold, NJ


Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2-3:00
New Rochelle Public Library
Hungry Hearts: Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir”


 Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Mint Theater, 311 W.43rd St., NYC; 6-9 pm
Co-Moderator, National Reading Group Month Program
Women’s National Book Association, NYC Chapter
Authors: Eva Hoffman (Appassionata), Roxana Robinson (Cost), Christina Baker Kline (Bird in Hand), C.M. Mayo (The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire), , and Julie Metz (Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal

 Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009

Temple Beth Ahm, Aberdeen, NJ
Hungry Hearts: Jewish American History in Fiction and Memoir”

  Thursday, October 15, 2009

Youth Services Forum for Librarians

 Monmouth County Library HQ-Manalapan, NJ, 9-4pm
Enlightenment for Teens: Memoirs That Help You Grow” 
with Jayanti Tamm, author of Cartwheels in a Sari: Growing Up Cult