Well-Read Mom Origins
After years of managing a busy household of nine people, Well-Read Mom founder Marcie Stokman learned that she was a happier, more whole woman, wife, and mother when she was reading good books.
As her children grew, Marcie began sharing a talk with area women that she called, 'The Well-Read Mom.' What she learned through that experience is that moms want to read, but can’t find the time, or simply don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing books.
Years later, Marcie’s daughter Beth, a new mother, voiced her frustration with the typical mom’s group conversation which seemed to be limited to sleeping habits and strategies for soothing teething babies.
“Isn’t there a place for women, after college, where they can keep exploring the good, challenging stuff – high quality literature, philosophy, theology?” Beth asked.
Just a few months later, in the fall of 2012, in a small town in northern Minnesota, twenty women gathered in Marcie Stokman’s living room for the first Well-Read Mom meeting. The reading list that year that included Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness and Sigrid Undset’s monumental Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, among others. Halfway through the year about 100 women met for the first Well-Read Mom Conference in St. Paul, Minn.
It was a wonderful year and by the end of it, many women shared their enthusiasm for the group, for the encouragement to read, and for the accountability provided by the monthly meetings.
Now, there are hundreds of groups in all 50 states and several countries. That’s over 5000 women who are reading more and reading well. We hope you’ll join us on this fascinating journey we are making with women around the globe. Read more. Read well.
Take Care of Your Heart Through Reading and Friendship
Well-Read Mom accompanies women in the reading of great books and spiritual classics to encourage personal growth, friendship, and meaningful conversations in order to explore the human condition and reorient ourselves to what is good, beautiful, and true.
In Well-Read Mom, women read more and read well. Our hope is to deepen the awareness of meaning hidden in each woman’s daily life, elevate the cultural conversation, and revitalize reading literature from books.
Women stay together in the reading as we compare and share literature.
- Accompany: As we accompany one another, there is accountability, support, and a sense of belonging that helps to foster the habit of regular reading.
Staying on pace together and reading the same books across the nation
facilitates awareness of a wider and deeper cultural conversation.
- Read: We give ourselves permission to find time and space to read the
selected literature, allowing it to penetrate our minds and hearts.
- Compare: We enter into the drama of the story and examine our own
questions as they come forth, asking, “What does this mean for my life?”
- Share: We first listen to the WRM prepared monthly audio and then discuss the book, offering something of ourselves through sharing personal insights and experiences, along with conversation and questions that arise from the text.
- To suggest works of literature that encourage women to grow intellectually,
spiritually, and personally through deepened thought and conversation.
- To foster meaningful friendship among women and thus to counteract the
increasing isolation characteristic of our culture.
To deepen awareness of the immensity of meaning hidden in each woman’s daily life.
To build community locally and nationally through meetings and Well-Read Mom events.
To provide original resource materials that illuminate the literature through the lens of Catholic tradition.
To encourage intentional family life, reading in the home, and all mothers’ awareness of their unique presence in the heart of the family.
from left to right
- Nicole Bugnacki, executive director
- Mary Teck, director of marketing
- Marcie Stokman, founder & president
- Janel Lewandowski, director of member relations
- Colleen Hutt, director of vision and outreach
- Loren Sablan, intern (not pictured)
- Cathy Lacerte, shipping (not pictured)
Board of Directors
- Marcie Stokman, President
- Michelle LeMieur, Secretary
- Emily Allegra, Treasurer
- Ann Silgen, Director
- Carla Galdo
- Colleen Hutt
- Marcie Stokman
- Not pictured: Stephanie Stokman
- Not pictured: Beth Nelson
Well-Read Mom is a non-profit 501c3 organization committed to helping women take care of their hearts by reclaiming time for books and friendship.
We read together to create an openness through conversation and friendship where Truth can be encountered. We welcome women of all religious traditions. Each group has its own flavor which reflects the life experience of the members.
Because staff and many key volunteers are deeply committed Catholic women who strive to be faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium, the reflections, audios, and discussion questions view the literature through the lens of the Catholic intellectual tradition.