Cheers! I’m Marsha Toy Engstrom, The Book Club Cheerleader, and I’ve been shaking my pompoms since 5th grade—which coincidentally is also when I began my writing career as editor of the Center School Gazette. Unfortunately, I was fired after referring to Garth Miller as a ‘jerk’ in the popular gossip column under my byline. I have since learned a lot more about human relations—and libel laws. A recovering Corporate Trainer/Human Resource-Type, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, a Master’s of Arts in Management and Organizational Development, and wrote my thesis on Group Dynamics—my specialty in back in my former Fortune 500 life.
I use my background in coaching and team dynamics to help put the ‘group’ back in book groups. Focusing on three perspectives: The People, The Fun and The Books, I facilitate workshops and coach book clubs to get the most out of their experiences together. Acknowledging that most reading groups who fail, do so based on faulty group dynamics, my motto is, “They come for The Book, they stay for The Fun, and they leave if you screw up The People part.” I’m the owner and publisher of the website Book Club Cheerleader, blog on all-things-book-club on Book Club Cheerleader.wordpress.com, and am working on my first book, Celebrating Book Clubs: The Book Club Cheerleader’s Guide to Building a Winning Book Club. I also serve as the Author Events Coordinator for my local Carnegie Library Foundation, am one of the coordinators for my hometown’s One Book, One City program, and recently spoke as a panelist for Book Expo America (BEA’s) Book Club Facilitator’s Speak Out. I’m a member of the Association of Book Club Readers and Leaders, the Women’s National Book Association, The Pulpwood Queens Book Club network, and the National Book Critics Circle.
I live in Northern California with my Handsome Husband and two black cats, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. When I’m not coaching book clubs, celebrating authors, or practicing my splits, I’m curled up with a new book—or alternatively catnapping—with Butch and Sunny.