August 2020 W.O.W. Book Club Member Profile: Maria Sullivan, U. S. Constitution Themed Book Club


  1. Where did you grow up and where have you lived in your adult life?

I grew up in southern New Jersey, where I have fond memories of my favorite summer vacation place, the Wildwood seashore.  Most of my professional life was spent in Philadelphia, where I worked for nearly 32 years as a software developer and systems analyst for the University of Pennsylvania before moving to Aiken.


  1. When did you move to the Woodside Plantation?

I moved to Woodside Plantation in May of 2016 with my husband, Bill, of 30 years, just after we retired.  We started with a “five-year plan” for where to retire around 2010.  We attended lots of retirement community expositions and visited lovely communities in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. But once we visited the Woodside Plantation and the lovely town of Aiken, we were hooked.  No other place compared, in terms of both the sheer bucolic beauty of the community and the people who welcomed us with such kindness.


  1. What are your hobbies?

I enjoy reading, doing crossword puzzles and mind teasers, playing games such as mahjongg, chess, and cards; writing, swimming, and playing pickle ball. I had never played mahjongg until I moved here, and I can’t get enough of it!

Although I did not start traveling until my children were grown, my husband and I have traveled to at least half the states in the United States including several state and national parks, and in the last couple of years, to several countries in Europe (Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, and Switzerland).

  1. Approximately when did you join the U.S. Constitution Themed Book Club?

I have been a member of the U.S. Constitution Themed Book Club since it was organized in March of 2020.


  1. What is your favorite book that you read in your book club and why?

So far the book club has only read two books: James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, by Richard Labunski, and Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment by Eleanor Clift.  I enjoyed them both, but slightly favor the book about Madison and the Bill of Rights as my main reason for joining this book club was to learn more about the U.S. Constitution at the time of its founding.  I also admired James Madison and wanted to learn more about him and his significant role in shaping the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


I am looking forward to our August “assignment” which is near and dear to my heart:  The First Amendment, Freedom of Speech.  Each of us will be reviewing two Supreme Court cases relevant to the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech and reporting on them.  It is a great twist on book club assignments and shows the innovation that themed book clubs can use to explore a topic more completely.