Friday, March 23, 2007

April 2007 Featured Book Club Pick: "A Light on the Runway"

“A Light on the Runway” by Janet Haack

One of the most intriguing qualities about Janet Haack is the life she has led. Acknowledged as a community leader and patron of the arts, Haack may not be as widely recognized for the adventuress’s heart that beats beneath her persona. She tells her inspiring stories in her new book, “A Light on the Runway,” Charlotte Weekly’s book selection for April.

Definitely a woman well before her time, in 1955 Haack studied women’s journalism while many of her peers were at home giving birth to the baby boomers. She credits her father for choosing that path for her and her sister after focusing on opportunities available to women in the postwar boom. After marrying, Janet and husband Donald bundled up into their two-seater plane and flew to British Guiana where they learned firsthand about mining and trading precious gems. That legacy and knowledge became the foundation of a legendary career.

After more than 50 years of marriage, Haack says that being each other’s best friend was one of the secrets to the couple’s success. “We learned to depend on one another in a way we might not have if we were living a conventional life,” she said. “When you’re in the States, you have support people like a (parent), a (sibling) or a friend. We learned to be all of that for each other.”

“Runway” is the female perspective of their adventure saga. Donald wrote “Bush Pilot in Diamond Country” about their life together. But after reading the book, many wondered how a woman could live through such adventures and hardships and still raise a family. Hence, the book “Runway” was born.

The two continue to work together as owners of Donald Haack Diamonds in SouthPark. The store offers everything from everyday jewelry to magnificent gems and everything in between.

The author says she’s the first to concede that their life together – surviving in the jungles of South America and readjusting to “normal” life in the States – has been challenging. If you’ve ever dreamed of living exotic adventures, this book offers an honest appraisal of what it takes to live your dreams.

Meet the author
Join Charlotte Weekly at an exclusive cocktail party with author Janet Haack at Donald Haack Diamonds at 4611 Sharon Road on Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m. Seating is limited to the first 25 readers who R.S.V.P. us at
For more on the author, visit

– Alison Woo