September 2, 2012

The Philo Book Club

I called in to this Sadorus, IL book club back in May. The host, Cheryl, was soon off to an adventure of her own in South America and forgot to send in the above lovely photo. When she went through her vacation pictures recently, she happened to find it. No problem, Cheryl. Glad you enjoyed your vacation so much and thanks for emailing me that "You calling was by far the most interesting book discussion we have ever had!"

That wasn't your club's first meeting, right?

Thanks for having me on speakerphone, ladies and I wish you all happy future travels - armchair or otherwise.

August 19, 2012

The Dirty Girl Book Club

You know how I feel about book clubs that really get into it. Well, not only did these "Dirty Girls" wear tiaras, but Michelle (in white, in front) is wearing her Queen of the Road t-shirt. But even that's not the best part. This club was so into it, they taste tested 10 (count 'em, 10) of my Queenly martinis weeks ago, so they could narrow 'em down to a Final Four and voila! Phobic Friar, Headwater High, Love Me Blender, and Nudist Nectar made the cut (and the photo).

Of course, I could tell you that this fun group of women in St. Paul, MN, met after dancing together at a local studio. When Penny retired from dance about six years ago, she started the group to keep in touch with everyone. It's actually a book/movie club, as they read six books and see six chick flicks a year. (So, nu Steven Spielberg? Too busy to pick up the phone? Would it kill you to spare these women one night of agonizing decision making some month by making Queen of the Road into a movie? No, I didn't think so. So, be a good boy.)

I could tell you all that, but I'm still stuck on the taste testing 10 martinis thing. These gals are obviously far better women than I.

August 10, 2012

Waukesha Book Club

Back in the Sping, I had the pleasure of "attending" Peggy's book club in Waukesha, WI. I call it Peggy's book club, because after she moved to the area and started meeting people, she started the group.

Book clubs often ask me for book book recommendations, and I like to ask them, as well. Peggy's recommended two I've already enjoyed (so you may, too): The Poisonwood Bible and The Help. But also, three I'd never heard of and are now on my list to read: The Secret History, On the Shadow of the Wind andThe Art of Fielding.

Ladies, I always feel like an airline pilot when I say "I know you have a choice in books to choose for book club, and I'm so happy you chose mine."

I really enjoyed your group.

And now, I'll hang up my pilot's wings and put on my nagavator (as Tim says) shoes, and wish you a royal,

Queen On!

April 10, 2012

Jester Book Club

In Front: Eva, Mangal, Elaina, Caroline, Gayland, Anneliese, Marjorie
In Back: Meg, Cathie, Marrianne, Carol
Missing: Darla

When this book club in Austin, TX asked me to call in, my first thought was, "I'm just glad I won't be driving there!" Don't get me wrong. It's a lovely town (actually reminds me a lot of Boulder) but the drivers? My professional psychiatric opinion: Nuts!

Although after visiting with these lovely ladies, I might have made an exception if I were in the area - say Arkansas or thereabouts - especially after hearing that the group was started 10 years ago by the member who is a retired banker and also happens to be a great baker! (Throw in a current, fully-stocked bartender and I am SO there.)

The group is from incredibly diverse and interesting backgrounds (along with the banker, there's a teacher, an RN, a criminal defense attorney, a university administrator, a collectible jewlery seller and an IBMer. I'm sure I've forgotten someone, but really, couldn't I have just stopped there? As my peeps are fond of singing this time of year, "Dayenu*.") Although they do have one thing in common, as Mangal mentioned when she first contacted me, "Most of us qualify for AARP."

I feel you. (And my joints. Oy.)

In any event, thank you so much for inviting me to discuss Queen of the Road. If I'm ever in the area, I'll have my driver veer on over.

*Dayenu. One of the most popular songs of the Passover sedar. It means, "It would have sufficed."

December 4, 2011

A Lovely Fayetteville Book Club

When Rachel first emailed me about her Fayetteville, GA book club, she said, "We laugh a lot at book club, drink too much at book club, and treasure our time together once a month."

Well, I just knew I had to "meet" those gals.

From left to right: Camber, Charlotte, Rachel, Val, Meghan and Becky. Wini left right before they took the photo.

They all live in same neighborhood and know each other because their kids go to same school. They've been meeting monthly for 4 years, always in each other's homes and always for cocktails.

Hmmm... Headwater High, Prevost Princess and a Hurlatini? Very tastey looking, if I do say so myself.

I especially loved the fact that these lovely Southern ladies heard about the book from Rachel's boss, who read it at her book club. Y'all know how I appreciate Queenly word-of-mouth!

Thanks so much, ladies for reading Queen of the Road and inviting me to your group!

November 11, 2011

A Very Considerate (and Loving) Book Club

I've "done" a few hundred book clubs by now, but this had never happened before: Three separate members contacted me to send bookplates for the group/send a bookplate to the hostess/to call in. I knew I had to meet these incredibly thoughtful ladies!

From left to right, Meral, Pat, Cynthia, Judy, Jayne, Valerie, Patty, Amanda, Jackie. Three members were out of town, Kathy, Terry, and Donna.

The gals in this Connecticut club have known each other almost 20 years, although only started meeting for books two years ago, at Meral's instigation. They originally got to know each other through their kids and friends of friends. Now, they still do a lot of things together, but my favorite (of course) is going house to house during Xmas, drinking.... Oh yeah, there's the seeing each other's decorations things, too. Don't worry, they rent a van. Short of having your own driver constantly on call as us Royals do, I'd say that's the next best thing.

But, I suppose, the very best thing they told me about their club is, "We love each other very much."

Ladies, it was obvious and such a pleasure meeting you all. Thanks so much for inviting me to you book club to call in about Queen of the Road.

August 28, 2011

The Mary Anne King Memorial Book Group

Here's a wonderful book club story:

This book club at the Columbiana Public Library in Alabama has been meeting for 11 years or so, ever since Mary Ann King, a local woman in the community, founded it. Sadly, she died two years ago of ovarian cancer, but her book club lives on. There's even a special book collection in the library to commemorate this avid reader. The lovely gals in the club also informed me that Mary Ann "knew everyone in the state of Alabama." Sounds like the kind of woman I wish I'd known!


Pictured left to right: Teresa, Elizabeth, Jane, Nancy, Duffy, Beth, & Susan

Note the PJs. Nice going, ladies! I hope none of you got pulled over for anything on your drive back. (PJs: hard to explain to the officers. Trust me.) Note also that Jane, the library's director, has got quite the tiara going. I may need to go shopping, after all. (How did you know I wear my tiara to bed? I don't recall mentioning that in my book.)

The book club picked Queen of the Road as part of their summer travel theme, and who am I to argue?

Thanks so much for inviting me to your book club, ladies. Next time we're in Alabama, I promise we'll see more of your state than the Unclaimed Luggage Store. (You've sold me on the coast. Know anyone with a long driveway?)