Queen of the Road – Book Review and Giveaway

Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own by Doreen Orion

Giveaway information at the end of the post.

Here is a brief summary of my internal dialog regarding “Queen of the Road”

Hey, this book sounds interesting. After all, I really enjoyed that book about the woman and her husband who decided to live on a sailboat for a year, so maybe this book about living on a bus for a year will be similar.

Oh shoot, she wasn’t kidding about the 200 shoes. I didn’t pay attention to that part of the title. She’s going to be one of those women, isn’t she? I’m going to find her obnoxious and have a hard time reading this

Hmmm, maybe she isn’t as obnoxious as I thought she would be.

Hey, this is pretty funny! And poignant! And it actually chronicles her growth as a person!

“Queen of the Road” is the story of homebody psychiatrist Doreen Orion whose outdoorsy, projecty psychiatrist husband convinces her to go on a year long road trip with him in a converted bus/RV. Doreen had been working from home and was the kind of person who would celebrate managing to stay in her pajamas all day. She had become almost a mythical creature around her neighborhood – there were rumors of her existence, but no confirmed sightings. Clearly, not the sort of person who should go on a year-long, cross-country adventure. That being said, Doreen allowed her husband to convince her. She wasn’t always a good sport, but she allowed herself to be push and, I think she would agree, was a better person for it at the end of the trip.

As is evident from my internal dialog, I had some serious reservations towards the beginning of the book. Doreen spent a fair amount of time discussing her admiration of expensive purses and shoes. I like a good purse and pair of shoes as much as the next girl, but I generally prefer not to read about them. I was honestly afraid that I wouldn’t like her any more than I liked the girl in “Rules for Saying Goodbye.” Luckily, right off the bat she wasn’t THAT annoying, and she really grew as a person as a result of the trip. I was very impressed at how much she was able to get in her prior voice (perhaps this is the result of being a trained psychiatrist?). I imagine it would be difficult to let your voice gradually change over the course of writing about a year as you chronicle your personal growth, particularly if you are writing from the perspective of post-trip.

This is a great read for some light summer fun, particularly as a beach or travel (duh) read.

Don’t forget to check out the author’s website, which includes her blog all the way back to when she was on the bus.

Buy a copy of this book on Amazon.

The Giveaway!

I ended up with an extra copy of this book that I would love to give to you, my loyal readers. To be entered, leave me a comment answering the question below. Blog about this contest for an extra chance to win.

Doreen’s book isn’t about a vacation, but a journey. If you could have an adventure/trip/journey (not a vacation), what would it be? I want to know things like where you would go, how you would get there, what you would do, and who or what you would take with you.

This contest will close at midnight on August 8th. Winners will be announced sometime August 9th. For this contest I will ship worldwide.

Check out Bloggy Giveaways for more contests.

28 comments to Queen of the Road – Book Review and Giveaway

  • I’m going to add your contest to the post I made yesterday here.

    This is actually a really easy question for me to answer, because my family is kicking around the idea of traveling cross-country together. I love to travel, but my travels have been limited to the upper East Coast so I am incredibly excited about this.

    My aunt and uncle have driven across country in their RV half a dozen times. I would love to do this someday. There’s so much of this country that I haven’t seen, so much to experience! I want to stand in front of the Pacific Ocean and just marvel at the fact that I’ve stood at the edge of both coasts. I want to stop at nothing but mom and pop stores and restaurants along the way — support local businesses and meet some of the hard-working folks that make this country so great. I want to take so many pictures that we’ll have to stop to buy new memory cards for my camera. I want to bring home at least one book from each state that I traveled through, so I’ll have reminders of my trip sitting on my bookshelves for the rest of my life. I want my mother, who’s never really traveled anywhere other than the two states she’s lived in during her 60 years to experience the awe I felt when I traveled for the first time. I want to come home with stories that will get passed down to my grandchildren — to be able to tell them how this trip changed me, and made me a better person.

  • Cheryl W

    My journey would be to travel to every state that I have relatives and visit them for a day or so. We would travel by car, as a family, so we could spend time together! And I would get to meet some of my first cousins that I’ve never met. I think it would be a neat adventure. Hopefully we wouldn’t all want to scream by the end of the journey, LOL!

  • Sister

    My journey would be to leave my life in Southern California, where I’ve spent 18 of my 21 years, and move most of the way across the country to start anew in Chicago, IL! I would live with my beautiful sister and her wonderful new husband for a month or so while I got a job in Advertising and looked for a place of my own.

    Then I would fall in love with my brother-in-law’s younger brother and we would get married.

    The end.

    Oh wait… I’m actually going to be doing that! (Minus the falling in love and marrying Erik part.)

    You know what? Nevermind. I’ll just read it when I get there.


  • Elizabeth M.

    I think I’d like to spend a year without using a car. It would be hard but it would be a real adventure. I think that I would learn how to be quite efficient, organized and gain some real skills in time management. Also, I love the “green” aspect of it!

  • Lori Barnes

    Well I would love to take a surprize journey, with my husband not the kids when nothing will be planned they don’t have the patience for that. we would put in a hat North, South, East, and West each on a sheet of paper and draw to see which direction we will go in put in a hat how long we will drive each day to get to a destination 5,6, 7,8 9 or 10 so at the end of the 2nd day where we end up at is where we’ll be for 3 days and site see in the area then drive back 2 days for a total of a week. It would be interesting to see where our journey would take us and what we’d see along the way. I would like to be entered into your contest.

  • This book sounds like a lot of fun! If I were going to plan a journey, I think I would like to plan one to visit the lands of my ancestors (even if that sounds corny). My paternal grandparents were both born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, a country that doesn’t even exist any longer. My mother’s family is from England and Ireland. It would be lovely to travel between those countries, with some time to spend. I don’t know if I would bring anyone with me – I quite enjoy traveling alone and being all on my own schedule. Thanks for entering me in your contest!

  • Here’s me blogging about this: http://heatherlo.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/an-award-some-giveaways/
    And let’s see… I’d love to take a journey to Europe, and travel all over, see everything there is to see. I’d definitely take my husband, and only our most important possessions, and a few clothes – I’d want to be able to easily get around. I’d love to hang out in Paris for a month, Italy for a month, Greece for a month, etc…. what fun! :)

  • I think for a journey/some real personal growth, I would need to go somewhere where I had to try really hard to engage with people and places, somewhere that is so culturally opposite from the U.S. I think I would go to either China, India, or somewhere in relatively non-violent Africa. I also think it would be rad to take a close friend (or friends); someone(s) that I’ve grown with and seen grow through some significant changes in life. I have a few friends like that…What I would do: everything as non-touristy as possible, EAT, and learn how people (and the world) I don’t think enough about live, what they believe, how they think about life, etc., etc.

  • No need to enter me; I’m just letting you know I mentioned your give at Win a Book.

  • Janel G.

    I would love to rent a little cabin on the water in Traverse City, MI to just hang out watching the lake and eat some of the wonderful gourmet food in the area. Maybe take a nap. Just me, myself and I for once.

  • Shana

    This book sounds so good.

    My dream journey would be to take a year and meander through Europe on an unlimited budget. I would take my husband and kids, of course, but it would probably be more fun when the kids are older.

    I blogged about this giveaway HERE.

  • Shana

    Ugghhh. Not sure if that link worked. Here’s the URL:


  • I’d love to read this book! I’ve been hearing so much good stuff about it. Thanks!

  • Teresa W.

    Thanks for the opportunity, count me in!

  • I’ve always dreamed of meandering around the U.S. in a small motorhome or converted van. Doubt it’s going to happen for me, but it would be interesting to read about someone else doing it.

    BTW, I like your blog. It’s given me some ideas for mine.

  • I’d love to just wander around the US looking at interesting stuff. Not having a destination sounds great!

  • Please enter me in your contest. I have blogged about your contest on Random Wonder here

    My best friend and I have always longed to get in the car and just drive. We would stop at every little roadside stand and turn off the beaten path for things like “World’s largest ball of string” and “See the amazing monkey-pig” (you get the idea). We would sleep in little out of the way places and only eat at Mom & Pop joints. We would talk to the locals, take lots of pictures and see where we end. As you can see … we’ve thought about this quite a bit :-)

  • Hmmm . . . a journey. I loved to take a year or so and read and travel to the places I read about. I’d visit authors’ homes and graves and places described in the books like Cannery Row and Brighton. :o) (I’m going to attempt a mini-journey like this. I’m taking a trip to Europe next month and I’m selecting books to take along based on the places we’ll visit.)

  • Personally.. I would like to go to Ireland. Take my husband and our two kids. I’d like to be able to try and trace my ancestry, teach the kids a new culture, Irish lore, history, tradition, etc.. It’s one thing to see the pictures of rolling hills and bluffs, it’s entirely another to be able to traipse across the countryside and be able to take it all in.. Go to the festivals, try local cuisines, visit monasteries, maybe try to learn some Gaelic. What would be really nice is if we could meet a previously unknown relative (third cousin twice removed? haha) or even a penpal or 10, whether for the kids or us adults. I would definately prefer to try and do everything locally, not just stay in one bit hotel in say, Dublin. Ahh dreams.. Hopefully I can make it reality in a few years =) Great idea for the contest though, given the nature of the book!

  • […] Home « Queen of the Road – Book Review and Giveaway […]

  • Free Books - 25 July 2008 < Rat’s Reading

    […] giveaway for Doreen Orion’s Queen of the Road at Devourer of Books, deadline 9 […]

  • Book Contests!! « From One Idealist to Your Mother

    […] Book Contests!! Jump to Comments So there are a couple of book contests happening right now, and of course I know about them via Devourer of Books. The first one is Jen’s very creative giveaway of the book Queen of the Road. To win this delightful sounding book, you must leave a comment in which you describe a journey (not a vacation, but a journey…think Motorcycle Diaries instead of National Lampoon’s Vacation); to read all about it and enter the contest (as well as check out the most awesome book blog around), click here. […]

  • […] Check out Devourer of Books for a chance to win Queen of the Road.  This book looks really good and I think a lot of you would enjoy the chance to win! […]

  • […] forget to check out my giveaway for “Queen of the Road”! […]

  • […] over at Devourer of Books is having a giveaway for Queen of the […]

  • […] you checked out my Queen of the Road contest?  It is open until […]

  • […] Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion – Check out my contest – Buy this book on Amazon […]

  • […] curious about “Queen of the Road”? Read my review here or buy this book on Amazon. […]