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 [NOOK Book]

Overview

A pampered Long Island princess hits the road in a converted bus with her wilderness-loving husband, travels the country for one year, and brings it all hilariously to life in this offbeat and romantic memoir.

Doreen and Tim are married psychiatrists with a twist: She’s a self-proclaimed Long Island princess, grouchy couch potato, and shoe addict. He's an affable, though driven, outdoorsman. When Tim suggests “chucking it all” to travel ...
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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

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Overview

A pampered Long Island princess hits the road in a converted bus with her wilderness-loving husband, travels the country for one year, and brings it all hilariously to life in this offbeat and romantic memoir.

Doreen and Tim are married psychiatrists with a twist: She’s a self-proclaimed Long Island princess, grouchy couch potato, and shoe addict. He's an affable, though driven, outdoorsman. When Tim suggests “chucking it all” to travel cross-country in a converted bus, Doreen asks, “Why can’t you be like a normal husband in a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?” But she soon shocks them both, agreeing to set forth with their sixty-pound dog, two querulous cats—and no agenda—in a 340-square-foot bus.

Queen of the Road is Doreen’s offbeat and romantic tale about refusing to settle; about choosing the unconventional road with all the misadventures it brings (fire, flood, armed robbery, and finding themselves in a nudist RV park, to name just a few). The marvelous places they visit and delightful people they encounter have a life-changing effect on all the travelers, as Doreen grows to appreciate the simple life, Tim mellows, and even the pets pull together. Best of all, readers get to go along for the ride through forty-seven states in this often hilarious and always entertaining memoir, in which a boisterous marriage of polar opposites becomes stronger than ever.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The subtitle indicates all the makings of a funny account of a cross-country romp, but Orion (I Know You Really Love Me) doesn't deliver. Her humor is forced, and there's a terminally cute quality to her writing. The author and husband Tim are practicing psychiatrists. While she enjoys a "couch potato" existence, he longs for a life on the open road. After some convincing on Tim's part, the two agree to take a year's leave from their careers to ride cross-country in an RV. Doreen's cocktail recipes (e.g., "Phobic Friar," containing Frangelico, raspberry liqueur, and Baileys) begin most chapters. Her accounts of their travels have a similar flavor. Doreen and Tim's adventure begins with a shake-down cruise from the couple's home in Boulder, CO, passes through several Western states, then heads east (the "real" part of the trip), making a convoluted circuit of the country. The book ends with lists of "Special Places and People" and books the authors read on the trip-as well as the author's request to be invited to speak at book groups. An easy read, though maps or photos might have helped; for libraries with patrons likely to appreciate such a work.
—Janet Ross

Kirkus Reviews
How to get away from it all while taking it all with you. A self-described Jewish princess from Long Island, Orion (Psychiatry/Univ. of Colorado; I Know You really Love Me: A Psychiatrist's Account of Stalking and Obsessive Love, 1997) grudgingly accompanied her gung-ho husband on a yearlong trek around the country in a converted bus, despite her addiction to designer couture and general disinterest in leaving the house. A series of minor setbacks ensued (malfunctioning door, difficulties parking, etc.), but the journey passed pleasantly enough, as the author learned to prioritize relationships and experiences over material things and engage with the world beyond her television set. Mildly amusing situations and observations abound; Orion is relentlessly quippy, making the book resemble a low-impact remake of the screwball road-trip comedy The Long, Long Trailer with Rita Rudner playing the Lucille Ball role. It's difficult, however, to sustain interest in the author's many anecdotes concerning the cute antics of her pets or her beloved husband's zeal for DIY projects. The material is simply too mundane, and while Orion tries gamely, her employment of goofy puns, warmed-over self-deprecatory shtick and Erma Bombeckian wry homilies fails to transform the proceedings into comic gold. Her spiritual epiphanies likewise grate: Grand renunciation of material pleasures is a bit much coming from someone who can afford to take a year off work and seek out "authentic" experiences from the comforts of a diesel-guzzling luxury recreational vehicle. The book is also unsatisfying as a travelogue, since Orion's interest remains stubbornly focused on her cozy domestic concerns. The surprising paucity ofreportage on local color and customs or the variations in landscape, architecture and cuisine contributes to an overriding atmosphere of twee self-congratulation as the author announces her newfound willingness to hike a mountain path or cut back on her television consumption. Charming enough in small doses, but ultimately irritating and inconsequential. Agent: Mollie Glick/Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
From the Publisher
"Two psychiatrists driving a motor home around America, and you're still wondering whether to buy this book? Step on the gas and go straight to the register."
–Jeff Arch, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, Sleepless In Seattle

"Doreen Orion has a fresh, wry voice that's all her own and she works it like a rodeo rider in her light-hearted and yet tender new memoir, Queen of the Road."
–Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“His dream — he’s always wanted to see America in a converted bus — and her nightmare —she has a bus phobia — and their mid-life crisis on wheels, make for a hilarious reading adventure.”
–Mary-Lou Weisman, author of Traveling While Married

"You will never look at a psychiatrist the same way again. And you will never take a bus driver for granted, either."
–John Elder Robison, New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye

"Doreen Orion and her handyman husband Tim prove, with abundant laughs and martini shaker in hand, that sometimes the best way to enrich home-life is to leave the home...or, better yet, just put it on wheels."
–Franz Wisner, New York Times bestselling author of Honeymoon with My Brother

"Orion has every good travel writer's ability to make readers feel they are there, to capture the telling details of places, and to present the account in a witty, accessible way. Reading the book makes you want to hit the road and have some of your own grand adventures. This is a fun read that will make just about anyone start itching for a road trip. Grade 'A.'"–Rocky Mountain News

"A Charles Kuralt-Albert Brooks-style romp where they meet up with nudists, robbers and more. Required Reading." -The New York Post

"
Hot Summer Read." - Chicago Tribune

"The Elizabeth Gilbert Antichrist." - The Oregonian

"Beneath its fun and frothy exterior, you'll find in this wild ride across America's highways and byways a lovely portrait of a marriage that treats its ups and downs with humor and grace." - Elle Magazine

A charming, insightful and - most important - hilarious book that evokes the best of Bill Bryson and David Sedaris, but spotlights the unique voice of a gifted memoirist. - Jonathan Kellerman, New York Times Bestselling Novelist

"Queen of the Road is basically what would happen if you took me, gave me a modicum of maturity and a better education, and then tricked me into living on a (very nice) bus with my husband and pets for a year. I loved this book and I love this author." - Jen Lancaster, bestselling author of Bright Lights, Big Ass, Bitter is the New Black and Such a Pretty Fat

The author's charm, intelligence and wit make this multi-faceted memoir a must-read. Eat, Pray, Love - without the depression - meets Confessions of a Shopaholic - without the ditz. - Denver Magazine

"A funny, inspiring travel memoir of one couple's cross-country motorhome trip and how it changed their lives.... an action-packed, romantic journey of trials and transformations." - Family Motor Coaching Magazine.

“Part travel memoir, part diva-on-a-bus-tour comedy.” - 5280 Magzine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767930215
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/3/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 98,398
  • File size: 534 KB

Meet the Author

DOREEN ORION is a triple-boarded psychiatrist on the faculty of the University of Colorado Health Science Center. She is an award-winning author, has lectured throughout the U.S. and has appeared on major national media such as Larry King Live, 48 Hours, Good Morning America and been interviewed by the New York Times, People Magazine and many others. Still, she considers her greatest accomplishment that her bus was the centerfold for Bus Conversions magazine (which she is the travel writer for), thus fulfilling a life-long ambition of being a Miss September.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
DETHRONED

When my long-dreaded thirtieth birthday arrived, I really wasn't as upset as I imagined I'd be, for I had achieved a much more important milestone: my sartorial centennial. I owned one hundred pairs of shoes. Then, at age forty-four, I found myself trying to cram a mere half that number into a living space of 340 square feet.

The whole thing was Tim's fault.

When he announced he wanted to travel around the country in a converted bus for a year, I gave this profound and potentially life-altering notion all the thoughtful consideration it deserved.

"Why can't you be like a normal husband with a midlife crisis and have an affair or buy a Corvette?" I demanded, adding, "I will never, ever, EVER, not in a million years, live on a bus."

Something less than a million years later, as we prepared to roll down the road in our fully outfitted, luxury bus, it occurred to me that Tim had already owned a Corvette, long ago when he was far too young for a midlife crisis. While I pondered who he might be seeing on the side (and whether his having an affair might prove less taxing than living in a metallic phallus on wheels), I wedged and stuffed--and, oh my GOD! bent--the cutest little Prada mules you've ever seen into my "closet," which was really not a closet at all, but much more resembled the cubbyhole I'd been assigned many pre-shoe-obsession years ago at Camp Cejwin. How had I let myself go from "never ever" to_._._._this? Both Tim and I are shrinks, but he's obviously the better one. It took him five years, yet he whittled down my resolve, no doubt with some fancy, newfangled brainwashing technique ripped out of one of our medical journals before I could get to it.

That wouldn't have been the first time my sneaky husband tricked me into doing something I didn't want to do. Well, OK. It was only the second time (that I know of), but the first was a doozy: Almost twenty years before, Tim lied to get me to go on our first date.

We met in 1984 when we were both married to other people. I was a fourth-year medical student living in D.C., but doing as many rotations in Tucson as I could, because that's where my first husband had just moved for graduate school. (He wanted to be an archeologist and put his studies on hold so I could finish my medical training. In return, I told him I'd do my residency wherever he wanted to get his Ph.D., not for one moment thinking he'd pick a city with no Nordstrom.) Tim was a second-year psychiatry resident in the Tucson program, and I was assigned to his team.

Although he was terribly nice and we got along well, I was, after all, happily married and didn't give him a second thought when the rotation was over. As for Tim, his marriage to Diane (or D1; I'm D2. There'd better not be another upgrade) was already crumbling. Two years later, I was the second-year resident, Tim was about to graduate, and we were both divorced.

Tim and D1 had been high school sweethearts and their marriage was more a function of inevitability than compatibility. As for my ex and me, we just got married too young. Shortly after I graduated from medical school, I could see that our two-year union had been a mistake and vowed not to marry again for a long, long while.

Seven months later, I ran into Tim.

I was at a bar with a group of friends, drinking, dancing, and having a grand ole time. Tim walked in with a friend of his. Since we hadn't seen each other in nearly a year, we chatted briefly, but apparently enough for him to realize I was no longer married. Again, I didn't give him another thought-until he called a few days later.

"Hey, Doreen. It's Tim." What is this guy calling me for?

"A bunch of us from my class are getting together Saturday night to go back to the bar. You know, me, Mike, Walt, Ann…Dave. I wondered if you'd be interested in coming?" Did he say Dave?

"Uh…sure! See you then." Seems innocuous, right? But, you see, Tim had dangled Dave in front of me because he knew I was attracted to him. How did he know? Because every woman with a pulse was attracted to Dave. And I snapped up the bait with no more thought than the many times I'd gone home with a designer dress that didn't fit, just because it was on sale. Tim hadn't dated much since his marriage had broken up and was not in a place where he wanted to risk rejection. So, you might ask, what's wrong with arranging to go out in a group? Determine if we're compatible? Have an out if…? See how good that man is at deception? There was never a group going out. It was always just going to be me and Tim.

That Saturday night, a few hours before we were to meet, the phone rang.

"Hey, Doreen. It's Tim." What is this guy calling me for?

"I'm really, really sorry, but everybody's flaked out. Nobody can come tonight. I thought I'd show up anyway, hang out, have a beer. You're welcome to join me…if you're not doing anything."

"Uh, sure. See you, then." I couldn't make other plans that late on a Saturday evening. Guess I might as well go. And that's exactly what Tim knew I'd be thinking when he'd concocted his evil plan.

We met at the bar (aptly named "The Bum Steer"), where we talked, laughed, ate, talked, laughed, drank, and talked and laughed some more. Hey. This guy's kinda…wonderful. Of course, I didn't know that he'd hoodwinked me, yet. He waited a few weeks to tell me. By then, I was so smitten, I was actually flattered he'd gone to all that trouble. If only I'd realized it was the start of a pattern--sure, one that recurs only once every twenty years, but a pattern nonetheless. I shudder to think what he'll make me do in another twenty.

That first night, I found myself falling. What is going on here? Then I remembered my vow. I don't want to get involved with anyone. So I strengthened my resolve. I can't get involved with him. But, all too soon, there it was: How…can…I…not? That first "date," which wasn't even supposed to be a date, lasted eight hours. We've been together ever since, progressing through the all-important M's-Monogamy, Moving in, Mortgage, and Matrimony.

And then, unfortunately, motor home.

As a pampered Princess from the Island of Long, I have always been smug in my position as role model for my friends. They marvel at how I get Tim to do:

1.      all the ironing (by exiting the house in horribly wrinkled clothes);

2.      all the laundry (by washing everything together, so his favorite baseball shirt turned pink);

3.      all the dishes (by being incapable of stacking the dishwasher in an energy-efficient manner).

He also walks the dog (I'm a cat person), cleans the house (I'm a pig, but in fairness to me, the first time he suggested we split chores on a weekly basis, I said, "That's fine, honey, but on my week, I'll write a check"), and takes out the garbage (are there really any married women who still do this?). But once we announced we were doing the "bus thing," as we came to call it, my friends started viewing me with disgust. They insisted I'd let them down. As their husbands eyed mine with envy and tried to get him to divulge his secret recipe for spousal capitulation, the wives shunned me as if the decision to chuck everything and live in a glorified tin can was a symptom of some contagious insanity.

The most curious reaction from our married friends, however, was incredulity--not about the bus, but about the amount of togetherness the bus would require.

"How in the world can you spend twenty-four/seven with each other? We could NEVER do that!" they'd say, shaking their heads in a unison of misery at the thought. Tim and I would just exchange knowing looks and try not to smile. Twenty-four/seven was actually the one aspect of bus life we were both looking forward to. I even think there are a few of my friends who believe I'm rather quiet, just because I never have much to contribute on the "let's bitch about our marriages" front. I know I'm lucky. Unfortunately, Tim knows it, too.

He loves when Joanne, one of my best buddies from residency, calls. She's one of the absolute nicest people I have ever met (second only to my husband). But she also has the absolute worst luck with men. Tim can always tell when I've spoken to her during the day, for as soon as he walks through the door at night, I invariably hurl myself into his arms and beg, "Don't ever leave me!" He'll shoot me a smug little smile and ask, "How is Joanne?"

Twenty-four/seven? No problem. Bus? Well…I tried to convince myself (really I did) that my living on one was a natural fit. Although I love the idea of travel, in practice I don't particularly like doing it; the closets are never big enough and there's always the risk of ending up on a hotel's first floor, which smacks way too much of camping for me. I loathe camping. In fact, my idea of "roughing it" is to stay at the Holiday Inn.

Tim and I lived in Boulder, Colorado, for ten years before we hit the road. Boulder is always at the top of every "Most Nauseatingly Healthy/Active Cities" list--though many in surrounding towns refer to it as "Nestled Between the Mountains and Reality"--so sure, I can appreciate natural beauty. I just don't want to have to walk around in it. Besides, the whole fresh air thing is overrated. I'm a physician. A scientist. Stale air, fresh air, it's all the same molecules. I had so shunned the "great" outdoors, in fact, that I had never even been stung by a bee until the age of forty-three--and that was in my own house. I just like being inside. I like not getting dressed. I like not putting on makeup. I like not brushing my…well, never mind. Some might call me lazy. I can't be bothered to disagree.

I'd never even realized how strange my love of the great indoors was until one February, when I heard Tim talking to a neighbor in our yard. I poked my head out the door to say hello.
"Doreen! It's nice to see you!" she exclaimed, as if I were a burn victim, finally emerging from the hyperbaric chamber. Tim, of course, couldn't resist singing out, "Guess it's six more weeks of winter!"
I had even gravitated away from patient care to doing insurance reviews so I could stay home all day, in my nightgown, with a cat on my lap. For years, Tim used to come home and exclaim in amazement, "Don't tell me you haven't gotten dressed all day!" But I was proud of my record: 118 hours without leaving the house. Once I perfected the art of not even leaving the bed in the morning, it took Tim a while to get used to this new development. But I figured he'd come around. How could he not be impressed? I found out just how one day when, seeing me sitting up against the headboard, typing away on my laptop, cell phone standing by with papers strewn about, he exclaimed, "Look at you!" At first I didn't quite get his meaning, and asked with considerable pride, "Yep. Who else doesn't have to get out of bed to work besides whores?"

"Even whores have to leave their beds to get johns," he said with disdain.

In fact, however, I always managed to get out--technically speaking--at least once a day: In the neighborhood, I'm known as "the Mafioso" because I'll venture outside to pick up the mail or the paper in a bathrobe, like Vinny the Chin, who roamed Greenwich Village in his pajamas so if the Feds ever got anything on him, he could plead insanity. I tried pleading insanity when I first told my girlfriends about the bus. Although they agreed with the diagnosis, it didn't seem to make them any more forgiving.

I also tried to convince myself that on a bus, I could do what I really loved (stay at home in my pajamas), while doing what I thought I should love (travel). How in the world could I ever have thought this was a bad idea? I even came to view it as a promotion of sorts: from Long Island Princess to Queen of the Long Narrow Aisle.

Tim, on the other hand, never had any reservations about the bus thing from the moment he stopped at the local newsstand and happened upon Bus Conversions magazine. He had found his people and his cause.

Ever since he started his private practice nearly fifteen years before, Tim would come home from work at seven or eight in the evening, then make an hour or more of patient calls he hadn't been able to get to during the day. While he often counseled people to take better care of themselves, it was not something that he himself seemed able to do with any ease, largely because he was working himself to death taking care of them. He also tried to be as available to his patients as possible and if someone asked him to take a very difficult case, he always said yes, just because he believed he could help. His practice was killing him.

As I railed against the bus thing, I accused Tim of wanting to do it just so he could escape psychiatry. If he really needed out, I was all for it, but why should I have to give up my life (which I was perfectly content with) for a year? While he assured me this wasn't the case, that the bus thing was something he truly wanted to do, I maintained my skepticism, although the most he would admit to was hoping the bus year would help him "mellow out." Eager to change the subject, he proceeded to ask how I myself might like to be different by the end of the year. I cocked my head and batted my eyes, relishing this rarest of moments when my darling husband was the one to walk into a trap.

"Why?" I asked with all the sweetness I could muster. "Do you think there's something I need to change?" Tim must have seen his bus dream flash before his eyes.

"N-no," he stammered. "I-I just thought maybe you'd like to…you know…well…" His eyes seemed to roll back into his brain, desperately searching its contents for a way out of this one. Finally, he sighed.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Reading Group Guide

1. What would you do if you could take a year off? How do you think it might change you? Is there a life lesson you’d like to learn? Is it hard to incorporate lessons learned while traveling or on vacation into your daily life? What could you do to improve that disconnect?

2. would it be to spend 24/7 with your significant other for a year? Would a life on the road appeal to one of you more than the other? Why?

3. Doreen said she would “never, ever, EVER live on a bus.” She said the same thing about going to a nudist RV park. Are there things you thought you’d never do in your life, but ending up doing, anyway? How did they work out? Are there things you’re certain you’ll never do now? Why?

4. Are there any “things” you feel you couldn't live without? Why? Did Doreen’s changing relationship with material possessions make you feel any differently about your own?

5. Discuss how Tim’s experiences growing up may have contributed to his “working himself to death” and thus became the catalyst for the whole “bus thing.”

6. Doreen says she and Tim are “polar opposites.” How does that affect their relationship for better or worse? What do you think each sees in the other?

7. How did Doreen and Tim change during their trip and how did you see that change progress throughout the journey? Do you feel their relationship changed as well? What do you envision their future life will be like and how is that different than if they’d never done the bus thing?

8. Who do you think is the most inspirational person Doreen and Tim met or learned about on their trip? Did he or she make you think about doing something differently in your own life?

9. Did the book make you want to visit any particular place in it? Why?

10. The bus seemed to have a “will of its own.” How did Doreen and Tim’s relationship with it change during their year-long adventure? What was the significance for each of them of the challenges it presented along the way?

11. Did your perception of psychiatrists change through reading this book? How did this memoir about married psychiatrists differ in its portrayal of the profession from that of pop culture movies and TV shows?

12. Why do you think Doreen included her martini recipes in the book? What did the recipes represent for her? What self-soothing traditions have you experienced in your own life?

13. Doreen writes of their dog, “Miles was all about simple pleasures: It was enough in life to have a bowl of food and a small, quiet place to himself, surrounded by people who loved him. Why ask for anything more?” And, that he could “teach me a lot.” What have you learned or what do you think you could learn from your pets?

14. The bus thing seems to have given the lives of all the travelers more balance. How do you think their future plans reflect this? Are you happy with the balance in your life and if not, what could you do differently?

15. Doreen “self-coronates” on their return. Do you think she deserved the promotion from Princess to Queen? What experiences during their year especially contributed to her elevated royal status? What obstacles have you overcome that you are most proud of?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    remembering Queen for a day!

    I was totally absorbed in reading this book. My dream has always been to rent a RV and see as much of the united states as possible. One of my favorite movies is Lucy and Desni Arnez "the long long trailor", and Queenie did remind me of Lucy on numerious occasions. I found the humor in this book to be on an even keel with myself, so I could relate, and laughed a lot. I have tried the receipe's at the beginning of each chapter and now I have my favorite!! The lesson learned is what I really understood and accepted the most.. I would recommend this book to all of my friends, and I did send it in the mail to a friend in another state. She read it in two days!!! and is now sending to yet another friend, in another state!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2008

    Queen of the Road

    This lovely little tale had everything I was looking for: adventure, true love, quirky relatives, and animal sidekicks. Though Doreen Orion tells her story with a tongue-in-cheek attitude (each chapter begins with a martini recipe), she can't help but admit that it was a life changing experience. Like all good travel adventure stories she discovers that the most meaningful experiences aren't the ones you plan. By the end I felt as if I had been along for the ride myself, in addition to having made new friends in Doreen, Tim, Shula, Miles and Morty. Pick up this book if you are ready for an unexpected adventure with some real heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    Fun For All Readers

    Queen of the Road details author Doreen Orion's year-long cross country bus trip with her husband and a large assortment of animals and shoes. While Orion claims to be a spoiled princess, her humor has an endearing self-effacing tone which belies her claims of sloth and superficiality. We go along with her as she not only travels through this diverse nation, but develops a deeper appreciation for her partner's way of thinking (and cooking and cleaning and hiking) as well. Readers will enjoy the quirky characters Doreen and Tim meet along the way, and there are some great laugh out loud moments (you'll love her husband's ring tone nickname for her.) By the end of the book you'll have genuine affection for not only the author, but also for her dear patient and highly-skilled-in-many-ways husband and their furry menagerie. Highly recommended reading to anyone who wants a fun book at the beach or on vacation, anyone who enjoys travel books, or anyone who enjoys reading about relationships and personal growth. This witfest would also make a great gift for just about anyone who enjoys reading for pleasure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Mostly interesting...

    Two trained psychologists take a year off to travel the USA in a truly decked-out bus. The fact that they were psychologists interests me as well as the idea of traveling around the USA. The huge bus part, not so much. But that's what got me started... Orion's sense of humor is the reason I was able to finish the book. She is fun and I think she's someone I would enjoy knowing on a personal level. However, there were a number of times I felt frustrated by the lack of depth. For example, does she really have an anxiety issue or was she just being sarcastic in terms of not wanting to take this year-long bus trip? I love to travel but have serious anxiety issues, especially on road trips. I thought: "Ah, someone else who has road trip issues, maybe I'll get some better ideas with how to deal with it," but that was not the case. Her comments were all too often simplistic and glossed over. Give me depth! (Did she take anti-anxiety meds while on the road? She didn't do any of the driving after all. Yes, she did have her cocktail hour at the end of the day, but that doesn't get you through the day. Did she go curl-up in bed and pull the covers over her head during the bad weather moments??? Since she brings the topic up so often, I believe she is being genuine but I know that staring out the passenger window isn't enough to handle anxiety.) Some of the encounters that Orion and her husband experienced also made me want to know more. Seriously, they were in a restaurant that was held up! How frightening. But, no real depth. Maybe the whole point of the memoir was to poke fun an herself and her husband (and what a good sport he must be!) but I read memoirs because I love learning about other people's real-life experiences and taking away any personal tidbits for myself. Making personal connections is one of the main reasons many people choose memoirs... Although I mostly enjoyed the book, I wish I would have checked it out of the library instead of buying it. Maybe to have the depth, Orion would have needed to cut back on how much she covered. I don't know. (I read this book right after finishing Cheryl Strayed's Wild...now there's a memoir!!!)

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    Disapointed

    I chose this book for our bookclub, based on the subject matter and the good online reviews. I found it to be rather boring and difficult to get through. Some in the club liked it, but not enthusiastically.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2009

    Fun read

    I read this on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed it and immediately recommended it to everyone around me. Her writing is engaging, honest and just all around fun.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    Rollicking Good Memoir!

    Subtitled: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband and a Bus with a Will of It's Own. Okay, how could you not want to pick up this new title from Broadway Books ??? The cover and subtitle grabbed me, but I was captivated in the first 10 pages of this travel memoir from Doreen Orion. Both Orion and her husband Tim Justice are practicing psychiatrists. Tim is still seeing patients in an office setting while Doreen consults from home for insurance companies etc. Tim is a busy guy, always with a project on the go. He enjoys the outdoors as well. On the other hand, Doreen is more than happy to stay in her pajamas, work from home, watch television and never leave the house. Her record is 118 hours in without stepping a foot outside. Two seemingly polar opposites. Without quite knowing how it happened, Doreen agrees to Tim's dream - to travel across America in a bus for a year. That's right - a bus. But what a bus it is! (Take note that their bus ends up being the September centerfold for Bus Conversions magazine.) Orion is an extremely funny woman. I was laughing out loud right from the beginning and wondered if she could keep it up throughout the book.....she did. After an initial 3 week test run, they set out. Not everything goes quite to plan - the bus has some issues and so does Doreen - she's terrified of the bus. With a fantastic sense of humour, Orion describes the trip, her relationship with Tim, the people they meet and the situations they find themselves in. Just a few weeks into the trip they notice a shift in their outlooks and attitudes. 'Getting to the top of the bell tower reaffirmed for me that Tim and I were making new choices about how to live our lives and whether it was finding time for that climb or putting our careers on hold, we were doing things differently that we had in the past, giving us hope that the lessons learned on the road about what was truly valuable might just stick'. And this is really the essence of the book. How do you want to live your life and what is really important? As we follow Tim and Doreen's travels, you start to look at your own life and wonder what you could do a little bit differently. It's also a love story. They are together 24/7 for a year. Although they already have a good marriage, they rediscover each other on the road. Fascinating as well is the ongoing travelogue. The places they visit are detailed, and an appendix gives web addresses for many of the places. I love a good travel memoir and this was one of the best I've read. This would be a great selection for a book club. There is a thoughtful list of discussion questions to get you started at the end. ( Oh - and a cocktail recipe at the beginning of every chapter!) As well, Orion will attend your book group - either in person or by speakerphone. The idea of a boat trip was bandied about at the end of the book. Sounds like a great idea Doreen and Tim - can't wait to hear what adventure you embark on next! You can always follow along at Doreen's blog.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2008

    Chick lit for chicks with brains

    I loved this book, particularly the recipes! The writer manages to capture your attention quickly and keeps it from start to finish. This is one of the few books I have not been able to plow through in one sitting because it is so well-written and funny. A must read for a beach trip, long weekend, or anytime you want to relax with a nice cocktail.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    Fun read!

    Doreen Orion, in her book - Queen of the Road has captured the wild adventure of living on a bus and wrapped it up in page after page of laughs. She uses her flaws and foibles openly to draw in the reader, making it seem as though we are right there with her. Bus Butt and all. As the story unfolds, she shifts from self proclaimed Princess and shoe worshipper to someone who appreciates a night sky and no-TV dinners, reminding us that there is more to life than this crazy game we live in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2008

    A reviewer

    I've never made it beyond the 'Hmm, interesting idea' stage regarding RV travel across the country with my husband. Fortunately for me, now I don't have to. Doreen Orion has lived through the ups and downs for me, and recorded them in all kinds of agonizing and hilarious detail. Queen of the Road is about more than just wacky hijinks: the dogs, the nudists, the cocktail recipes. Reading it is a window onto a marriage -- a very honest and illuminating portrayal of the way a marriage works in extreme circumstances. More than just 'we grew, we changed,' it's a road map to a certain kind of communication, a certain kind of togetherness, that was very interesting to witness. Chatty, honest, anecdotal, and real, this book asks nothing of you but your time, and in return delivers a read that feels like a funny friend with all the time in the world to share her exploits with you over martinis. Not your traditional travelogue, but something more accessible and less pretentious than the usual fare.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2008

    A reviewer

    Psychiatrist Doreen Orion and husband Tim (also a psychiatrist) take off on an adventure most of us can only dream of as they travel the country for a year in a luxuriously converted bus. A self-proclaimed 'Princess from the Isle of Long', Orion struggles with the radical change of lifestyle she's committed to out of love for her husband. Despite bus mishaps and an unfortunately timed and ironic phobia of the bus crashing, she manages to keep her sense of humor, her love for her husband and her sanity. As much of a surprise to her as it is to the reader, Ms. Orion comes away with some real insights into who she has been in the world and who she now wants to become. Hilarious anecdotes of the people she meets along the way avoid the overly folksy mannerisms of some 'on the road' memoirs. With her sharp, incisive, and occasionally cynical wit, Orion always gives the reader something to laugh about while clearly enjoying everyone (well mostly everyone) she meets along the way. The changes in her worldview, while not earth shattering, feel genuine and inspiring. A great read for anyone who wants to get out and 'do' something meaningful outside of cultural definitions, and with a lot of laughs along the way. And the cocktail recipes that start each chapter are not only whimsical and fun, but are also cool and delicious!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Adventure at it's best!

    Go on the road with your husband of all things!!Find the new you that you didn't know existed! Doreen is hilarious as she relates the trials of life on a bus and finds her new true love(living in almost constant motion)and finding peace in the freedom of the road.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    Road Trip!

    A bus trip where you live on a converted bus through 47 states? Oh no! I am a hotel gal, a cookie on the pillow gal 'ain't messin' with no tiny mint', a have someone clean up after me gal. So, when I started to read Doreen Orion's Queen of the Road I thought that I would have a laugh at her expense. I indeed did, many times, but then what I discovered shocked me. I started to envy her and Tim's excellent adventures. As well as her Queentastic way of celebrating near death experiences with creatively concocted martinis. Her telling, in her uniquely humorous way, of her self-diagnosed bus phobia had me nervously watching the road with her. Would they make it across those bridges? Would the turns be too tight? Would they be able to turn the bus back if need be? Was Tim driving too fast?! Tim, slow down!! Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Tim kept driving while Doreen kept us informed of what they saw, who they met, and how she came to terms with the year she could have never imagined. If you love the idea of the open road and wonder what it would be like to live in a converted bus 'with pets no less', then this is the book for you. If you are like me and start feeling faint at the idea of no hotel service, then this is also the book for you. You'll laugh, you'll gasp, you'll be thankful Doreen was riding shotgun and survived her bus phobia to tell us all about it.

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    Posted April 13, 2009

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