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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 Paperback – June 3, 2008

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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 + 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, updated ed.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767928539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767928533
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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

About 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.

More About the Author

Growing up in Great Neck, NY (as my husband says, a "princess from the Island of Long"), I loved to write and could always be counted on to take creative license where none was called for. (To whit, the Ode to Geometry I foisted on my eighth grade math teacher.) It just never occurred to me to try to make a living at it. So, what was a Jewish only child to do? Why, go to medical school, of course.

I didn't write for years (thus sparing my medical school classmates and instructors Ode to Diseases of the Bowel). After graduation from George Washington University Medical School in D.C., I moved with my then husband to Tucson, AZ. (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 chose to get his Ph.D., not for one moment thinking he'd pick a city with no Nordstrom.) We divorced soon after and I vowed not to marry again for a long, long while.

A year later, Tim (a fellow psychiatric resident), tricked me into going on a date. We've been together ever since, progressing through the all important M's -- Monogamy, Moving in, Mortgage and Matrimony. And now, unfortunately, Motor home. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

We moved to Boulder, CO in 1993 and several years later, my first book, I Know You Really Love Me, on stalking, was published. It won the Colorado Author's League Top Hand Award for Nonfiction and became a bestseller on Amazon. I made numerous appearances in the media as a psychiatric expert including Larry King Live, 48 Hours, Good Morning America, The Discovery Channel, People Magazine, The New York Times, NPR and many others. I also traveled around the country for speaking engagements to forensic and law enforcement groups. Since all this exposure involved beefing up my wardrobe, I was happy to do it. Still, to this day, I count among my greatest accomplishments that our bus was featured as the centerfold of Bus Conversions magazine, thus fulfilling my lifelong ambition of becoming a Miss September. But, I'm getting ahead of myself, again.

My literary agent suggested I write a screenplay based on I Know You Really Love Me and I found that I immensely liked that form, so much so, I wrote many more and even had a few optioned. I cut down on my practice to write. I was quite content. Tim, still practicing psychiatry 60 hours a week, was not. His solution was to take a midlife career break (who knew my husband was such a trend-setter?) and live in a converted bus for a year, traveling the country.

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

He's obviously the better shrink.

Customer Reviews

I read this book in 5 hours.
Barb H. Chaloupka
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.
Reader Mom
This is a charming, funny book for everyone.
Fiona Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lydia M. Netzer on June 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Reader Mom on June 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patti on June 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Gagliano VINE VOICE on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book hysterical. I love Doreen. This chick can tell a story. I love her attitude, the fact that she makes no apologies for who she is, her wit and her relationship with her husband.

Anyone whose nickname for their husband is "Project Nerd" while wearing her Manolo's and eating bonbons, while sipping a martini has to be a character. I would love her as a friend.

Doreen and Tim's relationship is based on mutual respect for each other and accepting and loving each other for the differences as much as their similarities which as far as I can tell is just their profession (the are both psychiatrists).

Her recount of the bus door flying open while Tim was driving made me laugh out loud.

Each chapter begins with a martini recipe and instructions, such as the:

Love Me Bender
2 parts passion fruit liqueur
2 parts champagne
1 part raspberry liqueur

Rest shaker on hip, gyrate, drink. If you can still recall that the love of your life is making
you live on a bus, repeat.

I love her description of Mardi Gras. She writes: Why would I want to scream and beg funny looking people to throw me some gaudy plastic doodads that wouldn't (Thank God) go with a single outfit I own?

And how she goes on to write how cows become steak, deer becomes venison and pigs turn into pork but chicken, rabbit and turkey stay the same. Funny, never thought about it but now I do.

I love how she also goes to her first open coffin wake and compares the body to waxed fruit. This chick is Fun-knee!!

Honestly, there are too many good things to point out in this book.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Serzane on June 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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