Friday, March 6, 2009

The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life

I've never met Kathy L. Patrick, also known as "Queen Kathy". But I feel like I know her after reading her fabulous memoir, a bibliomaniac's dream: The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life. Ms. Patrick originally hails from Kansas, but has become a well known Texan due not only to her beauty-salon-cum-bookstore in historic Jefferson, Texas called Beauty and the Book, but also because of her popular book clubs. Let's see if I can get them all listed correctly. Biggest bunch: hundreds of chapters of the Pulpwood Queens all over the country (tiara mandatory). Also for the younger generations: the Splinters. And for men: the Timber Guys. (For any non-Texans reading, Jefferson is in east Texas, near the pulpwood industry; pulp gets turned into paper and then into books.)

Queen Kathy must have a secret twin, for she seems to be everywhere at once, now as author, and also as a speaker at countless book and literacy functions. What an extrovert! I wonder how she finds time to read, as well as raise a family. She also blogs a lot and organizes massive annual Girlfriends' Weekends in Jefferson where book club members get to meet and greet their favorite authors, whip up fantastic hairdos and dress outrageously with lots of bling and color. Formerly a book publisher's rep, Queen Kathy got to know many authors and independent bookstore owners. Also possessing a background in hair styling, it was a major epiphany when in 2000, she decided to integrate beauty and books into her own small business.

With the publication of this guide, Kathy Patrick makes her life an open book. She tells her story of how books saved her and why she is on a mission to get the world reading. Every chapter in her life is sprinkled with quotations and appended with annotated (the mark of a real bookwoman or librarian) reading lists. Among her favorite authors are Patrick Conroy, Harper Lee, Willie Morris, Rebecca Wells, Rick Bragg and Kaye Gibbons. Yes, she's very into southern authors. Bonus content: the Pulpwood Queens ' Favorite recipes. Her down home style and bubbling-over love of books is infectious. Try it. Y'all will like it!

The Tenth Annual Girlfriend's Weekend is planned for January 11 - 17, 2010 (expanded to a week's length). The theme is "Over the Rainbow", and already Queen Kathy has announced that author Elizabeth Berg will grace the gathering with her presence. One of the seniors in the library's book discussion group is seriously considering going and has begun shopping for her tiara. Who knows, we may have a new chapter of the Pulpwood Queens coming to our neighborhood. How about the rest of y'all?

1 comment:

The Pulpwood Queen said...

Wow, oh, wow, what a great review! Thank you so much as finally somebody truly gets me. Yes, I am on a mission to promote literacy and I can tell you, I will love you forever for helping me on that mission!
I am currently working on my next book, fast and furious, called "The Pulpwood Queens' Guide to Reading for a Higher Purpose" and have I got some amazing stories to tell! The Pulpwood Queens and I have been so inspired by the books we read that this has led to some incredible good works of which I want to share with the world. Hint, hint, read "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore and you too will understand how books can change lives!
Posting your blog on my website today if that is okay at as I want to share this review with the Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guy world!
God Bless You for understanding and now onward book soldiers!
Tiara wearing and Book sharing,
Kathy L. Patrick
Founder of the Pulpwood Queens, Timber Guys, Splinters, Pinecones and soon our KING OF KINGS Book Club, (Christian and Inspirational)
Beauty and the Book
608 North Polk Street
Jefferson, Texas 75657