By February 3, 2011 8 Comments Read More →

Beauty and the Book

Last month, Random House launched an online book club show titled Beauty and the Book.

Hosted by Kathy Patrick, owner/founder of Beauty and The Book, a hair salon/bookstore, the show not only features author chats, but “entertaining tips and makeovers”.

I’m not entirely sure what I think of it yet, because I don’t quite know how I feel about online book groups in general.  After all, isn’t the point of being in a book club the face-to-face real time interaction with other readers?  Or am I wrong – maybe that isn’t what it’s all about.  I’d love to hear what other book club devotees have to say about it.

The other thing that gets me thinking is… really?  “Entertaining tips and makeovers”?  What does that have to do with a book club?  Isn’t that a little…weird? (and hey, I’m a librarian who was previously a makeup artist,  a gal who loves books and makeup equally, so it’s not like I’m being a snob about it… I just don’t get it.)



About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

8 Comments on "Beauty and the Book"

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  1.' Shelley says:

    Well, as a writer, any way your readers get together is good, but in this case, I have to agree with you: face-to-face is better, and “beauty tips” seems to somehow…trivialize the whole experience?

  2. Okay, girls, first let me explain, I own and operate the ONLY Hair Salon/Book Store in the country as those are my two passions, creating beauty and reading books, thus, Beauty and the Book! I started this new business back in 2000 when I lost my job as a book publisher’s rep due to the fact, all my bookstores I called on started closing when the big box chains started moving in. I put myself through college doing hair so it just made since to combine the two talents that I possess and the two passions.
    Shortly, after I started Beauty and the Book, I started a book club as the local book club invited me to join theirs as a GUEST ONLY! I thought if I was ever going to be in a book club, then I was going to have to run it the way I thought it should be run.
    What began with six complete strangers has now grown to be the largest “meeting and discussing” book club in the world! I now have 405 chapters throughout the United States and in ten foreign countries as we all meet in person, to read the book that I select. See website,
    Since we started we were invited to kick off Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gipson’s READ THIS Book Club on Good Morning America, have appeared on Oprah’s OXYGEN NETWORK and The Oprah Winfrey Show and been featured in many magazines including, Newsweek, Time, and newswpapers, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.
    Random House Publishing called me as they have been watching my book club grow and we partnered to create this show which showcases my authors and their books in a way that I believe shows a bit of what I do to make reading BIG TIME FUN!
    We did 12 pilots and now we are hoping a network will pick up the show as we are on a mission to get everybody on the same page that reading is the highest entertainment!

  3.' Rebecca Vnuk says:

    Hey Kathy –
    Thanks for your response! I hope you didn’t feel I was disparaging your business, that was not my intent. Heck I love beauty and books, too! 🙂

  4. Not at all Rebecca, I happen to believe that reading books and sharing the discussion in person is the best way to go. My intent was to reach readers or those who had not realized that reading is the best entertainment in the whole wide world. And I can assure you, beauty and the books are a great mix, authors LOVE the makeovers, men and women, as to me it’s service above self, my Rotary Club motto. You make people feel good about themselves both inside and OUT, we are a much happier people.
    Also my book, “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life”, Grand Central Publishing has been endorsed by 16 library associations, it’s my love letter to my teachers and librarians who were my mentors as a child.
    I know the vote is still out on the show, but I just showed the one with Fannie Flagg at Books Alive in Panama City, Florida and everybody loved it! May I also invite you to check out the three book festivals and CRUISE with the authors that I have coming up at All ONLINE registration for the next one is up at There is good reason that over half of my members are teachers and librarians, we all love to read and we all love to have fun reading too!
    Thanks for the big share!
    Tiara wearing, Beauty and the Book sharing,
    Kathy L. Patrick
    Host of The Beauty and the Book Show!!!!
    P.S. You all could actually make this show fly, keep on sharing!

  5.' Jenny Brandon says:

    I only discovered Beauty and the Book last week. HOW DELIGHTFUL! If you want to know what’s going on in any town, you need to speak with the intelligentsia. Where are they? The beauty parlor. Where are they going or where have they been? THE LIBRARY (There is no bookstore in our small town.) When they put coffee and pastry in a bookstore, the talking is hushed. When you put books and readers in a beauty parlor it’s time for SERIOUS BOOK TALK! Loved the interview with Fannie Flagg!

  6.' P.J. Williams says:

    I think you may have the wrong idea about this “online book club show”, Rebecca. The book club is in person…in fact, there are over 400 chapters nationwide (including a few outside the USA). It is the SHOW that is online…and I think it shows great potential for introducing authors to their readers.

    Pulpwood Queens Book Club is the greatest book club venue for getting books AND AUTHORS together with readers. Every year since 2000, the Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend has brought together all the readers Jefferson (TX) can hold with authors like Pat Conroy, Fannie Flagg, Jamie Ford, Jeanette Walls, Sonnie Brewer, and so many more (Susan Vreeland made a brief guest appearance this year!) for a weekend of reading and listening, dancing and conversation, fundraising (for literacy!), and just all-round fun…all while wearing tiaras. This year, we were entertained by singer/songwriter/author Marshall Chapman and I think she had as much fun as we did! And it’s all about the story and about getting readers to realize that book club (and reading) can be rip-roaring FUN!

  7. In person? Personal? You bet! Kathy Patrick is a whirlwind who connects readers with each other through books and authors with their readers—and all done in hilarious fun. Underneath it all is a commitment to reading and literacy. I know. I’m proud to be a Pulpwood Queens Author. The SHOW’s good entertainment that spotlights authors and their books. Maybe it draws in more readers. If so, hurray for Kathy Patrick!

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