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May 7, 2015

The Rambunctious Readers Meet Deeanne Gist: Barbara Leach on Dinner with the Author of TIFFANY GIRL

Posted by emily

In February, ran a special contest in honor of the publication of Deeanne Gist’s TIFFANY GIRL --- where the plot is centered on the construction of Louis Tiffany’s famed Tiffany Chapel. We gave one group the chance to win dinner and a discussion with the bestselling author. The winners were the newly named “Rambunctious Readers,” a small group in Orlando, FL, who seem to live up to their lively name! Book group leader Barbara Leach was kind enough to share some of the highlights of Deeanne’s visit, including an enlightening dinner and a trip to the Tiffany Chapel itself! Barbara also shared lots of wonderful pictures with us, which you can see in the gallery below. Can you tell us a little bit about your book group?

Barbara Leach: We have recently come up with a name for our book club, the "Rambunctious Readers" --- I think that pretty well describes us. We read all kinds of books. Anything from biographies to historical fiction or nonfiction to bestsellers, and even some classics. The book club started in January 2001 with five members. Two of us are still in the club, myself and Sharon Smyth. Unfortunately, Sharon was unable to attend on Thursday night. We now have six members and like to keep the number low. We meet once a month and rotate homes. Like many book clubs, we start out with wine and appetizers, discuss the book and then have coffee and dessert. If a member has travelled, she brings back bookmarks for everyone. We also like to go to movies together (especially if we have read the book) and celebrate birthdays with lunch or dinner. We are a pretty close group.

RGG: Your group had dinner with Deeanne! Can you share with us some of the highlights of the evening?

BL: Our dinner with Deeanne was most delightful. It was so interesting to find out about writing and publishing. She is so full of information. Since we have the Morse Museum in our backyard, we are familiar with Tiffany and his works, but we did learn a lot more from reading TIFFANY GIRL and from Deeanne. The next time we go to the museum, I am sure we will be more appreciative of the works on display.

RGG: We hear you took Deeanne to visit the Tiffany Chapel itself, on display at the Morse Museum! How did that go?  

BL: When I took Deeanne to the museum we started out by watching the video. Then we walked to the Tiffany Chapel. That was the highlight for me. I could not wait to see Deeanne's expression when we entered. I think she was speechless. I still get goosebumps thinking about being there with her. Next, Donna Climenhage, the curator, took us on a tour. It was very interesting seeing how Donna and Deeanne exchanged all of their knowledge. Deeanne was able to share a lot of information with Donna that I am sure she will be able to use on her tours!

RGG: Do you think the book works well for book groups? If so, why?

BL: We would highly recommend this book for any book group. It is so full of information and historical facts that most people are not aware of and would find very interesting. It would be an easy book to discuss with your group.

RGG: I believe this is the first time that your group has met with an author as part of your discussion. What suggestions do you have for book groups who have an author join them at their meeting?

BL: We have heard other authors discuss their books, but it was in a very large and impersonal setting. This was the first time we have ever met with an author under this wonderful situation. I know that we will be talking about that evening for a very long time. 

RGG: Feel free to share any other thoughts or highlights!

BL: We want to thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity that was afforded to us. That was a day I will never forget.

(The "Rambunctious Readers" out to dinner with bestselling author Deeanne Gist.)