Barbara Brabec's Book Club Chat and Book Readings

An entertaining book club chat and selected readings from Barbara's autobiographic narrative and biography, THE DRUMMER DRIVES! EVERYBODY ELSE RIDES—available as MP3 downloads for your enjoyment.

IF YOU APPRECIATE original humor and have an interest in music, life, love, marital relationships, and the "human condition," you'll find plenty of things to laugh about and much to ponder in the MP3 Book Readings Barbara is now offering free of charge for your enjoyment. The audio file of her first Drummer Drives book club presentation offers additional humor, insight into the writing of this memoir, and why everyone should give thought to writing about their own lives.

"The Drummer Drives . . . reveals
Barbara Brabec's considerable talent
as a storyteller."
- from a review on Amazon

Barbara's Book Club Presentation
at First Presbyterian Church,
San Leandro, California

Barbara Brabec speaking to members of
the First Presbyterian Church of Leandro, CA

'"I believe we all have a story inside us just begging to get out," says Barbara. "If you've ever thought about writing the story of your life, or a little memoir about a particular time, place, or person in your life, I can help you realize your dream of becoming a published writer."

BARBARA READS selections from her memoir ...

(This MP3 file is 42 min. long—12 MG)

Barbara Brabec speaks to Book Club members
of First Presbyterian Church in San Leandro, CA

ABOVE: Barbara's audience hangs on her every word as she speaks passionately about the writing of her memoir and encourages them to write their own life stories as a legacy for family members and friends.

"I would highly commend her to you, both as author of a very moving memoir, and as a dynamic speaker and leader of discussion. She has a deep sense of her faith that is communicated both in her writing and in her speaking."

—Anne A. Swanson, Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, San Leandro, CA
(Read her full remarks here.)

Bring Barbara to
your Church's Book Club.

Barbara is available to lead book club discussions of her memoir at no charge for book clubs in her area of Naperville/Aurora, Illinois.

Because she shares her faith in this book and makes a strong statement for the institution of marriage, The Drummer Drives! is particularly suitable for discussion in church book clubs.

If you belong to a book club in Barbara's area and would like to consider her memoir for discussion in your club, she will lead the discussion without charge if at least ten copies of the book have been purchased by the group and transportation to the event is provided.

In Naperville, this book is available from Anderson's Book Store. Book clubs in other areas may special-order the book in quantity through any book store.

Visit the book's page on Amazon to read the many glowing 5-star reviews for The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides. Here are just a few of the review headlines:

"One of the most inspiring books I've ever read. It grabbed my heart!"

"No ordinary Joe; No ordinary Memoir"

"A time capsule glimpse of a pivotal period in American music"

"A Wonderful and emotional ride"

"It took me away!"

The book's seventeen chapters cover such a broad range of topics that no single chapter would be indicative of the book's overall content. See the Table of Contents and preview the first couple of chapters on Amazon's "Look Inside the Book" feature.


RELATED ARTICLE: Knowing Someone Like a Book—An exercise for couples who think they know their spouse "like a book."


Copyright © 2010 by Barbara Brabec

Barbara Brabec, author and speaker,
now offers MP3 readings from her memoir,
The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides.

Clicking on an MP3 link will open the file in whatever media player you've instructed your browser to use. You can then save the file to your computer and listen to it there or transfer the file to your favorite portable listening device.

CHAPTER 1 Excerpt: Beginning Again (9.5 min. 2.8 MB). How Barb and Harry met on a blind date and married 18 days later. "How will I know you?" Barbara asked. "Just look for a guy with a rose in his teeth wearing baggy pants and looking like one of the last Mohicans," Harry said.

CHAPTER 4 Excerpts: On Being Czech (8.5 min. 2.5 MB). A little about Harry's Czech background and a sampling of his Czech- and food-related humor. "Do you come from a Czech home?" one Bohemian asks another. "No, it was white with blue shutters." - an original Harry joke

CHAPTER 5 Excerpts: The Shubert Theatre (17 min. 5 M). "The memories of the Shubert gang will stick to me like a Bohemian love for mushrooms." - Harry

This reading includes some history about the Chicago Shubert Theatre and a discussion of the show, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which opened in November, 1963. It features a humorous story about how several front-row seats had to be removed to make room for all the percussion instruments needed for this show, and how this brought out Harry's impish nature as he interacted before the show with the first-row patrons—who were within arm's reach and hearing of the show's loud opening cymbal crash.

The reading closes with a very personal story that illustrates God at work in the author's life on the day she and her sisters buried their mother, and how the Shubert played a key role in that day's remarkable events. 

CHAPTER 11 Excerpts: A Man of Many Interests and Talents (18.5 min. 5.4 MB). "There are still a lot of books to read and a lot of fish to catch." - Harry

This reading features more of the original "Harry humor" that is found throughout the book, with the focus here being on amusing Harry-and-Barbara exchanges that illustrate the important role humor played in their  marriage. Other excerpts from this chapter talk about TV shows and characters that will spark nostalgic remembrances of actors and entertainers who are no longer with us.

This reading also includes thoughts on all the "stuff" people leave behind when they die, and how Barbara dealt with the disposition of some of Harry's possessions. A few closing words about the difference between practical and sentimental savers will strike a chord with anyone who is (or happens to love) a pack rat.

CHAPTER 17: A Widow's Ponderings and Regrets (12 min. 3.6 MB). "He was always difficult, but he never was a bore." (Harry's suggestion for an embroidered pillow.)

This chapter of the book will be of interest and emotional help to every widow, but the content chosen for this particular reading features a special message for long-married couples and also those who are living together without benefit of marriage. Barbara's thoughts on this topic make a powerful statement for the institution of marriage and the importance of being a witness to someone's life. In fact, her remarks could well change the way you now look at and respond to that most important person in your life.

There is much to enjoy in Barbara's informative and humor-laden memoir, but you may also find yourself tearing up at times as you read this intensely personal and honestly told story of the author's unusual life journey with a man who was "no ordinary Joe," an individual so complex that she was still trying to figure him out after nearly 44 years of marriage and five years as his widow.

"Harry remains the most complex, frustrating, interesting and amusing person I've ever known," says Barbara, "and the excitement, color, and drama he brought to my life cannot be conveyed in mere words."

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