What started in 1982 with a group of friends who donned tiaras and threw tubers from a truck in a St. Patrick's Day parade is now the sisterhood of Sweet Potato Queens, with more than 5,000 chapters. The Queen Mother herself, outlandish humorist Jill Conner Browne, will tout her newest book, American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets, on Jan. 18 at Sarasota News & Books.
What is on your nightstand?
I'm on book tour now, and when I'm traveling is when I get to read the most. Last tour, I read all of Michael Crichton's books. The way he researched got me going. This time around, I've read Bobby Cole's The Dummy Line, a thriller that grips you from about Page 6. I also have Jen Lancaster — Bitter Is the New Black. I'm a shallow reader. I read to be entertained.
Do you have an all-time favorite humor writer?
My all-time favorite is Dan Jenkins' Baja Oklahoma. Humor to me is a spiritual mission.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer