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my review of Rachel Simon’s “Riding The Bus With My Sister”….

Photos of Barbie Angell by Rodney Smith - Tempus Fugit Design © 2013

i started and finished Rachel Simon‘s book, ” Riding The Bus With My Sister“, over the long weekend. the debate on this particular story has been settled, in my opinion….the book surpasses the movie by far.

Andie MacDowell and Rosie O’Donnell both do a magnificent job of portraying the real-life characters of Rachel and her sister Beth. however, the inner monologue which is wonderfully hinted at in the movie is brought to the reader with the full-force of a private conversation.
Ms. Simon does not glamourize her character or justify her faults, she embraces them with a desire to understand why she feels the way she does. the unique imagery brought forth for the reader’s benefit truly caught me off guard. Ms. Simon has an imaginative and colorful way of making her point, and her instinct in that regard never missed it’s mark.
while it is an autobiography, it is also a book of life lessons and a roadmap of possible paths for those unclear of their direction in this world. i am certain that i will read this book again very soon….and very often.
for more information on the book, movie or this talented writer, please visit….

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    1. the movie was quite well done. i had actually seen the movie several times before finding out that it was a book. i suppose the life lessons are going to speak to different people in different ways….or possibly even not speak to them at all. for me, i think it was very much a “right place, right time” book. thanks for commenting. i’m going to be getting her follow up book, “The House On Teacher’s Lane” soon. i’m terribly excited to read another one of Ms. Simon’s stories.

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Barbie Angell

Release Date

March 5, 2024


“Barbie Angell Uncensored” is a dazzling fusion
of poetry, comedy and tragedy

ASHEVILLE NC – Poet, playwright and raconteur Barbie Angell performs “Barbie Angell Uncensored: An Unfiltered, Uninhibited and Unapologetic Event” at 8pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at LaZoom Bar & Gorilla. The 90-minute show is a melange of works spanning Angell’s career, including her poetry, excerpts from her autobiographical play “Death by Sparkle,” pieces from her children’s book “Roasting Questions,” and rarely performed mature works.

A multitalented, multi-hyphenate personality based in Asheville since 1999, the always colorful Angell is recognized around town for her work as a poet, playwright, columnist, emcee, artist and fashion designer. She has been voted “Best of WNC” poet by Mountain XPress readers for 10 consecutive years, and her skills as an emcee have made her a sought-after host for local festivals and large events such as Planned Parenthood’s Condom Couture and the Reproductive Rights Rally. 

Angell has written sketch comedy, co-authored “The Kids Show: Definitely Not for Kids,” and penned one act of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” for Montford Park Player. She is currently creating and selling upcycled clothing in her own fun and funky signature style – some of which will be available for sale at the event, along with original artwork and prints.

Equal parts stand-up comedy, poetry slam and public confession booth, “Barbie Angell Uncensored” promises to be emotional, unsettling, hilarious, and as unique as Barbie Angell herself!

Tickets are available at for a suggested donation of $20.