Return to Current Guestbook

Name: Adrienne D.
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Date: December 28, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.)  I'm a sophomore at Skyline High School. For our Honors English class, we were assigned to get into groups and choose a book to read taking place before the 1800s. My group of 4 chose your book to read. We are fascinated by the audacity of Joan during her life. Being women ourselves, we found your novel so compelling and inspirational that we would absolutely be honored to talk to you by speakerphone during our class presentation. We are also really interested in the time period, and the book's historical relevance. Our classmates would love to talk to you as well and ask you some questions. Please take our request into consideration.

Name: HaleyRae
Location: White Oak, TX
Date: December 27, 2009

Greetings. It's been two years since I first discovered Pope Joan. I was
watching Primetime television and at hand was a special on Pope Joan. My
mother and I got awfully fascinated and saw you on the screen discussing her
and your book. I JUST HAD TO GET IT! Since then I have read your book a
myriad of times and it never loses its... quintessence, I guess you could
say. I wrote you before, when I was only twelve and I promised you then
that I would achieve further than my sixth-grade limits. I did. I am. I
thank you for inspiration you have given me.

Name: Deanna
Location: Queen Creek, Arizona
Date: December 20, 2008

Thank you for such a wonderful story. I truly loved this book.

Name: Felisa Reynolds
Location: Houston, TX
Groupname: Rice University Young Alumni Book Club
Date: December 16, 2008

I am in another book club and Pope Joan was a selection in that club. I found the
book so interesting that I suggested it for my other book club. Then I went to the Pope Joan website
and discovered the possibility of talking with Donna Cross by speakerphone, and I thought this would be great.

Name: Lois Schaffer
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Groupname: Bird's Nest Literary Club
Date: December 12, 2008

A member of our book group read Pope Joan and loved it. I had read it years ago since I'm from Syracuse and also loved the book. (Also graduated from Penn in '59.) Our book group is very bright and well-read, and we would be thrilled to chat with you by speakerphone.

Name: Barbara
Location: New York, New York
Date: December 10, 2008

Just wanted to thank you for joining our book club by speakerphone and discussing
Pope Joan with us. It was definitely a highlight and a book club meeting we'll
remember for years to come! We look forward to the movie release and to your next book!

Name: Kim
Location: USA
Date: December 04, 2008

Hello! I am wondering if you can tell me if there is a larger font size version of the book - the paperback edition is so small that my mother-in-law is unable to read it. She desperately wants to read this
wonderful book! Any idea where I can get a larger print version for her? Thank you!

Reply from Donna: A new edition of Pope Joan by Three Rivers Press will be released in June with a much larger print size. Your mother-in-law may also be interested in the Pope Joan audiotape currently in production by Recorded Books.

Name: Deborah Jorgensen
Location: Minetrista, MN (suburb of Minneapolis)

Donna spent time discussing Pope Joan with our book club by speakerphone. It was
the best meeting we have ever had since we could actually ask questions of
the author and we loved the book. Discussing the book with the author adds so much to the

 [Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Carol
Location: Glenside, PA
Date:  December 1, 2008

Several years ago my book group chatted with you by speakerphone about Pope Joan. It was a highlight of our group, The Literary Sisters. One member of our group asked you if you were writing another book. You mentioned you were. Is that book going to be published any time soon?

Name: Colleen
Location: Novi Michigan
Date: November 24, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Our Book Club has chosen Pope Joan as our January book. One of our members is visually impaired. We are trying to locate an audio book for him but are not having any luck. Is there one available for this book?

Name: David Lominac
Location: Rochester NY
Date: November 20, 2008

Thanks so much for spending seven years to write Pope Joan. I found the accounts of ninth-century Rome absolutely intriguing.

Given Joan's love of learning, what manuscripts did she read from the Vatican Library? Or was entry forbidden to her prior to her becoming Pope given that she was a foreigner with heretical dispositions? Theoretically there were still copies of Plato's writings there as most of the clerics couldn't read Greek and the destruction of historical documents contrary to the Church's teachings at this time would have been far from complete.

Your evidence for the truth of Joan's reign is solid. The best evidence, besides the trial of Hus, is the fact that Pope John XX changed his title to Pope John XXI. As a scholar in possession of records we no longer have, and looking a bit like a fool and having no personal gain for changing his ordinal ranking, one would think only a love of truth would cause a Pope to do such a thing.

I think you would find interesting support for papal concern for their predecessors in the strange election of Anti-Pope Leo the VIII. You may already know the story. Leo comes in about the time of your postscript as presumably he may have been a young boy at the time of the trial of Formosus--not the kind of thing to make a good impression on a child.

Anyway, Pope Leo VIII was thought by most to be a fraud as prior to his election at the instigation of Otto the Great he held but a lay office. One wonders how Otto even knew of him to make such an insult to the papal bureaucracy. Leo was deposed, reinstated, and dies. So when the next Leo comes around, it's a big deal whether he will call himself VIII or IX. He calls himself IX and starts the rehabiliation of Leo from Antipope to Pope.

The Popes are a strange lot. Sometimes they sometimes remind me of Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings. They seem to have a humility and respect for those who have been the Vicar of Christ, even if, like Joan, they were unmarried and with child during office, or like Leo, were of a dissolute youth and of questionable investature.

Thanks again for the your long labor in making this story once again known.

Name: Christine
Location: New Jersey, USA
Date: November 18, 2008

I like the new cover, however, the overall style of the picture almost looks like Joan is from the Renaissance period, not from the Dark Ages. Why was it changed? By the way, I love the book; I read it in only a
few days! Thank you very much.

Name: Lynne Breyer
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Date: Friday, November 14, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Our book group, Booxx, has been together reading a wide range of books for nearly nine years. We've read some outstanding books and a few stinkers.
We are a diverse group and generally have a range of opinions and views of each book, making for terrific discussion. I don't remember a single time in our years together that every single member liked any book....until now. Often, a book is well liked but we find it fraught with flaws nonetheless. Pope Joan was extremely well researched and did a great job of clearly identifying where events were based on educated speculation. We think that is essential in books on historical subjects. Congrats on a great read and
we all anxiously await the publication of your new book.

Name: Deirdre McGovern
Location: Rockville Centre, NY
Date: November 13, 2008

I truly enjoyed Pope Joan...I had never heard of her before! I am in my early 40's, Irish Catholic and never, never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that there could have been a woman Pope. When I questioned my Aunt Peg, a Maryknoll sister living in Tanzania Africa for over 40 years and who happened to back in the States for a visit, she confirmed that yes indeed, this could be possible. I am the mother of four daughters ages 14, 12, 11 and 8 --I have already told my eldest that she MUST read this book. I am also going to send a copy to Aunt Peg in Tanzania for Christmas since she expressed an interest in hearing more about your book.

Name: JoAnn Ryan
Location: Webster, New York
Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Our reading group learned of Pope Joan because my best friend's book club read the book and had you join them by speakerphone and highly recommended it. My choices for book club are often about women and their struggles, especially in times past.

Name: Michael Hoy
Location: Omaha Nebraska
Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My mom recently spoke to you at a book club. She is in Kelly Micks Book
Club. I am writing a paper on Pope Joan and I was wondering if it would be
okay if I asked some questions about Pope Joan?

Name: Cheryl Camenzuli
Location: Rockville Centre, NY
Date: Thursday, November 06, 2008

I just wanted to thank you for joining our book discussion by speakerphone tonight. It was a
fascinating hour, and we all agreed that it was the most fun that we've had
at one of our meetings! We look forward to both the movie of "Pope Joan"
and your next novel and will continue to spread the word about your book!
Thanks again.

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Ellie Oppenheim
Location: Melville, NY
Groupname: Greens Bookworms
Date: November 02, 2008

We are a 55+ community with a large book club membership. Usually we have over 25
at a meeting. One member's daughter recommended Pope Joan because her book
club discussed it and had the author join in by speaker phone. We meet the last
Thurs. of the month at 1:00 PM.

Name: Carol Peters
Location: Mendham NJ
Groupname: Literary Goddesses of Mendham
Date: November 01, 2008

Our Book Club enjoys historical novels with a focus on strong women. Pope Joan has captured our interest and as a member of Book Browse I was thrilled to see an author chat available. We are excited to speak with the author concerning this interesting and strong woman at a time when women had basically no role in politics or religion. Our Club also has a strong focus on history. This would be a very interesting and lively discussion.

Name: Jennifer Pepper
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan
Date: November 2, 2008

When I first read this book, I was living in
Exeter, England as an expatriate family. The timing and the setting of my
situation all came together to spur me to immediately dub Pope Joan as my
favorite book. Now back in the US, I've participated in a
local book club. I seem to always compare other good reads to Pope Joan as
a measure of the book's quality and merit. Ironically this book was first
recommended to me by a good friend who had married her local priest some
years prior. Her previous recommendation to me was an unheard of story
called The Horse Whisperer. She promised I would enjoy Pope Joan as much.
Now, having just re-read it for my book club, I love it even

Is the reference to the veiny stinky cheese an historical fact? Was this the
beginning of Roquefort cheese?

Name: Vicki S. Vincent
Location: Rome, GA
Groupname: Darlington School Upper School Faculty Book Club
Date: October 30, 2008

I belonged to a book club in Virginia several years ago and Donna called to
chat with us.
She was wonderful and really made Pope Joan come alive for everyone in the
group. I am currently a member of the Darlington School Upper School
Faculty Book Club and suggested Pope Joan as our book selection. I love
the book and have been recommending to people for years. I think this group
of teachers and administrators would really enjoy hearing Donna's perspective
and I know I would enjoy hearing her again! Look forward to hearing from
you. Thanks - this is such a great service.

Name: Llauren Shachar
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Date: October 29, 2008

One of our book group members recommended Pope Joan. We are a women's book club in Jerusalem, Israel, and we knew this novel was an excellent choice for us. Everyone who has finished it already has loved it! Hope the author can join us by speakerphone on one of our requested dates.

From: Cynthia Jones
Location: Raleigh, NC
Date: October 26, 2008

I personally just finished reading your book. Unbelievable! I
cannot even imagine the research you must have done in order to
create this masterpiece. It is just that! I am a avid historical novel reader and the only other book I read that I can say I enjoyed as much was the Other Boleyn girl. I stand in awe of your talent. Having been raised a Catholic, and having left the Catholic church over 30 years ago, this shed so much information that  I remained totally unaware of. The fact that women were not allowed to be educated in the ninth century left me astounded. We take so much
for granted, don't we?

Name: Pamela Miller
Location: Vernon, BC, Canada
Date: October 25, 2008

I understand that my request to chat with you is short notice and a very unreasonable time for you. Our book group always meets in the evening once a month and I was briefly researching before tonight's meeting when I came across your site and saw your offer to join the conversation by speakerphone. We have
a wide range of books suggested at our meetings and out of our usual selection yours came out on top. Thank you for writing this wonderful book!

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: dror
Location: israel
Date: October 20, 2008

Thank you for this great book!

Name: Paula Warren
Location: Warminster, PA
Groupname: The Happy Bookers
Date: October 14, 2008

Our reading group meets every month and someone had read about Pope Joan and it sounded great. We did Pillars of the Earth and World Without End and totally enjoyed them. Would like to schedule a speakerphone chat with you.

Name: Katie Rodriguez
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Date: October 5, 2008

Thank you so much for joining our bookclub discussion of "Pope Joan". You
were a big hit with all the members - all 11 were there. I have a tendency
to take notes all the time - even at bookclub meetings. This is the very first
time I've been asked to forward my notes to the members!

Best of luck with your travels associated with the movie production. I hope they value the author of this exquisite story! We'll all be looking forward to your next novel!

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Lynne Breyer
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Groupname: Booxx
Date: September 25, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Pope Joan was recommended to me by a client who was in another book group. She raved about it so I immediately read it and recommended to my group.
They have all found it fascinating. We are a group of artists, designers, and museum docents. Hope you can join us on the night we discuss the book.

Name: Justin Jackson
Location: New York, NY
Date: August 27, 2008

You called into our NYC book club yesterday (8/26), and again we are very
appreciative of the time you spent with us. It's a special book, and it
will be so exciting to see it come to the big screen.

In Pope Joan, you touch on a number of historical issues that arose under
the reign of Charlemagne, such as the adoptionism heresy or the precedent
for the trial of a pope. Can you comment on your writing process, by which
you integrated this esoteric and dry background into a quite lively
narrative? Your lightness of touch and forbearance are to be commended.

Name: Maria
Location: USA
Date: August 28, 2008

I love this book! I have read it twice, both in Portuguese and English
version. I would like to leave a note here though. When the author gives
other examples of women who pretended to be men and there's a reference to
Teresinha Gomez, the last name is spelled "Gomes" and that may be why people
can't find information about her. Other than that...god bless this book

Name: Cynthia Jones
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina United States
Groupname: Bedford Book CLub
Date: September 19, 2008

One of our book group members read Pope Joan in another book club. She came to our
meeting and recommended it as a book rich in history, religion, love, and a strong
"WOMAN'S" Book. Many of the women in our group came out of the Catholic
Church and never knew the history of a woman who changed the "Catholic
Bible". We decided as a group it was a MUST READ. We have it scheduled as
our read for January 2009 meeting, and we would love it if you could join our discussion by speakerphone!

Name: Katie Rodriguez
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our book club has been together since Feb of 1995. We love books about strong women and we love discussing religion. Pope Joan is such an extraordinary character. Last month we had "Faith Club" where 3 women discussed the similarities between Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions. I have an uncle who is a Catholic priest, but I was not raised and am not Catholic. This is short notice, but I just discovered that you offer the possibility of chatting with book groups by speakerphone. We'd love to hear from you!

Name: Helen Engel
Location: La Jolla, CA
Date: August 30, 2008

I wanted to personally thank you for the wonderful meeting we shared yesterday at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. It has been an incredible experience to watch your book “come alive” with our Women’s Club and enjoy not only your phone conversation, but finally your live presence. As I said yesterday, “there are very few books that capture my attention” and yours is definitely exquisite. The creation of “Pope Joan”, your research, love of the book, articulation, energy and enthusiasm is unique and special. We are honored to have been in your company and thrilled to be included in your wonderful journey and anticipation of the upcoming film.

Also, remember…movie premiere…champagne…limo….let’s get together…when the time comes!

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Gerry Strey
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Date:  August 28, 2008

I'd never heard of "Pope Joan" until the announcement of the movie, after which I immediately read and enjoyed it. I've been a fan of David Wenham ever since his appearance as Faramir in "Lord of the Rings," and was struck by his resemblance to your physical description of Gerold. Did this similarity have any role in casting him for the role?

Name: Kelly Mick
Location: Omaha, NE
Groupname: 54th Street Book Club
Date: August 28, 2008

One of our members (of 18 years) moved to Kansas City, started a club there, and had you call in to her new book group......awesome fun! So I chose the book for our group. We've had a great deal of conversation (albeit sometimes heated) over other books with religious themes and we LOVE IT!!! We are a very diverse group of women who have been together for over 18 years, meeting the first Thurs. of every month - rare that someone misses. Two of us have actually explored the notion of writing a grant to research our roles as Catholic women in today's society and the role we play in our homes and communities. We thought we'd start with a trip to Rome!!! We'd love to hear from you and have you join us when we discuss Pope Joan.

Name: Maria
Location: USA
Date: August 28, 2008

I love this book! I have read it twice, both in Portuguese and in English. I would like to leave a note here though. When the author gives other examples of women who passed men and there's a reference to Teresinha Gomez, the last name is spelled "Gomes" and that may be why people can't find any information about her. Other than that...god bless this book!

Name: Karie Lawrence
Location: Houston, TX
Groupname: Village Bookers
Date: August 26, 2008

Thank you so much for your reply to my request to join our book club via phone conference. Not only did we have a rich discussion on the book, it was unanimous that Pope Joan was one of the best books we have read in the 5+ years we have been together. I am thrilled to hear there will be a movie and I am sure we will make an event out of going to see it...Pope Joan movie night. I will get with my group to inquire about setting up a phone meeting at our next book club. Again, thank you for replying and offering to speak to us. This correspondence has made the book even more special.

Name: Gerri Mansdorfer
Location: Louisville (Boulder), Colorado
Groupname: Book Club Babes
Date:  August 26, 2008

Pope Joan is one of my favorite books. This is a new book club (4 months old) and I recommended your novel to the group. We all have a Catholic connection....many are former Catholics and some are current. I thought it would provoke some interesting discussions in this group. We range in age from 33 - 85!!!

Name: Lenore Rubin
Location: York, PA
Date: August 24, 2008

I read Pope Joan when I was in Grad School. I loved it then and thought it was such an important book for women to read. I've never re-read a book before and I chose this one to re-read without studying distractions. I wanted to share it with the women in our reading group! We have one other member who is also re-reading this book as well. At this time our can only select one date for a speakerphone chat with you. Hope you can join us!

Name: Benny Kobaivanov
Location: Bet Dagan, Israel
Date: August 24, 2008

Thank you again and again and again.....
Thank you for one of the best book I ever read, I cant wait for your next book.
I finished reading it in two days.

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Janice Levetan
Location: Sandy Spring, Georgia
Date: August 23, 2008

Thanks so much for "visiting" with us last night. You made it a very special
event in our book club's 10 year history. We hope that you will keep us
posted on your next book, and the upcoming movie (we have decided to go as a group to see it).

Name: Luise
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark, Scandinavia
Date:  August 18, 2008

BEST book I've ever read! Thank you for such an interesting combination of
history and fiction. When is book number 2 coming out?  I'm looking forward to the movie!!

Name: Rosemary Kingsley
Location: Kennebunkport, Maine
Date: August 6, 2008

I read Pope Joan when it first came out and LOVED IT I recommended it to all my friends. My previous book group in Mt. Lakes NJ were fortunate enough to speak with Donna by speakerphone and they highly recommended we do so too.

Name: Cindy Schneider
Location: Los Gatos CA
Date: August 17, 2008

Best of luck with the movie. I CAN'T WAIT! Make sure they give that first, intense chapter their all!! When I read it, I could visualize it perfectly. In fact, I remember thinking "if they make a movie out of this book, this scene will be so powerful." Make sure they do it justice!

I keep spreading the word about your magnificent, thought-provoking, can't-put-it-down book!

Name: Diane Giombetti Clue
Location: Framingham, MA
Date:  August 14, 2008

Thank you for writing this wonderful book. Your characters were so vivid and inspiring. Your book is
one of the few that have ever made me cry. I was sobbing at the end. I think
I can speak for all of your fans when I say that I wish Gerold were real. Every woman can use a Gerold in her life!

You've made me a believer in Pope Joan. Back in the '70s when I was about
10, I became the first girl in my Catholic church in Ashland, MA to become
an altar server. I ruffled a lot of feathers for my "subversive" behavior
and actually wrote to then Cardinal Medeiros and then Pope Paul VI asking
why girls couldn't be altar servers like boys could! My pastor was
open-minded and progressive and didn't see what the big deal was. So he let

I had an instant affinity for Joan and would like to think that if I'd lived
in her day, I would've done the same things she did. I loved her courage,
spirit, humanity, and love of learning for learning's sake.

Thank you for touching more people than you know with your wonderful
characters and amazing writing. I can't wait to see the movie.

Name: Karie Lawrence
Location: Houston, TX
Groupname: Village Bookers
Date: August 8, 2008

Sorry for the late notice. I just found the author's "join the conversation" offer while preparing for our book club
meeting. A co-worker recommended the book to us.
I had not previously heard of Pope Joan, but now I recommend the novel to everyone! Although our
group usually has differing likes and dislikes about the books we read, Pope Joan was liked by everyone in the group!

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Denise Laux
Location: Brunswick, Ohio
Date: August 5, 2008

Our book group read your book and really enjoyed it. Pope Joan opened a lively conversation on everything from women's oppression, the way history can be manipulated by people in power, and the influence of the church on history.

However as a group of nurses and those involved in the medical field our question was much more basic. How would a woman be able to hide her menstrual periods, and the disposal of the evidence of a period, since they
did not have disposable products? From our understanding women used rags and washed and reused them. There was not enough cloth available that she could have just thrown them away or burned the rags. In Pope Joan's situation how would she have been able to conceal this? Sorry this is a graphic question
but we were wondering. Thanks.

.......... Reply from Donna:

I've answered your question in depth in our FAQ section, Denise.

Name: Yara
Location: Luanda, Angola
Date: August 3, 2008

I did enjoy so much reading Pope Joan that I really wanted to tell you how important this book is for me. It was a gift given by someone very special to me that's no longer part of my history. However the book brought me
exceptional moments of happiness and courage to embrace life and keep fighting for my dreams.

Name: Barbara Weisfeld
Location: New York, NY
Date: July 30, 2008

Sorry but our book group already picked a date before we were aware of the author's offer
to chat by speakerphone. Our book club has been in existence since 1990! We read Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks earlier this year and, based on that discussion, one of our members recommended Pope Joan. We've heard great things about the book and are looking forward to reading it. We hope Donna can "attend" this one. Thanks!

Name: Cindy Schneider
Location: Los Gatos CA
Date: July 28, 2008

You KNOW you've read a great book when:
1. You keep it in your car so you can read it at red lights.
2. You're sad when you're near the end and, when finished, feel as if you've lost a friend!

This is absolutely the BEST book I have ever read and I AM A READER!!!!  Thank you and I can't wait for the next. Would love to be your PR person!

Name: Janice Levetan
Location: Sandy Springs, GA
Date: July 25 2008

Our book group was looking for a well-researched piece of historical fiction for our
summer choice. We read about Pope Joan in BOOKMARKS magazine. Our book club will be reading its 100th book this year. We really hope the author can join us by speakerphone!

Name: Kailash Sozzani
Location: Tucson, Az. USA
Date: July 25, 2008

I found your book at a used bookstall in Geneva and was taken away with it
immediately. I have read many very good historical novels, but I must say
that this one surpasses them all. I have been talking about the book and
Joan to many others and have passed my copy to a friend.

I look forward to reading more of your works...and am delighted to know that
a movie is being made. Your creativity and attention are certainly very much appreciated.

Name: Joan Sprechman
Location: Miami, FL
Groupname: Overreaders Anonymous
Date: July 25, 2008

Pope Joan was highly recommended by a friend, so when it came to be my turn to choose a book for our reading group, I went with her recommendation.  The book sounds so interesting and most of us love historical fiction.  I'm sorry, but we have only one date we can chat by speakerphone, as that is our scheduled
meeting. Sorry for last minute notice, but if it works for you, great!

Name: Lavonda Robinette
Location: Belleville, Michigan
Date:  July 25, 2008

Hi Donna,
Pope Joan is my favorite book! I have been waiting with baited breath for the next book to be available. How soon may we expect your next novel?

Name: Diane Giombetti Clue
Location: Framingham, MA
Date:  July 25, 2008

Hello Donna! I first read your incredible book seven years ago and just recommended it to a new book club for our first read and discussion. This is by far my favorite book ever - I didn't want it to end, and I'm so excited
to be sharing it with my friends and re-reading it. We'd be honored if you'd join us by speakerphone for our first meeting. We'll keep our fingers crossed and are eagerly looking forward to seeing the film when it's finally done. Thank you for writing such an engrossing, inspiring and amazing story - you've convinced me that Joan was real.

Name: Cindy Hill
Location: Austin, Texas USA
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our book club selects books that invoke excellent discussion. Pope Joan has
the appeal of an empowered woman, the drama of an historical novel, and the
intrigue that makes this a page-turner. I hope the author can join our discussion by speakerphone.

Name: elaine biancaniello
Location: west grove, pa. 19390
Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I started to read Pope Joan in the morning and couldn't put it down... I finished the book by the end of the day. It was an amazing piece of literature. I felt such raw emotion about how women were treated ...
I loved when she debated with someone the combination of her knowledge but
also her reasoning ability on any subject. She was a female King Solomon. It would be wonderful to have a leader who combines the intelligence with the reasoning power and a soft heart like Pope Joan. (it would be nice just to have a leader with intelligence).

Name: Brenda Marcisz
Location: The Woodlands TX
Groupname: Women of The Woodlands Book Club
Date: July 11, 2008

I picked up Pope Joan at a bookstore and found it fascinating. So I recommended
the novel for our "Women of the Woodlands" book group. I just found your website and do hope you can talk with us by speakerphone.

Name: Janet Langhorst
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Groupname: Wise Women Book Club
Date: Saturday, July 05, 2008

I am the host for the upcoming meeting of our "Wise Women" book club. My sister-in-law's book club read Pope Joan and she gave me a copy for Christmas. I read it and recommended it to the
club. Our club is made up of members of our church, a multicultural Presbyterian church, and our group is a real mix of ages, races, politics, etc., but we are joined by our love of reading and good discussion. I'm sorry that I only have one date to suggest for a speakerphone chat with you, and that it's such short notice, but I didn't know this was a possibility until very recently. (my sister-in-law did this for her book club and just told
me about it.) If you are unable to join us, I totally understand.

Name: Cecilia Hiort
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dear Ms Cross!
Thank you for this magnificent book!
I read it in Swedish (I didn't think I would understand every detail in
English). However, I am now pretty sure that I will try to read it in
English later.

Are you supervising the making of the movie? If not, I think I will keep my own images
from your wonderful writing instead of watching someone else's.
Thanks again!

Best wishes from Sweden!

Name: Sarina Sivilli
Location: Bay Shore, New York
Date: June 25, 2008

Good day to you, Ms. Cross.
This is the first book that I have read cover to cover- EVER! Wouldn't be
considered a big deal, except for the fact that I will be 40 years old this year!!
Never heard about a female pope until an instructor mentioned Joan
(off-the-record, of course) during Old Testament studies. The class went
off in a tangent about women in the Church.
I recently watched "Pope Joan" from 1972 with Liv Ullman. Your novel was much more inspiring to me.
Looking forward to the movie based on your novel!
Thank you for all of the hard work that you have put into sharing this story.

From: Susie Bauchman
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Date: June 21, 2008

Thank you for responding to my request for a speakerphone chat on the book group chat page. What a great treat it would have been to have you join our conversation! Unfortunately, we cannot change the date of the meeting, so we will miss the opportunity to talk with you. I think it's wonderful that you take the time to do this.. We all LOVE your book... Have a great trip this July....Susie Bauchman
Name: susan bauchman
Location: idaho falls, Idaho
Date: Monday, June 16, 2008

Once a year each member of our book group picks a book. I had so many friends from all
different parts of the country recommend Pope Joan that I knew it would be
great for our bookclub...Hope you can chat with us by speakerphone!

Name: Udi Gilboa
Location: Reut, Israel
Date: June 14, 2008

I would like to have a friend of mine in France read this book. Do you
know if it was translated to French? I tried to look it up in the Internet
with no success.

Note from Donna:  Yes, there are two French editions: one by Presses de la Cite, and a book club edition by France Loisirs

Name: Mary Lynam
Location: Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Groupname: Eastern Michigan University Wives and Associates Book Group
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of our book group members suggested reading Pope Joan and brought a bookmark advertising
the author's offer to chat by speakerphone to our meeting.

Name: trish
Location: palm coast, fl
Date: Friday, June 06, 2008

I have just started to read Pope Joan, and I am enjoying it very much so far,but
I have a question about a teeny tiny item: the description of the meal that
Gudrun prepares for Aesculapius mentions boiled corn served with beetroot.
Since "corn" was not known in Europe before the discovery of the New World,
this seems to be an anacronysm. I know that corn can also refer to wheat or
oats in the British Isles. To which was the author referring?

Note from Donna:  You'll find a note about the reference to corn in our FAQs.

Name: Abbie Winskowicz
Location: Topsfield, MA
Date: Thursday, June 05, 2008

One year ago I became the hit of my book club by arranging a speakerphone chat with
you and my fellow Persian Pickle Club members. We all agree that "Pope
Joan" is one of our all time favorite books. We most anxiously await your
new book. How is it coming? We hope all is well with you and we thank you
again for a wonderful discussion of a great book!!

Name: Corleen Smith
Location: St Paul MN USA
Groupname: International Institute of MN
Date: Monday, June 02, 2008

We learned about Pope Joan from another book club that one of the members
receives suggestions from. It was selected for discussion because we wanted
to learn about Pope Joan and how she was affected by the injustices of her
time. We have picked many books in the past by male authors who are
writing about female characters. We are eager to read about a strong female
character from a female perspective.

Name: Lisa Vettese
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Groupname: A - Zedde Book Club
Date: Monday, June 02, 2008

This is a very last minute request for a speakerphone chat with the author
as I just came across this website while
researching Pope Joan for our book group discussion on Wednesday evening. We have a very
diverse and amazing group of women who share an overall quest for constant
learning. Our theme this year for our book club was inspirational and happy
books as last year we read a few too many deep/dark novels! Although this
book isn't exactly a 'happy' book in a lighthearted/funny sense, I found it
very inspirational and knew the club would be moved by the story .We also
have two strong Catholics in the group so I look forward to their
discussions and views on the story! I am
very curious, as I know my other members will be, as to what inspired Donna to
write such an intriguing historical novel, the validity of the story, and
what is next! Thanks kindly and I do hope we can make this work!

Name: Jana Eháková
Location: Prague, the Czech Republic
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I would like ask you, if the book was translated to the Czech language? Thank you so much.

Note from Donna: Yes, there is a Czech edition of Pope Joan, published by Aquamarin, and also, in a book club edition, by Kinzi Press.

Name: Cheryl Camenzuli, Ph.D.
Location: Rockville Centre, NY
Groupname: Siena Women's Center Book Club
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.)  I picked up the book at Penn Books in Manhattan and absolutely loved it! I have since shared it with friends and they all love it as well. I am Director of
the Siena Women's Center at Molloy College, and Pope Joan seemed a perfect selection
for the book club, so I scheduled it for the fall. The issues of feminism
and women in the church, etc. are perfect topics of discussion for a Women's
Center book club! We would love to have you participate in our discussion of
your book - either via speakerphone chat or a visit (Molloy is in Rockville
Centre on Long Island). Thank you!

Name: Carol Marlowe
Location: Rahway, NJ
Groupname: Reader's Circle
Date: May 24, 2008

The Rahway Readers, a program of the Rahway Public Library, have been meeting for over 3 years and the members like to read books about and by women. I felt that Pope Joan fit their interests perfectly. Today, when they were given the book, there was very high interest!

Name: Sue
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date:   May 01, 2008

I am a member of a rare book organization. While reviewing books from the 15th century, I came across a book documenting the lives of Saints and Popes. Pope Joan was included, along with exquisite woodcut prints of her with and without a child. I am interested in having Ms. Cross come for a potential program. Please advise and/or send proper contact information.

Name: Linda Hyson
Location: New Jersey
Date: May 22, 2008

One of our book club members had heard so much about Pope Joan. She brought up the
title and we were all over it! So far, more than half way through...we all love it!

Name: Catherine Smith
Location: Manchester,Vermont,USA
Groupname: Women, Wine and Weading
Date: May 20, 2008

Our book group went to a Random House book group event at the local bookstore and this book was recommended. We really liked the look of it ourselves too!

Name: Sofia
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Date: April 12, 2008

I read Pope Joan for an assignment to my Portuguese subject and I must say I
find it amazing! So please keep on writing these kind of novels because this is good way to
learn things in a very entertaining way! Ps: sory for my bad writing at English

Name: Linda Mackin
Location: Plymouth, Minnesota
Date: May 18, 2008

Everyone in our book club are all so excited about this book, and your willingness to join in a possible conversation with our group. We all loved the book and we seemed to all pull different views about it, which in turn made  the topic very interesting. Our book club is excited at the thought of the book going into a movie. "Gerold", by far, was a favorite !!!! The prospect of you willing  to do a phone conversation with us is thrilling!!! (to say the least). I will be in touch, thank you for your email.

Name: Marianne Vacca
Location: Canton, Connecticut
Date: May 13, 2008

Our book club got together recently for a meeting and signed a thank you card for the wonderful chat we had with you. We also had our "resident knitter" make you a little something. I looked at the Pope Joan website, but don't see an address.  Do you have an address where we might send this to you?
Thanks so much.

Name: Lee Bergman
Location: Roseland, NJ
Date: May 12, 2008

Thank you so much for calling us. We enjoyed your phone call very much. You were a delight. All agreed that you are enthusiastic, vibrant & passionate about your book, POPE JOAN. So are we. Our members liked or loved the book. You did indeed take us out of our comfortable 21st Century lives, and introduced us to a fabulous woman who should have been Pope if perhaps she wasn't. We would also like to find a man as almost perfect as Gerold. The Roseland, NJ book club are now fans, and look forward to your next project. I did register on the web site, so I know we will be kept up to date, and follow your career with great interest.

All the best to you with future projects thank you again for your time.

Name: Jim Kelly
Location: Hyannis, MA
Date: May 4, 2008

Hi Donna--We really appreciated the opportunity to chat with you last night about POPE JOAN. We got a lot more insight about the book as well as the details about your research, the travails of getting the movie made, and the "morsels" of information about your new book. It was a great
meeting for us.

And a little more information for you. At the end of our meetings we take a rating poll: how did
the members like the book, rating from 1 to 5. Pope Joan received a perfect 5. So you can see we really liked POPE JOAN.

Best wishes from Hyannis. We will look forward to your next book.

Name: Allan Anter
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Groupname: Seasons Book Club
Date: April 30, 2008

I heard about Pope Joan from Nancy Boytor from ABC (A Book Club) from Detroit, Michigan. Their book club read the book and had a speakerphone chat with the author. The Seasons Book Club is looking forward to possibly doing the same.
Name: Linda R mackin
Location: Plymouth, Minnesota
Date: April 28, 2008

We all been captivated by this book, and we would love to share our views with the author via a speakerphone chat. It would be the highlight of our book club!

Name: Shannon Valentine
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: April 26, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.)
It was my month to pick a book for my book group. I had asked a friend in another book club
for suggestions of books they liked. I had a long list and narrowed it to a few, then researched more about them on-line. We have several Catholics, strong religious believers and non-believers in our group, so I thought it would provide for some lively discussion. I wanted something that was a historical fiction that would be controversial. I found it to be a great read and several members have told me they really are enjoying it, we meet next week. I know it's late notice, but I just found the option of chatting  with the author by speakerphone. If it's too soon please tell me what months might be a possibility in the future.
Thanks!! Very exciting possibility.

Name: Joy Berlin
Location: Aurora, Ohio USA
Groupname: Arrowood of Walden Book Club
Date: April 25, 2008

We heard of this opportunity to chat with the author through another Book Club. We have selected
Pope Joan because we long for the opportunity to ask direct questions of an author. We have read several historical novels and marvel at the amount of research necessary befoe an author can even begin the work of writing! It is our hope that we will be able to fulfill our dream by having a speakerphone chat with Donna.

From: Joan Donatelle
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Date: April 25, 2008

Thank you so much for having a chat with us on Tuesday night. Every one really enjoyed it. We had lot's of conversation afterwards. We look forward to reading your new book!


Joan Donatelle & the Cardinal Creek Book Club
Culinary & Basket Shop Manager

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Anita
Location: st.pete florida
Date: April 22, 2008

my mom told me about this book just got it today can't wait to start reading it!!! will any of the movie be filmed in Fulda???

Name: Barbara Bickford
Location: Fayetteville, NY
Date: April 18, 2008

Donna: We were thrilled to have you come speak at the Tuesday Book Club
recently. You are undoubtedly our favorite guest, and we were honored to
have you join us. I will add my name to the "Update" list on the home page of popejoan.com
to get your news of the movie casting, and anxiously await
news of the forthcoming novel.

Name: Helen Holtzman
Location: Palm Chase, FL
Date: April 15, 2008

Dear Donna, I want to thank you again for the wonderful chat we had today with you. The ladies in the group were overwelmed and will be talking about it for months to come. Good luck with all your endeavors, we will be watching and waiting. Helen H.

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Sofia
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Date: April 12, 2008

I read Pope Joan for an assignment to my Portuguese subject and I must say I
find it amazing! So please keep on writing these kind of novels because this is good way to
learn things in a very entertaining way! Ps: sory for my bad writing at English

Name: Kelly Shuptrine
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Date: April 10, 2008

My bookclub is discussing your book tonight and although I've just
discovered that you often join the conversation by speakerphone (which I think is lovely) I
want you to know that we all have already commented on how much we loved
Pope Joan. Thank you for writing it and not giving up on it. I'm sure it is
due to your resourceful grassroots advertising that caused it to end up on our
list. What a gift to all of us! I look forward to your next novel.

Name: Rachel Galligan
Location: Canton, CT
Date: April 7, 2008

Donna--Thank you so very much for calling in to our book club to chat by speakerphone last Friday. We truly enjoyed our conversation with you. What a wonderful time we all had! We will be talking about this for a long time to come.

Name: Marianne Vacca
Location: Canton, CT
Date: April 7, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Pope Joan was recommended by a sister of one of our book group members. We have a good range of opinions in this group and usually have good discussions
because of this. I know this is short notice, but we would love to have Ms. Cross join us!

Name: Barbara Fenters
Location: Fullerton, CA
Date: April 5, 2008

Our bookclub at Fullerton First Christian Church (we had a phone
conversation with you a couple of years ago) are wondering about the status
of your next book and the Pope Joan movie. The club asks me everytime we
meet if I have heard anything. We are anxiously awaiting!

Name: Chris Thorne
Location: Cedar Hills, UT
Date: April 4, 2008

Donna; our book group wants to thank you for meeting with us by speakerphone in discussing your book. It has us so we only want to read books that we can later discuss with the author!

We look forward to the announcement of the completion of your newest novel.

How does it feel to have groupies?!?!

Name: Ginny Lear
Location: Los Altos, CA
Date: Saturday, Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dear Donna: Thank you for your wonderful talk to the Morning Forum of Los Altos. I have emailed Bob Cassidy our glowing reviews, well earned. I had so many positive comments as people were leaving your talk on Tuesday. I hope we have the opportunity to meet again. Let me know if you are in our area.

Name: Marcia Musgrove
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Date: Friday, March 28, 2008

My sister is a librarian and she suggested Pope Joan. Most of the members of my book club are Catholic and I thought this would promote great discussion. Hope that the author can join our discussion by speakerphone.


Name: Jim Kelly
Location: Hyannis, Masschusetts
Groupname: Hyannis Yacht Club Book Club
Date: Saturday, March 29, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Pope Joan was a gift to a member. Our book group uses a gifting process; the first member liked the book, gave it as gift at holiday time. The second member liked the book, gave a short report to the membership and they selected it for 2008. We're scheduled to discuss Pope Joan 4/15, but if necessary we can re-schedule. We meet once a month.

Name: Kim LaSpada
Location: Westlake Village, California
Groupname: Book Club
Date: Thursday, March 27, 2008

Each month a different member of our reading club selects a book of their
choice. I read Pope Joan last year, loved the book, so naturally when it
became my turn to host I selected this wonderful novel to share with
everyone. Our meeting/dinner is scheduled for April 8th and I've already
had feedback from our members saying this is their favorite book of all

Name:         Marla
Location:      Peoria, IL
Groupname:  The BBC
Date:           Monday, March 10, 2008

 Dear Donna,
Thank you soooooo very much for calling us last night!   We all enjoyed your warmth, insights and humor.  You are our favorite author to date!  We have dinners to go with our books and I thought you would like to hear the menu that Diane served us: pottage of beef, carrots and rice (Grubenhaus of the Canon & Monastery at Fulda); olives, cheese, sausages & pickles (Bishop's Palace at Dorstadt); and torta di frutta (Triclinium at Rome).
I had been wanting to read Pope Joan for years and I was absolutely thrilled when you agreed to speak to us.  It was thoroughly worth waiting for...the book and speaking with you!  

We talked about you and Joan for another hour and a half after you left us, and we wanted to call you back and ask you these questions.  We compromised and I promised to email you:

In your research, did you ever discover the true father of Joan's baby?  Was there really a Gerold?

Was Woolfolk your given middle name or your maiden name?  What is the country of origin of Woolfolk?

We cannot thank you enough for speaking to us last night.  We had a great discussion about Pope Joan and we all really enjoyed the book and talking with you.  You were wonderful to talk to and we would've thought so even if your book was mediocre, but we also really loved your book!  Thank you for such a great experience, we will be remembering you for years to come. 

Thank you for our delicious talk and best of luck on the next book and the upcoming movie...We anxiously await both.

Thank you,
Marla, Karen, Ella, Vicki, Diane, Kelly & Sandra

Name:         Del Mari Runck
Location:     Alexandria, Minnesota
Date:           Monday, March 10, 2008

Thank you so much for your reply to my guestbook post.   Despite not having you as part of our book group's lively discussion on the night we gathered, we talked for over 2 hours about the book as well as the "ABC Primetime" show that many of us had viewed through itunes prior to our gathering. I felt after watching that interview, I knew you!   

We loved Pope Joan.  In fact, in our poll of attendees rating the book on a scale of 1-10, it received a 8.9, one of our highest ratings ever! 

I must ask a couple questions . . . where are you currently living?  (With access to you via electronic methods, it seems like you are very close by!) Do you do book tours and if so, do you have any plans to come to Minnesota on one of those tours?

Thanks so much for responding to my guestbook post and for answering my questions!

Name:         Joan Donatelle
Location:     Eden Prairie Minnesota
Groupname:    Cardinal Creek
Date:         Monday, March 10, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) We have been together for 20 years as a neighborhood book club. Each year we vote on the books we select and have a different volunteer to present for each book. Each year we select a historical novel, and this year it's Pope Joan.

We have quite a range of ages in our group. We are all women. Mostly married. Many of us share these
books with our husbands, daughters and sons.

Name:     Michelle
Location: Gilbert, WV
Date:     Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ms. Cross, I love "Pope Joan!"  It was given to me by a German friend, and is one of my most cherished possessions.  I've always thought it would make an excellent film and I am so happy that Franka
Potente is in the starring role.  I can't wait to find out who will be in
the supporting cast, especially in the role of Gerold!

Name:     Taylor Harding
Location: Oro Valley, Arizona
Date:     Friday, March 7, 2008

Is this novel currently available on Audio cassette or CD?

.... Donna's Reply....

No audio version of Pope Joan yet exists.   You can help increase the possibility of one in the future by emailing  recordedbooks.com and asking the company  to consider Pope Joan for inclusion in their impressive list of titles!

Name:     Allison
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Date:     Tuesday, March 4, 2008

YAY!!!!!   Our book group is so excited to chat with you.  Donna,  Pope Joan was absolutely one of my favorite books I have read yet.  I love your style of writing please continue writing I would love to read more ....it was fabulous!!!  I can't stop thinking about Joan.

Name:     Tony Kim
Location: Seoul,Korea
Date:     Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I would like to acquire the book publishing copyright on Pope Joan for South Korea.
Please let me know if it is available.

Name:     Jennifer
Location: United Sates
Date:     Monday, March 3, 2008

I just want to say that I loved your book! I had never heard of Pope Joan until I found this book at a book store. The story is amazing! I'm currently reading it for the second time.

Name:         Michelle Scott
Location:     Granger, In USA
Date:         Thursday, February 28, 2008

Each member of our book group takes a turn and chooses a book.  I chose Pope Joan because I
found it fascinating and something I had never considered.  I wanted to share it with my book club.

Hope you can join us by speakerphone on the night we discuss your book.

Name: Antonina Aall
Location: Russia
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2008

We would like to consider your work for publication in the Russian language so please send us on the right track:))) I do hope to hear from you or your agent soon.

About us: Arabesque Books is an imprint of AST Publishing Company, the largest Russian publisher. We are dealing mostly with translated fiction for adults and children.

Antonina Gall, Chief Editor
Arabesque Books
St. Petersburg, Russia

Name:     Anne Rohling
Location: Kansas City
Date:     Monday, February 25, 2008
Groupname:  Ruthie's Readers

Our group consists of 16 literature lovers, most of whom spend our days raising pre-school and grade-school aged children.

Late in January, we invited internationally-known author, Donna Woolfolk Cross (Pope Joan, among other titles) to phone into our gathering, and it was simply the most fun and informative evening we’ve shared.

Donna was so gracious, entertaining and knowledgeable about the writing process and her experience with publishing a novel and watching it gain in popularity over the course of many painstaking years.

Because most in our group happen to be Catholic, “Pope Joan” was quite intriguing, especially for those of us raising young daughters. And our lively discussion (via speaker phone) with Donna could not have been more exciting!  We wish Donna could have joined us in person, because we felt she was a neighbor and fellow book group member by the end of our conversation.

Name: Sheila Tumpach
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Date: Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank you for joining our book club discussion by speakerphone last
night, Donna. You are a delight! Your giving of your precious time with book clubs is so unusual.
Your candid openess and generosity is so very much appreciated. I've
never heard of another author doing the same thing.

I look forward to your next novel. Good luck on completing it. We are
also looking forward to the Pope Joan movie. Hope they stay on track
for filming this Fall. Should be a treat!

Thank you, again, and good luck with all your future writing endeavors.
Your readers appreciate everything you do.

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name:     Jennie
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Date:     Thursday, February 21, 2008

My name is Jennie and I am a student at Gothenburg University, Sweden. My major is theology.

Right now I am writing an essay about Pope Joan that I find very interesting. I just wonder, is there any proof that Joan was a person in real life? Here in Sweden we do not have many books;  most of them have I found oversea.

If the author can advise me of a book or article about Pope Joan, please let me know and I will be very grateful...

Name:         Del Mari Runck 
Location:     Alexandria Minnesota
Groupname:    Between the Wines
Date:         Thursday, February 21, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) We chose Pope Joan because it was recommended to us by many other book clubs.  We have not read a historical novel previously and thought this would be a good selection for that genre.  And finally, we were intrigued by the idea of a woman disguising herself to become a success.

Name:         Kris Thorne
Location:     Cedar Hills, Utah
Date:         Monday, February 18, 2008

The cover of Pope Joan looked very interesting. I had just
recently purchased a copy before our book group even selected it as a read.  I love
reading about Medieval times and historical fiction.  I read it two months
before the others and highly praised it at our last meeting.  So far
everyone who has read it has loved it! We all so hope that you can join us by speakerphone at
one of the meeting date choices we submitted on the request form!

Name:     hunter pynchon
Location: providence, ri
Date:     Friday, February 22, 2008
Time:     09:08 AM

My mother was enthralled with your book, and has promised to loan the book to me next (of her four daughters).  She mentioned an arithmatic/calculation tool or concept used by Joan, called "Bede," I
believe.  We would like to learn more about this calculus tool.  Could you please direct us to such a source?

Name:   Mara Sierchia
Date:     February 12, 2008
Location:  New York, NY

I just wanted to thank you again for joining our book group discussion by speakerphone.  The group had a great time and very much enjoyed speaking with you.  Having the "horse's mouth" join us provided such an unusual perspective and really elevated our discussion.  As an aside, the group thinks that you have such a wonderful and expressive voice, that you would be an excellent narrator for books on tape! 

 We look forward to your next book and the movie!

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name:         Dot Jeger
Location:     Bluffton, SC USA
Date:         Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A friend in Atlanta recommended Pope Joan, one of her book club's
selections. I read and loved it and have now chosen it for my book club
selection. Our group frequently seems to choose books with strong women figures in
our reading and also books that no one has read yet. Everyone is interested
in reading Pope Joan. When checking out the website, I was very excited to
see that Donna does speakerphone chats for book clubs; if we can arrange a
date, this would be a wonderful surprise for the group.

Name:     Maria Joăo
Location: Portugal
Date:     February 11, 2008

I am a Portuguese 16-year-old girl, and I read 'Papisa Joana' (Portuguese
title) when I was 13. It touched my in such a deep way, I can't find words
to describe it. It has a kind of strength that one rarely finds. I highly
recommend it to anyone who likes a good book.

Name:         Allison McCarraher
Location:     Cape Coral, FL
Groupname:    The Avid Reader
Date:         February 10, 2008

In our book group each member gets to select a book.  This month Angelika chose your book.  She is from Germany and originally read it years ago in German. She loved it so much she suggested it for our group.  We all also love it, and would be so happy if you could join us on one of the requested dates.  We have had a few "tough-read" selections lately,  and it is so great to read a book that beckons me through
the day.  It is such a great read and an amazing story.  We would be honored as a group to have join our chat by speakerphone.

Name:         Helen Holtzman
Location:     Boynton Beach, Florida
Groupname:    Palm Chase Book Club
Date:         February 9, 2008

I work in Barnes & Noble in Boynton Beach, and I also run my community's book
club.  After reading Pope Joan, which I loved, I scheduled it for our March
read because I found it fascinating as to historical background (as a
ex-English-history teacher) as well as the characterization and themes
relating to the Church. I

 have also recommended Pope Joan to many book clubs in my
area, as well as to my niece in New York City, whose book club is doing it
and which you are already scheduled to call in to.  She is the one who
told me about this wonderful opportunity to have you "join the conversation"
and my ladies are very excited - everyone loves the book.
I hope we can work something out.  

Name:         Dianne Butler
Location:     Jasper, GA
Date:         February 8, 2008

(Posted on the book and school group chat request page.) Pope Joan was recommended to me,  and I read it last year and loved it. We seem to be interested this year in the power of women, so at our book club planning meeting, I recommended it. 

Name:     Gail Halliday
Location: Grosse Pointe, MI
Date:     February 6, 2008

Thank you for joining our book group discussion by speakerphone.  We all loved Pope Joan
and enjoyed being treated to an insider’s view of its development.  Very interesting to hear how you took both historical facts and specific information on Pope Joan to develop a most likely scenario.  We look forward to seeing the film soon.  And to your next book!

Name:         Sheila Tumpach
Location:     Downers Grove, Illinois
Groupname:    Highland Avenue Book Club
Date:    February 5, 2008

I'm sorry we are so late in requesting this chat and that we only have one
date.  We just learned that you chat with book clubs and we have a schedule
in place for 2008 with our local library.  Thus we have to read your book in February and cannot move
it to another date or the library will not work with us.

A member just volunteered to us that she had just heard that you
participated in book club discussions by speakerphone, so I googled you to find this

We know where we will probably meet, but if you are able to join us by phone
we will need to insure we have a speakerphone at that location and if it
doesn't work there we'll have to find one of our homes where it will work.
I will definitely update you in plenty of time of the phone number if you
are able to phone us.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please know that we would absolutely
love to have your thoughts and feedback.

Name:   Mara Sierchia
Date:     February 3, 2008
Location:  New York, NY

Our book group is very excited about our upcoming speakerphone chat with you.  Our group is about 8 women, all in our late twenties/early thirties, living in Manhattan.  The group is relatively new (this is only our third discussion), and very open to reading different types of books.  Most of the members have previously participated in book groups.   At each meeting, one member provides four suggestions for the next month's book, and the other members vote on which one they would like to read.  My friend in charge of choosing the latest book asked her husband's aunt, who works at Barnes & Noble, for help selecting a book.  Her aunt suggested Pope Joan, and last month the group voted in favor of reading it.  I am only about 150 pages into the book (which I am enjoying tremendously) and already I know that it will be a very lively discussion.  The majority of the group hold graduate degrees, and a number of us have taken courses in women studies.  Accordingly,  the issues regarding the education and treatment of women are of great interest to us. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us.

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name:     Barbara Fenters
Location: Fullerton, CA
Date:     Friday, February 01, 2008

Dear Donna,
Our bookclub at Fullerton First Christian Church (we had a phone
conversation with you a couple of years ago) are wondering about the status
of your next book and the Pope Joan movie.  The club asks me everytime we
meet if I have heard anything.  We are anxiously awaiting.

Name:     Leonardo Blazevic
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Date:      Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dear Donna, I'm marketing director in Ljevak Publishing, Zagreb, Croatia and we just published your book Pope Joan in Croatian. The most popular weekly magazine in Croatia is interested in doing an interview with you. Would something like that be possible?

Name:     Guiselle Padilla
Location: Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Date:     Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Donna, I would like to thank you so much for calling our book club last
night.  We thoroughly enjoyed hearing your perspective as the author and we
are all looking forward to the movie's premiere.

Again, thanks for taking the time to call and for giving us such an enjoyable

Name:      Rosemary Kastra
Location:  Rio Verde, Arizona
Date:       Tuesday, January 24, 2008

I want to THANK YOU on behalf of our Book Club. Your discussion with us by speakerphone was both enlightening and energizing. We started our meeting at 2:30 and concluded at 5:00.....which was a record for us. We truly appreciated your taking time out of your busy schedule. You also can be sure we will be first in line when you release your next book.
 Thank You again for a wonderful, memorable afternoon.

Name:       Lori Waldron
Location:   Basking Ridge, NJ
Date:         Monday, January 21, 2008

Hi Donna.  Pope Joan has been on my to read "list" since a good friend from college raved about it.  I selected it this month for my book club and we all LOVED it!!!  Our gathering is tonight.  Can you chat by speakerphone for a few minutes?  Please??!!

Name: Rosemary, Jocelyn, Bryn, Shannon, Alexandria, Suzette, Kelly, Barb, and Susan
Location: New Albany, Ohio
Date: Thursday, January 20, 2008

Thank you so much for your call to our book club on Monday night.  We were thrilled to have you attend the meeting by speakerphone. You really impressed everyone with not only your account of the characters and circumstances regarding the Pope Joan book,  but we also felt as if we were treated to history lesson snippets along the way. A truly nice journey for all the women present at book club that night.

We really enjoyed your sense of humor, your well-spoken and beautiful elocution, the dedication to your work, as evidenced not only by the research regarding your storyline but also with the personal calls to readers like us.... and if I may compliment you on your steadfastness and good humor regarding the making your Pope Joan come alive on the screen.

Many many thanks. We wish you all the best. We look forward to your new book's release as well as the Pope Joan movie! May it be true to your story!

[Want to request a chat with the author for your group?  Link here.]

Name: Anne Rohling
Location: Leawood, Kansas (Kansas City)
Groupname: Ruthie's Readers
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2008

I received Pope Joan as a Christmas gift in late 2006, and it became my favorite recommendation during 2007. Our monthly group rotates book selection by hostess, so this is my pick. I enjoyed reading about such a strong female protagonist, learning about the Dark Ages (as I knew little and would not have chosen the topic without outside influence). Our group is mostly Catholic from the same church and suburban Kansas City area, so a female Pope is quite intriguing. Thank you for your research and historical novel! You go, girl! What a special gift you and my sister-in-law gave me last Christmas! I look forward to recommending your book to my first-grade daughter some day. :-)


© 1997-2003 Donna Woolfolk Cross
All rights reserved.