Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Cat Lady's Memoir

No, not Eartha Kitt's, but Laura Bush's "Spoken from the Heart".  Somehow she reminds me of a cat, self-contained, attractive, and mysterious.  As some reviews have suggested, the first part of the book is interesting: her parents and grandparents, her early life in Texas, the car accident, etc. The second part not so much: mostly a recitation of her activities as first lady of Texas and the U.S.  Some things which struck me:
  • the security scares, not only on 9/11 but the recurrent alarms.  I don't mean she was unduly worried, but she does pay attention to threats and scares which I don't remember in other memoirs.  I wonder how the Obamas are handling their scares. It must be draining, even if you know the odds are the scare is a false alarm, adrenaline must be racing.
  • alcohol.  She makes a point of the extensive use of alcohol in the Texas culture, even though Midland was technically dry it was routinely used and abused.  She doesn't say her father was an alcoholic, but in today's more puritanical times he might have qualified, at least as a heavy drinker.
  • friendship. She obviously has a gift for making and maintaining friendships.
  • a couple anecdotes about her in-laws: George H.W. in his bathrobe undoing the plumbing to retrieve the contact she'd lost down the sink (George wasn't much good at mechanical stuff, apparently); Barbara being sharp-tongued with her friends (Laura treats her very gingerly).

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