Cover image for Pearls of wisdom : little pieces of advice (that go a long way)
Pearls of wisdom : little pieces of advice (that go a long way)
Physical Description:
xli, 211 pages ; 20 cm

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R.H. Stafford Library (Woodbury)1On Order
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In this "sage, valuable volume" ( Publishers Weekly ) , First Lady Barbara Bush shares the best of her advice to family, staff, and close friends.
First Lady Barbara Bush was famous for handing out advice. From friends and family to heads of state and Supreme Court justices, and certainly to her staff, her advice ranged from what to wear, what to say or not say, and how to live your life.

She especially loved visiting with students of all ages, from kindergartners to college graduates. When she turned 80, she owned up to all her advice-giving and explained it this way: After all, in 80 years of living, I have survived 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 6 wars, a book by Kitty Kelly, two presidents, two governors, big Election Day wins and big Election Day losses, and 61 years of marriage to a husband who keeps jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. So, it's just possible that along the way I've learned a thing or two.

At the end of the day, she taught all of us some valuable lessons. As First Lady, she made a point of cuddling a baby with AIDS and hugging a young man who was HIV positive and whose family had rejected him, showing us by example the importance of compassion and the myth of fear. As a mother, she made sure we all knew that your children must come first, and one of the most important things you can do is to read to them. As a friend and mentor, she showed that you had to be true to yourself, and even at the end of her life, she taught us how to die with grace.
Full of Barbara Bush's trademark wit and thoughtfulness, Pearls of Wisdom is a poignant reflection on life, love, family, and the world by one of America's most iconic -- and beloved -- public figures.

Author Notes

Barbara Bush was First Lady from 1989 to 1993, wife to President George H.W. Bush and mother to President George W. Bush. She was a champion of literacy and established The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989. She wrote four books: C. Fred's Story , Millie's Book , Barbara Bush: A Memoir , and Reflections: Life After the White House.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The late former first lady Bush (Reflections) shares pearls of wisdom in this charming posthumous collection of down-to-earth and often funny advice. Topics covered include looking for the good in others, enjoying life, cherishing relationships, being punctual, and learning not to waste time, and Bush (1925--2018) addresses them with a mix of her own wisdom and tidbits from others, among them author Mary Higgins Clark, former president Bill Clinton, actor Teri Hatcher, and musician Reba McEntire. Examples from Bush's many commencement speeches (Wellesley: "Be compassionate with one another"; Smith College: "Serve others. You will always get back more than you give") are included, as well, along with testimonials of those who met Bush. She also writes about living through the heartbreaking death of her three-year-old daughter, Robin, to leukemia, and how hardship has always made her value family above all else. This sage, valuable volume will appeal to readers looking for general advice, no matter one's political leanings. (Mar.)

Kirkus Review

A celebratory gathering of memories from Barbara Bush's friends and family, featuring her own quotes."You might question how someone who left this good earth two years ago could be the author of a new book," writes Jean Becker, who worked for Bush for nearly 30 years. "Simple, really. It was her wordsthat made this book possible. It is indeed written in her voice and in her spirit." Beginning with a who's who glossary of the extended Bush family and their circle, which included statesmen, writers, and celebrities, Becker loosely groups Barbara's advice on family, living well, and literacy, among other topics. A patchwork (some may say scattershot), round-table approach yields colorful reflections on a woman who was known as "The Enforcer," Barb, and, to her grandchildren, Ganny. More than the first lady's advicewhich draws on sensible optimism: "You can like what you do OR you can dislike it. I choose to like it, and what fun I've had"it's everyday situations that lead to original, unscripted quips. Sometimes, frightened staff recall Bush's graceful way of handling the unexpected and of putting everyone at ease. Family who visited Kennebunkport recount her no-nonsense yet loving discipline, and friends who witnessed the Bush's marriage depict the couple's mutual respect and banter. Such memories reveal a plainspoken individual who was prone to faux pas yet could laugh at herself. Writings from Bush's children mix gentle humor with awe, as when her son, Jeb, calls her parenting a "benevolent dictatorship." This is a fond retrospective that sometimes repeats biographical details and nuggets of wisdom. In the author's note, Becker apologizes for the repetition, which dilutes the focus. Readers seeking insight on a dynastic political family will find a down-to-earth, humanizing portrait of a much-loved matriarch. Those hoping for novel wisdom will find unsurprising comments on gratitude, kindness, love, and living fully with joy.A tribute to an American icon that brims with love and hope. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Jean Becker, the ghostwriter of this book, worked for former first lady Barbara Bush (1925--2018) in a variety of roles from 1993 to 2018. She put together this tribute containing excerpts from Bush's diaries, notes from her family members, and a collection of anecdotes from aides, historians, and family friends. The entries are grouped into categories, such as friends, family, and the importance of reading, and contain everything from minding one's manners (e.g., looking someone in the eyes when meeting them) to having a positive attitude (e.g., always be grateful). VERDICT A pithy book that packs a wallop of information and lots of laughs, this is a perfect gift for fans of the former first lady.

Table of Contents

George W. BushDoro Bush Koch
Author's Notep. vii
Forewordp. xi
Glossary of Contributorsp. xiii
Chapter 1 Family Firstp. 1
Chapter 2 But Friends Are Right Behindp. 44
Chapter 3 And Then There Were the Studentsp. 100
Chapter 4 What She Taught the Rest of Usp. 121
Chapter 5 Readp. 144
Chapter 6 Homeward Boundp. 155
Chapter 7 Reflectionsp. 162
Epiloguep. 206