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Spoken from the Heart

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  6,348 Ratings  ·  813 Reviews
In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story. 

Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child in a family that lost three babies to miscarriage or infant death. She vividly evokes Midland's brash, rugged culture, her close rela
ebook, 464 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Scribner (first published May 4th 2009)
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May 24, 2010 Janelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is Laura Bush’s story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a wonderful look into an obviously historical span of time. Let it be known this is not a book about President Bush; this is about Mrs. Bush and her view on first her and then their life.

The book starts off with the early part of her life in Midland, Texas and it was somewhat of an average tale of growing up but with the sadness of her mother’s many, many miscarriages, explaining why Mrs. Bush was an only child. She also speaks of the
Apr 29, 2010 LemonLinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this memoir Laura Welch Bush, who always before has been a rather private person, gives us a candid peek into her life from youth to the early years of her marriage and life as a young mother of twin girls. She gives us an in depth account of her eight years as our First Lady detailing the causes she championed, the implications and the results of her travel at home and abroad and the relationships forged with everyone ranging from the highest foreign dignitaries to those she grew to know mor ...more
May 25, 2010 Ademption marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The fact that she's married to W touts her herculean patience and strong motherly instincts much better than any memoir.
Regardless of your political views, this is a well-written, thoughtful work. The book providse a very detailed account of Laura Bush's life (from her own memories, notes, and official government logs). Her voice and perspective exude class and character.

My favorite moment in the book came when Laura described her struggle with infertility:

"The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and ph
May 11, 2010 KDNH rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It became clear to me early on while reading this memoir that it was going to be a beautiful read. From cover to cover, Laura Bush’s personal and deeply touching story is beautifully written and a delight to read. I closed the book with a smile on my face and yet sadness that it was the end. Taking three weeks to read it (due partly to the fact that I was on business travel one of those weeks and by the time my head hit the pillow I could hardly read a single paragraph), I feel I spent enough ti ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is ironic that a librarian would write a book that would convince me not to read, but this book has officially turned me off the genre of public figures and their so called autobiographies. The lack of self reflection and depth becomes intolerable. The ability to skip over the painful and uncomfortable stuff. The reluctance to analyze intentions or actions.

Laura is the daughter of a Texas businessman and and an awesome, educated housewife. Sadly, her parents had at least 2 still born childre
Sep 03, 2010 thewanderingjew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have only read about 1/3 of the book but I wanted to post something about it because I would like to encourage others to read it, regardless of their politics. It is truly worth the read.
The book is written with such honesty and openness that you feel almost as if Laura Bush is speaking directly to you. Her soft spoken demeanor is apparent from page one. You can feel the sincerity of the author as she opens herself to public scrutiny. There is nothing phony about her or the book. She is what y
May 09, 2014 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've long been fascinated by the stories of the women "behind the men" - the wives, lovers, sisters and daughters of the famous men we read about in the history books. But mostly my interest has veered towards women in the distant past, most likely because linking oneself to a man was really the only way to achieve upward social mobility. Today, a woman can carve out a page in history for herself, on her own terms, without necessarily needing that "wife of" addendum to her name.

So reading the a
EDITORIAL REVIEW: **In this brave, beautiful, and deeply personal memoir, Laura Bush, one of our most beloved and private first ladies, tells her own extraordinary story. ** Born in the boom-and-bust oil town of Midland, Texas, Laura Welch grew up as an only child in a family that lost three babies to miscarriage or infant death. She vividly evokes Midland's brash, rugged culture, her close relationship with her father, and the bonds of early friendships that sustain her to this day. For the fir ...more
Donna Jo Atwood
I am not quite sure how to rate this book. I picked it up out of curiousity; I am not a huge fan of the Bush family nor am I a Texan. But it was an interesting book.

Laura spends a lot of time setting the scene. In most of the first half she introduces us to the small town Texas that she grew up in during the 1950s and 60s. She was very close to her father and that shines through abundantly. Yes, she touchs on social issues, but most often to make the point that those issues were not on the front
Jun 12, 2010 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I was very interested in reading Laura Bush's memoir when I first heard about it. I've always thought her to be a sweet, caring, considerate and kind woman and that impression certainly hasn't changed.

I enjoyed the book except for the fact it was a bit too overdone about her childhood growing up in Texas but other than that it was truly a great read.

I was very disappointed in the "older" Barbara Bush who essentially ignored Laura for the first 10 years of her marriage to George and managed to "i
Confession: I voted for George W. Bush. Both times.

Before all the Pajibans I know write me off as a narrow-minded, religious, right-wing nutjob (although I'm afraid that some of you already have), allow me to add that my politics have changed a lot since 2004. Now, I'm an open-minded, religious, right-wing nutjob (yes, we do exist).

But when I think about Bush and how easy it is to vilify him as this money-grubbing idiot who cares more about pleasing corporate America and carrying out a vendetta
Oct 23, 2012 Susana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I admit I came to this book with my left wing bias, I was prepared to dislike Laura Bush and to discount her.
I am chagrined to admit she succeed in reminding me that too often we make assumptions about people that are unfair. I was won over by her love and faith in education. I was impressed by her pro choice and gay friendly stance.
Don't expect deep political analysis from Laura Bush. She is conventional in her support of her husband and sees only the best of intentions in republican polic
Bookmarks Magazine
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Mrs. Bush's delicate rendering of the virtues and rhythms of mid-century Texas life sets this book far apart from the typical score-settling reminiscences of politicians or their spouses." Indeed, the former First Lady's autobiography is pleasantly--if unsurprisingly, given her famously serene demeanor--mostly free of political spitefulness. However, the critics unanimously declared that this sincere and self-assured memoir appears to be two books masquerad ...more
May 19, 2010 Marylin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed emotions about this book! I LOVED the first three-quarters of the book--a trip down memory lane mainly through all the happenings during her husband, George Bush's presidency. So much of this is OUR history--9/11, Katrina etc. I believe that Laura Bush truly speaks from her heart and the story is well-written and quite emotional in places. However, I found that towards the end of the book which was also the end of Mr. Bush's presidency, the writing became a defense of the man Mrs. Bush lov ...more
Mar 08, 2011 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not a fan of her husband, I always had a soft spot in my heart for Laura Bush--especially for her emphasis on literacy and the importance of reading in America. I've especially enjoyed National Festival of the Book which she sponsored in Washington, D.C. A good time is always to be had there for anyone as addicted to reading as I am. Laura Bush's story is a typically American one in that people often end up far removed from what they thought their life's path would be. Raised in Midland, T ...more
May 27, 2010 Patrice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned that Laura Bush is a very impressive woman. Intelligent, principled and brave. I share her values.

I was also surprised to discover that Midland was a town with various socio-economic levels. I can't think of another town where educated geologists and uneducated blue collar workers mixed with the likes of the Bushes.

Apr 05, 2017 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before she was a First Lady of Texas or the United States Laura Bush was a librarian by profession, and her love of language and storytelling is ever present in this memoir. She may have worked with an editor at Scribner, but I can't help but believe that the words in this compelling memoir are not her own.

Laura Bush was an only child growing up in Midland, Texas, and in "Spoken from the Heart" she tells of the town's culture and her close relationships and friendships that she maintains to thi
Judy Carpenter
May 23, 2017 Judy Carpenter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Near enough to Mrs. Bush's age, I felt that this was my life too. Same growing up experiences, same high school shenanigans, same regrets, same types of memories. I felt this was a true portrayal of the life of a gentle, sincere woman. I think we would have been great friends had our paths crossed.
Anne Falk
Book was well written and gave a wonderful overview of Laura Busch's political life. Would have liked to know more about personal life
Dec 27, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I put this book on hold several months ago after reading George W. Bush's book Decision Points which I really enjoyed. I like to learn about things, in this case their eight years in the White House and the events that transpired, from all angles...his perspective...her perspective. It will undoubtedly put me on the road to reading more political memoirs. I've got a few in mind right now.

As a First Lady I never really paid Laura Bush much attention. She didn't always seem to crave the spotlight
Jun 25, 2011 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Personal memoir of one of my favorite First Lady's. She writes deeply and poignantly about her life and time spend in the White House, about the tragic car accident she had while in high school, which killed her friend and left her devastated, about her platforms she feels strongly about, etc.

A wonderful, insightful look into her life and heart.
Enjoyable and painful at she writes about 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Africa, war, etc.

Favorite Quotes:

"We had luxuries that we could not have
May 28, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I may not have ever voted for Laura Bush’s husband, I was very interested to read her autobiography. Unlike other political memoirs I have tried to read (Hello Clintons!), Bush’s autography covered enough material to be interesting, but did not delve into boring and self-seeking detail. Of course, of even more interest to me was Laura Bush’s love of reading.

Laura Bush as first lady is every book lovers dream. Bush was able to hold literary symposiums about her favorite authors and meet ma
Oct 29, 2010 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I've always admired Laura Bush since my days of living in Texas... I really enjoyed this memoir and learning about the behind-the-scenes happenings in the White House. She's a strong woman with good principles, and I've always admired her dedication to education and literacy.


p. 83 "The realities of an elementary school classroom are far from the Hollywood romance of tweedy academics or wisecracking professors. The movies can condense an entire school career into a little over two hours.
Kristy Teague
Aug 24, 2012 Kristy Teague rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women, biography
The former First Lady's autobiography is truly a Texas treasure. She describes her growing-up years in Midland, her relationship with her parents and disppointment being an only child; how she met George, enjoyed raising her two girls (Barbara and Jenna) and faced the reality of enduring politics and public service.

What surprised me was her sincerity in describing her feelings as a daughter, friend, wife, mother, and First Lady. I found myself breaking down in tears as she recalled her childhood
Feb 02, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still reading this book but am near the end and can probably give an accurate accounting of how I feel about it. I'm listening to the audiobook version on CDs, and it is read by the author, so it's like having a conversation (albeit one-way) with the former First Lady herself! I didn't realize this book just came out in 2010, and I picked it up during a hurried visit to a local library when I had to grab something quickly. I'm a guy who never had given much thought to Laura Bush when she was ...more
Samantha Null
Laura Bush's Spoken From the Heart was a stepping stone for me. I normally read romantic, fictional books, but I wanted to branch out and read something different. Spoken From the Heart was the beginning of my love for memoirs and autobiographies. It taught me so much about the life of this wonderful lady I didn't even know. Its pages traveled all across the world, and had me hooked from the very beginning.

Spoken from the Heart begins with Laura Bush's childhood. She explains her life as a singl
Mary Lou
Jun 03, 2010 Mary Lou rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Spoken from the Heart aptly represents the tone in which Laura Bush tells her story, using name and details, that portray her simply, but completely; accurately but personally.

The prose is often poetic; her observations about life, authentic and admirable as when she is describing her poor vision and her first corrected sights, and she says, “When you do not know where edges begin and end, you are frequently surprised by what is hard or sharp.” (38) A key to who she is and what she values comes
Aug 11, 2011 Shauna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read much in the way of political autobiographies, so I found this book interesting in that regard. I thought that Laura Bush had an honest and sometimes insightful writing style, if not particularly revealing. Overall it seemed like a fleshed out family history followed by a very detailed rumination of her daily presidential agenda. In that, the book fills a documentary need, and I appreciated getting a better understanding of what it means to be a first lady, especially when faced w ...more
Erika Ansley
Jun 13, 2010 Erika Ansley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic! Laura Bush led a very ordinary life, but it was so extraordinary in so many ways. She had this amazing opportunity to be the voice of so many women, mothers, daughters, and sisters in the world. I never knew how much of an advocate she was for basic woman's rights-freedom to be healthy and raise healthy children, freedom to be literate and receive an education and possibly career, freedom to be safe from harm in everyday life.
I love her work with the written word and he
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Laura Lane Welch Bush is the former First Lady of the United States and the wife of the forty-third and current President of the United States George W. Bush.
More about Laura Bush...

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“The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?” 23 likes
“I turned to books for comfort.
(Former First Lady, Laura Bush)”
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