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Spoken from the Heart

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  7,026 ratings  ·  869 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
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published May 4th 2009)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  7,026 ratings  ·  869 reviews

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May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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
May 25, 2010 marked it as to-read
The fact that she's married to W touts her herculean patience and strong motherly instincts much better than any memoir.
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 28, 2011 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
May 09, 2014 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
Dee Dee G
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a long, but enjoyable book. Mrs. Bush gives so many details about so many events before and during living in the White House. I learned a lot and understood certain things better after reading her book. One thing I must say is that she LOVES her husband and is protective of him as she should be.
Robin Tobin (On the back porch reading)
I enjoy reading all the First Lady’s Bios
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 ...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
Oct 23, 2012 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
Jun 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Sep 11, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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 ...more
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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, ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, memoir, audio
Enjoyed listening to Mrs. Bush’s family history, details of her early years, the very heartbreaking memories she shared and her account of the two terms in the white house. I’m proud to hear of her efforts with literacy, aids, women’s heart health and other issues. I was sad to learn of all the ugliness of politicians and journalists that have continued since. I recommend listening to her audiobook in her words. Very touching and a great review of that time in the Bush presidency.
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
A lovely memoir from a lovely woman. Ms. Bush has always been a private person and I got the sense writing her story was not easy for her. I felt she was holding back at times. Understandable, but as a reader I wanted a little more open-ness/self-reflection.
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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 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 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, women
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
Feb 02, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mary Lou
Jun 03, 2010 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
Samantha Null
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Shauna Hruby
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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 ...more
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Play Book Tag: Spoken from the Heart by Laura Bush 5 stars 8 21 Jun 14, 2019 09:01AM  

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Laura Lane Welch Bush is the former First Lady of the United States and the wife of the forty-third President of the United States George W. Bush.
“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?” 30 likes
“I turned to books for comfort.
(Former First Lady, Laura Bush)”
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