Monday, February 14, 2011

Decision Points

Last year I read the book American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld which mirrors the life of Laura Bush and I REALLY liked it. I've always liked Laura Bush, she seems so humble and gracious and I like that she has her own ideas and opinions and doesn't blindly follow her husband and accept all his positions on issues out there. After I read that book I knew I wanted to read Decision Points by President Bush. American Wife showed Laura's point of view of her relationship with her husband and she made him seem like such a nice, likable person and after reading Decision Points I think I would have to agree with the former First Lady.

I know politically he was not well liked both while in office and his legacy now but I don't think I'd put him in the "evil" category as some others would. I don't think that he made the best decisions all the time but I don't think that a lot of his mistakes were made with the malice that other people have described. Some of his decisions that caused a lot of controversy were explained in his book and although I don't agree with some of them, I am glad to have heard his side of why he made the decision.

The biggest decision from the book that stood out to me was the decision to stay with the children in Florida after he found out about the attack on the WTC on 9-11. As a mother, I am glad that he chose to stay with the children instead of running out of the building. I know this isn't a popular opinion and that many would have preferred he ran out of there immediately, but I think that he would have gotten just as much flack had he done the opposite. If I picture him in that room with my child, I'm glad he used that extra couple of minutes to let his team gather information. Probably the smarter thing to do would have been to excuse himself, talk to some aides and then returned. But he didn't and that will be something people hold against him but chances are those people probably have a whole list of other things they hate about him! LOL

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Book of the New Year

I have a small goal for myself for reading in 2011 and I think I've landed at trying to read 30 books. It sounds like a lot but if I get off the computer and made myself read a little more I think I can do it. Even if I go in spurts and don't read one week I don't think it would be too hard to read two books the next to catch up.

Ok, enough about that. The first book I read was Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Well, to be honest I really didn't read it, it was an audiobook. I'm still counting it though since I devoted tons of hours listening to the book. I didn't choose the book because it was an Oprah Book Club book, I don't like to feel like I'm a "follower". The last few years I'd heard a lot of recommendations to try his other book The Corrections so when I saw he had a new book I decided to read it so I could discuss it with a few of my friends. I've seen interviews with him before and honestly he seemed kind of like a butthead so I don't know that I went into it with an open mind.

A lot of the characters had a lot of really unlikable qualities that I unfortunately could really relate to some of them. Franzen really seemed to tap into the different characters to tell their part of the story and it was easy to see yourself in their shoes, thinking what they were thinking and feeling what they were feeling. If I were an unhappy wife who was flirting with my husband's college roommate I know I would have felt those same feelings and could picture how I would try to avoid my spouse when the friend was around or how I might try to find a way to spend time with him. If I gave more examples it would give too much away but if you've ever been in a failed marriage or an unhappy one this will give you a lot to think about and all the other chain of events if a marriage does go South.


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