Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Read. Read. Read.

First Lady, Barbara Bush Narrated by Jean Becker PEARLS OF WISDOM—Little Pieces of Advice (That Go A Long Way)

When my sister shared the book Pearls of Wisdom, LIttle Pieces of Advice by First Lady Barbara Bush narrated and compiled by Jean Becker, I could feel her excitement over the phone. This compelling book is a collection of advice from First Lady Barbara Bush given throughout her lifetime to members of her large family, dear friends, political colleagues, and grateful employees. Her heartfelt and often direct counsel continues through the hearts and minds of those that knew her best but also can be appreciated by those who read her words and take to heart their meaning and message.

Readers will come away with more than a few ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ from First Lady Barbara Bush, but her drive for equity through literacy will be just as compelling. Her drive, her passion, her relentless pursuit to ensure each child and every adult has the opportunity to be readers was known by those who knew her best. She relentlessly shared this message with her children, grandchildren, colleagues, politicians, and those who came to listen to her speeches given world-wide. Read for fun. Read to others. Read to learn. Read.

There were many pieces of advice that will remain timeless including the real-life reminders hung on the back of each guest bedroom door for her visiting children and grandchildren. Notes that directed them to ”Please hang up damp towels and use twice if possible” and “Above all—have a great time.” Known as the Enforcer from those that knew her and loved her best she could also be quite direct with her counsel to  “Marry someone great!” and solemnly “If you can remain calm, you just don’t have all the facts.”

The tributes and memories shared by many of her closest and dearest friends, colleagues, and those who worked for her, included how the First Lady and her husband  President George H. W. Bush lived their life. “They led and taught by example—always living each day to the fullest with humor and dignity.”  Their love story started when she was 16 and continues in the hearts and minds of many after her death at the age of 92. Pearls of Wisdom include a written reflection from each of their children about their mom. Their son Governor Jed Bush thoughts mirror what his siblings shared about their mom and dad, “Our family has had a front seat to the most amazing love story….their love was the constant in our lives.”

The book was written to not only share her sometimes witty, sometimes direct, sometimes gracious words of wisdom but to continue to support programs and research for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. All the proceeds earned by the sale of this book will go towards promoting literacy for everyone. If the First Lady Barbar Bush was still alive today, one can imagine how pleased she would be with her life’s work continuing. Although ultimately if we each read more often and then read to the ones we are left in charge of instilling the love of reading with she would be thrilled!

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