9. Decision Points by George W. Bush
I'd been wanting to read this book ever since I heard it was coming out, so as soon as I knew my library had it, I put it on hold. It took a while before it was finally my turn, but it was definitely worth waiting for.
Decision Points is not a full-scale autobiography, but rather a presidential memoir of the key decision points that shaped George W. Bush's presidency - and the key decisions in his life that led up to it. He shares experiences with his father, former President George H. W. Bush, and with his mother, Barbara - which made me want to read her autobiography as well. (I've started it twice, but it's so long, I ended up putting it down both times. Maybe the third time, whenever that will be..., will be the charm.) He also goes into detail about the importance of family through his relationships with wife Laura, daughters Jenna and Barbara, and others in his extended family. He's quick-witted and humorous, and that comes through in his writing.
It was very timely that I happened to be reading about his war policy toward Afghanistan when news came that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Reading the background information helped put things into perspective - many years after the fact. Events and reasoning get cloudy and forgotten, but this book cleared things up. I felt immensely proud that George W. Bush had been my president.
At times, I felt a little bogged down by so much information in areas that didn't seem so important to me. Then again, I'm not politically-minded at all, so it's to be expected. It's not a fast read; it took me about 5 weeks to finish it. Overall the book was well-written and informative.
10. Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle by Ann B. Ross
It was time again for another guilty pleasure. I needed a quick, light read, and Miss Julia books always fit that bill.
This time, Miss Julie is taking care of Hazel Marie, waiting for her to give birth to her twins. In the meantime, she's promised Sam that she won't get involved in anyone else's business - which always gets her into some crazy predicament. Unfortunately a dead body is found in a neighbor's toolshed - with a blank check of Miss Julia's in his pocket. Now it's her business too, and with Sam and Mr. Pickens out of town, she decides it's time to take matters into her own hands. And to complicate matters, Hazel Marie goes into labor during a blizzard and it's up to Miss Julia, Lillian, and Etta Mae to deliver the babies. The usual Miss Julia hilarity follows, complete with hair-brained schemes, misunderstandings, and happy endings.
When I read these books, I like to picture the characters as if they're being played in a movie. Here's my cast: Miss Julia - Shirley McClaine; Sam Murdoch - Hal Holbrook; Lillian - Cicely Tyson; Hazel Marie - Rene Zellwegger. I'm not fixed on the others yet, but if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them!