Laura Bush on Books:
A Susan Stamberg Interview

Hear the interview.

First Lady Laura Bush
Laura Bush talks with Susan Stamberg at the White House.
(Photo © The White House)

July 31, 2001 -- First Lady Laura Bush loves books.

In Austin she belonged to a book club that, according to the Baltimore Sun, favored Texas works and the classics: Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust and the late Eudora Welty. She told an interviewer that her favorite novel of all time is The Brothers Karamazov.

Laura Bush worked as an elementary-school teacher and librarian in Texas for more than a decade and is only the second first lady to have earned an advanced degree (the other was Hillary Rodham Clinton). After her husband George W. Bush was elected Texas governor, she worked on several programs aimed at promoting literacy among children. In 1996, Mrs. Bush helped organize the Texas Book Festival, an event that has become an annual fundraiser for Texas public libraries.

On Sept. 8, the Library of Congress is sponsoring the National Book Festival, which will be hosted by Mrs. Bush. She and Librarian of Congress James Billington have invited 75 writers from across the country -- novelists, historians, children's authors -- to participate. President Bush is scheduled to attend.

NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg speaks with Mrs. Bush about the festival and her love of books at her offices in the White House. You can hear the interview on Morning Edition on Tuesday, July 31.

Links & Resources:

Check out the National First Ladies' Library

Laura Bush biography

Hear Susan Stamberg's interviews with authors talking about their favorite books

Find out what other NPR shows are saying about summer book picks

Learn more about the Texas Book Festival

Revisit the NPR literacy series from March 2001

Hear the story about how the Village Foundation of Alexandria, Va., is encouraging reading among young African-American boys

Hear the story about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy