A Collection of Books for After the Boom July 4 fireworks and summer books might not seem to have much in common. But Donna Grucci-Butler, president of Fireworks by Grucci, tells what sort of reading she'll be doing when things quiet down a bit.
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A Collection of Books for After the Boom

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A Collection of Books for After the Boom

A Collection of Books for After the Boom

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It's the Fourth of July weekend, and no celebration of American Independence from tyranny of the British Crown would be complete without fireworks. There are even statistics to back up what any good colonial knows. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, during the holiday last year, 255 million pounds of backyard fireworks were shot off in the United States.

So for our summer reading series on what might possibly be her busiest weekend of the year, we've called Donna Grucci Butler. She's president of the famed Grucci Fireworks, and we caught her at home in Patchogue, Long Island.

Welcome to the program, Donna.

Ms. DONNA GRUCCI BUTLER (President, Grucci Fireworks, Long Island): Well, thank you.

HANSEN: Hey, do you have a lot of time for reading right now?

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: Right now, when I do my reading, believe it or not, it's about 11:30 or 12:00 in the evening when I come home from work and I'm so keyed up I just need to get a few pages in just to kind of calm me down and allow me to go to sleep for the next day.

HANSEN: So what are you reading?

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: Right now I'm reading Robin Cook's Shock.

HANSEN: Um-hmm.

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: It's really, really good. Its one of those types of books that you pick up and you can't put down. But when you start reading at the hour that I've been reading, it's quite difficult to just keep going and going and going. But I just can't wait to get some time after the Fourth of July to finish it.

HANSEN: I bet. What else have you read lately?

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: I read A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, which I thought was excellent. I like Ann Rule. I read a lot of her books. Sydney Sheldon.

HANSEN: Let me ask you. James Frey's memoir, A Million Little Pieces, and you said he also read his My Friend Leonard...

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: Um-hmm. Yes.

HANSEN: ...but, you know, he got a lot of attention this year.

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: I know he did.

HANSEN: Well, did that attention, is that what drew you to the book?

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: Actually, you want to know something? I did it in the reverse. I started with My Friend Leonard, and this was before the controversy. So I read My Friend Leonard, and I just so taken aback by it because the ending was just unbelievable, that I said, you know, I'm going to go back now and read the Million Little Pieces, because one starts and ends and My Friend Leonard picks up from there. So I think I read the better one first.

The first one, after I heard all the controversy, I kind of lost a little bit of faith in some of the exaggerations that were in there, but not enough to turn me off to not let me read the book.

HANSEN: So when you get some time after the Fourth of July, do you have something in mind to read?

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: Well, I definitely want to finish Shock...


Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: ...because this looks like it's going to be a great one. This is all about cloning and women selling their eggs, college students. So it's really, it's grabbed a hold of me. Especially having a teenage daughter.

HANSEN: Yeah. Huh. Let me ask you, if you had all the time in the world and you could settle in and read one book, what would it be?

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: If I tell you, you're going to probably be very surprised. If I had all the time in the world, it probably would be the Bible, because I've never read it.

HANSEN: Donna Grucci Butler, the princess of pyrotechnics, is the President of Grucci Fireworks. Hey, thanks a lot. Happy Fourth of July.

Ms. GRUCCI BUTLER: Thank you. You too.

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