CURRENT FAVORITE BOOK
'Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography' by Peter J. Conn Pearl Buck was a very interesting writer. I read "The Good Earth," like everybody else did probably in high school, but there are a lot of things about her that I didn't know. For instance, she started an adoption agency called the Welcome House, which was one of the first agencies that allowed Americans to adopt interracial children from all over the world.
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WHAT SHE LIKES TO READ
I like to read a lot of biography; I read mainly fiction and biography. I just finished "Henry and Clara" by Thomas Mallon, which is a historical fiction about the couple who were in the box at Ford's Theatre with Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd.
I've also read millions of mysteries. I like mysteries, and it's relaxing to read them. I love all of the famous British mystery writers, like Dorothy Sayers. And then I love a lot of American ones, like Mary Willis Walker, who happens to live in Austin.
I read every day, and I always read every night in bed for 30 or 40 minutes at the least. I read the newspapers in the morning. We read the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and the Washington Times. I see the Dallas Morning News, which comes over to the West Wing.
WHAT SHE READS FIRST IN THE SUNDAY PAPERS
I read the first section, first, and I read the Outlook or the Week in Review section. I look at the magazines and book reviews in both the New York Times and the Washington Post.
TALKING ABOUT BOOKS AND RECOMMENDING BOOKS
I love to recommend books, and I have a number of friends and relatives that I share books with, like my mother-in-law and Lynne Cheney. She [Cheney] has sent me several books. In fact, the reason I read "Henry and Clara" is because she sent me Thomas Mallon's latest book, "Two Moons: A Novel." We also shared "The Girl With the Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier. That's a historical fiction about the artist Vermeer. That was one of the most recent, and I did like it a lot. Then I just saw the Vermeer show at the Metropolitan. It was fabulous. I also saw the one that was here [in Washington] about five or six years ago.
HOW SHE CHOOSES THE BOOKS SHE READS
I nearly always have read book reviews. And then bought books from the NYT's book review or some other review list.
ON THE PRESIDENT'S NIGHTSTAND
He reads a lot of history, a lot political biography. We both like mysteries. Every once in awhile we'll share a mystery that we enjoyed. Nathaniel Philbrick, the National Book Award winner, was just here with his book on the Essex, the whaling ship ["In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex"]. That was a book that the president immediately picked up.
I just saw "Shrek." I thought it was very great and I loved the Eddie Murphy donkey. I thought he was very funny. I really liked "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." I saw it a couple of weeks ago at Camp David. That's where we usually see movies. We've seen some here, [at the White House] of course, but we always see them on the weekend when we're at Camp David. I thought it was so beautiful. Even the martial arts part of it was like ballet.
We watch games on television a lot, usually the Texas Rangers. Of course, we've hosted two Tee-ball games. I was there last Sunday and that was very fun. I've watched "The Antiques Roadshow" a few times, but I'm not a regular watcher. I love "Mystery" on PBS, but I haven't watched it in a long time.
(She admits that the president often has to tell her to turn out the light at bedtime, but not every night.) Sometimes I have to ask him to turn off the light. It depends on who's sleepiest.