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Laura Bush Kicks-off 2010 Texas Book Festival

By Kelly

This past Saturday, the Chicksters visited the Texas Book Festival, an annual event involving panels, booths, book signings and more than 200 authors. The streets were filled with literature as the Capitol-area of downtown was completely road blocked for the easy traveling of Austinites on foot.

This event was founded by First Lady Laura Bush in 1995 who was in attendance at the

Paramount Theater to kick-off the event at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Mrs. Bush gave a speech about the festival’s history followed by an onstage interview about her new autobiography Spoken From the Heart. In the interview, moderated by Mark K. Updegrove, Mrs. Bush discussed some painful memories covered in the book as well as what it’s like to be the wife of the former President of the United States.

She elicited both laughter and applause during the interview, once saying that sometimes she had to remind herself that her husband was the president when he’d come home and not know how to change a light bulb. Updegrove took to this comment with a laugh and spoke directly to his wife in the audience: “Did you hear that honey? The president doesn’t know how to change a light blub.” (Mrs. Bush did later imply that the statement was an exaggeration.)

Mrs. Bush also discussed the importance of reading and education, and the complicated emotions related to the difficult decision of deploying the troops and meeting with the surviving families of those killed on 9-11.

Mrs. Bush wasn’t able to sign copies of her autobiography in person but she did have pre-signed copies on sale. Authors in attendance who did sign their books in person were numerous and included P.J. O’Rourke.

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